Inside Bachmann’s Brain

August 8th, 2011 at 1:15 am David Frum | 130 Comments |

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Where is Michele Bachman coming from? What does the latest Tea Party champion really stand for? Ryan Lizza attempts an answer in a New Yorker profile.

Here’s a route into her head; remember Bachmann’s statement about the Founders tirelessly working to end slavery? The statement was widely ridiculed as an expression of pure ignorance. Lizza takes the statement instead as a route into Bachmann’s own personal alternative knowledge system:

Bachmann’s comment about slavery was not a gaffe. It is, as she would say, a world view. In “Christianity and the Constitution,” the book she worked on with [John] Eidsmoe, her law school mentor, he argues that John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams “expressed their abhorrence for the institution” and explains that “many Christians opposed slavery even though they owned slaves.” They didn’t free their slaves, he writes, because of their benevolence. “It might be very difficult for a freed slave to make a living in that economy; under such circumstances setting slaves free was both inhumane and irresponsible.”

You don’t want to invest a lot of time nit-picking the historical inaccuracies here. (For example, John Adams was a Unitarian who rejected the divinity of Christ, Alexander Hamilton avoided church, and while all three genuinely abhorred slavery, only Jay can be said to have worked to end it.) The anecdote is valuable as an illustration of the way in which Bachmann processes information. Lizza found a 2005 interview in which Bachmann was asked about books she liked. She praised two: Ann Coulter’s Treason and Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey. Lizza explains the latter:

[Pearcey] teaches readers how to implement Schaeffer’s idea that a Biblical world view should suffuse every aspect of one’s life. She tells her readers to be extremely cautious with ideas from non-Christians. There may “be occasions when Christians are mistaken on some point while nonbelievers get it right,” she writes in “Total Truth.” “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false—for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle. Even individual truths will be seen through the distorting lens of a false world view.

As Lizza points out, Bachmann regards even the most mundane political facts through the prism of a worldview that would probably seem extremely strange to most Americans. One of her first great political causes was to attack federal vocational education programs on the grounds that they promoted:

a “new restructuring of American society,” beginning with “workforce boards” that would tell every student the specific career options he or she could pursue, turning children into “human resources for a centrally planned economy.”

This kind of talk would sound paranoid to most of us. It emerges from a religious philosophy that rejects the federal government as an alien instrument of destruction, ripping apart a Christian society. Bachmann’s religiously grounded rejection of the American state finds a hearing with many more conventional conservatives radicalized by today’s hard economic times.

Lizza asked Bachmann to explain the convictions that animate her:

If there was one word on a motivation or world view, that one word would be ‘liberty,’” Bachmann told me in early August, when I asked about her world view. “That’s what inspires me and motivates me more than anything—just the concept of freedom, liberty, what it means. Whether it’s economic liberty, religious liberty, liberty in our finances, liberty in being able to choose the profession we have.

He comments tartly:

It is a peculiarity of the current political moment that a politician with a history of pushing sectarian religious beliefs in government has become a hero to a libertarian movement.

But is it so peculiar? The Tea Party is not exactly a libertarian movement – otherwise it would not so passionately defend Medicare for those over 55. It’s a movement of relatively older and relatively affluent Americans whose expectations have been disrupted by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. They are looking for an explanation of the catastrophe – and a villain to blame. They are finding it in the same place that Bachmann and her co-religionists located it 30 years ago: a deeply hostile national government controlled by alien and suspect forces, with Barack Obama as their leader and symbol:

During the last Presidential campaign, [Bachmann] told Chris Matthews, on MSNBC, that Barack Obama held “anti-American views” and then admitted, “I made a misstatement.” (In 2010, she said that she had been right about Obama’s views all along: “Now I look like Nostradamus.”)

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130 Comments so far ↓

  • paul_gs

    Bachmann is strange, but why the obsession with her? Democrats are endowing her with mythical, near magical powers. Whatever Bachmann is, I think Democrats’ fixation with her is even more troubling.

    • jakester

      Like Palin, if she was just an obscure fringer with a small following, one could say: why bother with her, she’s nothing? But she represents a large segment of society who share her irrational, paranoid fundamentalist worldview. And this teabag segment of society is now one of the most powerful driving force in politics today. So your complaint about how people who are upset about her are the ones with the problem is disingenuous at best. Do you really want her type running the country?

      • paul_gs

        Bachmann is not going to be running the country so my question remains, why the Demcorats’ obsession with her?

        • Redrabbit

          She will probably not end up running the country. But there is something troubling about the fact that such an extreme figure, someone who is so clearly disconnected from reality, can connect with so many people out there. It says something about society, something less than complimentary.

        • Scritor

          You can’t not be obsessed by a major political candidate who has an entire alternate belief system. People talk about the closing of the American mind, but this is that plus the opening of a new fact-free American mind that is ideologically pro-American even in the face of history.

          It’s not merely that these views are espoused by a Minnesota Congresswoman. Ron Paul is similarly fringe, mind you. It’s more that her views are consistently accorded respect by mainstream Republicans and that the Establishment are either too stupid to realize how crazy they are or too craven to shun her and her folk–for crass political gain, mind you, even if we lose the credit rating and reserve currency status that allows them to pretend that tax revenue levels have no accounting relationship to the expenses of running popular social insurance programs and an unjustifiably expensive military.

        • Bulldoglover100

          As a Republican who has also voted Democratic as of late I do not think I ‘Obsess’ over Bachmann…. I am afraid of her. I am afraid of her actually winning.. and what would happen to my world/life if someone who I truly believe is mentally ill were to actually win. Listening to her speak, or Palin for that matter, brings out feelings of fear in many people. That they worry outloud is not an obsession.

        • medinnus

          There is a difference between the media’s obsession with her (and that of the Right Wing, which is fascinated by her in that they see her as leadership material) and Democrats having a fascination with her; I sure don’t, but I have a tendency to read anything on this site.

          Its actually establishment Republicans who have the obsession with Bachmann and Palin; those people scare them piss-less.

    • valkayec

      Actually, I don’t think the Dems are obsessed with her. The media is because she makes such great copy with her off-the-wall, egregious errors. She makes headlines because she’s so funny. In truth, it’s only the tea party/religious right of the GOP that takes her seriously. Everyone else just giggles and shakes their heads.

    • MSheridan

      I doubt there would be any “fixation” if Sarah Palin hadn’t made Democrats doubt that there was a level of political insanity that would immediately disqualify a GOP candidate. Even so, most Dems aren’t so much worried about Bachmann as they are about what she represents. I have not encountered any non-Republican who thinks she has a real shot at the Presidency, but so long as she is one of the frontrunning GOP Presidential candidates and her more extreme statements are not disavowed by the rest of her party (and these days few would dare) she is an exceptionally easy target who can be used to discredit her entire faction. It’s exactly what Republicans would do if Denis Kucinich were a front-running Democratic candidate, whether they thought he could win or not.

      • paul_gs

        Dems fixation on Sarah Palin was unhealthy for Dems and revealed an ugly side of Dems too (the Giffords shooting comes to mind where Dems convinced themselves, absent fact, that Ms. Palin was culpable).

        • Redrabbit

          There would have been no fixation on Palin to begin with if McCain had never picked her as his running mate. That deeply irresponsible, cynical act arguably opened the floodgates for the current madness by demonstrating that someone of Palin’s complete foolishness could be a major player in national politics.

        • medinnus

          Sarah Palin is a joke, and bilks the gullible out of money. She’s the Paris Hilton of the GOP; famous for saying stupid things, and the press follow them both from the same dynamic.

    • balconesfault

      Hmmm … could be because she’s a leading candidate for the 2012 Presidential Nomination?

      • jakester

        Oh no, that couldn’t be it. They are attacking her cause they are anti white Christian racists hell bent on establishing Islamo-fascist Communism.

    • ConnerMcMaub

      As a liberal and a democrat I know why I enjoy her. For some reason, Bachmann speaking doesn’t instantly raise my blood pressure nor does her voice hurt my ears every time she says a word containing the letter S unlike Palin. She also lacks Palin’s visciousness. She has that wide eyed gleam that makes you think she’s a believer, not a huckster. The real reason her campaign initially excited me (she’s tanking fast) was if she becomes the nominee not only will President Obama be reelected, so many moderates will be disgusted they will stay home or vote Democratic. For me, Bachmann is the vehicle to retake the house. Of course, be careful what you wish for, if the second dip occurs and unemployment goes up a couple of more points, she could be president.

      • Redrabbit

        I don’t think Palin was a huckster, not in the conventional sense. She is simply a narcissist. A huckster wants to make money and accumulate power and influence. Palin? She simply seems to get a thrill from being in the spotlight, especially if she is under attack by someone she deems to be inferior to herself.

        Bachmann does seem to be more of a ‘true believer’ than Palin. She doesn’t seem to be nearly as self-absorbed. She seems to be a fanatic, that much is clear. She has a ‘crazy’ gleam in her eye, and her talk of hearing voices makes me wonder if she is actually mentally ill.

    • the lee

      paul_gs // Aug 8, 2011 at 1:26 am

      “Bachmann is strange, but why the obsession with her? Democrats are endowing her with mythical, near magical powers. Whatever Bachmann is, I think Democrats’ fixation with her is even more troubling.”

      According to the futures market, she is considered to have a 6.2% chance to become the Republican nominee for president. I consider that good grounds to be interested in her. I actually think her odds are better than that and am tempted to buy futures on her. Anyone with a better than 5% chance to become the presidential nominee for either of the two major parties is a person worth spending a lot of time looking at.

      http://www.intrade.com/v4/home/

      • Redrabbit

        Well, she is aided by the fact that there is no other real plausible nominee besides Mittens. Newt, Hunstman, Cain, and Pawlenty are all out, even if they are still officially in the running.

        I would also like to say, I don’t think there wold be a real opening for her, or for the thing from Texas, if Huckabee had stayed in the race. He left a vacuum for them to fill. One that Newt sort of tried to fill with his occasional ‘values’ talk, but that never got off the ground.

        • thejeff

          “the thing from Texas”

          Thanks for that!

        • Redrabbit

          The Thing From Texas. It could make a great horror film!
          He even LOOKS like one of the old Universal monsters, with that hulking nature and inhuman stare.

    • Candy83

      She’s running for president, Paul!

    • indy

      You might benefit from understanding the difference between a ‘fixation’ and ‘an object of derision’. And any derision the Republican party gets for elevating a loon to a national political figure is richly deserved. Both times. After Bush, I was hoping the Republican party would take its responsibilities a little more seriously. But no, it got worse instead. If you want the Democrats to stop being mean, all Republicans need to do is to really understand the consequences of giving idiots so much air in their party.

    • TJ Parker

      And you, Sir, are regurgitating the common GOP-victimization meme. Bachmann is a credible GOP nominee for President of the United States. Vetting such candidates is the press’s job. Apologies to thin-skin Republicans who are squeamish watching the process.

    • DFL

      Mr. Frum also obsesses about Sarah Palin. Perhaps he is having a mid-life crisis and his dreams are of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

    • advocatusdiaboli

      She’s a prime example of the inability of far too many American voters to make a thoughtful and rational fact-bsed decision on their leaders and that is very, very troubling and has already resulted in a dysfunctional government and economy. It could well spell our doom. The Founders feared the ignorant and uneducated vote and so denied it to them. Tt looks like they were brilliant and prescient men. Of course women then were rarely educated so women’s suffrage was a good idea their time didn’t support.

  • MSheridan

    Nearly everything that might need to be said about Bachmann’s worldview was said back in 1964 in Richard Hofstadter’s essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics (later considerably expanded):

    http://karws.gso.uri.edu/jfk/conspiracy_theory/the_paranoid_mentality/the_paranoid_style.html

    Not that this is an original observation. It has been pointed out many times before. But really, what more need be said?

    • jakester

      Well that describes most of the right these days with their endless conspiracies and enemies as their main focus

    • paul_gs

      Not that lousy old article. You help make my point though. Why are Dems not considered paranoid when:

      A) They believe the 2000 election was “stolen” from then?
      B) When a majority of Dems believe that 9-11 was an inside job?
      C) When a sizeable minority believe the 2004 election was “stolen” from them?
      D) When they obsess endlessly, mindlessly, vacuously and maliciously over first Palin, then Bachmann?

      The saddest thing though is for all this so-called examination and scrutiny of the Tea Party, how impotent Democrats are in politically outmaneuvering them.

      • jakester

        A majority of the Democrats believe that 9/11 was an inside job??!! You are dishonest and have no credibility, that is why you are defending a fellow crackpot like Bachmann,

        When they obsess endlessly, mindlessly, vacuously and maliciously over first Palin, then Bachmann?
        Because Palin, Bachmann and the saps like you who support them are themselves mindless,vacuous and malicious so you obsess endlessly about liberals and bs conspiracies like Palin’s phantom death panels. Of course their is a leftist liberal fringe who indulges in conspiracy theories, but compared to the know nothings on your end with endless rubbish about Birthers or Death Panels or Obama taking our liberties away, the difference is the paranoia is central to yours and Bachmann’s thinking, not fringe.

      • akindependent

        Please. A very tiny number of Democrats believed the 9/11 inside job conspiracy. It was hardly mainstream.

      • valkayec

        Who, what? A majority of Dems? You have got to be kidding. Show me the stats.

        • paul_gs

          Most Democrats believe Bush/Cheney?Rumsfedl had a hand in 9/11. It’s an article of faith almost. Most of the polls done did not break out party affiliation when questionging people on their beliefs concerning the attacks but I’ve never talked to a right wing 9/11 Truther but I’ve talked to plenty of left wing 9/11 Truthers. Plenty.

          How about the Democrats latest paranoid fantasy? That the Tea Party caused the debt downgrade? They actually believe a small vocal fringe group with no representation in the administration is actually what caused the US to lose its’ AAA rating!

        • drdredel

          There’s a huge difference between birth certificate trutherism and 9/11 trutherism or moon landing trutherism or any other giant event that (like every event) has a billion components that (might) seem suspicious. I’m not defending any conspiracy theory, but my point is that if you want to suspect something, you sound a lot less like an idiot when you suspect massive events with tons of components and details where you can find actual contradictions, and not one very VERY particular thing (like a birth certificate) of one person.
          Both can probably be disproved, but it only takes 10 seconds to disprove the the birthers, while with larger conspiracies you actually have to dig and dig and then eventually probably take a lot of things on faith, since nothing is ever documented well enough to settle every doubter’s questions.
          Your very existence may be a giant conspiracy!

        • elizajane

          This meme about Dems is just baloney. I lived in Berkeley CA at the time of 9/11 and not only did I never converse with a 9/11 truther there, I actually witnessed one being booed out of a nice liberal gathering where the “military/industrial complex” was under discussion. The only 9/11 conspiracy theorist I’ve ever met in real life was some horrible European woman at an airport who tried to tell me how all the Jews had been warned not to go to work at the Twin Towers that morning.

        • Scritor

          [blockquote]
          The “conclusion was pretty much motivated by all of the debate about the raising of the debt ceiling,” John Chambers, chairman of S&P’s sovereign ratings committee, said in an interview. “It involved a level of brinksmanship greater than what we had expected earlier in the year.”
          [/blockquote]

          S&P essentially said that the Tea Party caused the downgrade.

          See: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903366504576491263285734594.html

          If you look back, you’ll notice Obama tried to raise the debt ceiling pro forma on a clean vote, just like all other presidents. And it was voted down. If anything, it was the mainstream Republican enablers who caused our debt rating to go down, since they allied themselves with the Tea Party instead of combining with House Democrats to pass a clean debt ceiling bill. If you are willfully blind to this, then you probably are no better to the Republican Party than Michele Bachmann.

      • Demosthenes

        You are correct in your assessment of Democratic incompetence in terms of actually outmaneuvering the Tea Party.

        You are incorrect in your assertion that a “majority” of Democrats think 9/11 was an inside job.

        History will judge what happened in Florida in 2000. The facts are, as they always were, that George W. Bush–the biggest profligate spender in American history–lost the popular vote, and had to get the Supreme Court to intervene in order to win the Presidency.

        What happened in Ohio in 2004, on the other hand, is well-established and not open to question.

        According to Ohio recount rules, 3% of a county’s votes are tallied by hand, and typically one or more whole precincts are selected and combined to get the 3% sample. The 3% must be randomly selected, and all hand counts are to be performed in public (with observers). After the hand count, the sample is fed into the tabulator. If there is no discrepancy, the remaining ballots can be counted by the machine. Otherwise, a hand recount must be done for the whole county. The Cobb campaign claimed that the precincts were not randomly selected and the ballots were pre-sorted. They suggested that this indicates that precincts were selected that would match the machine count, in order to prevent a county-wide hand count, i.e. that it was “staged”. Two poll workers were convicted of preselecting ballots for the recounts.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_United_States_election_voting_controversies

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/24/AR2007012401441.html

        Regardless, what any of your points has to do with Hofstadter’s essay is still undetermined. The Tea Party/John Birch fringe exhibits a paranoid style that is simply not found among the Democrats in Congress, to say nothing of the Democratic constituency on the whole. Big-tent “Republicans” may not be paranoid, but Tea Party types most surely are. Michelle Bachmann, who leads the Tea Party delegation in the House, is a raving lunatic. End of story.

        • paul_gs

          Please, not the lame “lost the popular vote” line again. That assertion has no credibility for anyone who understands how elections work.

          And you mention Ohio in 2004. Why stop at Ohio?
          From the Wiki link you provided:

          ==”Court injunctions were placed by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court against MoveOn for verbally threatening and harassing individuals who identified themselves as Republican.”==

          ==”On October 5, a Bush-Cheney campaign volunteer in Orlando had his arm broken when trying to stop union activists from storming the campaign office.”==

          ==”The “storming” was part of a massive simultaneous campaign against 20 pro-Republican headquarters.”==

        • Demosthenes

          I know how elections work. The point is that the Supreme Court handed Bush the Presidency. That is (emphatically) not how elections are supposed to work.

          I have never defended ACORN or MoveOn. But voter-registration fraud is small peanuts.

          “There are no known instances of fictitious people actually voting,” [University of Washington law professor Eric] Schnapper said. “You look at some of the names: Mickey Mouse. Dr. Seuss. Mickey Mouse only votes in Disneyland. He’s not going to show up at a critical precinct in West Virginia or North Carolina.”

          http://articles.cnn.com/2008-10-22/politics/voter.fraud_1_voter-registration-acorn-workers-number-of-swing-states

          And verbal threats and harassment are of an entirely different order from tampering with poll results (of which only two people, who couldn’t possibly have worked alone, were convicted). If you don’t understand the difference between illegally shouting at someone that they are stupid, and illegally tampering with ballot boxes, perhaps you have drunk too much of the Kool-Aid to contribute anything meaningful to this discussion.

          Regardless, what any of your points has to do with Hofstadter’s essay is still undetermined. The Tea Party/John Birch fringe exhibits a paranoid style that is simply not found among the Democrats in Congress, to say nothing of the Democratic constituency on the whole. Big-tent “Republicans” may not be paranoid, but Tea Party types most surely are. Michelle Bachmann, who leads the Tea Party delegation in the House, is a raving lunatic. End of story.

        • jakester

          The point you are deliberately ignoring is that for Bachmann and her ilk, conspiracies are an integral part of their worldview. Also, while you are running your mouth about Democrats and lost elections, most of the low brow ignoramuses Bachmann and Palin attract believe that ACORN & Soros stole the election for Obama in 2008. Sorry for the tit for a tat exchage but all you are confirming is that these women attract the most ignorant, paranoid and shallow elements of the electorate.

      • Redrabbit

        No mainstream, serious Democrat believes those things, especially not the 9/11 one.

        The only one that is sensible is the first. Even if the election was not ‘stolen’, the SCOTUS decision was certainly controversial and arguably unprecedented. So there is still a legitimate stance that what SCOTUS did may have been inappropriate, although not technically illegal or unconstitutional.

        Democrats simply do not thrive on feelings of resentment the way the right currently does. A few may have during the Bush years, but it was never a mobilizing force, nor was it ever taken very seriously.

      • TJ Parker

        The saddest thing though is for all this so-called examination and scrutiny of the Tea Party, how impotent Democrats are in politically outmaneuvering them.

        Yes, it is indeed sad that teahadists can wrap themselves in the flag and call themselves patriots, and as elected officials they all took an oath to defend the Constitution, and then they turn around and explicitly advocate default (in defiance of the 14th Amendment) and directly cause the credit downgrade we’re now experiencing. They don’t seem to get it: they fought the government, but now they’re part of the government. They should all be hanged for treason. In effigy, of course.

      • medinnus

        You really think that the Dems feel that way? Really?

        Sad.

      • Houndentenor

        A) If the situation had been reversed in 2000 Republicans would never have conceded the presidency to Gore.
        B) I don’t know anyone who believes that. Not one. I do think there was incompetence on the part of Bush officials, especially Dr. Rice. But no, I don’t think the Bush administration ever demonstrated the competency that would have been required to pull off something so elaborate as blowing up three buildings and making it look like someone else did it.
        C) The 2004 Ohio results are suspicious. Do a little reading. It brought down a governor and a secretary of state. There couldn’t be a recount because the ballots had been destroyed. It’s all very suspicious but with the evidence destroyed, there’s no way to prove if something illegal actually happened.
        D) I’ll admit that some of the obsession with Palin and Bachmann is over the top. But it’s mostly due to shock that anyone in the mainstream of the party takes those two seriously. Bachmann is in the lead in some polls. That should frighten anyone. But how is this different from the GOP obsession about Hilary Clinton from 2001-2007? She was the #1 issue in GOP fundraising mailers for years. I read plenty of them that were sent to my billionaire bosses. Yes, it’s frightening that someone as stupid as Palin or crazy as Bachmann could become president.

      • advocatusdiaboli

        I don’t think a majority of Democrats believe any of those things. I have many issues with the Democratic platform, including the fact that they don’t have much of one, but most of the lunacy and extremes is clearly on the fractious right these days with Bachmann a prime and shining example.

      • DeathByIrony

        Paul, I’m just going to have to chock up your beliefs to “Gut-feelingism” and move on, lest we start thinking you are some kind of Republican.

      • think4yourself

        Paul. I’m a registered Democrat with independent leanings.

        1. I don’t think Bush stole the 2000 election. I do think that the process was muddy with no clear answers (Gore won the popular vote, Florida’s recount was halted and the Supreme Court voted on largely partisan lines). At the end of the day, I believe Bush would have won Florida’s electoral votes. If Gore had won Florida’s electoral votes in the same manner, then the GOP would have thought Gore stole the election.

        2. I have never (nor any Dem that I know) have ever believed that 9/11 was an inside job. That is ridiculous and scurrilous.

        3. I have never believed nor anyone I know that that 2004 election was stolen. Kerry was a poor campaigner who could not effectively answer devasting attack ads. The GOP/Rove and related groups fought ruthless politics effectively. If the idea is win at any cost, they did so (I think that back-fired on them later, but it got Bush re-elected).

        4. When they obsess of Palin & Bachmann. Actually DF seems to obsess over those two as much as anyone else (not that GOP consider him a Republican anymore). Someone earlier compared Palin to Paris Hilton. Seems pretty apt. reality star taking financial advantage of those 15 minutes of fame. As for Bachmann, she would seem to be an inconsequential sideshow due to her lies and worldview, but the GOP has taken her seriously and the people she purports to represent is what gave them the majority in the House. The GOP really doesn’t want her as she is a loose cannon but they can’t dismiss her ’cause the Tea Party made them relevant again. Bachmann was happy to vote against the debt ceiling. Most people think that if the GOP had agreed to straight clean debt increase or Obama’s “Grand Bargain”, S&P wouldn’t have lowered the US credit rating.

        What makes me paranoid isn’t Bachmann or Palin. It’s the idea that in defense of “Liberty” any atrocity is justified.

  • SFTor1

    If we weren’t keeping an eye on Michele Bachmann, we should be.

    Ms. Bachmann suggests that the government is an alien and malevolent institution.

    The Founding Fathers hold what must be said to be the opposite view: the government is the people’s instrument for carrying out the common good.

    If that does not make her someone to follow, debate, and refute, I don’t know what does.

    • paul_gs

      Americans have always had a deeper suspicion of government then most other countries. Ms. Bachmann may be more vocal and strident in her dislike, but her view of government has a fair bit of commonality with many, if not a majority of Americans.

      • jakester

        I am sure if they got the government to be run by fundamentalist right wing fools like themselves, they would be singing hosannas about using governmental power and money to enact god’s will. They are upset and suspicious of government only because stupid Xtians like themselves aren’t running things yet.

      • SFTor1

        Which still does not get to the point that American government is of, for, and by the people. That is irrefutable.

        And by what you say a majority of Americans should have a dislike of the armed forces. True?

      • Redrabbit

        Yet most Americans like almost every single service and function the government provides. They certainly don’t like the idea of scaling back those things just to balance the budget.

        Americans claim to hate the government, but in practical terms this stance is almost meaningless.

  • baw1064

    I hope this thread has less of a troll infestation than the last one. I somehow doubt it, though.

    • paul_gs

      I hope they trolls stay away too. They’ve got the Huffy Post already, why do they need to post here too? ;)

  • valkayec

    Maybe on this thread, we could just not feed the trolls?

    • drdredel

      seriously… you’re blaming the crows for the strawberries you planted?
      Don’t talk to them and they’ll go away. period.

  • Idle Resources

    Force a national referendum requiring balancing the Federal budget, and the necessary tax increases and spending reductions will be a done deal. Electoral politics can only sustain the status quo. The answer is so obvious that the opposition – Rove-Zero-Sum politics – deserves every measure of contempt. Today, the prospect of a $100 B debt service surcharge – a gift from the Rovian menace – hasn’t budged the no-tax-increase mob. When that figure was reached during the Nixon administration, it was a national scandal. Now it doesn’t cause the slightest bend in public opinion. Learn the hard way.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_13_(1978)

    baw1064:
    Google littlegreenfootballs and you will find a website where adult-infants with no ability to understand the basics of economics and politics, have a playpen for insipid banter and scribing look-at-me quips. The rest of us actually buy David Frum’s books, and appreciate his willingness to shake off the dogmas that led him to write, “The Right Man.” It is difficult to link to this site knowing that ideological eyesores will chase newbies away.

  • Scritor

    Just remember that this woman brags about raising more than 20 children and got involved in politics over a tiff about homeschooling.

    I fear for the sanity of any and all foster children raised in the Bachmann household.

  • Smargalicious

    Typical “Couric” attack on a GOP member who does not adhere to a socialist agenda.

    Meh.

    • medinnus

      Right… how dare journalists ask brain-dead bimbos simple questions that the bimbo then can’t answer?

      “Name some of the news papers you read?”

      “All of them!”

      And somehow, thats oppressive. *snickers* You really are a tool.

      • Smargalicious

        Shoo, fly. Shouldn’t you be posting on HuffPo or Kaily Kos??

        • medinnus

          You seem determined to paint me as a non-Conservative – probably because your own Conservative values are so questionable – like your credentials as a self-professed Christian. Like your overt racism, your “Conservative” values are pathetic.

          But fun to watch, in a “see what the moron is saying now?” kind of way.

  • JimBob

    You don’t attend Jeremiah Wright’s church for twenty years and start your political career in Bill Ayers living room without having some pretty anti American views.

    • Bulldoglover100

      Really? LOL in his living room? Their children went to the same school and Mr. Ayers spoke to him once yet you believe that Ayers had anything to do with his political leanings? As for his church? that one I can agree with and will never understand but the Ayers thing makes you look like a Bachmann nutter. Her lies alone piled up next the ones Palin dribbles down her chin makes her unacceptable as a candidate who will take votes away from a viable Republican candidate. There is a milatary term for ALL the candidates in the field right now and it called a Cluster ****.

    • Smargalicious

      Rev Wright:

      “God DAMN White America!!”

      BHO:

      “PREACH, BROTHAH PREACH!!”

  • Oldskool

    Her only real power is her endorsement of another candidate after she’s bumped out of the primaries. She has too much baggage to be vp on someone else’s ticket.

  • ottovbvs

    Bachmann is one of those small town crazies that periodically gets taken up by the media because their outrageousness or general grotesquerie is entertaining. It satisfies the voyeuristic appetites of the American public. She’s good copy. We see the same phenomena in almost every aspect of American political, social and cultural life. Ultimately they lose interest and these folks start to fade from the public conciousness but not before most of them have been able to turn a quick buck out of the process. The classic case is Palin of course whose notoriety has spawned careers for her offspring and even the son in law. Bachmann will continue to attract media attention, she might even win a couple of small Republican primaries, but beyond that she’s going nowhere. What’s interesting about her is what her prominence says about the state of today’s GOP. How can loons like this be considered serious players in the political firmanent. And therein lies the silver lining for Democrats. The more visibility loons like Bachmann and Ryan receive the more harm it does to basic Republican credibility outside of their base because it makes them look like a clown party. As Charles II said to his brother when he warned him of assassination plots. “They’ll never kill me to make you King, Jamie.”

    • Houndentenor

      I am currently in deep red territory and they LOVE Michelle Bachmann here. I think the mainstream Republicans spend too much time at Georgetown cocktail parties and not enough time rubbing elbows with the actual base of the party. They have no idea how popular these “fringe” politicians are in much of the country. They are going to be blindsided when the primaries begin, especially in the south and west.

      • Demosthenes

        Bachmann is five points ahead of Romney in Iowa. If she wins the straw poll there, anything goes.

  • kuri3460

    I think you can illustrate the differences between the two parties today by comparing and contrasting Michelle Bachman and Ron Paul to Dennis Kucinich.

    All three hold a number of ideas that are at best silly and impractical and gain their notoriety by trumpeting them loudly. All three are darlings of their respective parties’ most ideologicaly extreme groups.

    And yet, when Dennis Kucinich ran for president, the best he could manage was to win one county in one primary. He never earned a delegate to the convention, and never polled above the low single digits.

    • ottovbvs

      You may have been trying to say this but Kucinich is a much more marginal figure in the Democratic party than ever Paul or Bachmann are in the Republican party where in fact these two enjoy broad support, and the son of one of them (who espouses the same set of opinions as his father) has been elected senator in a statewide poll. Kucinich has also attracted a fraction of the media attention garnered by Bachmann. Probably because he looks as if he has a propeller coming out of his head whereas Bachmann is not uncomely.

      • kuri3460

        That’s exactly what I was trying to say. All three are ideologically extreme, yet only one is properly marginalized. That’s why I vote Democrat….

  • Carney

    Just another example of “Conservatives in the Mist” style coverage.

    http://old.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg052803.asp

    “I’ve followed this particular brand of reporting for years, it’s almost a fetish of mine. Most attempts fail. Of these lesser varieties, there’s fear (“Troglodytes!”), mockery (“Irrelevant troglodytes!”), condescension (“I had to explain to them they’re troglodytes.”), bewilderment (“Why don’t they understand they’re troglodytes?”), astonishment (Dear God, they’re not all troglodytes!”), and a few combinations of all the above. “

    • ottovbvs

      Yes, I can see the wisdom and integrity of Goldberg would have considerable appeal to you Carney. And I’m going to assume you understand the meaning of the word irony.

  • lnexus01

    Having spent this much time “inside Bachmann’s brain” (?), I now want to get out.

  • Southern Populist

    Now that Sarah Palin’s 15 minutes are over, the Jewish Left and the secular Left need a new Emmanuel Goldstein figure to vilify. They need a bogey man to demonize so they can periodically whip up the anti-Christian bigots in this country into a two-minutes hate. Her name is Michelle Bachmann.

    Poor Barack Obama was said to be a victim when people went after him for his association with Jeremiah Wright. But most of the same people who took this position seem to believe Michelle Bachmann’s personal religious views are fair game. That is what is known as a double standard.

    - DSP

    • ottovbvs

      “Now that Sarah Palin’s 15 minutes are over, the Jewish Left and the secular Left”

      While implicity endorsing my thesis that these folks are essentially nine day wonders you then revert to type and start making stuff up. Sarah Palin and Bachmann weren’t created by the Jewish left and secular left. They were created by the loony right and a media ever on the look out for grotesques to fill air time and print pages. To the extent the Jews were involved (although I’m not sure what that has to do with it) it was the Jewish right in the shape of Kristol who “discovered” that other grotesque Palin. Without that right wing cruise fest no one would ever have heard of Palin. These people were manufactured by the right (like that other ass Joe the Plumber) who well undertand the media appetite for these sort of clowns.

    • indy

      You do know the difference between smearing someone in guilt by association and criticizing the actual views expressed by the person in public, right?

      Once upon a time you struck me as a little more intellectually honest.

      • Southern Populist

        I am being intellectual honest.

        There has definitely been an attempt to link Michelle Bachmann’s policy views to her religious views; however, when people attempted to link Barack Obama’s ideas to the theological principles of his Trinity United church, most of those same people cried foul.

        My view is that people shouldn’t pick on any candidate’s religion. If people are going to insist on raising the candidate’s religion, they should pick on everyone’s religion equally.

        - DSP

        • indy

          Oh, c’mon. On one hand, there was (or I guess still is if this thread is indicative) an attempt to link Obama’s political views with Wright’s religious (or Ayers’ political, which is another favorite) views. On the other hand, there is an attempt to link Bachmann’s religious views with Bachmann’s political views. See the difference yet, or is more detail needed?

          A more honest comparative would have used, for example, the attempt by the left to smear Palin with her husband’s apparent dalliance with Alaska succession.

        • Xunzi Washington

          DSP

          I think it depends. If the candidate’s religion/religious views find themselves represented in the candidate’s legislative history, or in the candidate’s speeches or publicly stated views, then they should be examined. If they don’t appear in these places, I don’t see the big deal, since the person in question clearly keeps the two separate.

          In Obama’s case, I don’t think anyone ever found any evidence at all that Wright’s views found their way into anything Obama did or said. So the critics were reduced to suggesting that he was a Manchurian Candidate, and that he was a secret Marxist and Black Liberationist who would, once elected, turn us into communists and enact all sorts of reparations payments.

          In Bachmann’s case, I think such critics are suggesting that there’s actually plenty of evidence that she carries such views into her policy decisions and ways of talking. So she’s not a Manchurian Candidate — she just IS that candidate.

          Seems to be a difference to me.

        • think4yourself

          Southern, I think you have a point. Here is where I disagree.

          Obama has not made his religious views as the reason to consider him for the office of President (a fact that many of his opponents used to say he was of religious persuasion different than what he claimed). Obama did break with Wright and used the moment to deliver a seminal speech on race in America that was fair. Bachmann and other family values conservatives have made their religious viewpoints as the reasons for running for office (make America a Christian nation again, etc.) and have said their faith viewpoints will determine their policy (abortion, gays, pornography/free speech, dismantaling of separation between church and state, education including vouchers, teaching creation, prayer in schools, etc.).

          Obama should be and was justly criticized for Reverend Wright. He ended that relationship and used it to address race in a powerful way. Bachmann ended her relationship with her church as well, but apparently did so for political reasons, not because she disagrees with her church’s teachings. Any place where a politician’s faith impacts the decisions they may make in office, it is fair game to inquire about.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    please ignore this lying rat paul gs with his baseless assertion after baseless assertion about Democrats, as well as his made up history. He is either a total moron or a hack.

    I found this statement amazing: “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false—for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle. Even individual truths will be seen through the distorting lens of a false world view.

    So does that mean Einstein is wrong? Or since he was jewish that made him half right because of the whole old testament thing?

    Carney, do you really adhere to that statement above, that the only truth is biblical truth?
    It might be true that the ultimate truth is biblical but they are imposing their spiritual views onto our temporal existence. It is batshit insane and turns God into a limited and intolerant creature. What is so bad about calling such stupid people troglodytes?

    • Houndentenor

      Where in the Bible are people finding democracy and capitalism? They must have a different Bible than I do.

      • Demosthenes

        Again, that is the funny part. The derivation actually works like this: democracy and individual rights for citizens &c. actually comes from the Greeks, who were the “filter” that Jewish (and before that, Egyptian) mysticism passed through on its way to Western Europe.

        Most of the New Testament was written in “Common” (koine) Greek. Mel Gibson’s sadomasochistic fantasies aside, while Jesus would have spoken Aramaic at home with Mary and Joseph, he would have spoken Greek in the marketplace with the apostles and disciples.

        The founders of the United States re-interpreted classical Greek and Roman thought through the lens of Isaac Newton and the European Enlightenment. The Tea Party confuses the fact that the Founding Fathers were well-versed in the Bible, as well as in classical modes of thought, with the half-baked notion that the Bible and classical (Greek and Roman) modes of thought are somehow equivalent or even the same thing. They are not.

    • Demosthenes

      “It might be true that the ultimate truth is biblical but they are imposing their spiritual views onto our temporal existence. It is batshit insane and turns God into a limited and intolerant creature. What is so bad about calling such stupid people troglodytes?”

      Exactly.

    • Chris Balsz

      “So does that mean Einstein is wrong? Or since he was jewish that made him half right because of the whole old testament thing?”

      What, when he rejected quantum mechanics with the quip “God does not play dice with the universe?”

  • advocatusdiaboli

    “The Tea Party is not exactly a libertarian movement – otherwise it would not so passionately defend Medicare for those over 55. It’s a movement of relatively older and relatively affluent Americans whose expectations have been disrupted by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. They are looking for an explanation of the catastrophe – and a villain to blame. They are finding it in the same place that Bachmann and her co-religionists located it 30 years ago: a deeply hostile national government controlled by alien and suspect forces, with Barack Obama as their leader and symbol”

    That is an excellent and concise definition of the Tea Party and what they really stand for David. Thank you for this site—it’s a breath of fresh air in this environment of political commentary from both sides.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    DSP, what bullshit. Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ, one of the religious philosophers he most reads is Reinhold Niebuhr. I am not an adherent of the UCC but I have read Niebuhr, are you really stating that Niebuhr and this ignorant twit Nancy Pearcey are comparable?

    And you know full well that Obama’s religious views are contained in the creed of the UCC, not what one preacher says. Might as well state that every Catholic owns what their local priest says when the truth is that the faith is not based on that. Bachmann’s faith is crackpottery akin the witchcraft of scientology, have you no discernment at all?

  • Frumplestiltskin

    here is chait over at TNR:
    A huge proportion of the reporting and commentary around Michele Bachmann has revolved around the general theme “she’s crazy.” Yet I’ve found most of it immensely dissatisfying. Inevitably, we are promised a great feast of crazy, and instead served a few dissatisfying morsels — a historical misstatement here, a rhetorical flourish there, but nothing greatly out of character with how the other Republican presidential candidates behave.

    Ryan Lizza’s terrific profile of Bachmann finally delivers what we’ve been waiting for. And he does it by doing what nobody else has done — examining her worldview seriously and with depth. It’s difficult to summarize, but Ryan finds a massive trove of intellectual influences that are very, very radical. Bachmann emerges from a fairly coherent far-right Christian school of thought. Among other things, it lends some perspective to the way we use terms like “theocracy.” Someone like Rick Perry may transform the country into the kind of place where non-Christians are a kind of second-class citizen, but Bachmann is truly a theocrat, who believes in the absolute supremacy of biblical law.

    This is just one segment of the piece, but it traces the relation between what appear to be odd gaffes and her genuine belief structure:

    Bachmann’s comment about slavery was not a gaffe. It is, as she would say, a world view. In “Christianity and the Constitution,” the book she worked on with Eidsmoe, her law-school mentor, he argues that John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams “expressed their abhorrence for the institution” and explains that “many Christians opposed slavery even though they owned slaves.” They didn’t free their slaves, he writes, because of their benevolence. “It might be very difficult for a freed slave to make a living in that economy; under such circumstances setting slaves free was both inhumane and irresponsible.”

    While looking over Bachmann’s State Senate campaign Web site, I stumbled upon a list of book recommendations. The third book on the list, which appeared just before the Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s Farewell Address, is a 1997 biography of Robert E. Lee by J. Steven Wilkins.

    Wilkins is the leading proponent of the theory that the South was an orthodox Christian nation unjustly attacked by the godless North. This revisionist take on the Civil War, known as the “theological war” thesis, had little resonance outside a small group of Southern historians until the mid-twentieth century, when Rushdoony and others began to popularize it in evangelical circles. In the book, Wilkins condemns “the radical abolitionists of New England” and writes that “most southerners strove to treat their slaves with respect and provide them with a sufficiency of goods for a comfortable, though—by modern standards—spare existence.”

    African slaves brought to America, he argues, were essentially lucky: “Africa, like any other pagan country, was permeated by the cruelty and barbarism typical of unbelieving cultures.” Echoing Eidsmoe, Wilkins also approvingly cites Lee’s insistence that abolition could not come until “the sanctifying effects of Christianity” had time “to work in the black race and fit its people for freedom.”

    In his chapter on race relations in the antebellum South, Wilkins writes:

    Slavery, as it operated in the pervasively Christian society which was the old South, was not an adversarial relationship founded upon racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect. This produced a mutual esteem of the sort that always results when men give themselves to a common cause. The credit for this startling reality must go to the Christian faith. . . . The unity and companionship that existed between the races in the South prior to the war was the fruit of a common faith.

    For several years, the book, which Bachmann’s campaign declined to discuss with me, was listed on her Web site, under the heading “Michele’s Must Read List.”

    What I love is that Ryan immediately proceeds to quote Bachmann describing her passion for “liberty.” One consistent aspect of the Tea Party movement is a certain brand of Constitutional fetishism. Liberals have viewed the Constitution as a great but flawed document that pointed the way for America’s broader principles but required updating and perfection over subsequent generations. The right has instead fetishized it as a perfect document. That principle, and the right’s professed love f liberty, come into fairly dramatic contradiction over an issue like slavery. The argument of somebody like Wilkin’s is ultimately the glue that holds those apparently contradictory positions together. How can the Constitution have been perfect and liberty the vital principle? Because slavery wasn’t so bad.

    Now, to be sure, Bachmann is obviously not pro-slavery. But she is the product of a worldview that comes from some very, very dark places.

  • ottovbvs

    Btw Frum being part of the media understands the dynamics all too well. Hence two comments on this trivial woman in a couple of days and of course all the usual right wing suspects emerge to defend this airhead while those on the left and center disparage her. It’s not to be taken too seriously as apparently Lizza does. He might as well have done a lengthy piece on the philosophical influences on Joe the Plumber.

  • Chris Balsz

    Every now and then this forum puts a right-wing figure in a pillory and throws tomatoes at them. The “topic” is How Much Everybody Hates This Kook. Any discussion of why that person is not a total waste of air is “trolling”.

    “One consistent aspect of the Tea Party movement is a certain brand of Constitutional fetishism. Liberals have viewed the Constitution as a great but flawed document that pointed the way for America’s broader principles but required updating and perfection over subsequent generations. The right has instead fetishized it as a perfect document. ”

    No, which is why we support various amendments. What concerns us is the clear limits on federal power, which the Left simply doesn’t believe in. Many Democrats are so ignorant of the Constitution that they are capable of arguing the Amendments are limited and defined by the Articles. They believe the federal government has necessary powers not mentioned in the Constitution, and these powers can be invoked despite the Constitution. The Right knows better.

    “Now, to be sure, Bachmann is obviously not pro-slavery. But she is the product of a worldview that comes from some very, very dark places.”

    And Barack Obama is not a Marxist or a Muslim. He just, YOU KNOW, WINKWINK…

    • MSheridan

      Every now and then this forum puts a right-wing figure in a pillory and throws tomatoes at them. The “topic” is How Much Everybody Hates This Kook. Any discussion of why that person is not a total waste of air is “trolling”.

      At least in part, that’s a reasonable POV, Chris. This is a site that was set up with the specific intent of reforming the GOP. Frum genuinely believes that the current Republican Party is sick and frequently takes issue with it on a tactical and a strategic level. So yes, he often does exactly as you say, and there are certainly enough people who agree with him (in and out of his party) that the tomatoes fly fast and furious. However, when you speak of accusations of “trolling”, it’s notable that as yet no one has actually defended Ms. Bachmann. Some few posters have attacked her detractors or their right to criticize, which is not the same thing at all. Calling that “trolling” is fair enough, I think.

    • Frumplestiltskin

      No, which is why we support various amendments. What concerns us is the clear limits on federal power, which the Left simply doesn’t believe in.
      Here is Chait again:
      Mitch McConnell wants to revisit the 14th Amendment in order to take away birthright citizenship:

      Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told The Hill on Monday that Congress “ought to take a look at” changing the 14th Amendment, which gives the children of illegal immigrants a right to U.S. citizenship.
      McConnell’s statement signals growing support within the GOP for the controversial idea, which has also recently been touted by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

      Okay, let’s tally up the list of Constitutional amendments that are generally endorsed by mainstream Republicans:

      1. The Flag Desecration Amendment

      2. Balanced budget amendment

      3. Supermajority to raise taxes

      4. “Parental rights” amendment – the right of parents to “raise their children as they see fit, introduced last year by Jim DeMint and Peter Hoekstra.

      5. Human life amendment, banning abortion

      6. The Federal Marriage Amendment, banning gay marriage

      7. Believing that the DC Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional, Lisa Murkowski proposed an amendment giving the District a single voting representative.

      8. Last year, Jim DeMint introduced a term limits amendment (3 terms in the House, 2 in the Senate).

      That’s quite a litany. What’s the list of Constitutional amendments proposed by mainstream Democrats? I’m sure there are some but I can’t think of any.
      Taken together, that’s 10 constitutional amendments proposed, endorsed, and/or introduced by leading Republicans over the last decade.

      I’d call this many things, but “constitutional conservatism” — a phrase repeated ad nauseum by Bachmann and the Tea Party crowd — it isn’t.

      On top of the new amendments the right has requested, there’s also the existing amendments the right wants to “fix.” That means scrapping the 17th Amendment, repealing the 16th Amendment, getting rid of at least one part of the 14th Amendment, and “restoring” the “original” 13th Amendment.

      yeah Balsz, real Conservative, huh? You are pretty funny as an unintentional satirist.

      • Chris Balsz

        “That’s quite a litany. What’s the list of Constitutional amendments proposed by mainstream Democrats? I’m sure there are some but I can’t think of any.”

        I’m sure there aren’t any. There are however a long list of lawsuits to prove the 9th and 14th Amendments have always stood for certain changes in policy, but the legislatures and Congress have all conspired to undermine the real meaning.

        I take it you’d disagree with Chait, that the Right considers the constitution is perfect?

      • think4yourself

        Frumple, I’m going to defend Balz here.

        His point is that Conservatives believe that the Constitution must be accepted as complete WITH Amendments; and laws must be interpreted based on the words specifically as written.

        That view has merit even if you disagree with it.

        Liberals view that where the preamble says “promote the general welfare”, provides broad latitude for Congress and the Courts to enact legislation that they view promotes the general welfare of the citizenry. That view also has merit.

        As usual, I’ll take the view that it’s messy, which in part was what was intended. The Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances that were a result of compromise and negotiation. Why should today be any different? I think there are very few items that should rise to the level of Amending the Constitution.

        Frumple, I find your list of proposed GOP amendments funny and tragic. Conservatives are trapped by their own positions. They want the Constitution to be immutable, but are faced with wanting changes in American life and so change the unchangable document to accommodate their worldview. I don’t think there is a thing on your list I support, or at least think requires a Constitutional Amendment for. Even though I would be willing to have a conversation to revisit the matter of guaranteed citizenship for anyone born on American soil. That was established at a time when a need for people was critical. That is not the case today. I think that anyone who has either parent as an American or is naturalized should be citizens.

  • tomc444

    The most cogent explanation of Bachmann’s (and all autoritarian personalities) I found here: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    These are not mentally ill people in the scientific sense, but both authoritarian leaders and followers are truely dangerous to a society that values….that requires….open-minded discussion of serious issues.

  • anniemargret

    As far as I can tell, the level of discussion that Bachmann, Palin, Angle, and remember Miss I’m No Witch, O’Donnell(?) elicits is that it reminds sane folks in the U.S.A. that the GOP likes its power women ‘cute’ ‘hot’ and bobbleheaded.

    They’re all bobbleheads, whose eccentricities appeal to that 1/3 of the country that suspects the French in the fries, and anyone who doesn’t wear their Christianity on a cross around their neck that’s bigger than the nuns wear. They want to be sure we know how pious they are.

    I say let the GOP keep bringing them on. It’s a good thing, really. We can then see where their heart and mind is. What they believe is important, who they believe is worthy enough to grab the brass ring.

    Let us see them in all their glory…. for every eccentric politician they put out there, the 3/4 of the country that want common sense, fair play, unbiased beliefs and dogma removed from the Oval Office, and an adult there….. the less faith we will have that the GOP is capable of governing in these very dangerous and turbulent times.

    In short, give them enough rope….

    • medinnus

      …and eventually we can build a tire swing? Or is that a gallows oak for the Muslims, RINOs, minorities, and Democrats?

  • Bagok

    Chris Balsz
    What concerns us is the clear limits on federal power, which the Left simply doesn’t believe in. Many Democrats are so ignorant of the Constitution that they are capable of arguing the Amendments are limited and defined by the Articles.

    Strict constitutionalists seem to forget the Constitution is not only the words but their interpretation by the Supreme Court. The Constitution includes the huge body of law the Court has made. Why is that so difficult?

    • ottovbvs

      “What concerns us is the clear limits on federal power, which the Left simply doesn’t believe in.”

      Actually the greatest extension of federal power of the last 40 years occurred during the presidency of George Bush. Are you lying or just ignorant of the facts?

      • Chris Balsz

        What extension of federal power?

        • ottovbvs

          The Patriot Act and the creation of the department of Homeland Security and its offshoots like the TSA were without question the greatest extensions of federal power in the last 40 years.

        • Chris Balsz

          I’d put the creation of the EPA ahead of both of them.

    • Chris Balsz

      Because it is a self-proclaimed power of the Court and it is becoming stretched beyond acceptable limits in a country supposedly ruled by the consent of the governed.

      In 1970 the Supreme Court struck down a civil rights act that granted the vote to 18-year-olds in every state. The response was the 26th Amendment, which was ratified within six months.

      Today some group would just sue to have the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment interpreted as having always said that 18-year-olds could vote, and that all states which had never passed such laws, had always been wrong. That is precisely what has happened with gay marriage.

      Contrast this dissent from Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 :

      “A statute may be unreasonable merely because a sound public policy forbade its enactment. But I do not understand that the courts have anything to do with the policy or expediency of legislation. A statute may be valid and yet, upon grounds of public policy, may well be characterized as unreasonable. Mr. Sedgwick correctly states the rule when he says that, the legislative intention being clearly ascertained,

      ‘the courts have no other duty to perform than to execute the legislative will, without any regard to their views as to the wisdom or justice of the particular enactment.’

      Stat. & Const.Constr. 324. There is a dangerous tendency in these latter days to enlarge the functions of the courts by means of judicial interference with the will of the people as expressed by the legislature. Our institutions have the distinguishing characteristic that the three departments of government are coordinate and separate. Each must keep within the limits defined by the Constitution. And the courts best discharge their duty by executing the will of the lawmaking power, constitutionally expressed, leaving the results of legislation to be dealt with by the people through their representatives. Statutes must always have a reasonable construction. Sometimes they are to be construed strictly; sometimes liberally, in order to carry out the legislative [163 U.S. 559] will. But however construed, the intent of the legislature is to be respected, if the particular statute in question is valid, although the courts, looking at the public interests, may conceive the statute to be both unreasonable and impolitic. If the power exists to enact a statute, that ends the matter so far as the courts are concerned. The adjudged cases in which statutes have been held to be void because unreasonable are those in which the means employed by the legislature were not at all germane to the end to which the legislature was competent.”

      with this 2011 bankruptcy case involving two married gay debtors – In Re Balas and Morales:

      “Although individual members of Congress have every right to express their views
      and the views of their constituents with respect to their religious beliefs and principles and their personal standards of who may marry whom, this court cannot conclude that Congress is entitled to solemnize such views in the laws of this nation in disregard of the views, legal status and living arrangements of a significant segment of our citizenry that includes the Debtors in this case. To do so violates the Debtors’ right to equal protection of those laws embodied in the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

      This court cannot conclude from the evidence or the record in this case that any
      valid governmental interest is advanced by DOMA as applied to the Debtors…In the court’s final analysis, the government’s only basis for supporting DOMA comes down to an apparent belief that the moral views of the majority may properly be enacted as the law of the land in regard to state-sanctioned same-sex marriage in disregard of the personal status and living conditions of a significant segment of our pluralistic society. Such a view is not consistent with the evidence or the law as embodied in the Fifth Amendment with respect to the thoughts expressed in this decision.”

      Meaning that the majority of the country will be ordered to support laws it considers immoral. This is acceptable to the extreme fringe of society – lawyers, who have sworn to uphold the law no matter what. The rest of us reserve judgment.

      • Bagok

        I’m sorry, where exactly did you dispute my point? I understand you don’t like the way things are, but so what? Your interpretation does not matter, does it. The constitution is what the high court says it is. But it’s obvious you understand, I’m not so sure about the Tea Party rank and file.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        18 year olds voting is immoral? yeesh. Anyway, most people viewed inter-racial marriage immoral so how about leaving morality out of the equation and view things based on a utilitarian viewpoint. Gay marriage harms no one, as neither does inter-racial marriage, but to simple minded bigots two guys getting it on keeps you up at night. I tend to think that is more based on jealousy than immorality.
        I can’t help it that your morality is pretty much evil and bigoted, that is your business until you decide to tell others how to live by using sanction of law.

  • Kingofthenet

    Many of the MOST Militant and Radical Muslims have had Parents who were very secular. We perceive young people as going from Staid, Stoic and Boring, like 50′s American Parents to ‘Hippie Rebel’s’ in the 60′s, but that is just an American Phenomena. For most of the world and Palin and Bachmann, the reason for a perceived ‘American Decline’ isn’t the rise of China or India or end of Empire, as those issues would require MASSIVE investment to counteract, but simply a weakening of America’s ‘Moral Fiber’. That they can do something about, Pray harder, be more fundamentalist. It’s the same thing as with Radical Islamists , fixing the Social issues of a Country like Egypt, would give ANYONE a headache, and take DECADES to fix. Far easier to just believe ‘Shari Law’ and devout belief can fix these things in a hurry. If Sarah or Michelle ran ‘NASA’ after the two Shuttle disaster’s I could see them inclined to say something like, “We did everything to try and keep those Astronauts safe, but sometimes God can frustrate Man’s best plans.” rather than going the ‘hard’ way and finding the cause no matter the difficulty.

  • Smargalicious

    Before the 2008 election Obama was considered a far left, anti-White idealogue with a fatherless welfare constituency, a la the previous disaster Carol Moseley Braun. Then, all of a sudden the mainstream media latches on the anti-American and viola: we have an economic disaster, American prestige humiliated, and all options spent.

    Go figure.

    • Gus

      By whom? Obama has looked pretty middle of the road. If anything he’s a corporatist moderate Republican by historical standards. Of course there is no such thing as a moderate Republican any more. I think the telling part of your blithering is the reference to him as an “African messiah.” Speaks volumes about your real issue with him.

      • Smargalicious

        If you think Obamacare, Stimulus, Obamanomics and his apologetic foreign policy are ‘middle of the road’ then you, sir, must believe Pol Pot was a hero.

  • sdspringy

    Another Frum fixation.

    Who really thinks Bachman will be the nominee???
    All the Libs/Lefties enjoy the red meat but no conservative believes this will happen.
    And in case you didn’t know Frum is NO conservative and usually the most inept political commentator.

    Perry, you idiots, is the nominee. And if today is any indication it couldn’t happen soon enough.

    • Smargalicious

      I pray that Perry will run. He’s our best hope.

      I just wince at the personal attacks he’ll get from the leftist media. Once he realizes that they’re human garbage and gets his message to the voters, he’ll win by a landslide.

      • indy

        Mittens in your best hope, but if a Bush Lite is your choice, you better hope voters do indeed have short memories.

      • medinnus

        Wanna bet? If you win, you never come back here? I’ll wager the same?

    • ottovbvs

      “Perry, you idiots, is the nominee.”

      It’s certainly quite possible. Like Perry’s followers I pray for this outcome.

    • medinnus

      Shouldn’t he announce before you anoint him? *snickers*

    • roubaix

      If Frum is so inept, what possessed you to visit – much less register at his website?

      While Bachmann seems like a pointless distraction, it’s entirely possible she’ll win primaries in both Iowa (where’s shes the favorite) and South Carolina (the Tea Party State). No Republican has secured the nomination for president without winning the SC primary since its inception in 1980.

      Alternately with both Perry and Bachmann in the race, the Rea Sea of radicals may split, giving Romney a clear path to the nomination.

  • dafyd

    Congrats Paul, you should give yourself a pat on the back. You are a large part of why government sucks. You never accept facts, and are always giving lame and inaccurate arguments.

    This article was written about Michele Bachmann a presidential candidate. Someone who has a lot of followers. Followers like you who are very aware of her flaw and lies, but for whatever reasons ignore.

    It is disturbing that anyone ignores the truth-FACTS and starts pointing the finger at someone else. The sooner that we stop with “they do it too” the easier it is to fix things.

    Jon Huntsman should be the top choice, all the others are either to far right or lying panders. It is pathetic, a shame, and an embarrassment that he is not.

  • WillyP

    2nd financial meltdown in 2 years. Good job, Barry!

    Ah, but let’s dump on Michele Bachmann. Makes sense.

    • ottovbvs

      “Ah, but let’s dump on Michele Bachmann. Makes sense.”

      Well she did favor a default…who knows maybe that had something to do with that downgrade. And this btw isn’t a meltdown it’s technically a correction. Don’t demonstrate your ignorance again Willy.

  • dafyd

    Ottovbvs, Willy ignorant? Nooooo.
    “2nd financial meltdown in 2 years. Good job, Barry! Ah, but let’s dump on Michele Bachmann. Makes sense.”
    You did not think this statement was absolute brilliance?
    Barry, as Willy calls him, didn’t all by himself cause this whole mess?

  • Slavophile

    Michelle Bachmann shares her belief that the Founding Fathers were opposed to slavery with another undereducated hick who ran for the Republican presidential nomination: Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s keynote speech in his presidential campaign, delivered at the Cooper Institute in New York City in February 1860, sought to establish that most of the signers of the Declaration of the Independence were in favour of federal legislation to restrict slavery spreading to the Western Territories. His campaign photograph was taken by Matthew Brady at this time, and Lincoln later said that Matthew Brady and the Cooper Institute speech made him president of the United States.

    I know very little about the lady but David Frum’s criticism does seem a trifle pedantic, if not irrelevant. So John Adams was a Unitarian. Did he not still consider himself a Christian? David Frum wasn’t raised as a Unitarian but I was and I can tell him lots of Unitarians do consider themselves Christians.

    Let’s put this all in perspective. If Michelle Bachmann got the Republican nomination she would be up against Barack Obama, who went to Cairo and stopped just short of talking about Moslem regiments that fought for Grant at Vicksburg. So who has the saner views on American history?

    • MSheridan

      I congratulate you for actually having the courage to defend Bachmann, rather than simply criticizing her detractors.

      However, I am unpersuaded by your defense. First, you have misread the intent and meaning of Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech. Lincoln’s intent in that speech was not to prove that the Founding Fathers were anti-slavery. As they had put no anti-slavery provisions in the Constitution, their personal opinions on the matter would be interesting but not of vital importance in establishing current policy. Instead, he addressed the contention (put forward by Stephen Douglas) that the Founding Fathers had thought it inappropriate to even address the subject of slavery in the territories at all:

      What is the question which, according to the text, those fathers understood “just as well, and even better than we do now?” It is this: Does the proper division of local from federal authority, or anything in the Constitution, forbid our Federal Government to control as to slavery in our Federal Territories?

      This question of Constitutionality was still a matter of vital importance in Lincoln’s day.

      Second, regarding the Cairo speech given by our current President, I would agree with you that Islam isn’t a very big part of America’s early history–insignificant, in fact, if compared to other influences. Its influence has definitely been most profound in the last century and most especially the last half century. However, the President didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. In a diplomatic speech intended to create goodwill, exaggeration by implication (but not by fact) is completely permissible.

    • Primrose

      Rep. Bachman would not consider Unitarians christians which is the point. In the article, she as a Lutheran encounters a christian prayer groups and they realize as she did not that she didn’t believe in christ and wasn’t a christian. So it is a rather important point.

      And let’s be honest, Ms, Bachman puts on her must read book a man who says that slavery was good for Africans and slavery was beneficent. That is an unacceptable level of racism.It also dismisses the hundreds of slave narratives that make it quite plain that slavery was not only a moral and spiritual horror but material one as well, an institution that practiced the worst sort of cruelty on other human beings for profit.

      And Rep. Bachman is not the descendent of slave owners trying to clean up a sordid family history; she is from states that had no skin in the game. Yet she chooses to believe this, needs to believe this type of myth, which says truly terrible things about who she is as a person.

  • Political Rants » Tea Party Hobbits

    [...] FRUM THE BARD: It is a peculiarity of the current political moment that a politician with a history of pushing sectarian religious beliefs in government has become a hero to a anti-magic item sharing movement. But is it so peculiar? The Tea Party is not exactly anti-magic item sharing – otherwise it would not so passionately defend medicine for old people. It’s a movement of relatively older and relatively affluent Hobbits whose expectations have been disrupted by the worst demonic crisis since the Great Cataclysm. They are looking for an explanation of the catastrophe – and a villain to blame. They are finding it in the same place that Bach-Sam and her co-religionists located it 30 years ago: a deeply hostile national government controlled by alien and suspect forces, with Barack Obama as their leader and symbol. [...]