You feel shame, you know. And then you get free

JULY 1, 2011 1:48PM

Politicians and Songs

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Michele Bachmann's flap with Tom Petty about her use of his song, "American Girl," is the latest episode of her idiocy.  After well documented incidents where politicians have been asked to stop using songs by the artists who wrote them, why not check first?  You save yourself a lot of embarassment if you do that.  Of course, embarassment doesn't seem to be a problem for Bachmann, since she doesn't have a problem with turning someone who was nine years old when the country was founded into one of the major players in that process.

Bachmann joins a long list of politicians that have been told by artists to cease using their songs in campaigns.  Reagan referenced Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA," probably having no clue that the song was about an unemployed Vietnam vet with "nowhere to run, nowhere to go."  If you are the incumbent President, a song about someone who has been kicked around by his country's government and corporations is hardly a song you want to campaign on.  

John McCain also got in a little hot water by using a song without asking the artists for permission.  He played the Foo Fighters "My Hero" when he walked on stage, and the artists were not happy.  

And of course, his running mate, another talking point spouting machine who doesn't make any sense, used Heart's "Barracuda" as her intro music.  Heart's response?  "[We] feel completely fucked over."

Now comes Bachmann and "American Girl."  And once again, it's clear that the politician didn't listen to the lyrics, or have a single clue what the song was about.  There are lines in the song about how the protagonist -- there's a word Bachmann probably couldn't use in a sentence -- is looking for a better life somewhere else.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

Oh yeah, all right.  Take it easy, baby.  Make it last all night.

I don't know about you, but that sure seems like Petty's singing about the American girl having a good time doing things that family values politicians would turn their nose up at.

And do you really want your theme to be a song about dissapointment, about standing on your balcony alone, thinking about how "it's so painful when something that's so close is still so far out of reach?"

Well, let's hope that song proves to be a perfect description of her campaign, where she gets so close to the nomination but it's still so far out of reach.

And in a sign that this woman is a twit, she did it again.  The script goes like this.  Politician plays song without artist permission.  Artist says stop it.  Politician says sorry and stops, respecting the artist's intellectual property.  Bachmann didn't follow the script.  Of course, understanding intellectual property rights would mean that you had an intellect to begin with, so no wonder why she kept on playing Petty's song.

Perhaps there's a better song for Bachmann that Tom Petty sung.  "Don't Come Around Here No More."


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Michele Bachman will have to go back to her day job pretty quick in the campaign season. Don't worry.