Maybe ‘Little Michele’ is our answer

There’s no shortage of wacky ideas coming from the pouting lips of GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.

She came out in favor of having the U.S. default on its loans. She wants to virtually eliminate Medicare and Social Security. She believes married women should be “submissive” to their husbands, to the extent that she pursued a career as a tax lawyer at her husband’s insistence, even though she admitted “I hate tax law.”

She condemns homosexuality as wicked and believes people can un-gay themselves with a little help from Jesus. She believes so strongly in conversion that she’s working on her own personal project with her husband, who is rapidly becoming known as “Mincing Marcus” among those who believe more in Gaydar than in evangelical Christianity.

There’s also no shortage of shortness in the Bachmann camp. The petite eye-liner model from Minnesota’s Sixth District is showing that you don’t have to be willowy to run for president. She stands on stumps not only to deliver fiery campaign oratory, but also to see something other than the bellies of those who crowd around her.

When the right-wing ideologue first appeared on the scene, her diminutive stature was reported as being about five-foot-two. Later, that was cut back to 5-1, then “5-1 in heels,” then recently four-foot-eleven.

As her prominence in the Republican field grows, her physical size appears to be shrinking. This might be a problem for some — like members of the news media trying to cover her campaign who complain she’s “hard to find” — but not for me.

While normally I might abhor the anti-progressive nature of her politics, I must admit I am drawn to the prospect of a miniature president. The full-size models we’ve elected repeatedly over the years never seem to be quite up to the job. Perhaps if we selected a chief executive you could hold in your hand, she could better navigate the gridlock of Washington and make something happen.

I, for one, would be ready to look the other way on some of her more outrageous positions if she is in fact working her way down toward the molecular level. My outlook is strongly influenced by reading I did in my youth — not the utopian tomes of conservative philosophers like Ayn Rand and Russell Kirk, but rather comic books featuring the exploits of “The Atom.”

The Atom was the super-hero alter-ego of physicist and professor Ray Palmer. He was a full-fledged member of the Justice League of America along with better-known figures like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Green Lantern. This council spent the 1960s in an alliance to battle evil and spread freedom around the world, when they weren’t obsessed with trying to avoid stepping on The Atom.

The Atom’s super-powers were never clearly defined in the reading I did. It was said that he retained the power of a full-sized man despite his wee stature. Critics noted that average strength contained in a vessel the size of a neutron was not that impressive, but The Atom simply dismissed this as “sizeist propaganda,” or would have if his voicebox were large enough to be heard.

The origins of The Atom are also a bit sketchy. Professor Palmer used a “mass of white dwarf star matter to fashion a lens allowing him to shrink down to subatomic size.”

“Originally, his size and molecular density derived from the star material of his costume, controlled by mechanisms on his belt, and later by controls in the palms of his gloves,” sources report. “Much later, he gained the innate equivalent powers within his own body.”

Huh? I wondered as a child.

But now I’m an adult, and I’ve come to understand that what makes sense on a conscious level may be total nonsense on a subliminal level, and vice versa. Perhaps this invisible world and its tiny denizens are just what we need to shake things up in Washington and get this country back on track.

As tiny president, there are admittedly many things that Michele Bachmann might find to be a challenge. Signing documents of state with the typical pen would be next to impossible when the pen towers over you. Meeting with foreign leaders would require not only a translator familiar with both languages, but also someone who is half in the full-size world and half in the microscopic. (I know Gary Coleman is dead but Emmanuel “Webster” Lewis is reportedly available.) Congratulatory visits to the White House by championship basketball teams would be problematic at best.

But in these difficult days, perhaps it’s the right time to abandon these largely ceremonial duties. Pardoning White House turkeys and attending Betty Ford funerals are not what we need to address our current slate of overwhelming problems. Radical solutions, thinking outside the box, and hiding inside the shoes of our enemies could be the actions we need.

In a Bachmann presidency, I envision a world that’s properly been turned upside down. The commander-in-chief becomes less an impotent figurehead and more of an action-oriented (if pint-sized) go-getter.

Imagine these headlines:

PRESIDENT, NON-NATIVE PESTS DISRUPT CHINESE FARM ECONOMY

IRAN BLAMES ‘MYSTERY DUST’ FOR NUKE FAILURE

PIXIE CHARMS EUROPEANS, ENDS FISCAL CRISIS

JOB GROWTH SEEN IN NANOTECHNOLOGY

DEMOCRATS DYING OFF; MICROBIALS WEARING ‘BOB’ HAIRSTYLE BLAMED

DEFICIT, CIVIL LIBERTIES ELIMINATED

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY? TRY MAKING HUMANS TINY

If we open our eyes to the possibilities that a Bachmann administration could bring, it’s possible she could get under our eyelids, causing minor irritation or perhaps even a sty.

Or, we may discover an entire new world, previously invisible to the human eye, that could replace our bloated, over-grown society with one that is neat, trim and, most important of all, incredibly small.

Bachmann shows that size -- even when it's small -- matters

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