Backlash to Bachmann

BACKLASH TO BACHMANN…. On Friday afternoon, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) went way over the line, telling a national television audience that she wants a neo-McCarthyist witch hunt, including an investigation to discover whether members of Congress are “pro-America or anti-America.” The remarks have generated quite a response.

While many have condemned Bachmann’s embrace of what can fairly be described as bordering on fascism, many of those offended by Bachmann have also thrown considerable support to Bachmann’s opponent, former state transportation chief Elwyn Tinklenberg. The Democrat posted an item to Daily Kos last night, talking about the outpouring of support his campaign has received since Bachmann’s shocking comments.

The last few hours have been nothing short of astounding. Since Congresswoman Michele Bachmann appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball earlier tonight, there’s been a deluge of support unlike anything we have seen. […]

Our phones haven’t stopped ringing. Many have called in to say they’re sorry they can only send money and wish they could be here to help.

What kind of help are we talking about here? Tinklenberg raised over $488,000 in just 24 hours. That’s pretty impressive.

Tinklenberg, to be sure, remains the underdog. The race is competitive, but Bachmann got elected for a reason — it’s a conservative district. As Eric Kleefeld noted, “Tinklenberg still faces an up-hill battle, though, as this district voted 57%-42% for George W. Bush in 2004. So the question for him is whether there has been enough of a turn against Bush Republicanism — and especially against Bachmann’s extreme version of it — for him to pull off an upset.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.