The fun parts of the Republican race are starting to fade away: first we lost Prince Herman, and now Michele Bachmann has called it a day.

Her withdrawal speech was vintage Bachmann, of course, although to my ears at least (even) heavier on the God talk than was her standard campaign stump speech and debate rhetoric. But it was, as usual, heavy on the socialism-bashing, and even better heavy on her special brand of self-aggrandizement: how Michele Bachmann has been all that’s standing between all that is good and wholesome and blessed on the one hand, and the nefarious socialist in the White House on the other. Which, as usual, takes the form of her bragging about being the one who opposed Obamacare, and Dodd-Frank, and the debt limit increase, and everything else that…every other Republican opposed, and passed anyway. What’s wonderful about her self-image is that it’s so removed from reality. In reality, of course, she’s not a fighter in Congress; she’s an irrelevant back-bencher who was denied a subcommittee chair and mainly just shows up and says crazy things on cable news shows, and couldn’t get a single Member of the House to back her bid. Not even her buddy Steve King from Iowa, who might well have helped her a bit.

Of course, her “knowledge” of the issues, or for that matter socialism, is equally detached from reality — my favorite one, among many greats, is her repeated charge that Obama has a secret socialist plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with “Obamacare.” I mean, how do you even respond to that? I’d love to know whether she’s sincere and just massively ignorant about the programs she opposes, but I guess we don’t get to know things like that about our politicians. Anyway, no doubt those who watch will be seeing plenty of her on Fox News and the Chris Matthews show and other such programs, but as a presidential candidate she was entertaining in her way, and as such she’ll be missed from the campaign trail,

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.