In a surprise column, the even-tempered intellectual George Will heaps praise on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a bomb-throwing provocateur generally regarded as too extreme to be taken seriously. Bachmann is perhaps most famous for calling on the press to investigate "anti-American" lawmakers in the run-up to the 2008 election and Will acknowledges the congresswoman is "a petite pistol that occasionally goes half-cocked." But he seems to like her fiery rhetoric when it’s used on government spending and bailouts, writing that, "Some of her supposed excesses are, however, not merely defensible, they are admirable." Will has been one of the leading conservative skeptics of Sarah Palin since her arrival on the scene and Bachmann is considered one of the ex-Alaska governor's closest political cousins. He acknowledges their similar social-conservative circles in his column, but writes that Bachmann "knows that economic hardship and government elephantiasis now trump other issues."