It’s turning out to be a no good, very bad couple of weeks for fiery and inadvertently freaky conservative Minnesota congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. First she, along with fellow crazy person GOPer Rick Santorum, have come under fire for signing a controversial anti-gay marriage, anti-pornography pledge in Iowa called the “Marriage Vow – The Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family” containing some choice language about slavery that has since been removed. Additionally, a 2004 speech in which Bachmann talks freely about her extreme anti-homosexual beliefs — a topic she refuses to discuss now — has been unearthed and is raising eyebrows. And then there's the recently revelation that the congresswoman's husband Marcus allegedly operates a gay exorcism clinic.

Delightful. Now, one of Bachmann’s biggest passions aside from bigotry, supporting legislation that would repeal light bulb energy-efficiency mandates detailed within former President George W. Bush's Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, has failed in the House.

As reported earlier today by Russell McLendon in the MNN Daily Briefing, lawmakers voted 233-293 in favor of the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act but fell short of the two-thirds majority they needed to pass the bill. To be clear, the BULB Act was not initially introduced by non-IKEA shopper Bachmann herself but by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). Bachmann is behind another, similar bill titled The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act. Despite, this particular bill not being her own “baby,” Bachmann, a favorite subject of mine, has fervently championed the pro-choice light bulb cause along with fellow Tea Partiers and loudmouths like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

If you read my blog regularly, you won’t be surprised that my reaction to the not-entirely-surprisingly failure of the BULB Act can be summed up in two words: “thank god.”

The Republican-lead outrage over the light bulb energy-efficiency mandates is based around a widespread “ban” on incandescent light bulbs. The thing is, this ban doesn’t even exist. Starting in 2012, certain incandescent light bulbs (in this case, 100-watters) that aren’t manufactured to be 25 percent more efficient will be phased out from store shelves. Simple as that. Use of those evil, terribly dangerous and expensive incandescent alternatives like LEDs and CFLs certainly won’t be mandated, as is believed. And incandescent "speciality bulbs" aren't going anywhere, as feared by many interior decorators. It’s a bill based around misunderstanding, hysteria, and what MNN politics blogger Andrew Schenkel describes as the “dumbest” debate to hit Washington in years.

Despite yesterday’s failure, boosters of the bill are determined to try once again in the House. Ugh. However, the chances of the BULB Act passing in the Democrat-controlled Senate are as dim as the rhetoric behind the bill. Says Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.): “I don't think it will go anywhere.”

And this is interesting: the descendents of Mr. Incandescent himself, Thomas Edison, are “appalled” at the actions of Bachmann, Barton, and Co. Says Robert Wheeler, grand-nephew of Edison and president of the board of the Edison Birthplace Association: "The technology changes. Embrace it.”

Via [Los Angeles Times]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Dim plan burns out: GOP effort to repeal light bulb efficiency standards fails in House
The Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act, a controversial bill championed by folks like presidential hopeful/professional foot-in-mouther Michele Bachmann, fail