Kathryn Lopez

Michele Bachmann gives me a headache.

But it's not the congresswoman herself who is to blame for the pain. It's so many of the stories about her.

We're still months away from the first caucus or primary of the presidential nominating season, and already things have gotten way out of control. Accusations that Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann is heavily medicated on account of incapacitating headaches were just the latest attempts to nip her candidacy in the bud. A former aide insisted: "The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills. Prevention pills. Pills during the migraine. Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control. She has to take these pills wherever she goes."

So Bachmann released a doctor's note -- after at least one other rival openly legitimized the issue. She gets migraines but has "normal" brain scans, the House of Representatives' attending physician wrote. "It has not been necessary for (her) to take daily scheduled medications to manage this condition."

At least the alleged pain-and-pill problem was an improvement over the previous accusation: that her husband, Marcus, must be a closeted gay man. The evidence stemmed from advice that the counseling clinic he runs supposedly doles out -- to help people with homosexual desires resist acting on them. "Pray the gay away," was how many media outlets explained it. Marcus Bachmann's denial that his clinic practices this controversial therapy inspired little but yawns from some who had already made up their minds about him. He must be gay: Besides the undercover work into the clinic's counseling, haven't you heard the way he talks? Haven't you seen the way he dances?

"He appears to be a lying closet case," sex columnist Dan Savage insisted.

And it was far from just Savage, who has gained a name for himself by sabotaging Google search results on former senator and current Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum, making the attacks. It has been open season on the spouse of the Minnesota congresswoman. "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart explained that Bachmann "dances and sounds not only gay, but center-square gay."


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.