The Betrayal of Michele Bachmann

Among the more disgusting aspects of Washington life and politics is the anonymous attack by “former aides.” About the only thing that can be said for certain about such attacks is that they’re cowardly. As for their veracity? Their anonymity makes them immune to further questioning and renders us incapable of discerning whether they even had the access or first-hand knowledge they claim. All we’re left with are rumors — rumors elevated to national attention because they’re reproduced in reputable outlets.

Last night it was Michele Bachmann’s turn to be eviscerated by “former aides.” The Daily Caller reported (and Drudge picked it up) that she suffers from — wait for it — headaches. Apparently these former aides (medical doctors, no doubt) believe she’s “incapacitated” by migraines and this makes them “terrified” about her condition if she’s president.

Terrified? What magnificent patriots they are! What a public service they’re performing! If only these brave defenders of the Republic would identify themselves so that we can ask them a question or two. For example, you say that she’s “incapacitated,” but in one of your lurid examples despite her headaches she actually “managed to attend several events in California, including an appearance before a California chapter of the Eagle Forum and a fundraiser in Palm Springs.” Does “incapacitated” mean what you think it means? Or, if your definition of “incapacitated” includes trips to “urgent care centers” (a fancy name for a walk-up clinic), what do you have to say about this list of presidential ailments? If these aides get the vapors from a migraine or two, I’m glad they’re off her team. After all, presidential politics is tough stuff, and we can’t have excitable, backstabbing aides lurking around — ready to betray their boss for the thrill of a Drudge hit.

Exactly one week ago, I wrote that Michele Bachmann should prepare for the Sarah Palin treatment. As Glenn Stanton noted today, the Left is coming after her with its customary class, accusing her husband of being gay. But now anonymous conservatives have bared their claws. I suppose such betrayals are inevitable in politics, but they are still intolerable.

One thing is certain, however, I prefer a headache-suffering Michele Bachmann to a bike-riding President Obama. And it’s not even close.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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