Criticism of Michele Bachmann has crossed the line from the mainstream media into conservative circles. Bill O'Reilly went after her for making "trivial" criticisms of President Obama that "she can't back up." O'Reilly isn't defending Obama so much as saying that the attacks on him should be more substantial. Bachmann made waves at CPAC (a major, annual GOP powwow) by making very specific, but entirely false claims about President Obama's excesses, which included a full-time dog walker and five chefs aboard Air Force One.
O'Reilly responded to this vapid slander on his show:
"Trivial attacks on President Obama are obscuring serious problems with this country. Does the President live well in the White House? Yes he does. Is there money wasted there? You bet there is. But Mr. Obama is entitled to protection, convenience and comfort as he runs the nation. Michele Bachmann is playing small ball with the President, can't back up her criticism and actually trivializes a huge problem: irresponsible spending by the federal government. Two words: not good."
While Michele Bachmann didn't matter much in national politics before this whole kerfuffle, it may be the beginning of the end for her. Bachmann barely eked out a reelection victory in 2012, winning 50.5% to 49.3%. She's always been able to tap her far-right base for votes and fundraising (she's adept at parlaying her outlandish claims and the attention she gets for them into fundraising dollars). Now that criticism of Bachmann has reached as far right as Bill O'Reilly, that leaves Bachmann with less and less political space to work from. She'll be helped in 2014 by having no presidential election to drive out turnout, but at this point that might not be enough.