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Michele, Give 'Em Hell

FIrst up, let me say that I'm no fan of Representative Michele Bachmann. (Personal note: One "L," two "N's." Remember that.) And I don't mean that in the sardonic, understated way that means "I don't like her;" I mean it most literally. I don't know much about her, she hasn't grabbed my imagination, I like some of her positions and style, I got problems with others, but I'm keeping an open mind. (Fair warning: if she does very well in the New Hampshire primary, I will use the phrase "Bachmann Turnout Overdrive.")

I will say, though, on one front, she's really winning me over. And that's in a way that I don't think she really can control.

She's pissing off all the right people.

Over the past few weeks, the media and the left (but I repeat myself) have been going after her hammer and tongs. And three of the harshest attacks have, upon the most rudimentary investigation, fallen apart.

First up, the noted alleged "non-partisan" group PolitiFact summarized their scrutiny of Bachmann's statements. I read through it, and as I looked at one they rated as "pants on fire" (their strongest rating for a lie), I couldn't help notice that in this case, PolitiFact's trousers were actually the ones combusting.

See if you can spot the mistake:

On ACORN and the Census

...Bachman also said the Constitution only requires her to tell the census "how many people are in our home." We found that a law passed by Congress actually requires an interviewee to answer "any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any Census" from the U.S. Census. So we rated that statement Pants on Fire as well.

Did you catch that? Let me paraphrase it to hammer it home.

Bachmann: "The Constitution says you only have to tell how many people live there."

"You lie! Here's a law that says you gotta give any info they ask you for!"

Me: "Hey, PolitiFact? 'A law' is NOT the Constitution. And she specified the Constitution, you morons."

Next up, when Bachmann announced her candidacy, she returned to her childhood home town of Waterloo, Iowa. She mentioned that it was also where John Wayne came from -- which wasn't quite true. It turns out that Wayne's parents had come from Waterloo.

But that inaccuracy wasn't enough. Some enterprising soul discovered that notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy had lived in Waterloo for some time. Now, he wasn't born there, didn't die there, and -- as far as anyone knows -- never committed a single murder there, but there was a tangential connection.

And that was enough. Bachmann's enemies were off and running, saying that Bachmann had confused the legendary actor with the legendary serial killer. Never mind that the connection to Gacy was essentially invented by Bachmann critics and had no actual roots in reality -- the myth had been laid down, and is still being pushed.

Finally, Bachmann stated that many of the Founding Fathers were anti-slavery, and specifically cited John Quincy Adams. This provoked howls of derisive laughter -- many of the Founding Fathers were slave-owners themselves, and John Quincy Adams was just shy of nine years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

But hang on there. Here's where things get interesting.

Yes, many of the Founding Fathers were anti-slavery. Look at the Constitution -- the "3/5 of a person" was a compromise with the slave states, who wanted their slaves to count for the purposes of representation. They settled on them counting as 3/5 of a person -- which means that there was some serious opposition among the crafters of the Constitution to at least that aspect of slavery. Also, there were quite a few other anti-slavery moves in the earliest days of our nation.

And then there's J. Q. himself. Yes, he was quite young -- but precocious. He accompanied his father as they spent several years establishing diplomatic relations in Europe for the nascent nation, and at the age of 14 served as secretary on a three-year mission to win recognition from Russia. Later, President Washington named him minister to the Netherlands, Portugal, Berlin, and Prussia successively.

I had never really thought about a formal definition of "Founding Father," but now that I think about it, I'd say that a fair definition would be "the men who played important roles in the establishing of the United States, from the first acts of rebellion (say, the boycotts in response to the Sugar Act and Currency Act in 1764) to the ratification of the Constitution (June 21, 1788). And by that standard, J. Q. qualifies as a Founding Father -- a minor one, to be sure, but still he fits.

 And J. Q.'s anti-slavery credentials are impeccable.

So, upon inspection, Bachmann's statement here is pretty much accurate.

As I said, I dunno that much about Bachmann. I like some of her positions, dislike some, and don't know a lot more.

But the more savagely she's being attacked, and the more bullshit the attacks are, the more I think she just might be worth looking at.

If for no other reason than to catch the lying scumbags practicing their finely-honed art of the bullshit attacks.


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Comments (31)

Romney!But hey, Ma... (Below threshold)


But hey, Matt Taibbi isn't a fan, either:

Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions. She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill, that light bulbs are killing our dogs and cats, and that God personally chose her to become both an IRS attorney who would spend years hounding taxpayers and a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government.


As I wrote this, I found my... (Below threshold)

As I wrote this, I found myself wondering how Chico would drag his obsession with Romney into this article.

Turns out he didn't need any excuse, he just blurted it out.



It does not take paranoia t... (Below threshold)

It does not take paranoia to speculate on what the Chinese think of America chinko.

You jealous little punk.

JT, that is the barometer I... (Below threshold)

JT, that is the barometer I use. The left only goes after those they fear can win. No other reason to go after them really. I don't know alot about her but I do agree with her on quite a few issues. It all comes down to money and I hope she can raise it. ww

I know the left has a probl... (Below threshold)

I know the left has a problem with opposing views, but the way they treat conservative women is impressively mysogynistic.

And now that they've successfully been able to neutralize the Palin phenomenon, expect more of this until it starts blowing up in their faces.

I only wonder when women in general will catch on to the fact that they too don't matter to liberals. They're another group to be used and exploited. And eventually, they'll discover that they're way down on the list of preferred "minorities".

It is a bit embarrassing th... (Below threshold)

It is a bit embarrassing that she sorta-confused John Wayne, the famous conservative actor, with John Wayne Gacy, famous Democrat precinct captain from Chicago.

You could at least have the... (Below threshold)

You could at least have the decency to read the post you're commenting on before repeating the myth that JT just smacked around.

Libs are also accusing Bach... (Below threshold)

Libs are also accusing Bachmann and her husband of 'hypocrisy' because Bachmann is a critic of Medicare/Medicaid excesses, yet her husband's clinic accepted Medicaid payments ... because they treat Medicaid patients. Of course the other two options would be to 1) refuse to treat patients on Medicaid or 2) treat these patients for free.

Any liberals who can honestly say that they would applaud Bachmann's husband for refusing to treat the poor (Medicaid patients), or who would volunteer to work for free at their current jobs, please step forward now.

Dr. Bachmann also received money from Medicaid for employee training. It's not clear from news stories what the training was for, but it's not unreasonable to assume that Medicaid paid similar monies to numerous other clinics at the same time. Refusing to take the money would have put Dr. Bachmann's clinic at a financial disadvantage. And how many big liberals routinely make personal decisions "out of principle" that result in losing their money? (sound of crickets chirping)

The media is now 0/4 this year in its attempts to ruin Sarah Palin (Gabby Giffords--1773--Paul Revere--Alaska emails) and it looks like they are well on their way to assembling a similar record for Bachmann.

How about taking up a colle... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

How about taking up a collection to get 'chico' and 'ArtW' the appropriate seltzer bottles,clown hammers and little cars to climb out of to enhance their entertainment value.

Yeah, well I guess if his p... (Below threshold)

Yeah, well I guess if his parents were from there he was by reduction. Kind of like Barry is bourne of the US because, well, his parent were..

Hey Chico' how's that Barry wooping up the base with election fervor thingy going?

Is there enough koolish aid for, let me see?...Woop, galoob, jim x, Wart, Hypercrit?

All 6 of you using Barry's math?

I simply like observing the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I simply like observing the dichotomy in the media where conservatives are ignored on the issues but every verbal stumble is ignored. Meanwhile the verbal stumbles of obama and the left are ignored and we are told to pay attention to the issues, which they never speak to.

As you say, 'she pisses off... (Below threshold)

As you say, 'she pisses off the right people'.

Don't understand why those people, like Art and Chico don't just push for Barry to 'run on his record'.


Yes Wart or galoob or whate... (Below threshold)

Yes Wart or galoob or whatever you are? Barry was the Great Black hope. He had all the advantages of affirmative action, both Houses and adoring media. What has he accomplished?? What is his record?? Deficits as far as the eye can see and a economic depression.

Divider not Uniter and worstest evah!!

Right there with you. Don'... (Below threshold)

Right there with you. Don't yet know enough about MB to say that she's the candidate that I would prefer, but the left OBVIOUSLY has a problem with her*. So, unless and until she says / does something that clearly pushed her into the "McCain" column, I say:



(*) Ref that Taibbi article cited by Chico. Jebus... Does she drink the blood of babies, too?

falze, cirby's a longtime c... (Below threshold)

falze, cirby's a longtime commenter. I took his comment to be a way to invoke the serial killer's past as a Democratic precinct captain, and to associate him with the Democrats pushing the smears on Bachmann.

Subtle, but I appreciated it.


JT, sorry, I have to file i... (Below threshold)

JT, sorry, I have to file it under violating the Reagan Rule at best. Repeating such baloney for any purpose at this point is only damaging. Period.

As for #9, TSA confiscated all the toy clown hammers...sorry. And no, you shouldn't think about what they do with them after hours.

OK, now I've made you thing about it, haven't I? Oops.

OK, so Bachmann is stupid, ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

OK, so Bachmann is stupid, crazy, out of the mainstream, counter-revolutionary ... oops, scratch that, I let the mask slip there ... /liberal

But the clincher is:

She mentioned that it was also where John Wayne came from -- which wasn't quite true. It turns out that Wayne's parents had come from Waterloo.

No more damning indictment of her fitness for office can be imagined. Good God, people, at long last, have you no decency? She confused the hometown of John Wayne with that of his parents. And you are not outraged?

Let's hope "Barry" becomes ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Let's hope "Barry" becomes more familiar with Waterloo, in the figurative sense.

Never mind that the conn... (Below threshold)

Never mind that the connection ... was essentially invented by ... critics and had no actual roots in reality -- the myth had been laid down, and is still being pushed.

Also a perfect description of the "I can see Russia from my house." twist by Tina Fey and attributed to Palin to this day.

As with Sarah, Michele is going to be beat on the head with this until (and probably past) Judgment Day.

I suspect that she knows this and is perfectly capable of taking care of herself.

I read it somewhere that th... (Below threshold)

I read it somewhere that the LSM and liberal blogsphere are Palinizing her. You know that when the LSM gets its panties bunched on her candidacy that she's no John Huntsman, whom they fawn over.

Even the run-of-the-mill D-... (Below threshold)

Even the run-of-the-mill D-student media guy should know several Founders were opposed to slavery: John Adams, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock. And many who owned slaves--the economic culture of the plantation South--knew it was wrong and needed to go: Jefferson, Mason, Madison, Washington. I mean, when most people are asked to just name a few of the Founding Fathers, the names above are the ones that automatically come to mind. And all of those were against slavery! We live in idiotic times, my friends.

She's pissing off all th... (Below threshold)

She's pissing off all the right people.

Can't argue with that.

Unfortunately, I have to very reluctantly disagree with her statement about the Census. I thought the same, until I did a bit of research. Quoting from the Constitution, Article I, Section 2: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct." The government first tried collecting additional demographic and social data in the 1850 census.

I hate the Census and its sickeningly invasive questions, consider many of the questions an invasion of privacy, and answered only the 'number of individuals' question myself last year -- but I see little room to argue that the Census Bureau and the data it collects are unconstitutional.

Frankly, I worry more about... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore :

Frankly, I worry more about her "fire and brimstone" husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, who calls himself Michele·s "stategist". He is particularly incensed with gays.

Dr. Marcus Bachmann: "We have to understand barbarians (gays) need to be educated. They need to be disciplined."

Do we have the makings of another "wide stance" scandal here. Scroll down to see last video on his actual gestures, and the talk and walk of Bachmann. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it does seem wierd, that he reserves a special hell for homosexuals. I wonder why?

Anybody willing to use thei... (Below threshold)

Anybody willing to use their energy and personal resources to raise 23 foster kids and 5 or 6 of their own shows that they aren´t ego-centric like most people in Washington. She is a lawyer, which is one big strike against her, but we can forgive that if she also has some common sense.
I wouldn´t have given you much for her chances until recently. As I get to know her better, I am more impressed with her credentials and her values.
I would like to see Rick Perry run and Michele as VP -- or vice-versa. He´s got lots of experience, but she´s got a clearer message.

Rick Perry and Michele Bach... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann who "also has some common sense", according to you, are the two most extreme weather or climate change skeptics of the Republican candidates. I guess the most extreme, extreme weather denier is Senator James Inofe from Oklohoma.

From his site "United States Senator Jim Inhofe, one of the leading conservative voices in the Senate, is a strong advocate of common sense Oklahoma values including less government", blah blah

Meanwhile, Oklahoma suffers through one of its worst droughts.maybe it´s worst in history.. Conservatives continue to bet the house against what, any one but a fool could have been predicting.

"The average daily temperature statewide in June was the second-warmest on records dating back to 1895, about 7 degrees above normal for the month".

Read more: here

Steve, I remember hearing t... (Below threshold)

Steve, I remember hearing the same sort of concerns back in 1984, when it was Geraldine Ferraro's husband and possible Mafia and other corruption charges. Then, it was dismissed as sexist.

You wanna tell me what's changed, besides the political affiliation of the woman in question?

Oh, and don't bother with saying "it's Christianity." We already know a good chunk of your side thinks that Christianity is worse than the Mafia or Islamic terrorism, so we'll just let that one lie.


Jay, you are liberal with g... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay, you are liberal with gay rights. I know this is the one red meat issue which is conservatives ´s achilles heal, (well there are few others like climate change but we won´t get into that)Check out this video. Anyone, don·t feel sorry for Dr. Bachmann (even his title of Dr. might be controversial). I bet he does a great Gloria Gaynor " I will survive" impersonation. Just hope he doesn´t wear a rubber-wet suit.

Dr. Bachmann got his title... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore :

Dr. Bachmann got his title Dr. from a correspondence school. a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Union Institute and University, a correspondence-based school in Cincinnati.

His training … included a master’s degree at Regent University, the Virginia institution founded by Pat Robertson.

Well, Steve, you've certain... (Below threshold)

Well, Steve, you've certainly convinced me. I definitely won't vote for Mr. Bachmann.

And if we're gonna play this game, how about the First Lady? She had a do-nothing job at a hospital that seemed to be little more than "be the Senator's wife." She got a 50% raise after he secured a million-dollar earmark for the hospital. And after she resigned, they valued her work so much, they never bothered to fill the position.

What's THAT say about the current First Couple?


That may be so. I suppose a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

That may be so. I suppose a candidate´s spouses are of secondary importance, or small beer.

Interesting, I read that both Michele´s have been involved with helping obese teens (Bachmann with her private Christian foster program) good for her, good for them, not withstanding Palin´s foolish comments that Michelle Obama shouldn·t be telling American youth what to eat.

.... I dunno that much abou... (Below threshold)

.... I dunno that much about Bachmann. I like some of her positions, dislike some, and don't know a lot more.

.... But the more savagely she's being attacked, and the more bullshit the attacks are, the more I think she just might be worth looking at.

.... If for no other reason than to catch the lying scumbags practicing their finely-honed art of the bullshit attacks ....

Well said. Hear! Hear!

Ms Bachmann will one of these days make a great WI Governor.

But, meanwhile, back in America, my prophecy is that at Wasilla, on July 4 2011, United States of America's President and Armed-Forces Commander-In-Chief-Elect Sarah Louise Ronald Wilson Reagan Heath Palin will confirm the candicy she effectively announced on July 26 2009, by way of her resignation from the office of Governor of Alaska.






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