Are Conservatives Ignoring Bachmann’s History?

August 3rd, 2011 at 12:28 am | 166 Comments |

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Part of the reason FrumForum has inaugurated a Joan of Bachmann watch is because the conservative movement seems to have some large blind spots in how it views potential presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Conservatives see her as combining Tea Party financial austerity with social conservative credentials. But if Bachmann does well in the primary and scores a spot on the GOP ticket, it’s likely that the rest of the country will see a politician who will be known for holding radical views.

Consider how National Review described Bachmann’s past in their recent cover story about her. (The full story is unfortunately behind a paywall.) Here is how the magazine described Bachmann’s involvement with a charter school in Minnesota early in the 1990’s:

With a group of parents, Bachmann founded New Heights, a charter school, in 1992. The experience — dealing with state government, stirring neighbors to get involved — taught her much about organizing and, for the first time, how to deal with the media. But after butting heads with some parents about the curriculum, Bachmann, a board member, resigned.

That is the full account of her time with New Heights given by National Review. It leaves out a lot of details. According to a Bloomberg profile (and other reports) the “butting heads with some parents about the curriculum” occurred because the charter school was accused of receiving federal funds to provide a religious education:

Almost immediately, reports that the publicly funded school was dabbling in religion began trickling home to parents. Denise Stephens, the mother of a student, said a teacher banned the Disney movie “Aladdin” because it depicted magic. An American Indian-themed art project was nixed. And there was talk that the special board created to help guide the school, which included Bachmann, wanted to mandate prayer and a religious curriculum.

The school district started a fact-finding inquiry that confirmed evidence the curriculum involved religion, according to Stephens. At a packed public meeting, just three months after the school opened, Bachmann and four other board members resigned when presented with the parents’ concerns, Stephens said.

Bachmann said she never tried to introduce a religious curriculum, and that the board stepped down over an academic disagreement.

This reporting not only raises concerns about whether the charter school she was involved with was misusing state funds, it also provides a bit more color about the sort of world that Bachmann was in. What sort of school hires a teacher who bans Aladdin because it promotes “witchcraft”?

This is not the only part of the National Review profile which seems to gloss over parts of her backstory. Here is how the magazine describes Bachmann’s involvement with another group concerned with education in Minnesota, the Maple River Education Coalition, or MREC:

During Bill Clinton’s second term, Bachmann decided to speak out beyond the neighborhood coffee klatch. The Left’s heavy influence over the state’s public schools, which enabled bureaucrats to craft shoddy, politically correct classroom material, motivated her to join the Maple River Education Coalition, a group of parents and community members who, like her, were upset with the quality of public-school education.

Bachmann’s cries for education reform were soon heard around Minnesota as she and her allies campaigned against the St. Paul progressives. “I put together a two-hour commentary and went everywhere,” she says. “We talked about the curriculum being dumbed down and about how this is devastating for our kids.”

The piece then shifts to her failed run for the local school board.

What was wrong with the quality of the public education in the schools? What was the “politically correct classroom material” Bachmann was campaigning against? National Review doesn’t say. According to Mother Jones, the group campaigned against federal education standards, the International Baccalaureate curriculum, and had other concerns about the formation of a one-world government. (Full disclosure, I am an IB alum.)

For MREC’s members, fears of a state-planned economy were just the tip of the conspiracy. According to the group, the federal standards were actually part of a globalist plot. As they explained, the Profile was an extension of a Clinton-era program called Goals 2000, which made a preliminary attempt at a basic set of national curriculum standards. That initiative, meanwhile, marked the continuation of an effort endorsed by George H.W. Bush, called “Education for All,” which, in turn, adopted principles originally floated by the United Nations. “Promoting World Citizenship over National Sovereignty is now Official US government policy,” Chapman later wrote [5].

American Exceptionalism and Judeo-Christian principles, long a Bachmann sticking point, were being pushed to the back burner while environmentalist concepts like “sustainable development” emerged as a tool of the global agenda. Just what would this UN-based curriculum look like? The MREC identified 17 key planks of the global agenda—among them “pantheism,” “evolution,” “socialized medicine,” “one-world government,” and the “creation of ‘biosphere reserves.’” Even International Baccalaureate, the worldwide advanced placement system, drew the group’s scorn; a fact-sheet provided by MREC called it “the foundation of tyranny [6].”

Would this more complete picture of Michele Bachmann’s past, including the very peculiar educational activities, make her more appealing to the conservative base? Or would they also feel that a group which describes an educational curriculum as “tyrannical” is outside of the mainstream?

At the very least, it would be helpful if conservatives acknowledged that Bachmann’s history in local education raises important questions about what she actually believes.

Recent Posts by Noah Kristula-Green

166 Comments so far ↓

  • medinnus

    Michelle Bachmann is prettier than Sarah Palin, and hasn’t yet quit her day job to cash in from suckers. I like her – she’s must-see GOP TV.

    • Anonne

      Prettier? I dunno. Doesn’t matter.

      The difference between her and Palin is that Bachmann sounds like she knows more than she does – she speaks quickly, clearly and forcefully, even when she doesn’t know squat about what she’s talking about, without stammering or fishing for words, and she doesn’t use some fake folksy shtick.

      Bachmann is more experienced with the media and knows how to deflect questions better. She has had a longer time to play the professional victim. She’s just not as well known as Palin.

      • medinnus

        Her being prettier is only contextually important in that I can enjoy her lunatic pronouncements more… in many ways, she has shrewdly (or accidentally shrewdly) let Queen Esther forge the way like a snowplow after a blizzard. Bachmann is what Palin could have been, had Palin any tinge of letters or discipline; as it stands, Palin only needs five: F-R-A-U-D.

    • Traveler51

      For MB, the whole story is in her eyes.

    • gocart mozart

      Jessica Alba is prettier, smarter, would make a better president and also hasn’t quit her day job.

  • paul_gs

    You base your whole article solely on what one parent said? That’s it?

    And your other source is Mother Jones? Give us a break.

    This sounds like a cheap lazy hit piece. Some real reporting please.

    • advocatusdiaboli

      No Paul, it’s not based on just what one parent said. This provides a pattern of abusing government support (her school, her husband’s current clinic) that calls into question her truthfulness in her anti-government stand given she owes a lot of her livelihood to what she says she wants to end. My guess? She wants to end it for the rest of you but keep it for her gain. GOP: dump her or she’ll become your Albatross and that con man Obama will breeze into to office for a second term. And that’s worries me.

      • paul_gs

        Yeah, it is just what one parent said.

        There is no independent verification that what Denise Stephens claims is true. It may be, but this poorly written article (which cribs all its points from other similarly manufactured articles on this exact subject) doesn’t provide it.

        • Traveler

          Yeah, for sure it was just one parent at the packed school board meeting when those five resigned. Some parent that! You have poor comprehension to go along with your bias.

      • pissant

        Bachmann’s clinic took in Medicaid patients…..such a scandal. Bachmann’s mortgage company sold its mortgage to Fannie Mae, where 90% of them end up. She must love big government. I’ll bet you she even eats taxpayer funded lunches on occasion!

        • paul_gs

          So Bachmann is to be criticized because her clinic served poor people?

          You’re probably upset the clinic treated women too.

      • NH

        The dirty little secret here folks is, if you want to provide ‘human services’ you are 99% under gov’t control… same with farming. So, you HAVE to take the $$. It’s like being a teacher… you don’t just set up your own school of one, you go to work for the gov.

        So this bull about her taking gov’t money is a huge red herring.. and we are ignoring it.

    • Raskolnik

      Who cares what the source is? If the information is accurate–which, given Bachmann’s stated agenda, appears likely–it means that her problem isn’t with “shoddy” but with standardized curricula. And her opposition to the IB system is ludicrous, she might as well be opposed to AP (and who knows, maybe she is).

      Bachmann is the worst kind of fool: the kind who thinks she knows something. Note all her wrangling over the founding fathers’ supposed antipathy for slavery. And then when she was confronted about it, she doubled down and insisted that because John Quincy Adams–who was nine years old in 1776–was against slavery later in his life, that she was completely justified in claiming that the founding fathers all worked “tirelessly” against slavery.

      Some of my liberal friends hope she gets the nomination, just to have the pleasure of watching the spectacle of her raucous train-wreck defeat. I say, pass the popcorn.

      • paul_gs

        “Who cars what the source is?”

        Sheesh. Some people have unbelievably low standards.

        This article simply follows the hysterics of the other manufactured articles on this precise subject where everyone simply quotes some previous writer who quotes another previous writer from some obscure article dating years back.

        None of the writers ever attempts to verify any of the statements. No independent claim of what Denise Richards said is ever provided. All we ever hear from is the same disgruntled parent, of which every school has many.

        Is what Denise Richards states true or do other parents tell a much different story? It will be a chilly day in Hell before we the reader ever have an answer.

        Blog writers (even ones working for major publications) tend to have very poor journalistic standards nowadays so I am disinclined to believe almost anything they post unless their claims are thoroughly, properly and independently sourced.

        This post fails on all of those counts.

      • Truth About IB

        Michele Bachmann is a woman of principle and her word and not afraid to stand up to brainwashed Progressives who shout insults at her for daring to criticize the almighty International Baccalaureate (IB). Unlike Pawlenty and Huntsman, RINOs who praise IB, Bachmann has a thorough understanding of the downright evil agenda of the IB organization and its intentions for American students.

        IB is a corrupt organization whose Director General, Jeffrey Beard, also happens to be the COO of Syngenta, a firm which manufactures genetically engineered corn for ethanol production. IB’s Chair of its Americas division is Delia Pompa who also happens to be the VP of La Raza.

        IB’s “strategic planning committee” is heavily invested in expanding its indoctrination programs at the elementary and middle school levels. Over 40% of its schools GLOBALLY are in the U.S. and of those, 90% are public schools. IB even put out a document on how to use ARRA and RTTT money to implement IB. We can trace the Progressive support for IB in this country all the way back to 1998 when Barack Obama and Bill Ayers sat on the board of the Annenberg Challenge and appropriated money to the first IB school in Chicago. Since then, 26 IB schools have cropped up in Chicago, none of which met or exceeded Illinois benchmarks.

        IBO is an NGO of UNESCO. Its goal is to undermine national sovereignty and instill UN Millenium Goals throughout its “curriculum”. IB is really more marxist philosophy than it is curriculum. Bachmann is smart enough to see through IB’s glossy marketing to know the truth.

        • jnail

          This is utter nonsense.

          Our school is an IB school and the cross subject curriculum is terrific. The teachers love it. The kids love it and the parents love it.

          SO I guess all of us here in Atlanta are a bunch of robots? Hardly

        • MOMwithAbrain

          Then clearly you haven’t done your homework and you’ve lapped up what has been spoon fed to you. IB is a U.N. program with a U.N. (political) agenda. It’s not like the IB or the U.N. hide this however you have to be able to research, look at the facts and have the ability to critically analyze it. Most parents don’t take the time to do that.

          I.B. on their own web site, censors critical comments on the program. They say they want to teach the kids to think critically, but they wont allow comments that offer a critique of their own program.

          I.B. is an expensive program that hardly compares to AP. IB uses Constructivism and there are plenty of studies that show students are at a DISadvantage when schools use that pedagogy. Parents are wise to request AP classes for their students, assuming the school hasn’t watered down the AP offerings.

          Core Knowledge curriculum is a far superior choice for any school district. IB doesn’t offer U.S. HIstory. Our students are not learning their history and IB doesn’t help that epidemic.

          IB also endorses the UN Declaration on Human Rights. This document undermines the very foundation of this country which is INDIVIDUAL human rights. The UN document supports Govt. entitled human rights which are tyrannical. (think CUBAN human rights) The US supports Individual or Unalienable human rights.

          American tax payers should not be funding a program that undermines the basic foundation of this country. IB points to Marxists and other extremists as good resources for students and teachers on their web site. If they want to push a radical/extremist agenda on students, the rest of us should not have to flip the bill.

          Those parents who have no idea what IB is all about, should refrain from giving it their stamp of approval until they’ve done the research. Right now they simply look like sheep who’ve lapped up the propaganda as they were required to do.

        • Truth About IB

          Utter nonsense? Nope – all facts. As to your schools in Atlanta, I wouldn’t be bragging after the horrendous cheating scandal that resulted in the firing of hundreds of teachers.

        • NH

          You’ve been listening to that nut Ted Turner too much LOL

        • Raskolnik

          Even if I.B. is “corrupt” and “evil” as you claim, this in no way mitigates the fact that Michelle Bachmann is a raving lunatic who does not accept basic scientific consensus on evolution or basic legal consensus on the Constitution.

          IB may not offer American History, but it is self-evident that IB graduates such as Mr. Kristula-Green have a more thorough command of the topic than Ms. Bachmann. Or do you deny that she has repeatedly revealed fundamental gaps in her “knowledge” of (inter alia) the history of the American Revolution?

        • Truth About IB

          I fail to see how calling Michele Bachmann “a raving lunatic” because she named John Quincy Adams instead of John Adams in a speech (sans teleprompter, I might add) has any bearing on the inappropriate expenditure of U.S. taxdollars on a UN educational program in American public schools.

          Our public schools should be APOLITICAL – neither left, nor right. IB’s leftist agenda is very clearly demonstrated throughout its website, in its own words. At the elementary and middle school levels, IB cannot produce a single study that demonstrates its programmes “improve” student achievement. The best it can do is claim IB doesn’t make schools WORSE than its non-IB counterparts.

          IB is free to sell its snakeoil to private institutions, such as the Islamic Saudi Academy (Terror High) in VA, which was authorized by IBO in 2008.

          As for IB alum, the reporter on this article must be proud to be in the same group as the Christmas Day Underwear Bomber! ;-)

        • Raskolnik

          Again, whatever valid points you may have about IB are obscured when you use the words “Terror High.”

          And the point is not that she specifically confused John Adams with his son, the point is that almost all of the “Founding Fathers” owned slaves, no matter how they felt or wrote about the issue. The point is that, in fact, they did not all, or in some cases ever, work “tirelessly” or otherwise to end slavery in the United States. In fact, the only Founding Fathers who didn’t own slaves were John Adams, Sam Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Paine. Everyone else owned slaves. The end.

          Again, IB may not offer American History, but Michelle Bachmann is dangerously ignorant on the topic, and the IB graduates I know personally are on the whole much better informed about American History and a whole range of other topics–particularly science-related topics–than Ms. Bachmann.

        • jakester

          Sounds like more rw paranoia

        • Jim in DE

          Our public schools should be APOLITICAL – neither left, nor right.

          Amen, TruthAboutIB! It’s about time somebody started making some sense around this place.

          Hey, when you get a chance, could you please post a link to the website that you’ve created (or that you frequent) that takes the Texas School Board to task for trying to impose their political views into the curriculum — greater emphasis on Ronald Reagan and Jefferson Davis, teaching creationism, questioning separation of church and state, exculpating Joe McCarthy, etc.?

        • Truth About IB


          I happen to be a big Ben Franklin fan. It might behoove you to know that while Franklin initially owned two slaves:

          “After Franklin returned from France in 1785, he joined and eventually became president of an abolitionist group founded a decade earlier by the Pennsylvania Quakers. The group was called the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage. Franklin was convinced that not only the slave trade, but slavery itself should be eliminated. He eventually freed his own two slaves.”

          So Bachmann is quite correct in stating that many of our Founding Fathers were indeed, opposed to slavery.

          As to “Terror High”, the ISA earned that appellation years before becoming authorized by IB. In fact, the same year IBO authorized ISA, it also authorized the King Fah’d Academy in London which was in the press for anti-American, anti-Judeo/Christian teaching. You see, IBO HAS NO STANDARDS for authorizing schools to use the IB label. Every school that applies to IBO is authorized ….. as long as the checks are good.

        • gocart mozart

          I have a question for TruthaboutIB. Fluoridation of water: Good dental health or evil global conspiracy?

  • Raskolnik

    1) Don’t impugn my standards.

    2) You haven’t provided a single counter-argument, nor any explanation as to Ms. Bachmann’s inexcusable ignorance; you have only doubted the veracity of the claim made by Mother Jones, without reference to any supporting documents demonstrating where or how MJ is incorrect.

    3) Here is a link:

    Now you read that page and you tell me that Noah or Mother Jones was wrong. This is a propaganda sheet that MREC itself put on the Internet. A brief quote:

    “The values of [the International Baccalaureate] are hostile to the foundational principles of the United States including real truth and morality.”

    4) You didn’t mention the Bloomberg article.

  • pissant

    Good grief. What kind of drivel is this? Why not do a hit piece on Romney’s underwear, or better yet, his ultra-liberal, inane utterances trying to unseat Teddy Kennedy. Can we expect you to dig around for disgruntled associates of Tim Pawlenty from 20 years ago? How about let’s explore his insults to us ‘global warming deniers’ so very few years ago? How about an expose on all the wonderful things Rick Perry said on behalf of his then party’s champions Michael Dukakis and Algore – during the Reagan Revolution?

    All one really gets from this is that Bachmann is religious, can’t stand the left wing agitprop in the public schools, and was trying to do something about it. Sounds like a typical conservative to me; but an icky rightwing extremist to idiots that think the GOP needs to offer up another flip-flopping moderate to win.

    • Raskolnik

      Bachmann thinks that evolution is a left-wing conspiracy to foster one world government. That’s not “religious,” that’s bat-guano crazy.

      • paul_gs

        Who is your source? Rolling Stone magazine? LOL.

        More hysterics from the paranoid.

      • pissant

        Yeah, you must be a real conservative there, Ace. Rule of thumb for anyone with a conservative bone in his body – if anything comes out of the UN, including curricula, best to shove it right back up their asses. Rule of thumb #2, if you are relying on a commie rag like Mother Jones for your assessment of reality, seek an intervention. Finally, why not have a look-see at the churches that Perry, Pawlenty, and Romney belong to and see what they have to say about the origins of mankind. I’ll guarantee you it doesn’t include the botched, leftwing, profanely ignorant, bastardized theories of evolution that are endorsed and taught by the UN and the NEA.

        • Raskolnik

          pissant/paul_gs believes the teaching of evolution in public schools is a left-wing conspiracy in the service of one world government. That’s not “conservative,” that’s bat-guano crazy.

          P.S. LDS are a bunch of heretics who teach pagan (mostly Egyptian) witchcraft and village sorcery but have the audacity to call it Christianity.

        • paul_gs

          So now you’re a mind reader? LOL

        • jakester

          Evolution has nothing to do with the UN. It is taught because it is the best theory we have. If you complain about evolution, that tells me you are illogical, irrational, backwards and anti science. That makes it easy to dismiss anything else you say as the mindless rants of an irrational person.

  • Bebe99

    This post doesn’t need to give more information as it provides links to the two articles it is written about, and a link to the MREC website. There are multiple individuals quoted.

    It bothers me that recent Republican women who make it to national prominence are basically MILFs with government jobs and extreme religious views. A more well-balanced woman candidate like Kay Bailey Hutchinson would be a refreshing change.

    • paul_gs

      This article is shoddily sourced. Only one individual is listed and never directly quoted. Is the story even true? Maybe you believe it just because it’s on the net but I don’t.

      This article, like all the others on this exact subject, simply regurgitate the same never independently verified allegations from an older article over and over again.

    • pissant

      Kay Bailey Hutchison is the type of RINO twit that got the party in deep poop to start with. Just what we need, is some more KBHs, some more McCains, a few Bob Doles, and toss in an order of Mark Kirks.

  • Slide

    Don’t you just love it when Fox News loving types condemn an article’s shoddy reporting? And they do so without offering one shred of evidence disputing what isnbeing reported. True Bachmannz-like mentality.

    Please, please have her be the GOP nominee.

    • jakester

      Well to give them their due, it isn’t exactly a high editorial standard article but compared to the crap they normally feed on, it is pretty good.

  • Emma

    Conservative candidates who contend evolution is a myth — or worse, a conspiracy — haven’t figured out how to effectively deal with it publicly. Some claim it is a private matter which they choose not to discuss (like herpes), but biological science does intersect with public policy (e.g., increasing ineffectiveness of antibiotics may require mandated changes to issuing scripts) and so that strategy has problems. Others are a bit more bold and say it is a legitimate controversy in science and that local school boards should decide local curriculum (e.g., Bush), but the federal courts have rejected that view (e.g., Dover, PA, case). No national candidate has openly embraced the rejection of biological evolution. That approach may have some advantages (“the God of my Bible made Adam and Eve; he was not a lab tech tinkering with DNA”) and Bachmann may be forced to try it.

    • tom78212

      @ Emma: anyone who accepts anti-bateria medications and/or vaccines ipso facto accepts the theory of evolution (whether they “believe” it or not).

    • paul_gs

      Conservatives do believe in evolution. Only a small subset of certain Xtian faiths do not believe in it. But 95% of conservatives do believe in evolution whereas 35% of progressives believe in UFO’s.

      • Traveler

        Support that batcrap assertion. According to Pew, over 60% of the citizens don’t believe in evolution, yet none of them are conservative? Sheesh. Talk about selective factology.

      • gocart mozart

        Paul_gs is lying. This is not surprising.

    • gocart mozart

      I would like some reporter to ask her if she thinks the Earth is only 6000 years old. It would be interesting to see how she ducks the question.

  • Smargalicious

    ^ Haw! Look at all the progressives attack anyone that threatens their Messiah, Odumbo the Great Community Organizer.

    He’s toast. The economy’s calamitous 0.8 percent growth in the first half of this year indicates that the already appalling deficit projections for coming years are much too optimistic. The debt increases caused by anemic growth and job creation may dwarf whatever debt reduction results from the process initiated by the debt-ceiling agreement. This may portend a vicious downward spiral as increased borrowing and the burden of debt service further suffocate America’s dynamism.

    This is Odumbo’s legacy. And, America learned its lesson: when you elect a community organizer from Chicago, you get one.

    • medinnus

      Hey Smeggy – how’s the closet homosexual pseudo-Christian pro-war-but-too-cowardly-to-serve thing working out for you? Run out of aliases yet?

      I see you still can’t prove any of your rantings, and that you still can’t manage to get by your pathetic race-hatred yet.

      I can’t wait until 2012 and to watch you explode. *laughs at the pathetic sub-human poltroon*

  • lilmanny

    The conservative movement is now a protest movement, and Michele Bachmann is a protest candidate. She is not there to offer solutions, but to break things. It is almost certain she has no idea about this herself.

  • TerryF98

    The Bachman farm takes huge government subsides.

    The Bachman “Pray away the gay” Clinic takes government funds to provide a discredited “treatment”.

    Bachman is ignorant of USA history and makes constant gaffes on basic knowledge a high schooler would know.

    She is a conspiracy theorist and an abject liar.

    Please nominate her.

  • jakester

    She’s Christian, right wing, loves America but hates taxes. That is all a teasapper needs to know about a candidate.

    • Smargalicious

      And all a Flee Bagger wants is more government checks to create more voters.

      • jakester

        You are so right, I want to buy votes by stealing your money and handing it out to illegals

        • tom78212

          @ smargalicious: What’s a “flea bagger?”
          And Barney F was right about Bachman: “She’s invincibly ignorant” who speaks in true-isms and is incapable of looking beyond her blinders. All of this makes her good company for Romney, Pawlenty, and Huntsman who share her religious weirdness.

        • Smargalicious

          “Flee bagger” is the term created when the WI Dems fled the state to avoid the GOP-led crackdown on parasitic unions, the response to the Dem’s vulgar “Tea bagger” moniker.

      • medinnus

        Hey Smeggy – did you know gay people can marry, and more states are ratifying the same laws every day? if you ever have children, they’ll likely grow up to not hate blacks, latinos, and homosexuals? Your day is done, slink back under your rock. *chuckles*


      Ding ding ding! Give the man a kewpie doll.

      While Noah’s writing is excellent as usual, and the arguments are well-made, they are all — to borrow a phrase from the Borg — irrelevant. The far right is all about identity politics. Remember that most of the people who support her supported Palin, and if the latter’s policy and intellectual flaws didn’t matter, why would Bachmann’s?

      • Raskolnik

        Remember that most of the people who support her supported Palin, and if the latter’s policy and intellectual flaws didn’t matter, why would Bachmann’s?

        My sense is that if she herself isn’t the Republican nominee, she will play VP to Perry or Romney. 2012 looks to be the biggest GOP washout since 1964.

        • TerryF98

          Great another ignorant lunatic a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Can’t see the voters having any different opinion on that than they did in 08.

  • TJ Parker

    Bachmann/Palin 2012!

  • Oldskool

    It’ll most likely be Romney/Rubio next year although the entertainment value of Bachman or Perry would be awesome, politics played the way the Globetrotters play basketball.

  • MurrayAbraham

    “… Bachmann’s history in local education raises important questions about what she actually believes.”

    Indeed, but the fact she is part of the “world government” conspiracy theorists is even more damning for a presidential candidate. How could she possibly handle international relationships with such loony views?

  • Hunter01

    Emma has a point: a litmus test for all Left and many Center voters (and even a few enlightened Conservatives) is evolution. They emphatically don’t want religion inserted into the science curriculum of their children; they’re worried enough about the competitiveness of their kids in tomorrow’s labor market. They also remember how Bush suppressed and distorted the role of scientific work in public policy, and they do not want a repeat of that unfortunate episode.

    Mitt’s taken the easy route: Evolution is the tool that God used in Creation. Perry and Bachmann are likely to stumble badly unless they figure out how to finesse the problem. The issue won’t go away.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    I must say I had a good laugh at the ignorant trolls who have posted here today. Yes Republicans, nominate that dingbat Bachmann and lost all 50 states, that will show them durn Libruls.
    I have seen Bachmann on TV say the most ignorant and stupid things (and no, not mixing up the location of Concord and Lexington is not one of them)
    Here are a few, and this stuff is on video:
    “And what a bizarre time we’re in, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.” (A judge ruled that children have the right to not say the pledge, not that children can not say it)
    “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” Science does not work on belief you twit.
    “The President of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day.” She is a moron, no question about it. I can find hundreds of more out and out brain dead things she has said.

    Conservative does not equal stupid. My brother is an engineer and his wife is a nurse practitioner, they are both very conservative but never would say any of these brain dead things she has said.

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  • DanL

    Does a bear crap in the woods?

  • Truth About IB

    It is so funny to listen to Libtards who think they have elected “brilliance” to the WH call MB a “moron”. Seriously folks ….

    “57 States” – Barack Hussein Obama
    “JOBS is a 3 letter word” – Joe Bite Me Biden

    The 60′s are over. WE THE PEOPLE are taking back our schools and our country from the 28% of communist voters who hate this country. Without ACORN to fix the election in 2012, you’re sunk. Go join the Peace Corps.

    • jakester

      You sound exactly like all the rest of the stupid, ignorant kneejerk reactionary and proud of it types who say the exact same drivel in your vain attempt to make your dimwitted candidate seem reasonable.

      You are truly are both ignorant, paranoid and totally immune
      to any compromise or new info since your mind was welded shut years ago. So run along and listen to Glenn Beck so your pointy little head can glean more nonsense to make you sound even more pathetic.

      • Truth About IB

        Do you really think your silly name-calling makes your Marxist/NWO ideology more valid? It is indeed a shame that it took Conservatives so long to recognize Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals were a staple of the Democratic Party, but I would say at least 66% of the country is on to your lame tactics and we’ve had enough, thank you very much.

    • valkayec

      It appears to me that you’re so filled with hate and vengeance and Bircher conspiracy theories that it’s hard for some of us to take you seriously. I don’t know anything about IB or even much of Bachmann’s background, but reading your comments alone would cause me to turn away from her if your comments represent her constituency.

    • medinnus

      “We the People” elected Obama, not some ignorant half-assed paranoid Right-Wing tinfoil hat wearing idiot. The PEOPLE reject Christianism, bigotry, and your idiot conspiracy theories.

      I bet that really f*cks you up, too – Your version of “WE THE PEOPLE” are an ever-dwindling minority, destined for the shitpile of history.

      I hope everyone like you has it eat them up inside as a cancer. *chuckles*

  • pnwguy

    You’ve got to wonder what sort of flypaper is up here today, to attract so many insects. I guess if a story gets linked on some of the shrill partisan sites, all the talking point types that can only argue in slogans suddenly appear from nowhere.

    I suspect the old advice about not feeding the trolls is best.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    And truth has to trot out one of the few cases wherein a candidate who has been on the road for days at a time had one verbal misstep. As I wrote above a simple mistake about Concord is no big deal, anyone can do it, it is the truly braindead things she says as a matter of course that matter.
    The truth about IB is that it is an ignorant troll. Honest to God, who gets this worked up about the IB program except someone who does not have a life? You don’t like IB don’t join it.
    Otherwise, mind your own business if I want my kids to partake in it you fascist little twerp.
    I expect it to write, like Jimbob, that he am graducamated from Herverd.
    Look fool, go over to redstate and peddle your nonsense, leave this site for people who are not tools.

    • Primrose

      I think her fanciful ideas of the slave family and and America’s relation to slavery are also fairly important.

  • Primrose

    “UN Declaration on Human Rights. This document undermines the very foundation of this country which is INDIVIDUAL human rights. The UN document supports Govt. entitled human rights which are tyrannical. (think CUBAN human rights) The US supports Individual or Unalienable human rights.”

    Dear Madam, I think you are a bit confused.

    First line of the UN document:Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

    Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

    Our founders believed in government—just good and just government. I don’t get the venom against the UN by conservatives since it was founded by Americans, based on American ideals, even the language our documents, and we are the nation with the most rights and powers within it.

    Nor do I understand how those of Abrahamic religions can object to their children learning the idea that we are one human family. Isn’t that rather the point of monotheism? One world. One God. Indeed, if you are a creationist, one world must be your creed since you believe in Adam and Eve and so God created nobody above another.

    • pnwguy


      Quoting from the US Declaration is suspect. I think social conservatives are trying to airbrush away Jefferson and his Enlightenment-inspired ideas, since he shunned Christian fundamentalism. The first shot across that bow was the Texas fight over public school textbooks.

      • Nanotek

        “I think social conservatives are trying to airbrush away Jefferson and his Enlightenment-inspired ideas, since he shunned Christian fundamentalism. ”

        + 1

        … they hate Enlightenment and the elevation of freedom, reason, science and the rights of individuals

        • Frumplestiltskin

          lets not forget that the UN declaration was added due to the tireless efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt who was one of America’s greatest first ladies. Of course, to Bachmann she is probably a commie Nazi so even pointing it out to the likes of that idiot would make no difference.

      • Raskolnik


    • Truth About IB


      The UDHR does not recognize the fact that our inalienable rights come from God, not government. Therein lies the major difference.

  • IntelliWriter

    Bachmann could be Palin’s twin without the syntax issues. Because she can string three sentences together in a relatively coherent fashion, she is taken much more seriously as a candidate. It doesn’t make her any less dangerous; if anything, it makes her moreso.

  • Graychin

    What’s the problem? Bachmann sounds like what passes for mainstream in today’s GOP.

    Comparisons between Bachmann and Palin are interesting. They deserve comparison not because they are both women. It’s because they both say outrageous things that have little basis in reality.

    But Bachmann does it with better grammar and without so many of the hateful poison darts that Palin shoots at her targets. (The darts are what the Palinites love best!) Bachmann is a more polished, more competent version of Palin.

    And that school board resignation aside, Bachmann isn’t a quitter like the former half-term governor of Alaska.

    • NH

      YOu apparently have not been inside a school lately… check that video and see what nonsense 13 year olds are doing… is that learning? Teaching? Or is it political brainwashing?

  • NH

    I’m a teacher, for 35 years and I laud Bachmann for being ONE OF THE FEW people who understands that our public schools have been breeding grounds for socialist policies and agendas, officially one world government. IB is the worst, using our tax dollars to promote the UN’s religion of GAIA.

    She fought Pawlenty on this who has yet to admit he made a mistake asking the UN to come in and manage the schools on our tax dollars. How illegal is THAT???

    Also Frum is quoting Mother Jones.. I mean come on… credibility rating = 0

    Any candidate who supports the UN agenda in our schools is NOT going to get the conservative vote — this includes PERRY, PAWLENTY, and any of the others who do not actively oppose IB (Ron Paul has, bless his heart)

    I am furious that my high schools spends money on things like this:

    Conservatives are NOT ignoring Bachmann, they applaud her for knowing what our public schools are being used for now! (To spread the world government agenda ala UN)


      If you listen very closely, you can actually hear your own neurons shrivel and die as you read this stuff.

      • pnwguy


        That video appeared as typical middle school kids putting on a play. The content was just basic platitudes about how humans should react on an overcrowding planet. I guess encouraging kids to recycle is the latest method to convert them to Socialism. Now instead of parents having to harangue their kids to quit making so much trash, they should teach them to be proud of it. Only SATAN wants you to recycle that can. Jesus wants you to throw it in the landfill.

      • paul_gs

        That’s just you talkradio. You’re getting old. ;P

    • TerryF98

      “I’m a teacher, for 35 years and I laud Bachmann for being ONE OF THE FEW people who understands that our public schools have been breeding grounds for socialist policies and agendas, officially one world government. IB is the worst, using our tax dollars to promote the UN’s religion of GAIA.”

      Please tell me where you teach then I can make sure none of my grandchildren go within 100 miles of you or your school.

  • rbottoms

    Would this more complete picture of Michele Bachmann’s past, including the very peculiar educational activities, make her more appealing to the conservative base?

    What fracking planet have you been living on?

    Of course it will.

    The GOP is insane.

    • zanerbrainer

      What about Bachmann’s stories about having no part in any of her decisions and that she was following god’s commands? Or her husband’s, e.g. to go into tax law despite having no interest in it. (Both were mentioned in a recent Rolling Stone article)

      I can’t see this sort of language as anything but nuts, but it sounds like GOP red meat…

      Would people actually vote for a woman who does whatever she thinks god is telling her to do? Like nuke someone?

      Would people make the first female presidential candidate someone who claims to be truly obedient to her husband?

      • forkboy1965

        Let’s not forget how the GOP gave Kennedy’s run for President all sorts of shit claiming as a Catholic he would be beholden to the Pope and not the country.

        Perhaps it’s time the Democrats turned that sort of b.s. on its head and use it against her.

        At least we have PROOF that her husband dictates to her where there was none for Kennedy.

  • midcon

    The strategic question is how to get MB nominated. As an independent I would rather have good choices in the general election, but for Democrats, MB would be godsend. But how to get her there? If you criticize her does it make her more attarctive to the rank and file base? If speak in moderation and find some good things to say, does it make them doubt her? If I were a Democrat, I would probably consider registering as a Republican to be able to help her win the nomination. Americans may put incompentents into the WH, but they rarely if ever elect whack jobs to the office.

    • Raskolnik

      As an independent I would rather have good choices in the general election

      I would too, but at this point Romney is looking like the most level-headed potential GOP nominee, and he might even prove to be too level-headed to secure the nomination. Either way he is hardly a “good” candidate.

    • wileedog

      The danger with that is heaven forbid Obama has a last minute scandal or something a day before the election and suddenly you have President Bachmann.

      I think I’d rather take my chances running against a political wind sock like Romney who at the very least is not bat sh*t crazy then even remotely increase the odds of her fingers near nuke codes.

  • Raskolnik

    Holy crap it’s like a nut parade today

  • Hunter01

    Would folks be willing to answer a question or two so that we might learn a little bit more about each other.

    My question is this: in your view does biological evolution provide the most factually accurate explanation of the diversity of plant and animal life on earth? Simple “yes” or “no” will do.

    If others have a question they would like to pose to the group, I would be glad to answer.

  • cranky_engineer

    I suppose I’m just cranky today and dropping the engineer part today. “Prettier than Sarah Palin!” What in the flippin world does that have to do with qualifications to be president. “Still has her day job”. GRRR! where else but in politics can you be absent from work, miss a bunch of votes etc. and not be summarily terminated and walked out the door.

    Her legislative record is abysmal. She is a narrow minded religious zealot. If she ever got a credible opponent in her district she would be looking for a new job.

    • Emma

      Just Cranky — your answer to Hunter’s question?

    • medinnus

      You misunderstand me – I don’t see Bachmann as a serious politician, I see her as a laughable comic relief. Its also fun to turn down the sound when she speaks and supply your own insipid comments. *grins*

    • Smargalicious

      Odumbo’s legistlative record was noted as the most liberal ever. Yet, the lamestream media gave him a pass on everything and fawned all over him.

      America, now, knows what it needs to do: dump the bum in the WH.

      The Kenyan who promised to unite the nation instead relishes dividing it at every opportunity. We heard again that the evil “oil companies” and “billionaires” and the “wealthy” and “big corporations” need to “pay their fair share.” Doesn’t he ever get tired of saying the same things??

      Maybe he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care, but the country is giving up on him. The shellacking his party and policies took in the 2010 midterms would be repeated if there were an election today. He’s sinking, and his approval is now a woeful 40 percent — that’s Jimmy Carter territory.

      Well, I guess to get another Reagan, we had to have another Carter.

  • Saladdin

    I think Conservatives are enjoying their possibilities now. By that I mean that while Ms. Bachmann has no realistic shot at the presidency, her supporters are in full force to make a “protest vote” against the establishment candidates, one of whom will most likely win the nomination. My guess is that it comes down to Perry v. Romney, both of whom pander ridiculously badly (meaning no conviction or sincerity).

    • Emma

      Saladdin — may we have your answer to Hunter’s question?

    • MaxFischer

      I have to admit – there is a part of me that secretly wishes that Bachmann gets the nomination just to see what happens. Don’t get me wrong – Obama v. Bachmann would make Nixon/McGovern look like a close race.

      But in the meantime, the media circus would be glorious: Bachmann forced to defend her “anti-American Congress” and other bat-shit crazy comments ad nauseum, the WSJ editorials, her closet-case husband stumping for her in the south, a parade of “ex”-gays vouching for the efficacy of “pray the gay away” (looking forward to seeing a lot of Ted Haggart on TV again), the anxious “is this what the Republican party has become” commentaries both here and abroad.

      In the end, it may provide all of us – and the people who need it most – a moment of clarity. Maybe the specter of hitting rock-bottom would be enough to shake the nation into rational thought once again.

  • DeathByIrony

    One of the chief sticking points with the Bachmann apologists here in the comments section is that if you don’t believe that the UN is a civilization-devouring conspiracy? Something out to indoctrinate all nations with psuedo-religious doctrine, in pursuit of a New World Order?
    It might as well be static. Gibberish.
    If in your mind the UN is a half-broken organization with no real authority, then you might find it very difficult to fear any of it’s social programs, sinister or otherwise.

    • gocart mozart

      They don’t understand how “Law” works. U.N. resolutions without the backing of force is just happy talk. “All children have the right not to starve” is a rule that the U.N. has been pretty sucky at enforcing despite its alleged tyrannical powers. The sad thing is that the Bacchmanalians* think the mere statement of principle is evil socialism.

      * trademark pending

  • Emma

    DeathByIrony — you put your finger on a point that I have been wondering about for quite a while. The idea of an assembly of nations (a more modest concept than world government) with legitimate authority to curb international aggression, was first seriously analyzed by Kant and Hegel, and both concluded that most nations would not surrender their sovereignty to the extent necessary to make it work. History has proven them correct. We have no cause to worry about a world government — it’s an imaginary boogie-man to fright the souls of fearful conservatives. It carries the same improbabilities as the adoption of Sharia Law by the Oklahoma state legislature.

  • zanerbrainer

    What about Bachmann’s stories about having no part in any of her decisions and that she was following god’s commands? Or her husband’s, e.g. to go into tax law despite having no interest in it. (Both were mentioned in a recent Rolling Stone article)

    I can’t see this sort of language as anything but nuts, but it sounds like GOP red meat…

    Would people actually vote for a woman who does whatever she thinks god is telling her to do? Like nuke someone?

    Would people make the first female presidential candidate someone who claims to be truly obedient to her husband?

    • Emma

      Zanerbrainer — your answer to Hunter’s question?

      • zanerbrainer

        Let me consult my magic 8 ball….”Science points to yes”

        You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

  • Lonewolf

    Truth be told, both she and her closeted husband are hypocritical corporate welfare queens who have sucked up hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in unethical agricultural subsidies and Medicare billings for highly spurious services.
    Yet she wants to be judged on what she says, not what she does.

  • Emma

    From Hunter’s informal and unscientific survey, I infer the following:

    1. very few of us, if any, have doubts about the general validity of evolution as applied to the biological realm;

    2. the few who do have doubts (e.g., adherents to Creationism or Intelligent Design) are inclined not to reveal, discuss or debate their views here;

    3. ergo, the FF blog posters are in no way typical of the Republican rank-and-file, about 70% of whom reject evolution. To the contrary, our posters are for the most part highly educated centrist Republicans, Independents, or Democrats. I.e., we range between Frum and Pelosi on the political spectrum, trolls notwithstanding.

    4. it would be interesting to have a few thoughtful, outspoken evangelicals — those willing to argue Intelligent Design and other extreme right doctrines — joining in on the discussions. Otherwise, we are tempted to shadow box with our idea of Bachmann rather than engage directly with her supporters.

    • pnwguy

      Not all evangelicals are at loggerheads with evolution. A high profile one would be Dr. Francis Collins, former head of the human genome project and currently Obama’s appointed NIH director.

      Collins helped to create the biologos foundation, which attempts to persuade other evangelicals of the logic of biological evolution.

      • Emma

        good pt

      • zanerbrainer

        I agree that he is the most credible evangelical scientist, but to me that just makes it the irrationality of it all the more stark. Here’s a guy who worked to unravel one of the most complicated, fundamental questions of living things, but who claims to have fallen on his knees and come to jesus when he was hiking and saw a three-pieced icicle. As if that has something to do with any of the foundational dogmas of christianity. Besides, the evangelical politicians being discussed clearly don’t value scientific literacy or evidence as much as a Collins.

        Government must be based in the reality that we all share. The one we know for sure exists.

  • rbottoms

    it would be interesting to have a few thoughtful, outspoken evangelicals — those willing to argue Intelligent Design and other extreme right doctrines — joining in on the discussions.

    Don’t forget unicorns. We need some unicorns too.

    Remember, we’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you.

    • Smargalicious

      bottomly…stupid, drunk and liberal is no way to go through life.

      Wait one day until a fatherless welfare citizen physically beats you and takes your wallet. Then, your worldview will change.

      Why do people like you avoid places like downtown Baltimore or East St. Louis?

  • broses

    No, David, I didn’t know that! But I did know this… Rep. Michele Bachmann: She’s had her share of government aid –

  • anniemargret

    It’s appalling in a diverse, free America, where we pretend to tolerate all manner of beliefs, religions and/or no beliefs, that Republicans are mired in religious talk. This all smacks of religious fascism, make no mistake.

    There must be absolutely NO religious talk for the leader of the Free World. What a person believes or not believes is nobody’s business but their own. There should be no ‘litmus’ test for the Presidency in regards to religion. The ‘christianist’ wing of the GOP has gone way over bounds in forcing their God-talk into the public sphere.

    We are not in church, synagogue or temple. We are voting for the POTUS, not a religious leader. Bachmann, Palin, Perry, etc….are all out of bounds. They should be summarily dismissed based on their vocal and very open embrace of Christian thought and action and mixing it with political pov’s and worldviews.

    They are not representing the citizens of the US, but their own elect religious followers.

    And before anyone accuses me of being anti-Christian, I am a Roman Catholic. I do not believe the public sector should be displaying overt religiosity. It is a road that leads to fascism.

  • Emma

    Hunter — thanks for running the survey. We learned a little something.

  • shinnok


  • NH

    UN has a lot of clout and is behind almost everything I did in school as a teacher for 35 years. Every other word was “global” as if 5-year olds could understand. However, brainwashing must be started early for the children to be subservient to the state, the one world gov’t envisioned by the UN just as Daddy Bush the communist said in his speech.

    Communism must be driven out of our schools, gov’t and country if we are to survive.

    Otherwise, we will find ourselves in Bill Ayer’s re-education camps or worse, exterminated as he suggested….

    Yes he’s running our teachers colleges now… sick isn’t it?

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