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Topic of the day: Farewell Michele Bachmann

Published: Thursday, May 30 2013 3:10 p.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann addresses the crowd during her appearance at a Tea Party Express Rally, held at Water Works Park Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa

The Des Moines Register, Bill Neibergall) NO SALES, Associated Press

Yesterday Minnesota representative and prominent tea party favorite Michele Bachmann announced that she will not seek re-election in 2014. The controversial congresswoman — and former 2012 Republican nominee contender — has long drawn the ire of op-ed writers for her often outlandish claims, and she draws ire as she leaves.

CNN’s LZ Granderson believes that Bachmann’s retirement from the GOP will help the party “scrub away the stupid.” Along with Sarah Palin, Bachmann has, in the long run, brought the GOP nothing but pain, and they should be happy to get rid of her. “She's accusing the media of spin instead of owning up to the fact that House Republicans have quietly shunned her or that her well-documented penchant for massaging the truth has drawn criticism from conservatives such as Bill O'Reilly.”

At the New York Times, Gail Collins sarcastically points out that with Bachmann gone, three will be a lack of future light bulb centered legislation. ”If Michele Bachmann leaves Congress, does that mean the end of the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act?” Bachmann had a particular charm, Collins notes, that knack of saying just the right thing to make her sound crazy, and that will be missed, but it’s time for her to go. “Whatever Bachmann’s secret, it isn’t really working anymore. Her career jumped the shark when she and a few colleagues demanded that one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides be investigated as a possible Muslim extremist trying to infiltrate the government.”

John Cassidy at the New Yorker, wonders what he will do with his life as a political pundit without Bachmann, noting the “sad news” that she will not seek re-election. “When I say the news is sad, I mean it’s sad for me. You may well be dancing around the room, or hootin’ and hollerin’ in the street. But for bloggers, editorial cartoonists, late-night comedians, and anybody else who has made a living out of poking fun at the crazy right wing of the Republican Party, this is a sad day. Just think: no more Bachmann to kick around.” Cassidy ends with the hope (and expectation) that Bachmann will find a new life somewhere in the media.

Even with Bachmann leaving, she has already harmed the GOP long enough to have a lasting effect, at least E.J.Dionne thinks so at the Washington Post. “In fact, Bachmannism is far from finished. The Minnesota right-winger deserves to be memorialized with an “ism” because she perfected a tactic well-suited to the current media environment: continually toss out outlandish, baseless charges, and, eventually, some of them will enter the mainstream media … Bachmann’s method is now common currency. “

But there was some sincere defense of Bachman, being as popular as she was at a grassroots level with the tea party. At CNS News, Jen Kuznicki, gives a heartfelt farewell (even though Bachmann will still be in congress until the end of 2014) and wishes her luck in her future undertakings. “Bachmann has consistently been the key example of what the nation wants its GOP to do. Be courageous, go after the left, expose the falseness of their rhetoric, explain why everyday people should be alarmed at this rate of spending, this size of debt, this ever-suffocating obese government in the hands of those who simply take your liberties for ‘your own good.’ Loudly and forthrightly opposing this ‘fundamental change’ from Washington, D.C., is what the people yearn for.”

Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College grad and is the DeseretNews.com opinion intern. Reach me at fstevenson@deseretdigital or @freemandesnews

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