May 31, 2013

A four-term member of Congress who chairs no committee and is not on a leadership track — and indeed is regarded with suspicion by some members of the party’s hierarchy — announces her plans to retire from the House. There has been no scandal, no arrest, no spouse filing for divorce, nothing worse than what were likely inadvertent violations of our arcane and complex campaign finance laws, as yet unproved in any court. The representative has lost no election and might well have won the next one, never mind the polls 17 months before the voting.

One would think such a development would have been reported inside The Post. Instead, it rated a front-page article [“For Bachmann, a shift to the GOP sideline,” May 30], three photos, columns by two of The Post’s leading opinion writers (Dana Milbank and E.J. Dionne Jr.) and an editorial cartoon by Tom Toles. Wow! Imagine the newspaper’s reaction to the retirement of someone important!

Or maybe she is. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is a leader of the tea party, which apparently makes her an enormous threat to the political and journalistic establishment.

Toles, in particular, should be careful of drawing nasty parallels between Bachmann’s retirement and Richard Nixon’s 1962 political “demise.” Six years after his “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” speech, Nixon returned from the dead — to run for, and be elected, president . . . twice, including reelection by one of the largest electoral majorities in history.

Hey, I’m not the one making comparisons.

Lynda Meyers,

Arlington