Who isn’t investigating Michele Bachmann right now? That list would be shorter than the list of who is investigating the consistently fact-challenged Republican.
While Bachmann’s ethics have long been an “issue”, her Presidential try really shone a spotlight on her sense of entitlement. In addition to the lawsuits Bachmann faces and the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee’s investigation into allegations that her campaign paid a staffer under the table, the Iowa police are investigating her campaign’s alleged theft of the homeschoolers list. And now, the Office of Congressional Ethics is probing into her alleged misdeeds. The Daily Beast reported:
(S)he is embroiled in a litany of legal proceedings related to her rolling disaster of a presidential campaign—including a Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into campaign improprieties that has not previously been reported.
The Daily Beast has learned that federal investigators are now interviewing former Bachmann campaign staffers nationwide about alleged intentional campaign-finance violations. The investigators are working on behalf of the Office of Congressional Ethics, which probes reported improprieties by House members and their staffs and then can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee.
The interesting question is why this is all coming to light now, and why the House OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics) is taking up arms against the once rising star. It’s not as if she’s lonely in the world of grifters and shady operators, especially among the current Republican Party.
When even the Republican-led House takes up the mantle and allows an investigation by the OCE that might result in the Ethics Committee taking the case, we have to ask what’s going on.
It looks as if the Republican Party is trying to get rid of a problem like Michele. Indeed, the New York Times just addressed the very issue of the problem Bachmann poses for the GOP’s attempt to rebrand themselves. Last week, our own Jason Easley wrote that Bachmann’s CPAC crash and burn was taking the GOP down with it:
By claiming that Obamacare would literally kill people, and then calling Medicaid a ghetto, Michele Bachmann is destroying herself and the Republican Party…
When Michele Bachmann uncorks a rant about Obamacare, Medicaid, or Benghazi she confirms the widely held belief that the Republican Party is completely out of step with the rest of the country. Bachmann comments will get all the headlines, and she makes all Republicans look crazy.
Bachmann has become an embarrassment to the party; synonymous with all that’s wrong with their current image. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly went so far as to side with Obama against Bachmann after her CPAC disaster. Right now, she’s Sarah Palin with a job. After she proved that she can’t go national and she barely hung onto her gerrymandered seat in Minnesota, she’s not much use to the GOP. They’ve shut her out of leadership positions and tried to distance the party from her as much as possible.
The cold hard fact of the matter is that the Republican Party would be better served if Bachmann resigned and they could get another Republican in her seat via a special election before she runs in 2014. The Republicans can’t afford to lose any seats that they have a chance of winning, and so a problem like Michele can’t be allowed to take down the party.
Charges that the Congresswoman has problems with the truth and with rules are nothing new. The only difference now is that her presidential campaign drew national attention to those “issues” and she is no longer a rising star; she is now a problem. As such, I doubt she’ll get the usual protection from her party, because they stand to gain from her political demise.
The Republican Party’s game is to use and abuse extremists like Michele Bachmann in order to plant fear and misinformation into policy debates. Once that person is no longer of any use to them, they claim “one bad apple” and run in the other direction. In truth, the party is full of radical extremists with a challenged relationship to facts and ethics. Who else would be so easy and so cheap to use?
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.