Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An Inconvenient Position

It's good to see that all the focus on global warming this year has begun to pay off with an informed electorate. Here's Republican Michele Bachman getting laughed at by the audience during a debate with Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling after essentially denying the existence of global warming:

If you're unfamiliar with Wetterling, here's a bit of background on her from MoJo blogger Clara Jeffery (who graduated from Carleton College, the rival to my alma mater St. Olaf, right around the time that I did):

Seventeen years ago, when I had just graduated from Carleton College and was living in Minneapolis, 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted by gunpoint, in front of his younger brother and a friend, while biking in his St. Joseph, MN, neighborhood. He was never heard from again.

Seventeen years ago, his mother, Patty Wetterling, mounted an enormous effort—one that did not have the advantage of email, blogs, the Internet, or Amber Alerts—to alert the public about her son’s case; her son’s face is still burned into my brain.


I had no idea Patty Wetterling was running for Congress until a few days ago, when her name came up as someone commenting on the Foley situation. Now her opponent, Michele Bachmann, has claimed that Wetterling is playing politics with the issue of child abuse. This is appalling, and most especially from an extremely religious, values voting woman, who has nobly raised 23 foster children herself.

I don’t want to bash Bachmann here. What I know of her comes from clip searches, and these leave me somewhat confused (used to work for Carter, now darling of far-right mega-churches). But I will say, emphatically, that anyone who says Patty Wetterling is being opportunistic about the issue of child sexual abuse either didn’t live in Minnesota in the early 1990s. Or is full of shit.

The good news is that Wetterling is making some serious advances in the polls. Bachman's neanderthal point of view should help things along as well.


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