Steal This Defense of Marcus Bachmann

July 15th, 2011 at 9:21 am | 114 Comments |

| Print

The controversy surrounding the clinic owned by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, is getting more personal, and conservatives don’t seem to be doing much about it. On his show on Wednesday, Jon Stewart not only mocked Bachmann and her husband for their views on homosexuality, he also suggested that Marcus himself might be repressing his true sexual orientation, something that Jon Stewart deduced from Marcus’s dancing skills vocal intonations:

It’s not only Stewart, Gawker has a round up of celebrities who are questioning Marcus’s orientation. The Second City have released a comedic video showing the strain this puts on the Bachmann’s married life, and one LGBT blogger even suggested that Marcus would be “a fine First Lady if nothing else.”

Despite the damage this could do to Bachmann, conservatives are avoiding the meme and are not attacking liberals or Jon Stewart. The right will defend Bachmann taking money from Medicaid and argue that her old Church calling the Pope the Anti-Christ is not a controversy, but there has been a curious radio silence from the right on the questions about Marcus’s orientation.

Since a discussion about Marcus’s treatment in the media on this issue seems largely absent from the conservative blogosphere, he has had to fend for himself in interviews about his clinic. At the time of this posting, FrumForum was only able to find one blog post at The Blaze which raised concerns over the “The mean-spirited commentary” which this meme was developing. The only other sites which are discussing this and wondering if it might be crossing a line are Slate and Outside the Beltway.

That lack of conservative damage control is strange because this line of questioning could do a lot of damage to Bachmann’s campaign. It’s one thing to have a husband who runs a clinic that “treats” homosexuality. It raises the stakes to suggest that he is running the clinic as a way of dealing with his own repressed urges.

It adds to the impression that social conservatives are homophobic because of their inability to admit their own sexuality.

The silence about Marcus is especially surprising since the conservative movement attacked Jon Stewart for many lesser offenses in the past, (see, Andrew Klavan calling Stewart a bully, or one Breitbart’s bloggers calling Stewart “a left wing hatchet man disguised as a satirist”)

The conservative movement might be choosing to ignore the issue because they think there is no good way to spin this: they had pinned their hopes on Bachmann being able to overcome any social conservative baggage she may have and win the Republicans nomination with her fiscal conservative Tea Party credentials. Now it seems that her husband’s activities look set to drag her back into the religious culture war territory that conservatives would prefer not to campaign on.

While I agree with fellow FrumForum contributor Ron Hill that “reparative” therapy is harmful and that there are serious ethical questions that Marcus Bachmann must answer, the silence of the conservative movement suggests a lack of imagination of ways they can defend Bachmann’s campaign.

Why not say that Marcus might have once been gay but now has put those urges under control through reparative treatment and his clinic is a testament to how he wants others to have the same opportunities he has had? Sure it would appear bizarre to a large segment of the population but perhaps that message would resonate with social conservatives who don’t see what the fuss about Bachmann’s clinic is about. If nothing else, that defense would at least force conservatives who supported Bachmann because of her fiscal issues to wonder exactly what they signed up for when they decided to support her and give her the cover-magazine treatment on both National Review and the Weekly Standard.

Recent Posts by Noah Kristula-Green



114 Comments so far ↓

  • Frumplestiltskin

    chephren, I can think that Adultery is wrong and a sin, but that doesn’t make me a hypocrite if I cheat, we are all fallible. I could only be accused of hypocrisy if while preaching how bad adultery is I were engaged in an affair.
    I don’t get people like Haggard, in some small degree I feel sorry for him (unless he were just an out and out sociopath who was in it strictly for the money) as I would if Marcus Bachmann were gay himself. I could never understand what hell his life would be. If he is not gay, then he is just an idiot.

    None of us can know what travails any closeted anti-gay homosexual has lived through. I simply can’t muster up hatred for such people, though I will fight their agenda tooth and nail.

    So like I said way up top, lets just focus on the agenda part of it. If they are gay they are deeply wounded people, if not then they are idiots, in either case those are things they have to work out for themselves, we need only worry about their agenda.

    • Houndentenor

      Here in deep red/Fundamentalist country, Bachmann is extremely popular and often touted as the best of the GOP contenders. I wish I were making that up.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    and here is an interesting article on slate:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2299300/

  • carinthia

    This Bachman person is a bigoted, ignorant opportunist of Government funds. I say stop him and his bat shit crazy wife anyway you can. Kudos to Stewart for having the guts to make fun of these nutbars and to question the motives of such lunatics.

  • Lonewolf

    I, for one, think Marcus Bachmann would make a fine First Latent.

  • pnumi2

    “Why not say that Marcus might have once been gay but now has put those urges under control through reparative treatment.”

    And we all should be thankful for that.

    Judging from his picture, the man looks like he might have had the same urges that Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy had.

  • nwahs

    I just find it amusing that leftists smear people by calling them gay :)

    • TJ Parker

      But we don’t consider it a smear: we’re laughing at the duplicity. Its yet another example of the worst gay bashers being the biggest self-loathing closet cases.

      As we know, gays are not lisping prancers in general. Consider Neil Patrick Harris, for example. But lisping prancers are certainly gay. That or they’ve chosen to act sterotypically gay.

      How old are you? Did know you that Richard Simmons was gay before he came out? Or Clay Aiken?

  • Primrose

    “It is so typical of left wing hacks like this kid Green to mock people for not accepting the elite position on homosexuals. But the facts are, ask any expecting mother if she hopes her kid turns out to be gay. I promise you 99 percent will say hell no.”

    It is not the elite position. It is the position of rational thought. Homosexuality has clear markers that it is biologic based, some of those seem genetic, some environmental (as in in environment of womb, not good household bad).

    This is about as clear as you can get with epilepsy, which is biologic but only occasionally genetic.

    I make this connection between the two because a) I have epilepsy and b) it is mentioned in the bible and attributed to devils c) there were laws against epileptics marrying (in my lifetime of being an epileptic) d) we were thrown in mental institutions and c) because there is massive prejudice around the world toward it. In Africa, people were given a poll and would prefer to associate with a crazy person than an epileptic We were the first to go in Nazi Germany,

    So prejudice does not indicate that theory is false. I am sure my mother would say that she wished I didn’t have epilepsy, would climb any mountain to take it away. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t love me, or respect me, or anything bad. She just doesn’t like seeing my life harder. Most parents wouldn’t want t see life harder, plus of course the issue of grandchildren.

    Thus talking about the prejudice against homosexuality as if it justifies it, is nonsense. You can make up stories about it all you like but the facts remain the same.

    And this is where people get upset with people like Bachman, he is refusing to accept science, forcing people into snake oil remedies, so that the can hold onto his prejudice. It prevents people from accepting their disability and forging ahead with a good life.

    It would be as if someone told me to “just not be epileptic”. Considering the amount of people who told me not to have a seizure in front of them, this isn’t such a far fetched analogy.

    People don’t like difference. It comes from ignorance and fear, not noble impulses.

  • nwahs

    “It is not the elite position. It is the position of rational thought. Homosexuality has clear markers that it is biologic based, some of those seem genetic, some environmental (as in in environment of womb, not good household bad).”

    I agree with you 100%. There is not a moment in my life that I chose my sexual orientation, no more than the color of my eyes. But if Marcus identifies as a heterosexual, and wants to provide treatment to those who wish not to have homosexual feelings, I see no problem with it if there is no profound evidence he is hurting people. I would have more of a problem with a surgeon removing a man’s penis or a woman’s breast because they don’t identify as the gender they were born. But no one (on the left) questions such radical procedures. No, they feel prayer is more of a danger than surgery (sex reassignment!).

    All that aside, equating effeminate mannerisms with sexuality is beyond stupid. You have some very masculine women who are not homosexual and very effeminate men who are not homosexual. Then add to that fact what is effeminate and what is masculine is highly subjective and varies in cultures. The fact that the left would use these judgments is amusing in that it reveals the left’s hypocrisy.

    • ScoopAway

      “But no one (on the left) questions such radical procedures.”

      No one? Out of millions of people on the left, not a single person questions sexual reassignment? Can you provide a link for this statement, or are you just making it up?

      “The fact that the left would use these judgments is amusing in that it reveals the left’s hypocrisy.”

      I think you would find far more on the right making judgements about a person’s sexuality based on superficialities, and condemning people they think are gay. Ask Barney Franks. The fact that the right is not out in droves defending Dr/Mr Bachmann speaks volumes.

      Frankly I don’t think that many people on the left care if Bachmann is gay or not, but rather that if he is, he is a hypocrite for trying to ‘pray the gay away’.

      And poor Michele. If he is gay, no wonder she seems so on edge all the time. ;)

    • pnumi2

      nwahs

      “The fact that the left would use these judgments is amusing in that it reveals the left’s hypocrisy.”

      Are you referring to the left at large — the 69,456,000 lefty, Stalinist, pinko, commies who voted for Obama in 2008 — or the couple of dozen of us here, who like to zing you just as much as you like to zing us?

      Aside from that and what Scoop pointed out, what you said was well written.

      • nwahs

        “Are you referring to the left at large — the 69,456,000 lefty, Stalinist, pinko, commies who voted for Obama in 2008 — or the couple of dozen of us here, who like to zing you just as much as you like to zing us?”

        Yes, I’m referring to the rhetorical left :)

        • pnumi2

          ‘Yes, I’m referring to the rhetorical left’

          I suppose that’s better than the naughty left. (little yellow smiley face, winking )

  • Raskolnik

    But if Marcus identifies as a heterosexual, and wants to provide treatment to those who wish not to have homosexual feelings, I see no problem with it if there is no profound evidence he is hurting people.

    Okay but nwahs, the evidence is that he is hurting people. So-called reparative therapy does absolutely nothing to get rid of homosexual urges, it only masks them behind a very thin veneer of religiosity. The evidence is that suicidal ideation increases for people who are undergoing or have undergone such treatment, that they are more likely to suffer from clinical depression and commit suicide during or after such treatment than before it.

    I am all for prayer, and I take a similar issue as you do with the “radical procedures” of sex-change operations, but the fact is that this quack “therapy” does nothing but harm, and regardless of whether or not Mr. Bachmann himself is homosexual, he is a quack for practicing it and a liar for denying it.

    Also this is from JimBob’s cited article, rather than comment on it I will let its brilliant wisdom speak for itself.

    In order to experience true “discrimination,” a gay job applicant, for example, would have to walk into the job interview and proclaim his homosexuality: “I’m gay; any questions?” If a civil rights law were passed, not to hire this person would be an actionable offense.

    Okay, I lied, I can’t help myself; not hiring someone who bursts into your office telling you he’s gay, first thing during the interview, not hiring that person is “discrimination” that would make you liable for damages under a putative gay civil rights act? Really? That’s the best argument people can come up with?

  • pnumi2

    Watusie // Jul 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

    “I really don’t care if Marcus Bachmann is currently, formerly, or clostedly gay.”

    “What do care about, deeply, is how very, very stupid Michele Bachmann is and how unsuited she is to be President.”

    Over 100 comments on this thread about Doc Bachmann, who isn’t worth zip. (There are probably thousands just like him, doing worse.)

    The fear and loathing of his wife, the Congresswoman, otoh, is palpable.

    Watusie nailed it on the 5th comment.

    • TJ Parker

      “Over 100 comments on this thread about Doc Bachmann, who isn’t worth zip. (There are probably thousands just like him, doing worse.)

      “The fear and loathing of his wife, the Congresswoman, otoh, is palpable.”

      To the first point, true! But its a rare opportunity to call them out and educate the public about their snake-oil.

      To the second point: loathing, most definitely. Fear? I think its only among Republicans that you sense any fear. She would be my second choice for the 2012 GOP nomination, right behind Palin.

      Oh, and it not actually “palpable”.

      • pnumi2

        She would be my second choice for the 2012 GOP nomination, right behind Palin.”

        If you refer to the Republican candidates Obama will have the easiest time licking in 2012, I’m with you.

        As far as fear of a Bachmann presidency goes, your spunk is impressive and I concede the point. I hope it’s infectious..

        • TJ Parker

          “… your spunk is impressive and [...] I hope it’s infectious. ”

          Why thank you! But I assure you its not.

          If I were still single, I’d recycle that as a post-coital double entendre. “Dude, your spunk is impressive! I hope its not infectious.”

        • pnumi2

          “I assure you its not.”

          I assure you I was just teasing. Score it as an incomplete forward pass.
          It’s still the first quarter. Plenty of time to get a rise out of you.
          (little yellow smiley face, grinning)

  • ScoopAway

    It doesn’t matter if Dr Bachmann is gay, or ‘formerly gay’, or straight. Any way you cut it, the more he is shown to the public, and especially to the voters on the right, he will help sink her candidacy. And very few will ever say why – they just won’t vote for her because of him.

    The right seems more homophobic than the left, older voters and the religious right (the base) are less accepting of gay marriage than other groups, and even if he is only perceived as being a gay-like girly-man, not many voters on the right would want to envision Dr. Bachmann in the White House painting the walls and rearranging the furniture.

    • TJ Parker

      The right seems more homophobic than the left.

      Ya think? The right cultivates and nurtures its base’s homophobia.

      • ScoopAway

        “Ya think? The right cultivates and nurtures its base’s homophobia.”

        Well, yes, that IS what I think. I just didn’t want to make too absolute a statement. ;)

  • TJ Parker

    “I just didn’t want to make too absolute a statement.”

    LOL. Don’t be so coy. Its right in the party platform. It says so right there: “If you’re gay, you’d have to be a Marcus Bachmann to vote Republican.”

    “We oppose reinstituting the draft, whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military and their exemption from ground combat units. Military priorities and mission must determine personnel policies. Esprit and cohesion are necessary for military effectiveness and success on the battlefield. To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America’s Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.

    [...]

    “Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.

    “Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character. Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems. We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to provide a stable home for their children. Children are our nation’s most precious resource. We also salute and support the efforts of foster and adoptive families.

    “Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex “marriages” licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage.”