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The Genesis of Michele Bachmann’s Crazy

August 15, 2011

I’ve been thinking about Michele Bachmann. I can’t say I believe she’ll win the GOP nomination; although I note that she has proven to be much more formidable than most had assumed, just as I predicted.  Still, it’s clear the GOP establishment has never been comfortable with her candidacy.

As much as the establishment may prefer Romney, they are coming to realize that due to the wingnut component, Rick Perry may be their man. This is for many reasons, not the least of which being that, while he appeals to the radical religious right, there is more than enough room to doubt his complete commitment to the movement. This is not the case with Bachmann. She really is a true believer.

On last night’s radio show, R and I were discussing not just Bachmann’s win of the Ames Straw Poll, but also her appearance on two of the Sunday morning shows. The crux of the conversation revolved around her adamant stance that she would not and will not vote to raise the debt ceiling. We noted, as it has been elsewhere that she was unable to say just what she would cut if the US were to find itself facing default.   At the time, I opined that this shows she’s a hollow shell – with the “right” rhetoric on the outside – but with no solid substance or solutions on the inside.

But I’ve been thinking about this a bit more today, and while the above still holds true, I find another more disturbing angle to her stance. Rooted in her radical religious belief and schooling, she is fundamentally opposed to the current US government. She’s not afraid of the damage a default would cause; she may even welcome it as a means to bringing down the government.

There’s a reason she has so often used the language of revolution.

On the issue of Obama’s proposed cap-and-trade energy tax on Saturday’s radio show, Representative Bachmann expanded on the war metaphor: “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.”

It is part of her religion; she is on a mission to “take America back for God.” In fact, the curriculum of Oral Roberts University Law School, where she received her JD, is rooted in the need to restore American jurisprudence to its “Biblical Foundations”.

The launch of the law school at ORU was intended to create public figures just like Bachmann: lawyers unafraid to inject their particular Christian beliefs, not only into the public square, but quite deliberately into legislation, policy, and jurisprudence.

This fringe Christian faction talks a lot about the Constitution, but it is a radical interpretation of the Constitution, which fundamentally seeks to rewrite the foundation of American history and to usurp and replace the government and constitution with the Bible. I say it’s a fringe group because it is – these beliefs would be foreign to most US Christians, even Evangelicals – but the movement has nonetheless been extremely effective at changing the tone of the discussion.

Find it somewhat surprising that so many in the GOP today are willing to bad-mouth unemployment benefits, even in a period of sustained high unemployment? When hardly a single American doesn’t know someone effected by the jobs crisis, it seems a foolish political choice, no? This is the influence of Michele Bachmann and her ilk. Call them Reconstructionists, or Dominionists, no matter. We’re talking about people who believe that the role of government should be so small as to do practically nothing. Welfare should be left to the Church and individuals. Not only that, but charity should only be extended to those who submit to God. (Of course, it goes without saying that people in dire economic straits, who can get no relief from government, may be much more pliable to religious conversion by the church giving the charity.)

I wish I were exaggerating or making this stuff up, but I’m not. This is Michele Bachmann; it’s who she is, and what has formed her.  And she is a serious contender for the GOP Presidential nomination. I, for one, find that frightening.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2011 2:12 pm

    Wow! Great tihnikng! JK

  2. August 20, 2011 6:49 am

    Interesting post. I think that bringing down the government is likely too strong a statement, but I completely agree that Bachmann would try to move us towards a limited theocracy, something that I find very frightening and could cause irreparable rifts in an already rift-filled country.

    I would also point out as well, that the loudest voices–in this case, the extreme right–are NOT the majority of the GOP; in fact, most are what I call “consiberal,” interested in fiscally conservative and socially moderate policies, today’s version of the “silent majority.” The difficulty is in finding these people and getting them to speak up and, even when they do, making sure the voices rise above the rants.

  3. August 20, 2011 4:25 am

    I’m not easily impressed. . . but that’s ipmersisng me! 🙂

  4. August 15, 2011 2:15 pm

    What is frightening to me isn’t that she might win the presidency but that she has so many supporters. While this clearly demonstrates the utter failure of our educational system, i.e., that so many malleable and ill-informed people exist who can raise Bachmann to her position of prominence, it also means that she could win the Republican nomination despite the preference of the corporate machine. That leaves the rest of us, the majority of Americans who see Bachmann as a clearly unsuitable for any public position, only one choice: a man whose actual economic policies (despite his rhetoric) we voted out in 2008, Barack Obama.

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