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Michele's Makeup; or, What's Political Representation Got to Do With It?

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So, have you noticed Michele Bachman's makeup recently? Very provocative. And her hair style? Very Hollywood. According to OpEdNews.com, Bachmann spent about $4700 on a makeover in June, presumably in anticipation of the June 13 Republican Faux Debate.

Now if she were to spend the same amount over the course of the 26 debates (and there's no reason for her not to since she's not in it to win it anyway) she will have spent a tidy $122,200 on her hair and her makeup alone. Certainly, that money could have been better spent in taking Con Law Tutorial sessions or in that Remedial American History class, but, no, it will have been spent on hair and makeup.

But what's more egregious than the money wasted on a non-candidate for president of the United States, is that she's really used the debates as a platform for her own self-aggrandizing. Does anyone beyond her base really care about her book Core of Conviction: My Story, a 224-page self-adulating book published by Sentinel on November 21st for $26.95 (already discounted at Amazon for $17.54) even though the enticing blurbs read "Michele Bachmann is one of the most compelling leaders in America. But despite all the magazine covers and cable television stories, most people don't know who she really is, where she comes from, or what she believes. So she decided to tell her own story and let the reader decide"?

Really? Most people don't know who she is? She's been the face of the Tea Party for years now and her political gaffes are fodder for high school political science classes, but "most people don't know who she is?" When she inked the deal with Sentinel in August, "Publisher Adrian Zackheim acquired the book and the politician won't receive an advance (in accordance with congressional rules)." Perhaps, she'll get some backend points for the sale, but clearly it wasn't the kind of deal that Palin inked with Harper Collins since "literary iterations" generally don't match the original.

Regardless, it's not really the makeup or the hair style or the book tours or the late night comedy show appearances that are irritating about Bachmann, but the fact that she's as narcissistic and as self-promoting as Palin with the exception that she has a constituency that she ignores. Of course, Palin had a constituency that she ignored as well, but at least she abandoned them first.

In September, Brett Neely of Minnesota Public Radio wrote, "Bachmann didn't vote in Congress a single time in September. According to House records, the congresswoman has missed 58 percent of the roll call votes since July 1, when her presidential campaign went into high gear." And though Neely goes on to write that, "While Bachmann's recent attendance record is poor, it's not out of line with past presidential candidates in Congress," for some reason I find that reasoning rather unconscionable given the fact that Bachmann knows, you and I know, and the rest of the United States knows she'll never get the nomination.

So, one must ask the obvious question: Why is she still running? She has nothing new to contribute to the faux debates, she offers no keen insights (other than her security breaching gaffes), her talking points are stale and in the most recent Gallup Poll (November 23, 2011) she's hovering at 5%, which is only 5% higher than Mitch Daniels who's not running and 5% lower than the aging hippie-cum-heroin advocate Ron Paul. Clearly, she's not doing this for Republicans nor is she doing this for her constituents.

No, Bachmann is doing this for Bachmann Inc. primarily because she took the cue from Palin on how to make money without really trying and is going to stretch her Warholian fifteen minutes into as many months as she can and for as much money as she can. Will her constituency in the 6th District of Minnesota be concerned? Probably, not. As Gore Vidal once said about Nixon, "You get what you vote for," so they're probably as keen on Bachmann now as they were when they voted for her and are probably the strongest demographic area for the purchase of her book.

One really has to question what the system is all about when folks like Bachmann and Cain and Perry et al have the hubris to believe they're qualified to be president of the United States. With all due respect to Toole and Southern, such political poshlost could give a new meaning to the titles of a Confederacy of Dunces and The Magic Christian.

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