By DOUG PATTON
Cagle News Syndicate
The prophet Isaiah wrote, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." (Isaiah 5:20, KJV) Sixteenth century theologian Martin Luther once said, "Send your good men into the clergy, but send your best men into politics." Taken together, these two powerful quotes speak volumes to our day and age.
One could argue that fallen humanity has always gravitated toward the darkness, which reflects the natural complexion of our hearts. But today seems different somehow. I have seen a difference just in my lifetime.
Franklin Roosevelt may have created the modern American welfare state, upon which every president, Democrat and Republican, has built his power base in the name of helping the less fortunate. But Barack Obama has taken this leftist instinct to extremes even FDR could not have imagined. Thus, we now have what is arguably the most corrupt, power-mad presidential administration in the history of the country -- which is quite a feat when one looks at some of our past presidents.
Sadly, one of our best and brightest, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has chosen not to seek a fifth term in Congress. A petite and beautiful happy warrior for truth, justice and the Constitution, Bachmann virtually defied political gravity when she was first elected in 2006 -- the same year voters repudiated the George W. Bush-led GOP and gave Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid control of both the House and the Senate.
Bachmann fought in Congress just as she had in her previous roles of school board member and state legislator: fearlessly. And when voters all across the country rebelled after two years of Barack Obama's excesses, she was there to start the Tea Party caucus in the House. Unfortunately, while the Democrat old guard hated her and was trying to destroy her, the Republican old guard didn't take kindly to this upstart firebrand female in their midst, either. Constitution? Hmph. Who does she think she is, anyway?
But then Bachmann sought to do what no one since the 19th century has pulled off: go directly from the United States House of Representatives to the Presidency. She picked up the mantle when it became obvious that her friend, Sarah Palin, was not going to run, and waged an aggressive, take no prisoners campaign that catapulted her to victory in the narrowly defined Iowa Republican Straw Poll in August of 2011.
Within weeks, however, the media began to highlight her foibles and eccentricities, crucifying her for petty mistakes that paled in contrast to the gigantic failures of their golden boy. In effect, they did to her what they have done to every conservative from Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas to Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. They hated them and so they destroyed them, and Bachmann was no exception. She was out of the race the day after placing sixth in the Iowa caucuses in January of last year.
Returning to Minnesota to focus on her House race, she won a re-election squeaker that has the Dems salivating for a rematch in 2014. Whether that is the reason for her departure (she claims it isn't) or whether she is sincere about believing an eight-year term limit imposed on the presidency is good for the congress as well, it makes little difference to her brief legacy in the House of Representatives. The truth of the matter is that she is a courageous and virtuous woman in a generation dominated by dumbed-down liberal voters who hate virtue and wink at corruption.
More's the pity. I doubt that we have heard the last of her. Like Sarah Palin before her, I hope she prospers in the private sector. She deserves better than the treatment she received during her presidential campaign, and our nation is better for her having served.
DOUG PATTON is a nationally syndicated
columnist and former political speechwriter.