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Sunday, April 19, 2009

THE CRAZIEST WOMAN IN THE HOUSE



I never thought a person as eccentric, narrow-minded, flippant, or controversial as the late Tammy Faye Bakker would ever get elected to the U.S. Congress, not even from the ultra-conservative so-called "Bible Belt". Yet Tammy Faye has apparently been reincarnated in the form of one Michele Bachmann, the current 2nd term Congresswoman. That she hails from the purportedly well-educated, "good government" state of Minnesota comes as an even bigger shock. It is a testimonial to the effectiveness of Republican gerrymandering that she was ever elected at all in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. For that district used to include parts of north Minneapolis and its northern inner-ring suburbs which have a heavier concentration of Democratic voters. But today's 6th District skips north Minneapolis altogether and instead includes the more rural and developing bedroom communities to its northwest and far north, as well as curving around to the northeast, where it picks up some more conservative and wealthier northernmost St. Paul suburbs which extend all the way to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. Thankfully, I do not reside in this district.

Oddly enough, the ultra-conservative Michele Bachmann began her involvement in politics with Democrat Jimmy Carter's successful 1976 presidential campaign. No doubt she and future husband Marcus (now a Christian guidance counselor) were attracted by his evangelistic "born again" theme. But, like many ultra-conservative fundamentalist Christians, they abandoned Carter and the Democrats for Ronald Reagan in 1980, and have never looked back since. A graduate of the Coburn School of Law (an affiliate of the Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma), Bachmann received a Juris Doctor law degree there and a subsequent LL.M tax law degree from William and Mary College. As one might expect, she is today very pro-business and a strong social and economic conservative.

As a member of the religious right, Bachmann has no time for gay rights or government aid to the poor. She very much supports privatizing Social Security, drastically cutting back on corporate taxes and those of the wealthy, government deregulation of business, and the neocon doctrine of pre-emptive military strikes against any nation she considers a threat. She opposes stem cell research and increases in the minimum wage level.

One would expect a person with her schooling and background to be precise, articulate, factual, and thoughtfully-reasoned in her public pronouncements, but such has not been the case with Michele Bachmann. She has a regular habit of making wild, off-the-cuff, false, distorted, unsubstantiated subjective statements which always seem to land her in hot water. She repeatedly makes controversial and/or offensive remarks and has a clearly established pattern of denying she made the statements at all, blaming the media for misquotes, or suggesting that she was unfairly set up by liberals and was taken out of context. None of these claims are ever true. The fact of the matter is that she has a loose-cannon motor mouth and babbles excitedly and irresponsibly, often embellishing her wild rants with misstatements and pure manufactured fiction. She is a darling of the hard core far-right, because as we all know, they don't seem to care much about accuracy anyway. So long as any speaker spouts their pro-military/industrial complex, pro-big business, pro-intolerance, pro-authoritarian, and anti-tax ideology, that speaker is held in high esteem. And so it is with Michele Bachmann.

But for most of us progressives and independents, and the majority of the population, truth and fact trump rigid conservative ideology. Below are a number of examples of Bachmann's highly controversial and ridiculously distorted statements over the years. These are direct quotes straight out of her mouth, and have not been misquoted or fabricated in any way. They are easily verifiable in numerous YouTube video and many audio clips found all over the internet. This woman is unbelievable.

(At the recent CPAC convention, loudly directed at new African-American GOP Chairman Michael Steele) - "You be da man! You be da man!" (This use of black street slang was improper and unprofessional, and it was certainly not cute).
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((On a fictional claim that President Obama will redistrict all congressional districts to favor Democrats, when in fact redistricting is done by each individual state legislature) - "...the have-nots will be the Republican districts that are left, pouring money into Washington D.C. to be redistributed out to the Democrat (sic) districts which will suck up the money. I don't know where they're gonna go to get all this money, because we're running out of rich people in this country...under Obama, big evil is now anyone with a joint income of $100,000 or more. I truly believe that's probably gonna lower to $65,000 or more will be considered big evil and be taxed to the hilt." (For one who decries the shrinking numbers of rich, she conveniently ignores how her support for free trade has lowered American wages and exported millions of American jobs overseas. She also conveniently ignores how Obama's tax plan LOWERS taxes on all incomes below $250,000 and does NOT raise them at $100,000 or $65,000).
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(On where funds are going for the Obama stimulus plan) - "ACORN is under federal indictment for voter fraud, but the Stimulus Bill gives ACORN $5 billion." (This is utter nonsense. ACORN is NOT under fedreal indictment, nor did the stimulus contain ANY funds for ACORN)!
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(On health care provisions in the stimulus plan) - "...also contained in the stimulus is socialized medicine. Now we'll have a National Review Board, and your doctor will no longer be able to make decisions with you. Now a National Review Board will be making those decisions." (It is impossible to tell where this bit of science fiction in her brain came from. There are NO provisions for a board of this sort, nor does the stimulus establish "socialized medicine" in any manner, shape, or form. The nightmarish scenario Bachmann is describing seems to more closely resemble our current state of for-profit-only health "care" being heavily influenced by insurance companies acting as excess-baggage, greedy, profiteering middlemen. For it is insurance companies dictating and/or strongly influencing hospital stay lengths, medication dosages, and lab test frequency, not doctors).
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(On raising the Minnesota minimum wage rate a few years back, before she was elected to the U.S. House) - "Literally - if we took away the minimum wage, if conceivably it was gone - we could potentially wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." (Riiiggghhhttt, Michele. I can imagine millions of happy workers eagerly standing in line 10 deep to apply for one of your $2 per hour or $4 per hour non-minimum wage jobs. For anybody with half a brain knows that, were minimum wage to be discarded, wages across the board would DROP, not rise. Perhaps we taxpayers should set YOUR salary at $4 per hour since you apparently think that is such an acceptable and livable wage. And I don't hear you advocating $4 per hour salaries for billionaires or CEOs whose taxes you want to cut even further than they already have been).
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(On Democrats and environmentalists) - "This is their agenda...they want Americans to take transit and move to the inner cities...live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs. That is their vision for America." (Preposterous. No such agenda has ever been proposed by any Democrat OR environmentalist. This is pure irresponsible supposition and hyperbole on her part).
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(On Iran's supposed involvement in Iraq) - "Iran is the troublemaker...because they want America to pull out. And do you know why? It's because they've already decided that they're going to partition Iraq. And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called 'the Iraq state of Islam', something like that..." (When pressed by the national media as to exactly where she got this secret information, Bachmann first denied the statement, then said she was misquoted, and then finally issued a full retraction. It was a bald-faced and irresponsible lie to begin with).
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(On drilling fr oil in the pristine Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve) - "Some suggestions are that we would see an advancement of wildlife expansion because of the warmth of this pipeline. [It] has now become a breeding ground and 'coffee klatch' for the caribou." (Utter nonsense, and not in the least bit cute or humorous. Not only that, there has there no basis in scientific fact clearly establishing the Alaska oil pipeline has been responsible for an increase in wildlife).
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(On the Serve America Act, an extension of the successful AmeriCorps program) - "...and the real concerns (sic) is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go to get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go work in some of those politically correct forums." (Bachmann is clearly hysterically reading things that aren't there into this highly beneficial program, which, incidentally, was co-sponsored by long time conservative Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. A rash and reckless statement resulting from very poor homework on Bachmann's part).
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(On her support for a same-sex marriage ban she supported while in the Minnesota state legislature) - "It's not just some gay will get some rights. It's that everyone else in our state will lose rights. For instance, parents will lose the right to protect and direct the upbringing of their children. Because our K-12 public school system, of which ninety percent of all youth are in the public school system, they will be required to learn that homosexuality is normal, equal, and perhaps you should try it. And that will occur immediately, that all schools will begin teaching homosexuality." (This wild allegation had no basis in fact at all. It was far more indicative of Bachmann's ignorance, intolerance, insensitivity, and her deep-rooted homophobia than it was of reality).
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(On the removal of six Muslim Imams from an airplane at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in 2006) - "The Imams, the Imams, were actually attending, ah, Congressman Keith Ellison's victory celebration, when he won as a member of Congress." (Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, spoke briefly at a national Imam convention being held in Minneapolis that the six were attending, but they were not there celebrating his election celebration. This is a completely false allegation very revealing of Bachmann's religious right bias against Muslims. Yet another in a long, steady line of constant unfounded allegations).
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(On resisting Obama's cap and trade plans for limiting harmful greenhouse gas emissions) - Minnesotans should be "armed and dangerous."
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(On the "Americanism" of fellow Congresspersons, from the "Hardball with Chris Matthews" show of October 17, 2008) - "The news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look, I wish they would...I wish they would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would be, would love to see an expose like that." (Shades of Joe McCarthy! What's next---loyalty oaths? Sorry, Bachmann---we do not share the same view of America. Yours is intolerant, for the rich, and authoritarian. Mine is not).

This is merely the tip of the iceberg concerning Michele Bachmann's many, many controversially irresponsible and delusional statements. There is an obvious common thread of fear and mistrust running through nearly all of them. She evidences herself as a reckless and impulsive individual, one who shoots first, and never, or very much later, asks questions. Such crazed impulsiveness is not limited only to her words. I will never forget her impetuous grabbing of President George W. Bush's shoulder right after his 2007 State of the Union Address. She forcibly turned him around and then planted a long, wet, sloppy kiss right on his lips. I was shocked beyond belief at such undignified and outrageous behavior by an elected official from my state!

Michele Bachmann does not think or articulate like a well-educated person. There is an unflattering naivete and immaturity to her rash behavior. She often looks like a deer caught in headlights and then spontaneously bursts out with some ridiculous remark. Her speaking style gives little evidence of deep and careful reasoning. Her attacks on and allegations against opponents and those in society she looks down on are not borne of intellect and sound logic, but rather of bias, delusion, and fear. She grew up in the very northernmost Minneapolis suburb of Anoka, MN. That city houses the Anoka State Hospital, a home for the mentally ill. After seeing the repeated controversial, delusional, and fictional statements being made by Michele Bachmann, one can only believe she belongs in THAT house rather than the U.S. House of Representatives. For she truly is the craziest woman in the House!

This is an open plea to the Republicans of Minnesota's 6th Congressional District: PLEASE DUMP MICHELE BACHMANN! She is a major embarrassment to your party, the district, the state, and the entire nation. She is a buffoon and a laughingstock. Next time, PLEASE replace her with a conservative family-values type Republican who is NOT unbalanced and delusional. Elect one with character, brains, and civility, in the mold of, perhaps, a George F. Will or Chuck Hagel. Your district and our state deserve the best they can get, and Michele Bachmann is clearly not that! Thank you.

11 comments:

Mycue23 said...

Amen, Jack. She is the loosest cannon in the Republican arsenal. I know that her district is exremely Repubolican, but I honestly have no idea how those people could have sent this woman back to Congress. I find it amamzing that a party that is full of people who questioned the patriotism of anyone who even questioned the motives or actions of George W. can now support angry calls for revolution and for the people to "take their country back". I have to ask, who are they taking their country back from?

SJ said...

@Jack,
Excellent takedown. I'd only heard half of this stuff.
Simply Mindblowing.
Every time I see this crackpot on TV I'm stunned by her ability to say absolutely ridiculous things with a straight face, and then deny it a day later.
Hopefully this pathological liar will keep on talking and doing a diservice to her bizarre causes.
-SJ

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, guys. Yes, it's pretty unbelievable that a woman like her is even out walking around freely, let alone a member of the U.S. House and on the public payroll. It just goes to show how far into the Dark Ages the modern far far-right GOP has descended that she could even be viwed as a spokesperson for her party. The frightening thing is, I think she actually believes the stuff she makes up and feels that she really was misquoted when she denies it all a day or two later. You know that darn far-left liberal media she loves to cry about. Tammy Faye was a wacko wingnut too, but at least she had a heart. Bachmann seems to be lacking heart AND brain. SCARY!!!

Madrigal Maniac said...

You are not only well read regarding politics, you are well written regarding the aforementioned.

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you, MM, and nice hearing from you. By the way, I'm a big fan of your state's Dennis Kucinich and Sherrod Brown!

SJ said...

@Jack,
You know with all the groundless disrespectful name calling leveled at the Obama administration, socialist, communist etc. here's some terms I don't hear used to describe Bachmann: "lunatic seccessionist," or maybe "sore loser?"
I hope they gain traction in the media. Spread the word.
-SJ

Max's Dad said...

If it wasn't for Hannity, nobody would listen to that kook. I knew she was nuts, but after reading your post, I just cannot understand who votes for her?

Jack Jodell said...

SJ and MD,
I think it's a pretty safe bet that most people know how crazed this madwoman is and quite possibly have a number of their own unprintable names for her too. As to who votes for her, it has to be a combination of the wealthy, the tax-haters, the religious right, the naive, the dyed-in-the-wool conservatives, blindly faithful Republicans, and perhaps the patients at Anoka State Hospital. It is a real mystery to me, but keep in mind, 25-27% of the electorate is always half-cocked anyway. The gerrymandered nature of her district undoubtedly helps her get the remaining 24-27% she needs to wiggle her way in. It does seem to confound logic, though!

Burr Deming said...

As a partisan Democrat, I'm happy to see Representative Bachmann at every opportunity. Thanks for recounting the madness.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Jack! "well read..." you do your research so awesomely and then penetrate the obstructive / damaging nature of Bachmann by allowing the woman to reveal herself / commentating along the way with why to and how to rid MN of this intolerance and atrophied politic. Its hard to watch her go off... you wonder if the folks she's representing are reflecting this kind of mindset. Reading you, I have the idea that this is NOT the norm in MN. Its a great piece, as usual, Jack. I've taken the liberty, again, of linking it up on my FB page.
I thank you for the Sat morning coffee and illumination!

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Burr and Gwendolyn! I get your point, Burr, but wouldn't life be a lot more pleasant if we didn't have xrazies like Bachmann, Hannity, Coulter, O'Reilly, Malkin, Boehner, and all of those "baddies" to contend with?
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Thanks, Gwendolyn! I can assure you that Michele Bachmann is NOT the norm in Minnesota, thank God! I think she'd be better off up in Alaska with Sarah Palin. As for the research, I don't like to take a stand on anything without a good amount of solid evidence. There are all kinds of people out there making false claims and using hearsay and innuendo. I don't want to be one of them. As for getting rid of Bachmann, I can only hope voters in her district will finalkly see the light or that after the 2010 census she'll be redistricted out of existence.