So Michele Bachmann showed up on Hardball last week and let Chris Matthews steer her into a bad corner. Now, a week later, she's in the fight of her political life. That's the story. Do you sense that there's a lot more than meets the eye?
First, as far as Bachmann's comments go -- I'm not convinced that she meant to call Barack Obama anti-American, but there's no doubt that she did. So be it. Defining someone as un-American is hardly new -- Nancy Pelosi described Republicans as unpatriotic less than a month ago. I'm guessing that if someone is unpatriotic, they're anti-American, too; maybe there's a distinction that one of the resident portside Bertrand Russells around here can make for us, but it's most likely a distinction without a difference. As far as I can tell, Nancy Pelosi hasn't suffered too much for making that statement.
Bachmann is a different matter, apparently. Chris Matthews's show is seen by far less than 1% of Americans, so it's passing strange that Bachmann's appearance on such a small platform would lead to nearly a million dollars coming into the campaign of her opponent in less than two days, especially since her comments didn't really reach that many people in her district over the weekend. One might conclude that Matthews's audience is amazingly well-heeled and disposed to providing large sums of money to anyone who speaks ill of Obama. That might be the answer. But I wonder about that.
The recent flow of money to Elwyn Tinklenberg's campaign was nearly entirely over the Internet. This is where Barack Obama's seemingly endless supply of money comes from. Now I have it on good authority that there's money to be made on the Internet -- you could ask this guy whether it's true or not. But Ty Coughlin has nothing on Barack Obama. The very mention of Obama's name seems to cause money to fall from the sky, either to build a fabulous campaign on The One's behalf, or to bury his opponents.
Where does the money come from? Well, we are told that it mostly comes from small contributions, mostly concerned people who give $50, or $100, or maybe $200 if they're feeling flush. But it's hard to tell for sure, since the Obama campaign hasn't been willing to disclose much about its small donor base. What we have learned suggests that money might be coming from places it shouldn't, like overseas. These financial practices have raised plenty of eyebrows, even in liberal enclaves like Seattle. And what we are told is that these famous small donors are the ones ponying up for the cash infusion that Tinklenberg is getting. If these small donors are really the silent sufferers from the forgotten middle class who have been tossed to the curb by Chimpy McBushitlerburton and his sidekick Evil Dick, I do have to wonder -- where are they getting the money to send to E-Tink? I thought they were deciding between paying their mortgages or filling their vehicles with gasoline, and that they were living paycheck to paycheck. That's what you hear, no? So where do they come up with the Jackson or the Benjamin for an obscure congressional candidate in Minnesota?
One thing has been pretty clear -- there's a lot of funny money flowing into Democratic coffers in this election cycle. Is it possible that E-Tink has gotten some? I hope it's not anti-American of me to wonder about that. And if you think it doesn't matter, remember what P. J. O'Rourke said -- when buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first thing bought and sold are the legislators. So here's my question -- who's buying Elwyn Tinklenberg?
Cross-posted at True North