Seems Michelle Bachmann is trying to give her flagging presidential campaign a boost by jumping on the anti-vaccination train to Whoops-All-Our-Kids-Are-Dead-From-Measlesburg.

In a Republican presidential debate last night, Bachmann attacked Rick Perry over his attempt to mandate Gardasil for young girls in Texas. (Gardasil being the vaccine that prevents the spread of HPV.) During the debate, she attacked Perry’s failed Gardasil initiative for being a violation of liberty; then afterward, Fox news reports her saying:

“I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate,” Bachmann said. “She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.”

And that’s just really, really dumb. Vaccines don’t cause retardation. End of story.

Now I can’t say that I’m all that surprised to find evidence that nutty Michelle Bachmann is also a dangerous anti-vaccination kook. Seems to fit somehow that she’d want to keep one more avenue open through which women can die from having sex.

But what does bother me is that Rick Perry apparently worked very hard to make the HPV vaccine mandatory in his state. The initiative failed because of rank nutters like Bachmann but still the program is… erm… something I agree with. No one should get HPV. And mandatory vaccination has succeeded in stamping out some diseases (kiss science’s ass, polio!) and dramatically reducing others (yoo hoo! where are you, measles? haven’t spotted you in a while!). I think it’s a grand idea to send another nasty infection packing.

So, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m going to have to publicly say, this was a good thing to come from Governor Rick “climate science is a lie, fight wildfires with prayer not fire fighters, and I’ll execute innocent people if I like” Perry.

And, just to make things even more complicated, on his show today, Rush Limbaugh is saying Bachmann’s campaign has now jumped the shark thanks to her Gardasil attack.

Great. I agree with that too.