Monday, July 23, 2012

Michele Again

Last week I posted on Michele Bachmann's wild claims that the government had been infiltrated by crazed Islamic Jihadists bent on our destruction. What I didn't emphasize, and clearly should have, is that her bizarre and outrageous claims were made within the context of her role as a sitting member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Yes, her comments were intended to garner votes and (more importantly) campaign funds for her re-election drive, but given the stature of her committee assignment, the effects of her perfidy have a longer reach.

Like Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, Bachmann is clearly determined to ride this wild pony through the election and beyond. It's easy for me, a dirty fucking hippy living on the West Coast, to note the comparison. What made me uneasy is that I wasn't so certain that her constituents and fellow Minnesotans had made the same connection. Well, at least one, columnist Jon Tevlin of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, has made the connection.

Here is what I wrote in a column in December about Michele Bachmann:

"You have to give the Republicans credit for their sense of humor in naming her to the Intelligence Committee, but given Bachmann's difficulty with facts, it's hard to believe they will be handing over top secret information to her. Look for Bachmann to use her position to talk about wild government takeover theories and dubious foreign threats, which she will then refuse to discuss further because they are secret."

That's pretty much what Bachmann has done in her most recent allegations that the "halls of Washington" are crawling with Islamic infiltrators. In her response to Rep. Keith Ellison's concerns about her claims, Bachmann indeed hinted that she might have some secret info, but "nor am I able to get into the private discussions and documentation received by the various House committees ..."

I point out my previous column not to show how prescient I am, but how predictable Bachmann has become in her studied formula to make news: Use half-truths and loose associations to make wild accusations; repeat on friendly, unquestioning media outlets until it reaches mainstream; then run like hell from tough questions and claim everything is "out of context."

For a while, such behavior was comical. But now even Speaker of the House John Boehner, from her own party, has called Bachmann's behavior "pretty dangerous" -- following military hero John McCain's rare verbal pummeling of her on the Senate floor. It is no longer amusing.

Maybe it is something else: Michele Bachmann's Joe McCarthy moment?
[Emphasis added]

One can only hope that her constituents have decided that Bachmann's "sell-by" date has been reached, because her comments have had an impact on US security interests around the world by virtue of her committee assignment. For more on that, I urge you to read Tevlin's entire column.

This is not simply the case of a zealot pushing a sincerely held belief. If it were, the "report" she is relying upon for her assertions would have fewer red flags in it. From Raw Story

As evidence of their claims, the five Republicans cited “The Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within,” a ten-part video course produced by the Center for Security Policy.

The movies claim that the “Muslim Brotherhood was helped in its efforts to achieve information dominance over the George W. Bush administration” by Norquist, a Christian. The influential anti-tax activist is also accused of using “various organizations to promote Islamist agendas.”
[Emphasis added]

Norquist a secret Jihadist?


Venal and stupid: Michele Bachmann.

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Blogger PurpleGirl said...

For an interesting view of Bachmann's beliefs, see Juan Cole's Informed Comment post on her ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

3:14 AM  

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