While GOP polls show conservative sweetheart Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn) as a forerunner in the premature Republican presidential race, recent negative press could suggest a looming political debacle.
This week is most certainly Media V. Bachmann, as two controversial stories have placed the Minneapolis representative in not-s0-comfortable footing, despite topping Republican favorite Mitt Romney in an Iowa poll.
Leading mental health experts and gay advocates ardently condemned Bachmann and her husband’s Christian counseling center, Bachmann & Associates, for reportedly conducting reparative therapy to convert gays to straight. Though Marcus Bachmann denied the allegations five years ago, recent footage and statements suggests otherwise. An undercover video provided by a group, Truth Wins Out, revealed a therapist from the center conducting therapy on gay clients in efforts to make them straight.
Professional doctors from the American Psychological Association (APA), the nation’s premiere organization for psychologists, said that such therapy not only turns fruitless, but causes far more damage than good.
Bachmann religiously and politically opposes same-sex marriage and views the gay lifestyle as a sin, therefore such reports don’t stray from what is already known of her, and subsequently wouldn’t affect her voter base, as most conservatives, too, oppose same-sex marriage.
For independent and moderate voters, though, Bachmann will find difficulty carving herself as a president who can decisively separate ones religious doctrines from the voice of ones constituents — which should be the foremost sight of any head of state.
However, the most damaging bit of the reparative therapy fracas is Bachmann’s refusal to address the issue during an interview when directly probed by a local Iowan ABC News affiliate anchor. When asked of her opinion on reparative therapy and whether or not it was conducted in her center, Bachmann deliberately dodged the question. Instead, Bachmann provided a standard political sound bite on the presidential election and job creation.
Bachmann’s Response [VIDEO] Below:
Surely, such an inability to answer direct questions will not sit well with non-Republican voters, nor will it give them any incentive to back her over other candidates. If Bachmann can’t, as a business owner, provide an answer to something this intelligible, what kind of answers will she provide (or dodge) on the economy and legislation as the president of the United States?
Then there’s her stance on the ineffectiveness of single-parent households. Such personal views should have no place in politics, as it isolates a considerable portion of voters who are single parents, or have been raised in single-parent households.
But I digress.
In addition to the gay conversion controversy, Bachmann found herself in the hot seat when she signed an Iowa pledge, engineered by a conservative group The Family Leader, that contained the following in its preamble:
“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”
Unsurprisingly, the Bachmann camp received backlash for the comment, which many argued was an insinuation that African-American children were better off under the system of slavery than they are today.
Bachmann and her team immediately diffused the incident, avowing that she did not read the preamble, and in fact, the preamble was never included in the vow she signed.
One can only take her word, right?
Nevertheless, The Family Leader retracted the language. Though the storm may have subsided, Bachmann’s recurring controversy seems to have shaken up her once robust campaign trail.
Will the LGBT and African-American communities’ outrage impel voters to reconsider their impression of Bachmann, or will she prove to be a strong force in the upcoming GOP presidential race to the White House?
The saga continues…