Revenge of Daughter of the Replace Michele Bachmann Blog Carnival
As I explained to someone the other day, I thought that after the election, we’d be able to retire the Replace Michele Bachmann Blog Carnival. Even though she squeaked through her reelection with a slim plurality, I was among the people who still considered the Republicans capable of learning what hadn’t worked for them in this election. One of those things being Bachmann, I thought she’d end up in some congressional broom closet somewhere, in a straitjacket with a duct tape gag. Not that I spent any time dwelling on this image or anything.
Alas, it was not to be. Bachmann continues to run her mouth (now, there’s an alternative energy source) at every opportunity, regardless of the presence of cameras and microphones, regardless of her whether she had anything to say, regardless of who she’s speaking to. It’s behavior that has a certain effect on those who have to listen to her. Eric Kleefeld of TPMDC has named this, of course, the Bachmann Effect.
Gawker explains what that facial expression really means in English. Greg puts this phenomenon in its proper context. Oh, if only she were trying to be that funny. But no, she means it, and there are enough people taking her seriously that we must too. The Replace Michele Bachmann Blog Carnival is back.
We should have known. It only took her three days after the election to be named Keith Olbermann’s Worst Person in the World for snuggling up to Obama after suggesting he be investigated as anti-American.
It wasn’t much later that Bachmann denied ever calling for his investigation, telling Alan Colmes that the direct quote he was reading was an “urban legend.” Colmes didn’t display the Bachmann Effect, unfortunately. I guess that’s a side effect of having reality denied to his face that often. However, a number of bloggers, fairly new to the train wreck that is the Sixth District’s congressional representative, couldn’t keep the literary equivalent of the effect out of their posts, calling her “crazy” and “out there.”
The local paper reported on the urban legend affair and noted that she also used the opportunity to accuse Al Franken of trying to “stuff the ballot box with rejected ballots.” Emily Kaiser at City Pages has the transcript of the interview and points out that Bachmann was repeating allegations that even Tim Pawlenty, our governor who dreams of a national stage for his hair and smile, had declared false by that point.
What else was Bachmann up to in November? Dump Michele Bachmann has the information on how she used the I-35W bridge collapse as an occasion to flirt with Bush and later tried to turn it into a political lever in her reelection campaign. OneNewsNow covers her defense of Sarah Palin. Bachmann herself used her blog (at Townhall.com) to argue that it’s perfectly reasonable for capital to control political speech in this country and to talk about how she’s finally against executive power now that a Democratic executive was taking office. No kisses for Obama, I guess.
December was a quieter month, starting with speculation that Bachmann might run for governor if she loses her congressional seat to redistricting. She was discovered to have endorsed a ministry that fraudulently wormed its way into public schools under the cover of anti-drug education to deliver their real messages, like:
In the girls’ session a female staffer from the band told the girls that they “would get black spots” on their wedding dresses if they held hands with a boy and would be serving “leftovers” to their husbands if they lost their virginity before marrying a “God-fearing man.”
She made the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s list of 2008 Most Embarrassing Re-Elected Members of Congress. She also made the NY Times list of top 2008 television moments for her appearance on Hardball and won Comedy Central’s contest for the Indecision 2008 Best Campaign Villain. Bachmann herself ended her year by eulogizing Paul Weyrich, dominionist and separatist founder of the Heritage Foundation.
Bachmann started the new year with more awards: third place in Crooks and Liars 2008 Golden Crookie Wingnut of the Year contest, fifth place in Comment Is Free’s American Hall of Shame, and two runner-up spots in City Pages list of Best Minnesota Scandals of 2008. Bachmann, perhaps less than pleased at not coming in first, bitched about Democrats in Congress wielding the power they were elected to use. Twice. She also joined Twitter, so now you can keep up with her every thought and public appearance.
January stayed fairly quiet for Bachmann. She said much of what one would expect from a Republican: No multi-million dollar estate tax for small family businesses. (How small is small, there, Representative?) Cut taxes to stimulate the economy. (Which has such a great track record.) The Hill ran a profile suggesting that she had become cautious.
Still, she managed to sneak in a couple of classic Bachmann moments. She opined again on the Coleman/Franken recount in an interview with Glenn Beck, suggesting that a fair judge would be one who found in favor of Coleman. She also made an appearance on Sean Hannity with Al Sharpton and Meatloaf (yes, really) in which she said, among other things, that African Americans would start voting Republican because of the issue of gay marriage.
January was just a hint of things to come. In February, Bachmann was back to drawing media attention with her appearances. She really does have a knack for making statements that tell in a few quick words how wrong both her priorities and her facts are. “We’re running out of rich people in this country,” is just one of those perfect gems. Bachmann made the comment to protest the stimulus package. The emphasis on the rich instead of those suffering from our current economy shouldn’t need any comment. Not that that stopped people. Dump Michele Bachmann collected many of the links to the outrage.
Bluestem Prairie has the audio clip and was inspired to evaluate Bachmann’s claim that the stimulus package was a conspiracy to direct funds away from Republican districts. Is anyone surprised to discover that Bachmann’s district would be the district best served by the package? Actually, the people who voted for her probably would be. Unsurprisingly, there was even more silliness to the interview, including unfounded allegations about ACORN, fact-checked by CNN. The Huffington Post was moved to collect reader suggestions for things Bachmann would believe if they were printed on the internet (a game also played later by Gawker).
February also brought Bachmann’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and her question, “I just wondered that if our founders thought taxation without representation was bad, what would they think of representation WITH taxation?” Not to mention her applauding RNC chair Michael Steele with the words, “You be da man!” Seriously.
TPM felt the need to end their post on her words with, “And no, this is not from The Onion.” The City Pages offered her some tips to keep her slang up to date. Greg used her words about taxation as an opportunity to talk about levels of understanding, or in this case, levels of misunderstanding.
Whew. That’s a long way to go to catch up with Bachmann, but we’ve finally reached March. Submitted to a Candid World has a nice summary of March in Bachmannland that brings us up to the ides, but most of the fun has really been in the past week or so. So what’s the representative with the crazy eyes been up to lately? Whoo, boy.
There is, of course, the “armed and dangerous” comment. If you’re not already familiar with her exact remarks, Dump Michele Bachmann has the full audio. Some people are calling this sedition and suggesting that, by her own standards, Bachmann should be censured. Bachmann’s representatives are calling her words merely metaphor, although Jefferson was certainly not speaking metaphorically. Prendergast at Dump Michele Bachmann makes a good case that Bachmann meant every word. Crooks and Liars also sees her statements as part of a pattern–paranoia in this case. Athenae at First Draft explains why claiming that Bachmann’s language is metaphorical doesn’t make her statements a whole lot better.
Then there were the questions to Geithner and Bernanke on the constitutional basis for the bailout. There’s a bit of disagreement about which is the worst part of her questions: the fact that she didn’t know without asking that the Constitution states that Congress authorizes spending or the fact that she didn’t understand that her question was being answered. I’m going for the first one, not just because she really should know, but because I believe her questions are merely the echo of a broader, conspiracy-mongering movement.
Truly, the scandal here is that she doesn’t know this, any more than she understands the basis for U.S. currency or the currency used in international trade. After all, as a commenter pointed out at Dump Michele Bachmann, not only is she on the House Financial Services Committee, “in fact it’s been your ONLY committee assignment for your entire tenure in Congress.” Not a quick learner, that Bachmann. Or maybe it has more to do with the fact that she doesn’t “show up to your own committee hearings.”
Whatever the case, Bachmann first pressed both Geithner and Bernanke to pledge to keep the U.S. dollar as our country’s currency. Both were perplexed, but neither thought it was anything but a good idea. Of course, the issue under discussion isn’t the U.S. currency, but the reserve currency used for trading between nations. The difference isn’t rocket science, and if Bachmann needed someone (besides her fellow committee members) to explain it to her, she could have turned to one of our local alternative news weeklies. Or a local liberal blog. Or any of a number of blogs elsewhere. Or the Treasury Department’s release on the state of the U.S. reserves. Or the largest local daily paper. Or a national news outlet. Or anything or anyone connected to reality.
But no, instead Bachmann has proposed a constitutional amendment to keep America safe for the dollar. And last night, she did an interview with Glenn Beck to explain why it was necessary. Think Progress has this excerpt.
BACHMANN: As you know, Russia, China, Brazil, India, South Africa, many nations have lined up now and have called for an international global currency, a One World currency and they want to get off of the dollar as the reserve currency.
BECK: Most people don’t understand, Michele, what that means.
BACHMANN: What that means is all of the countries in the world would have a single currency. We would give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency. … If we give up the dollar as our standard, and co-mingle the value of the dollar with the value of coinage in Zimbabwe, that dilutes our money supply. We lose control over our economy. And economic liberty is inextricably entwined with political liberty. Once you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom. And then we are no more, as an exceptional nation, as we always have been. So this is imperative.
Forget what the rest of the world is actually saying, Bachmann is pushing this as a conspiracy theory. That’s My Congress puts this in the context of existing currency conspiracies, and Dump Michele Bachmann ties this to her apocalyptic religious beliefs. It’s Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly who really ties everything together, though, and it’s to him that I give the final words of this carnival.
Now, Bachmann simply isn’t well. Were she not an elected member of the U.S. Congress, she’d probably be shouting conspiracy theories and holding cardboard signs on some sidewalk somewhere. But what I find especially interesting is that her paranoid delusions are so detached from obvious truths. If Bachmann wanted to complain that a 39.6% top rate was the epitome of Marxism, she’d be just another conservative. But she’s convinced herself that the Obama administration will “move us to an international currency,” due entirely to her breathtaking stupidity.
My fear, at this point, is that lunacy from deranged politicians and their media allies is going to end up getting someone hurt. Republican officials believe they should emulate the insurgency tactics of the Taliban. They see themselves as “freedom fighters” taking on the “slide toward socialism.” They want a “revolution” because Americans “can’t let” Democrats succeed in taking away “our very freedom.”
This is obviously madness, not from some right-wing blog, but from elected federal officials. But I worry it’s more than that. Incendiary rhetoric like this leads strange people to do strange things.
This entry was posted on Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at 4:23 pm and is filed under Blogosphere, Politics, Stephanie Zvan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.