The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Michele Bachmann calls it quits

The first 52 seconds of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s announcement that she would not seek reelection were just fine. After giving a School House Rock lesson on term limits, the four-term Minnesota Republican said, “[I]n my opinion, well, eight years is long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific congressional district.” The remaining seven minutes and 48 seconds are a mind-numbing explanation of this and that.

Bachmann assures viewers that her decision was not “in any way influenced” by concern that she would be defeated next fall. Nor was it because of the federal investigation into her failed quest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Yeah, okay. Sure. Whatever you say, congresswoman. The rest of the video is a word salad of various talking points and platitudes.

Put country back on track to greatness and exceptionalism. Resisting the policy positions of many in my party. Public servant. Political servant. Conservative constitutional principles. Fight back. Transform our nation. Our Founders. Fight to protect innocent human life, family values and traditional marriage. Earmarks for her district. Obamacare. Flying to London to represent the United States of America at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Ronald Reagan. Bringing down the Soviet Union. Dodd-Frank. Muslim jihad terrorists. Subordinate our national security for the administration’s weak version of political correctness. So-called Arab Spring. Foreign policy blunders. Devastating evil jihadist earthquake. Israel. Lip service. Iran. Outrageous lack of action in Benghazi. Coverup. Partisan, selective enforcement. Balanced budget. Destruction of our entire economic system. Core convictions. Heartfelt concern for our country’s future. Wrong track. My future is full, it is limitless. Future generations. Mainstream liberal media. Detrimental spin. Dishonest way to disparage me. A true compliment of my public service effectiveness. My wonderful husband Marcus. Unbelievable opportunity. Thank God for his blessing. Our blessed nation.

Let me give Bachmann her due. At least she’s completing her term. And at least her explanation for quitting is more coherent than the nearly 20-minute “A good point guard, here’s what she does” gibberish from Sarah Palin on July 3, 2009, when she quit halfway through her first term as Alaska governor. Bachmann might not be available for a while to answer questions about her decision. She’s part of a congressional delegation trip to Russia, which, as we know, Palin can see from her house.

Follow Jonathan Capehart on Twitter.