Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann’

Fear and Pandering in Las Vegas

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
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And the winner of the Republican Presidential Debate is….

Barack Obama.

Jon Stewart breaks it down.

American History by Michele Bachmann

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011


Happy Independence Day to All.

Bachmann’s Unrivaled Extremism

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Here’s Michelle Goldberg’s profile on Michelle Bachmann. A revealing look at what shapes the paraniod worldview, and an interesting history of the evangelical movement’s evolution.

Also, don’t miss, the Michelle Bachmann Insane-O- Matic Quote Generator, including such favorites as:

“If we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” —Michele Bachmann

“There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” —Michele Bachmann

“Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” —Michele Bachmann

“(Gay marriage) is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understating that.” —Michele Bachmann

“I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this [the national debt].” —Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann and the Seven Dwarfs

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

From left, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and businessman Herman Cain stand on stage before first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

Caught the Republican a couple of nights ago and a fair amount of commentary on it in the last few days.

Aside from all the nutty shit that was said, here’s a few quick takes on the candidates and their individual performances:

Tim Pawlenty

If you watched cable news in the last two days, you know that Tim Pawlenty fell flat on his face Monday night. As is usually the case, the news out of these debates isn’t what the candidates had to say, but the atmospherics. Pawlenty came out strong against Romney on Fox News Sunday, calling Obamacare “Obamneycare” in an interview, but demurred when asked to repeat the taunt to Romney’s face at the debate.

I get the general idea: it’s the first debate in New Hampshire, on Romney’s turf, he didn’t want to introduce himself to the country by savaging Romney, etc. But if you have this great line, why would you preview it on Sunday if you weren’t willing to use it on Tuesday? And even if you didn’t want to use it, you could just pivot and say: Mitt Romney’s going to need to explain to the American people over the next 17 months why he was in favor of a plan that Obamacare was based on and an individual mandate that is anathema to so many people on the Right. By talking tough on Sunday, but then being polite on Tuesday, Pawlenty looked mealy mouthed and innefectual.

So far, Laurence O’ Donnell had the best explanation I’ve heard for Pawlenty’s strategy: he’s already angling for the Veepstakes and he doesn’t want a bunch of “voodoo economics” YouTube video’s floating around out there.   

Whatever the reason, Pawlenty missed a great opportunity to show that he is a viable alternative to Romney in a party that is clearly looking for one.

Michelle Bachmann

Michelle Bachmann hit the big time this week. Just two and a half years ago, she was a relatively unknown Congresswoman until she suggested on Hardball that there should be a media “expose” into people (like Barack Obama) who were serving in the House and Senate to see how many were “pro-America and how many were anti-America.”

Matt Taibbi had the best line on Bachmann I’ve heard, when he said that that he saw a man houghing glue out of a paper bag on the subway who was making more sense than Michelle Bachmann.

But cute as a button, paranoid as hell, and dumb as rocks is a recipe for success in the Obama-Age Republican party. Last year, Michelle Bachmann raised $13 million dollars, more than any Congressman, including Boehner. Bachmann now somehow finds herself in the unlikely position of the only quasi-viable wingnut social conservative that can evoke passion in the race.

Herman Cain & Newt Gingrich

There’s nothing like watching a member of one of the most historically discriminated against social groups explain how it’s okay to discriminate against another group of people. Cain twisted himself into a rhetorical pretzel trying to explain why he previously said that Muslims need not apply for positions in his administration.

Cain said that he was not talking about all Muslims: “We have peaceful Muslims, and then you have militant Muslims. I was thinking about the ones that are trying to kill us.”  

Understandably wanting to change the subject, Cain pivoted to something he knew would get a hand out of the Republican crowd: “Secondly,” Cain said “ I do not believe in Sharia law in American courts. I believe in American laws in American courts, period.”

Nice try Herman, but the question was whether you would be confortable with a Muslim in your cabinet or as a federal judge, not whether you would be comfortable with appointing a terrorist intent on harming America to your cabinet.

It fell to Mitt Romney to be the reasonable one in the exchange:

Well, first of all, of course, we’re not going to have Sharia law applied in U.S. courts. That’s never going to happen. We have a Constitution and we follow the law. No, I think we recognize that the people of all faiths are welcome in this country. Our nation was founded on a principal of religious tolerance. That’s in fact why some of the early patriots came to this country and we treat people with respect regardless of their religious persuasion.

But Newt Gingrich doubled down on Cain’s Islamophobia. he interrupted the debate to interject:

…Now, I just want to go out on a limb here. I’m in favor of saying to people, if you’re not prepared to be loyal to the United States, you will not serve in my administration, period.

Way to take a stand, Newt.

Then he took it a step further, channeling Joseph McCarthy and comparing Muslims to Nazis and Communists:

We did this in dealing with the Nazis. We did this in dealing with the Communists. And it was controversial both times and both times we discovered after a while, you know, there are some genuinely bad people who would like to infiltrate our country. And we have got to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘No.’

You’re all class, Newt.

Ron Paul

Where’s Rudy Guiliani when you need him?

The “father” of the Tea Party, Paul probably has more convictions than anyone up there, but in 2008 he was just another guy who Rudy used to tee off on the fact that he was the Mayor of New York during 9-11. This was Paul’s punishment for suggesting that our foreign policy might have had something to do with 9-11.

Paul was up to his old tricks again on Monday, somehow finding a reason to turn every question into a rant about the Federal Reserve and the Gold Standard.

Rick Santorum

Seriously, what is this guy doing up there?

Rick, give us a call when Googling your last name turns up a hit on your presidential race before it turns up a hit on a disgusting gay sex reference.

 I think that’s called Karma.

Mitt Romney

The guy who emerges smiling from this debate has to be Mitt Romney. Pawlenty falling on his face helped him out immensely. The issue is not that many people were watching, it’s that the people who were are so important to setting perceptions and deciding who gets early cash.

The party is hungering for a viable candidate who can hold Romney accountable for being a liberal Republican before he was a conservative Republican, but as I watched the debate, I realized that there wasn’t one up there. Huntsman will get in there next week, but it’s hard to see the seemingly reasonable guy getting the nomination of this party.

If Romney was the winner of this one, a close second was a guy who wasn’t even there: Texas Governor Rick Perry. I can’t imagine the country electing another Republican Texas Governor as president, but when the closest thing to a viable candidate that can excite social and fiscal conservatives is Michelle Bachmann, that’s a clear sign that there’s an opening for another candidate.

If Perry doesn’t get in, Romney has a clear path to the nomination. But more than the quality of the candidates, what Romney really has going for him is history. As the saying goes, “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.”  Nowhere is this more true than in presidential politics. From 1968 to present day, with the exception of George W. Bush (the son of a president), the Republican nominee has been either the incumbent, a former Vice President or the runner up in the last election. Romney knows that, and a key part of his strategy toward the end of the 2008 nominating process was to establish himself as the heir apparent for the 2012 Republican nomination. Essentially his 2008 concession speech at CPAC was the kickoff for his 2012 campaign.

Of course there’s a long way to go til November 2012, but if past is prologue, conservatives will hold their nose and we’ll be looking at Romney vs Obama in 2012.