Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Michelle Bachmann Theories - Anyone?

I assume by now you all know what she said last weekend at a speech in Iowa:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said the United States was founded on racial and ethnic diversity and that the founding fathers were responsible for abolishing slavery.

Speaking at an event sponsored by Iowans For Tax Relief, Bachmann hailed the "different cultures, different backgrounds, different traditions" of the early European settlers in America, adding that the "color of their skin" or "language" or "economic status" didn't preclude them from seeking happiness.

"Once you got here, we were all the same," she said. "Isn't that remarkable? It is absolutely remarkable."

The Minnesota Republican called slavery an "evil" and "scourge" and "stain on our history."

"But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States," Bachmann added, claiming "men like John Quincy Adams... would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country."

The general reaction has been: what a dope. But I don't think she can possibly be that stupid. It just isn't possible, is it. She went to third grade. She went to high school. She obviously possesses an IQ somewhere around 100. So she can't be this dumb.

My alternative theory is that she, like many people on the right, just says s--t. She just says it and doesn't care. She said the thing about "skin color" because she doesn't care if she offends anyone with a skin color different from hers. She says J.Q. Adams was a founding father because, well, close enough. And she said the founders eradicated slavery because, you know, some of them wanted to and it happened eventually.

She'll just say anything. If it pisses off liberals, so much the better. Of course, even right-wingers who know something about history will find these kinds of things embarrassing eventually.

Do you have a theory?


Baxter said...

I agree with your thesis. There are certain myths that Republican pols must agree on, or they will be declared a RINO and eventually face a well funded primary opponent. Truth be damned.

How can you have the lowest tax rates in the western world, the largest budget deficit and credibly claim to be Taxed Enough Already?

The Tea Party movement is fundamentally dishonest. It's membership includes, among others, dim witted true believers as well as cynical behind-the-scenes leaders who know better but will gladly tap the group for their own purposes. A very small group within includes principled, intellectual Libertarians who genuinely think things would be better if we ran things as they did in the nineteenth century. Rand and Ron Paul fall into this latter category, and the Kentucky Senator just released a list of $500B in proposed annual spending cuts. (I don't agree with his approach, but I respect his candor in producing the plan).

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Tea Partiers do not want their Social Security or Medicare to be touched. They cling tightly to their government provided, twenty-first century benefits. They spring into action when they fear that other priorities - TARP, GM/Chrysler, AIG, Stimulus Bill, universal health care - will cut into their piece of the action. In fact, they are fine with changes to Social Security and Medicare provided that they are phased in over decades - presumably after their turn at the trough has concluded.

Eric Martin said...
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Eric Martin said...

It is very weird to hear someone say that we cannot touch the benefits of persons currently over 55 years of age, but that anyone younger will have to accept less.

Why? What is the distinction?

A 54 year old has been contributing for 34 years and should now get less than his older brother because?