Michele Bachmann has made her first last stand in the race for the Republican nomination for president, and it is this: Getting cervical cancer is your constitutional right.
Ever since the Texas Texan, Rick Perry, of Texas, joined the race, he's pretty much washed out Bachmann's support base without even finishing a complete thought. Mitt Romney still has the establishment Republicans in his camp, while Perry has swooped for ultra-conservatives and Southerners.
That leaves Bachmann with the kooks, the weirdos, and the disconnected people who haven't yet found out that Rick Perry is in the race.
Knowing she needed to make a bold play to steal attention in front of a Tea Party debate crowd last night, Bachmann hammered home a point she's made before: Cervical cancer isn't so bad, and everyone who wants it should be able to have it.
Okay, maybe Bachmann didn't advocate getting your own dose of deadly lady cancer just to try it out -- but, she argues, it's really none of the government's business if someone gets that cancer, and the last thing we need is the government snooping around in America's private cancer cells.
Confused? Great, so is she!
Last night Bachmann attacked Perry for his statewide mandate of the HPV vaccine, which is intended to prevent the spread of cervical cancer, but has serious side effects like communism and belief in science. Admittedly, Perry, who's been sporting that same smirk since January, makes himself an easy target. But pushing the HPV vaccine is the least-dumb thing he's ever done.
The issue came up after an audience question about executive orders, after which Wolf Blitzer turned it on Perry:
"Governor Perry, as you well know, you signed an executive order requiring little girls, 11 and 12 year olds, to deal with a sexually transmitted disease that could lead to cancer. Was that a mistake?"
It was, according to Perry, who said he'd take the issue to the legislature if he had another chance at it.
"What was driving me was obviously making a difference about young people's lives," Perry said. "Cervical cancer is a horrible way to die."
Aww, that Rick Perry. What a dupe! Fortunately, Bachmann set him straight.
"I'm a mom," Bachmann said. "And I'm a mom of three children."
Oh, my God -- did Michele Bachmann just announce she'd killed off two of her kids? For the moment, let's assume she meant "three girls" and allow her to proceed.
"To have innocent little 12 year old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong. That should never be done. That's a violation of a liberty interest."
Then, having pretty much set up the image of government doctors molesting little girls, Bachmann wavered dangerously close to the "vaccines cause autism" crowd.
"Little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don't get a mulligan," Bachmann said.
Yes, and the warnings about this vaccine are made very clear up front by the Centers for Disease Control. The HPV vaccine, it says, is "very safe." Well, but then it goes on to say that the "risk of any vaccine causing serious injury, or death, is extremely small." Okay, fine, but eventually they admit that... half the people who get the vaccine get a headache? Oh, the horror.
So what about cervical cancer? Turns out -- check this space in the future, see if this phrase reappears -- Rick Perry is right. It's bad news. In 2007, the most recent year with available statistics, 4,021 women died of cervical cancer. Women suffering from cervical cancer begin experiencing pain during sex, and have unexplained bleeding from their vagina.
As with all cancer, sufferers begin to wither away. They lose appetite and sometimes the will to live. Then they die. Odd that so few of them have been grateful, from their deathbeds, that no one ever gave them a shot when they were a little girl.
The vaccine for HPV is out there and in use, same as the ones that stopped polio, measles, and diphtheria.
Sadly, there is no vaccine for stupid and paranoid, and so Michele Bachmann is incurable.