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July 19, 2011


This whole piece sounds like it's more about you than it is about Michelle.

Voters would have a legitimate reason not to want to elect someone who doubles over when the going gets tough; your examples of JFK and FDR make the opposite point that you think they do, because both of those presidents hid their condition from the public because they knew it would be disqualifying.

There are real reasons not to vote for Michele Bachmann. I'd put first on the list that she is a believer in submitting to her husband in all things; thus the president would not be Michele but her husband Marcus. Migraine headaches are the least of the reasons not to vote for her. Voters who don't think that presidents double over when the going gets tough even if they don't have migraines are living in a fantasy world. And no, the "piece" isn't "about" Dana Goldstein; that's another charge that's always made about women in general: "Oh, it's all about YOU!"

I wonder if her disbelief in science prevents her from seeking out the newest, best treatments. I've had migraines for 30 years, and it's amazing what the last decade has brought in terms of new meds. I wouldn't be nearly the father that I am if it weren't for triptans.

Oh, and add Alfred the Great to the list of migraineurs. The historical record on him is spotty, but describes something that has always sounded like migraines to me.

STFU. They're just bad headaches so again STFU.

I can't stand Bachmann and revel in the delicious pleasures of seeing her slammed in the media. But upon seeing the Caller piece I felt it was too obviously a manufactured smear rather than a real reason to criticize her. I think the right-wing Caller probably can't get away with criticizing her actual faults of frightening religious extremism and simplistic economic ideological purity, so they had to try this. I commend your integrity on calling them on it.

These kinds of things cut both ways, I think, and show why its in everybody's best interests to stamp out artificial gender differences. Not having the research in front of me, I would nevertheless argue that migraines may not in fact disproportionately affect women. Rather, the culture of "toughness" our male roles are soaked in, prevents men from claiming to "suffer" from such an effeminate syndrome. Migraine is never an excuse for a man to miss an executive meeting, or to call in sick regularly.

If Bachman's migraines would be a problem for her in the White House, presumably they'll be a problem for her on the campaign trail: that's one of the few ways our ridiculous campaign season actually works as an job interview with America.

If this is a problem for her on the campaign trail, we'll all see for ourselves soon enough. If it isn't, then I think we can all just butt the hell out of her business.

Having suffered migraines, I do know for a fact that they are not just a painful or extreme headache. They myriad symptoms of extreme light sensitivity, overwhelming pain, nausea and more can certainly render the sufferer incapable of making the types of decisions that rest on the Presidency. That's okay if the decision isn't imminent - but in the case that it is, what would be the choice? That she makes a wrong decision, or that she passes the responsibility onto her VP? This isn't to say that other presidents have served with other physical/medical challenges. Despite the very protective efforts to conceal the fact, President Reagan was suffering early alzhiemers symptoms at the end of his presidency. But does that make it right?

I guess that the most intelligent approach is that of the comment from Craig. The campaign trail will reveal whether or not this poses a serious problem. However, I do not agree that we should all just butt out of her business should she "survive" the campaign. If she were to be elected to the highest office of this nation, her health "business" is our business. Surviving and winning the contest to get there doesn't mean that her condition couldn't worsen under the extreme health-challenging conditions of her duties, nor does it mean that she (or anybody) may not develop some other condition that has the potential to hinder him/her in the line of duty.

We may live in a time when disability and medical conditions are not a cause for discrimination and are not "supposed" to hold you back from any pursuit, but I for one would prefer that the leader of this nation not suffer from certain maladies that would significantly impede his or her effectiveness. Kennedy may have had a serious and extremely painful back condition, but when the Cuban missile crisis was unfolding, he wasn't lying in a darkened room, half sedated with pain medication - as one suffering a serious migraine would be.

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