Michele Bachmann called out Rick Perry's relationship with a pharmaceutical company. Could that start a debate on big business' influence?
During last night's GOP primary debate, Michele Bachmann decried Rick Perry's rather sensible gubernatorial decision: an executive order to make Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, mandatory for girls. Rick Perry sounded suspiciously like a pro-Obamacare, liberal feminist when he shot back that "cervical cancer is a horrible way to die," that he was trying to "make a difference about young people's lives" and "stop a cancer."
At the tail end of Bachmann's otherwise standard conservative argument against Gardasil—that it corrupts "innocent little 12-year-old girls"—there was a pleasant surprise: she called out Rick Perry's cozy relationship with the Austin pharmaceutical company that distributes the drug. She does have a point. Why else would a small-government politician, whose positions on women's health and sex education range from draconian to nonsensical, support a vaccine that protects women against sexually transmitted diseases? Suddenly, Perry's incongruous defense of Gardasil started to make sense.
Bachmann's dig drew attention to that key factor in how our leaders get elected and make decisions: corporate lobbyists. Of course, though Rick Perry is famous for his crony capitalism, he's not alone. Michele Bachmann's attack on Perry was more opportunistic than anything else, given that she's no stranger to corporate sponsorship, either. She's a figurehead of an ostensibly "grassroots" movement that receives tons of money from huge corporate entities. Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and pretty much every politician is in bed with big business.
Still, how awesome would it be if politicians taking shots at each other sparked a national conversation about the power of big business? The role of pointing out this buddy-buddy relationship is usually left to the left-wing activists, so it'd be nice for someone else to pick up the slack, especially if they're given a national audience.