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Wetterling endorsed by Pioneer Press

This is a great endorsement for Patty and a slam on Bachmann.

Bachmann is a Stillwater lawyer whose political rise began among public school critics who see soft-headed education policies like the Profile of Learning as central-planning conspiracies. Once in the state Senate, she became a leader of the movement to cement the state's gay marriage ban in the constitution. "This is the line in the sand for our culture right now,'' she told a cheering group in Blaine this year.

Bachmann's energy, her determination and her courage made her a rock star of the fervent believers. In choosing their nominee this year, 6th District Republican activists gave short shrift to fiscal conservatives like state Reps. Phil Krinkie and Jim Knoblach, who challenged Bachmann for the party endorsement.

The YouTube generation has seen her proclaiming widespread scientific support for the intelligent design concept of life's origins, equally widespread doubts about whether global warming is a reality and saying that Terri Schiavo, the comatose Florida woman whose end-of-life treatment triggered federal intervention in 2005, was "healthy" and "not terminally ill.''

Those have become talking points among moral crusaders. But Bachmann pushes her faith-based politics well past that. In testimony to a Brooklyn Park church congregation this month — also available on YouTube — she spoke of how the Almighty called her to run for the state Senate and the U.S. Congress, and how she followed her husband's career advice because "the Lord says, 'Be submissive, wives — you are to be submissive to your husbands.' "

And, finally, how God has "focused like a laser beam in his reasoning on this race.''

We used to call that the sin of pride.

It pains us, in the middle of a campaign, to have to pry into these private, spiritual moments. The issue is not that she believes. It is that she builds political support by claiming to know which side God is on. We say that's unknowable.

Uh-oh: the anti-Christian bigots at the PiPress strike again!

I love this frame contrasting Bachmann with Wetterling:

Wetterling, on the other hand, comes by her moral standing the hard way.

The unsolved kidnapping of her 11-year-old son, Jacob, during an outing to a small-town convenience store in 1989 changed the state. Wetterling emerged from the tragedy as a soft-spoken advocate for child safety and resilient motherhood. She is a living Oprah book — the indomitable mom, undefeated by the worst life can deliver.

"I refused to let the guy who took Jacob take anything else,'' she said of her determination to save her marriage, her family and work for her community. Presidents and governors heeded her message and wanted her at their bill-signing ceremonies.

They also discuss the issues, and conclude that Wetterling is a better fit for the district:

It is hard to separate policy from personality in the 6th. But we submit that Bachmann, in focusing on cutting taxes during a time of war, will not be the voice that this growing region needs. Schools, highways and transit programs will put demands on the state and federal budget. We appreciate fiscal conservatism, but rigid, anti-tax fervor can simply put too much pressure on property-tax payers.

Wetterling is committed to transit and transportation solutions — she particularly emphasized the North Star Corridor commuter rail project. Her support of abortion rights will turn off many voters in the district. But her advocacy for education and health care will be welcomed by many more. And where Bachmann would arrive in Congress with her mind made up on most topics, Wetterling, if she grows in her grasp of the issues, could become a force for moderation and bipartisanship.


Many 6th District voters will only care that Bachmann is opposed to abortion and Wetterling supports abortion rights, or that Bachmann has an "R" next to her name and Wetterling a "D." We hope some go deeper. When they do, perhaps they will find themselves, as we did, far more comfortable with the inspiring life story and effective advocacy of Patty Wetterling than with the crusading, divisive career of Michele Bachmann.

Send Patty Wetterling to Congress.

Update: Did you notice how much of this stuff comes from the blogs?

-Bachmann's "central planning conspiracies": credit The Bachmann Record.

-all the YouTube videos mentioned: credit Ken Avidor and others at Dump Bachmann, as well as others like Pharyngula and DailyKos, which made the videos an (admittedly smallish) internet phenomenon, and Minnesota Monitor/11th Avenue South, which raised the IRS issue regarding Bachmann's church politicking speech.

At least the editorial board has been reading the blogs, even if the PiPress news staff hasn't!


Michele Bachmann is lock and step with President Bush. I am living in Iowa and Stillwater right now and will definitely be voting in Minnesota to cast my ballot for moderation

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