20 July 2011

Is Michele Bachmann fit to be president?

The story of Michele Bachmann's migraines is sweeping the internet.

Politico had a wide-ranging story this morning citing several sources close to Bachmann, who confirmed that Bachmann has suffered several serious migraines during her time in the House that have affected her ability to work. The sources confirmed that Bachmann occasionally has to close the door to her office during the workday and lie down on the floor, in the dark.

Bachmann pushed back on the migraine issue last summer, alleging that while she suffered from them, they didn't affect her ability to legislate, but these new revelations have resuscitated the story. Due to Bachmann's original denials, this story has suddenly become much bigger than it needs to be.

I frankly don't care whether Bachmann suffers from migraines. I certainly hope she gets relief and stops having them, because I understand they are miserable and utterly debilitating. But it doesn't affect my evaluation of her fitness to be president one bit.

Michele Bachmann is unfit to be president because in five years in Congress, she has never drafted a bill that has been signed into law. She is unfit to be president because she routinely engages in wild conspiracy theories and name-calling. She is unfit to be president because, like Sarah Palin, she is woefully inexperienced. She is unfit to be president because she wraps herself in some parts of the Constitution (2nd Amendment) while completely ignoring others (4th Amendment). She is unfit to be president because her short, utterly unremarkable congressional career demonstrates that she would rather grandstand than legislate.

Bachmann is also unfit to be president because, when pushing back on the migraine story, she argued that migraines wouldn't affect her ability "to be commander in chief." It is not the president's primary constitutional responsibility to be commander in chief. Bachmann's job as president would be to take care that the nation's laws are faithfully executed. The Constitution -- which Bachmann claims to venerate -- states that the president is only the commander in chief of the armed forces -- not the entire country -- and the plain language of Article II indicates that the commander in chief power only vests once Congress declares war. If Bachmann believes her primary responsibility as president is to be in charge of the military, that is yet another strike against her.

Whether she suffers from migraines is irrelevant.

Any conservative who even fathoms voting for Bachmann for president is a hypocrite, since much of the conservative case against Barack Obama in 2008 was based on his nonexistent legislative resume and laughable inexperience. Now, many tea partiers are ready to elevate Bachmann -- who manages to have even fewer legislative accomplishments under her belt than Obama -- to the exact same office they said Obama was unfit to hold.

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