American Conservative magazine has a lengthy and interesting history of Michele Bachmann and the rise of evangelical Christians in the Midwest in the last 40 years. The main driver of change is the battle over abortion:
Go across the Midwest, state by state, and you find the “moderate” wing of the party has shrunk to insignificance. No Republican could get signatures on a ballot petition, let alone win a primary, as a supporter of abortion rights. That wasn’t true just over a decade ago. And the nearly forgotten Ford-Dole ticket of two famed Midwestern Republicans in 1976 wouldn’t elicit much support from GOP voters in the region today.
Bachmann’s strategy will be to unite the Tea Party/Paulists with the social conservatives, which will be a neat trick considering that Paul himself is running. But, after reading the piece, I’ll buy the premise that she’s the only big name candidate in the Republican race who social conservatives will take seriously. She’s got a long, solid history of anti-abortion advocacy, and a far more serious political background than her doppelganger Palin. And, for all the “Hoot-Smalley” idiocy, she’s also a lawyer, which means that she was at least able to stick around long enough to finish law school.
If she does announce, I hope Democrats put some money into her district to encourage her constituents to throw her out because she’s not paying attention to her district. MN-6 is a R+7 district, so it’s no cakewalk for a Democrat, but she had a fairly tight race in 2008 after her first set of stupid public commentary. It would be a hell of a public service to knock her out of Congress.