Saturday, October 18, 2008

[Update 2] Michele Bachmann Exposed

So the Friday appearance of Michele Bachmann on MSNBC's Hardball helped to publicize her disgusting far-right views and launch a spontaneous fundraising drive for Democratic challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg.

But now seems as good a time as ever to remind everyone that Michele Bachmann actually has a pretty long history of doing and saying things that are, well, downright wingnutty.

Just in case you happened to miss her discussion with Chris Matthews on Hardball, Bachmann launched into a McCarthyist tirade in which she indicated she believed that some members of Congress are anti-American. More than just a passing reference, she said she wanted the media to do an expose on this very subject.

Here's the Hardball video, just in case you missed it:

But anyone who knows her history knows that this isn't the first time she said something so insane and abhorrent.

When FISA was being discussed in Congress, and many Democrats were appalled by the idea of giving immunity to the telecom industry, she went so far as to write an op-ed piece in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune about FISA, blaming Democrats for putting Americans at risk by not giving telecoms immunity from prosecution for illegal spying:

The No. 1 job of the American government is to protect her citizens. House Democratic leaders, in forcing the expiration of the FISA updates, have shirked that most fundamental responsibility -- the safety of the American people.

But that's just getting started on the far right-wing, and in some cases, downright insane statements she's made in her one term. Let's go back to a statement she made in January of this year:

I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We're the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.

Yes, that's definitely something to be proud of! People can't make ends meet with one job, so they have to get multiple jobs! Hooray! Perhaps, Ms. Bachmann, you should go work the night-shift at a 7-11 in addition to your Congressional duties if you think that this is something we should all strive for.

So that covers the domestic front. What about foreign policy? Well, let's look at a statement she made about Iraq.

What our service men and women have accomplished over there has been nothing short of astounding. Though you never hear about it in the media. God has not abandoned us.

But not only does she believe that we are fighting for God's will in Iraq, but that, in fact, it was God's will for her to run for office. Here, she says "God called me to run for United States Congress."

Of course, that comment could very well have gotten the church at which she spoke in trouble and for it to lose its tax-exempt status, as Keith Olbermann points out in his "Worst Persons in the World" segment.

So yes, she went with the old "mission from God" routine. You almost wonder if Michele Bachmann was on John McCain's short-list to be vice-president, considering how much she sounds like Sarah Palin. Then you remember that she's too much of a wingnut for even John McCain. Here's what she said about him:

He is not my man. Our candidate was chosen by the media.

Yes, McCain's nomination had nothing to do with the fact that he won the most votes, states, and delegates in the primaries. It's definitely all the evil liberal media's fault.

Even John McCain's views must seem not conservative enough for Bachmann, particularly the immigration reform McCain was in favor of before he was against it. Just days after an illegal immigrant killed four students in a traffic collision, she was on O'Reilly exploiting the tragedy to press for English-only DMV tests (despite the fact that there's no national language), and she seemed to agree with O'Reilly that there should be legislation that would require police to report any activity dealing with illegals to the immigration authorities. Nevermind the fact that this would lead to increased crime as many more people would fear going to the police for help. Here's a clip from that show.

Surely she has a very good grasp of science, right? Here's her obviously very well-informed view on global warming:

The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax. It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.

And that's not the only time she denied the existence of global warming.

Updated: Well, now we know why she's so hostile to the concept of global warming, thanks to Talking Points Memo. When discussing Nancy Pelosi's views of global warming, she had this to say:

[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she's just trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet -- we didn't need Nancy Pelosi to do that.

Right. So we don't need to worry about global warming because of Jesus. Yikes.

That's not the only area that Bachmann demonstrated her scientific knowledge... or, rather, lack thereof while in Congress. Here, she's referring to Terri Schiavo as "healthy."

And she does it yet again when she disputes evolution in favor of intelligent design here:

And here, she's talking about abortion, in which she talks about fifty million women whose bodies have been "violated" when they chose to get abortions.

But it turns out she's actually even crazier when it comes to one issue in particular that matters a lot to me: gay rights. According to the blog Eleventh Avenue South, she has gone to great lengths to try and take away any rights that gays have fought so hard to obtain.

For example, as noted by the Star Tribune:

The [Minnesota] Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to force a floor vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage as thousands of ban opponents rallied outside the Capitol. Sen. Michele Bachmann, the Stillwater Republican who's led the push for the ban, said Senate Democrats have denied her repeated efforts to get the bill heard. Senate leaders countered that Bachmann, a candidate for the U.S. House, is flouting Senate rules to advance her own political career. At the same time, about 2,500 gays, lesbians and their supporters attended a rally on the Capitol grounds just a few hundred yards away, organized by OutFront Minnesota.

This is more radical than it seems, because, as noted by Minnesota Public Radio, the amendment would

[B]an gay marriage and its legal equivalents in Minnesota...

Its legal equivalents include civil unions and domestic partnerships. The fact that she tried to force a vote on this amendment during a gay rally reveals a very apparent hostility to gays altogether. This hostility actually seems somewhat of an obsession, because after her legislative move failed, she went out and very literally spied on the rally from the bushes. You can't make this stuff up. (Photos courtesy of Eleventh Avenue South.)

Yikes. Apparently she's quite obsessed about gays. But that's not all she has an obsession about.

Perhaps the best way to show just what kind of views she has is to look at her pure adoration of one of the most disliked presidents in history. Crooks and Liars listed a couple good points of reference about how she feels about the President. First is a positively gushing diary about a chance she got to ride in the presidential limo back in August of 2006 before the midterm elections. Of course, this journal is no longer posted on her Web site; maybe someone in her campaign realized that the President is not very popular these days.

But as we all know, nothing really disappears from the Internet. Here are some choice quotes from a blog that describes Bachmann's enthusiasm for George W. Bush by calling her "Harriet Miers on steroids."

I could not believe I was discussing what flavor of custard to order with the President of the United States!

President Bush was so incredibly engaging with the servers. He actually stuck half of his body through the order window and asked, "Can anybody get some custard here.

I was struck by the humility he has towards his role as President of the United States.

Always the mom, I thought, we need napkins. I asked the President if he had a napkin and he said no. So, I had to quickly grab napkins. I cannot imagine dripping custard in the Presidential limousine.

If that's not enough to convey how she really feels about the President, here's how ABC 5 Minneapolis described an encounter between the President and Bachmann after his 2007 State of the Union address:

Newly-elected Congresswoman Michele Bachmann got quite a bit of face time with President Bush after his State of the Union Speech Tuesday night.

While the President was signing autographs for members of Congress after the speech, the sixth-district Republican put her hand on Bush's shoulder. However, it wasn't just a tap. After he signed an autograph for her, Bachmann grabbed the president and did not let go for almost 30 seconds.

After signing the autograph for Bachmann, the president turns away, but Bachmann doesn't let go. In fact, the video shows her reaching out to get a better grip on him.

Bush then leans over to kiss another congresswoman, but Bachmann is still holding on. Bachmann then gets more attention, a kiss and an embrace from the president. A few seconds later, Bachmann's hand finally comes off the presidential shoulder.

Here's an interview she gave about that encounter.

And you know that famous awkward McCain-Bush hug photo? Well, that has nothing on Michele Bachmann.

Wow, so not only does she seem to share all of the far right-wing views of the current GOP administration, but it seems that she essentially has a schoolgirl crush on the President himself.

Well, we know that the President will be leaving the White House in January of 2009. We can make sure that Michele Bachman is forced to leave with him. Maybe they can both retire and enjoy long drives to the custard stand together.

We can make this happen, Kossacks. The netroots community has already done a great job raising money for her progressive challenger, Elwyn Tinklenberg. His official campaign Web site is There are several Act Blue fundraising pages for him. The one formed specifically in response to Bachmann's despicable remarks on Friday can be found here, and his general ActBlue fundraising page can be found here.

It's not often that candidates like Tinklenberg get such a tremendous opening that Michele Bachmann has created with her interview on Hardball. And the netroots has already helped to exploit that with a huge fundraising effort. We just have to keep it up and make sure that Mr. Tinklenberg has the resources to let the voters know what Michele Bachmann really stands for.

Original here

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