The Keys to the Asylum

 

BachmannWhen Michele Bachmann retires from Congress this year, she will leave many fans behind; myself among them.  She is articulate, attractive and — above all else — fearless in challenging liberal shibboleths in a way that really gets deeply under their skin.

I suspect it is the radical LGBT activists who are most appalled by Bachmann.  Anyone who suggests that being gay might conceivably be cured is rattling their foundations in a way that typical political positions do not rattle typical activists.  But whatever the reasons for their animus, the modus operandi of the Left in dealing with Bachmann is the same as that of ecclesiastical elites in dealing with heresy throughout history: to silence her by branding her a witch or as insane.

A recent otherwise dry account of the political picture in upcoming Republican primaries in The Huffington Post, contains this:

[Minnesota’s] 6th District voters will no longer have a representative who has called for a 100 percent tax on remittances sent to Latin America from undocumented immigrants, claimed that “the gay community” has “bullied the American people” and “intimidated politicians,” and charged that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Minnesota’s loss, thinks I.  But the choice of the attack points is interesting.

Bachmann has opposed Obamacare and proposed other significant cuts to the size and scope of government as well.  But if you are writing a sentence to perpetuate the outrage of the enlightened toward a heretic — and you’ve got to parry it down to three points — you leave only the ones that, to the left, seem crazy.  These are the viewpoints that enrage them because no one is supposed to say those things.  No one is supposed to think those things.

Heresy has a way of driving the holy stark raving mad.

As any Quinian can tell you, the web of beliefs that you weave for yourself can easily become your prison.  When you listen to the confirmed insane speak, you will inevitably hear blathering nonsense.  And here, in three clippings from this past week, is a beautiful — and I mean pristine, textbook, clip-it-out-and-put-it-on-your-refrigerator beautiful — example of how that works.

Our story begins with Bachmann speaking on a radio program called “Wallbuilder’s Live,” promoting a law that would prevent children who are wards of the state from being subject to medical experiments without their consent.  This is a serious ethical issue that arose in 2005 (see the report from NBC News here) when it was revealed that the government has tested AIDS drugs on foster children over the course of two decades without obtaining their consent.  Bachmann, who has had 23 foster children, might be expected to be unusually sensitive to and knowledgeable about this issue.  In the same interview, referring to the recent onslaught of Central American children on our southern border, she said:

“We have 400,000 foster children in this country, and now President Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, the illegal aliens, to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system,” Bachmann said. “Well, I will tell you from personal experience, we don’t have enough foster parents now in the country for the kids in America. We certainly don’t have enough foster parents for all of the illegal aliens that the president is trying to bring in right now.”

“That’s more kids that you can see how — we can’t imagine doing this, but if you have a hospital and they are going to get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody, and a ward of the state can’t say ‘no,'” she said. “A little kid can’t say ‘no’ if they’re a ward of the state. So here you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can’t even say ‘no.’  It’s sick.”

5854742948_5af7341a68_zThat’s from a UPI story on the radio appearance titled “Bachmann: Obama wants to use child immigrants for medical experiments.”

Now, mind you, this is a mainstream news report that claims Bachmann is accusing Obama of some kind of Mengele-like experimentation plans.  The actual quotation they cite, however, cannot be inferred to mean what they say it means.  She does not say, or remotely suggest, that Obama is putting these kids into the foster care system in order to use them for medical experiments; at most, she is saying that he is unaware of some of the plights of those kids in foster care.

Descending into the abyss, we come to stage two of our story, via Right Wing Watch (sponsored, evidently, by People for the American Way) which reports on the Bachmann radio piece as follows:

Appearing on “WallBuilders Live” today to promote her law, Bachmann tied the issue to the debate surrounding the treatment of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border, claiming that President Obama and the medical community want to bring tens of thousands of children from Central America into the United States so that they can be turned over to state governments and then used for medical experiments.

“Now President Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, those illegal aliens to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system,” Bachmann said. “That’s more kids that you can see how – we can’t imagine doing this, but if you have a hospital and they are going to get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody, and a Ward of the state can’t say ‘no,’ a little kid can’t say ‘no’ if they’re a Ward of the state; so here you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can’t even say ‘no.’ It’s sick”. [emphasis added]

You will note that the portion of her remarks where she discusses her personal involvement in foster care has been nicely elided to give more the impression that Bachmann thinks that Obama is doing this intentionally.

On to our third example, courtesy of the DailyKos, where the truly wide-eyed, fanatical inquisitors live.  For those of you who don’t read DailyKos every day (as it is intended to be read), the author of the following post is not just some kook who slipped by the sober, ponderous guardians of liberal orthodoxy; Hunter, as he goes by on the site, is one of Kos’ editors.  Here’s how he assesses the situation:

It seems like we hadn’t heard from Rep. Michele Bachmann for a while. That was nice, wasn’t it? Alas, all good things must come to an end.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has a new theory about the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America who have come in large numbers to the southern U.S. border: they are future victims of a liberal plot to use unwilling children for medical experiments.

The origins of this theory are long and complex and more than a little [expletive] crazy; see the link if you want the long version.  The short version is that the conservative movement is absolutely [expletive] crazy, and a sizable portion of all the people they elect are similarly [expletive] crazy, and they all get their news from [expletive] crazy news sources staffed by [expletive] crazy people until everything is just a blur of crazy-[expletive] conspiracy theories that they’ve convinced themselves of primarily because a bunch of equally [expletive] crazy people claim they believe them as well.

After reiterating the same elided quotation from Right Wing Watch, he summarizes as follows:

Holy.  Freaking.  Freak.  Her mind must be a horrible place, a place of bats and alligators and carnival rides staffed by sad-faced clowns wielding axes in one hand and machetes in the other.  I don’t know how you get yourself down a path that leaves you believing things like that are somebody’s secret plan, but if you believe that it makes all the little things like “half-century old plan to put a Kenyan citizen in the White House” or “government plan to buy up all of the ammunition so you people can’t get any” look like ho-hum stuff in comparison.

So, from Bachmann’s concerns over the ethics of trying out new drugs on wards of the state – an issue covered by NBC News for heaven’s sake! – and with tens of thousands of illegal alien kids being dumped into foster care, we shortly arrive at a charge — no, not a charge: a rock solid conviction — that she believes the president is conspiring to  perform medical experiments on children.

Why?

Well, why not?  Hunter and the rest of the progressive tribe see themselves as exploring conservative insanity, so they have no need or interest to delve any further.  If you google “Bachmann illegal aliens medical experiments” you will find that every loon in the liberal flock has posted something on the matter.

But I have a confession to make, my fellow Ricocheti.  It is this capacity of hers that I love most about Michele Bachmann.  She drives them crazy.  And it is just hysterical.

Image Credits: Flickr user Gage Skidmore.

There are 21 comments.

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  1. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Michael Stopa: “We have 400,000 foster children in this country, and now President Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, the illegal aliens, to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system. Well, I will tell you from personal experience, we don’t have enough foster parents now in the country for the kids in America. We certainly don’t have enough foster parents for all of the illegal aliens that the president is trying to bring in right now.” “That’s more kids that you can see how — we can’t imagine doing this, but if you have a hospital and they are going to get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody, and a ward of the state can’t say ‘no.’ A little kid can’t say ‘no’ if they’re a ward of the state. So you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can’t even say ‘no.’  It’s sick.”

     

    Sorry to digress from your point, but wow, just wow.  Thank you, Michelle Bachmann!

    • #1
  2. Julia PA Member
    Julia PA
    @JulesPA

    Michael Stopa: If you google “Bachmann illegal aliens medical experiments” you will find that every loon in the liberal flock has posted something on the matter.

     And the medias treatment and truncating of statements is evidence that they attempt to control the narrative by exaggerated surreal characterizations of people and events. For example:

    Michael Stopa: After reiterating the same elided quotation from Right Wing Watch, he [Hunter from Daily Kos] summarizes as follows:
    “Holy.  Freaking.  Freak.  Her mind must be a horrible place, a place of bats and alligators and carnival rides staffed by sad-faced clowns wielding axes in one hand and machetes in the other.  I don’t know how you get yourself down a path that leaves you believing things like that are somebody’s secret plan, but if you believe that it makes all the little things like “half-century old plan to put a Kenyan citizen in the White House” or “government plan to buy up all of the ammunition so you people can’t get any” look like ho-hum stuff in comparison.”

    The media’s unified and consistent demonization of anything remotely conservative is stark and transparent. 

    • #2
  3. Julia PA Member
    Julia PA
    @JulesPA

    Michael Stopa: every loon in the liberal flock

     Your characterization is mild and hardly demonizing in comparison to Hunter’s characterization of Bachmann on Kos:

    Her mind must be a horrible place, a place of bats and alligators and carnival rides staffed by sad-faced clowns wielding axes in one hand and machetes in the other.”

     I’m just sayin’…

    • #3
  4. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Julia PA: The media’s unified and consistent demonization of anything remotely conservative is stark and transparent.

     Yes, and it’s most pronounced in the case of conservative women and minorities.

    • #4
  5. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Great post.

    Of course the difference between ecclesial elites condemning a person as a heretic is that in religion heresy is a real evil.

    Turning your politics into a religion and condemning your political opponents as heretics is far worse.

    • #5
  6. user_333118 Inactive
    user_333118
    @BarbaraKidder

    Michelle Bachmann’s most awsome moment was her speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives  (2009)  in which she described (using a quote from Michael Barone) the Obama Administration’s actions as “Gangster government”!
    Do give yourself a few (4) minutes of pure delight and watch her on you-tube:  “We now have a total gangster government” .

    • #6
  7. Hydrogia Inactive
    Hydrogia
    @Hydrogia

    If she had learned to have fun campaigning she would have been a great candidate.

    • #7
  8. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    I’m on record as being a fan- always. She’s tough, bright, slightly maniacal and always looks like she should be on the cover of Vogue.

    • #8
  9. Michael Stopa Contributor
    Michael Stopa
    @MichaelStopa

    EThompson:

    I’m on record as being a fan- always. She’s tough, bright, slightly maniacal and always looks like she should be on the cover of Vogue.

     I think that’s a good description and I am sure she would take it in the spirit intended. I have often thought that Bachmann had a lot of Sarah Palin qualities (I’m sure they are often compared) but, though I love Palin, I think that Bachmann is better overall at shooting from the hip. What do you think?

    • #9
  10. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Michael Stopa:

    EThompson:

    I’m on record as being a fan- always. She’s tough, bright, slightly maniacal and always looks like she should be on the cover of Vogue.

    I think that’s a good description and I am sure she would take it in the spirit intended. I have often thought that Bachmann had a lot of Sarah Palin qualities (I’m sure they are often compared) but, though I love Palin, I think that Bachmann is better overall at shooting from the hip. What do you think?

    Maniacal is definitely a compliment in my family!

    I do think that Bachmann hasn’t had to really “shoot from the hip;” I’ve always found her to be extraordinarily informed and prepared. Remember Iowa straw poll in 2008?

    • #10
  11. user_333118 Inactive
    user_333118
    @BarbaraKidder

    EThompson:

    Michael Stopa:

    EThompson:

    I’m on record as being a fan- always. She’s tough, bright, slightly maniacal and always looks like she should be on the cover of Vogue.

    I think that’s a good description and I am sure she would take it in the spirit intended. I have often thought that Bachmann had a lot of Sarah Palin qualities (I’m sure they are often compared) but, though I love Palin, I think that Bachmann is better overall at shooting from the hip. What do you think?

    Maniacal is definitely a compliment in my family!

    I do think that Bachmann hasn’t had to really “shoot from the hip;” I’ve always found her to be extraordinarily informed and prepared. Remember Iowa straw poll in 2008?

     Michelle Bachmann , as most lawyers I know, undoubtedly subscribes to the Boy Scout motto:  “Be Prepared”.

    • #11
  12. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Barbara Kidder:

    EThompson:

    Michael Stopa:

    EThompson:

    I’m on record as being a fan- always. She’s tough, bright, slightly maniacal and always looks like she should be on the cover of Vogue.

    I think that’s a good description and I am sure she would take it in the spirit intended. I have often thought that Bachmann had a lot of Sarah Palin qualities (I’m sure they are often compared) but, though I love Palin, I think that Bachmann is better overall at shooting from the hip. What do you think?

    Maniacal is definitely a compliment in my family!

    I do think that Bachmann hasn’t had to really “shoot from the hip;” I’ve always found her to be extraordinarily informed and prepared. Remember Iowa straw poll in 2008?

    Michelle Bachmann , as most lawyers I know, undoubtedly subscribes to the Boy Scout motto: ”Be Prepared”.

    Especially tax lawyers!

    • #12
  13. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    How are you all managing to quote each other’s comments?
    I thought that was gone with the old Ricochet.

    • #13
  14. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    katievs:

    How are you all managing to quote each other’s comments? I thought that was gone with the old Ricochet.

     “COMMENT” is the new “quote”.

    • #14
  15. EstoniaKat Inactive
    EstoniaKat
    @ScottAbel

    Michelle Bachmann, the same woman who came out in a Republican debate who attacked Rick Perry over human papillomavirus vaccinations, because she had talked to one woman who told her it caused mental retardation.
    The same woman, who after running for THE PRESIDENCY, tried to claim Swiss citizenship. That Michelle Bachmann.
    You are correct, she does get under peoples’ skins. Including mine. The right certainly picks “interesting” people as their champions.

    • #15
  16. Gary The Ex-Donk Member
    Gary The Ex-Donk
    @

    Scott Abel (formerly EstoniaKat):

    Michelle Bachmann, the same woman who came out in a Republican debate who attacked Rick Perry over human papillomavirus vaccinations, because she had talked to one woman who told her it caused mental retardation.
    The same woman, who after running for THE PRESIDENCY, tried to claim Swiss citizenship. That Michelle Bachmann.
    You are correct, she does get under peoples’ skins. Including mine. The right certainly picks “interesting” people as their champions.

     I tend to agree.  While I admire her drive and passion, she clearly lacks the discipline or temperament to be an effective national candidate.  Very much a loose cannon without the ability to perceive herself as others (outside of the choir) would.

    • #16
  17. user_353507 Member
    user_353507
    @RonSelander

    Michael,
    Thanks for the post.

    We here in Minnesota will (IMHO) lose a great congressman [see Genesis 5:2 (RSV) for definition of the word “man”] in January when Michele Bachmann retires.
    My wife and I are also fans of Michele; in fact she is the only person  whose campaign we have donated to who is outside of our district.

    • #17
  18. Michael Stopa Contributor
    Michael Stopa
    @MichaelStopa

    Scott Abel (formerly EstoniaKat):

    Michelle Bachmann, the same woman who came out in a Republican debate who attacked Rick Perry over human papillomavirus vaccinations, because she had talked to one woman who told her it caused mental retardation. The same woman, who after running for THE PRESIDENCY, tried to claim Swiss citizenship. That Michelle Bachmann. You are correct, she does get under peoples’ skins. Including mine. The right certainly picks “interesting” people as their champions.

    Bachmann met the woman who claimed that her child suffered mental retardation as a result of the Gardasil vaccine after the debate with Perry. She criticized him for his involvement with the manufacturer. There are legitimate concerns for any vaccine that the state forces people to take (or have administered to their children). That is particularly true for vaccines that relate to sexually transmitted diseases.

     I have my children receive the Gardasil vaccine, so I do not think it is dangerous.

    Bachmann, in one interview, mentioned the anecdote about the woman telling her that her child had suffered mental retardation as a result of the vaccine. I agree that this is a loose cannon kind of thing. But Bachmann did not repeat the anecdote nor did she endorse it. Specifically she said this:

    She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection. And she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. The mother was crying when she came up to me last night. I didn’t know who she was before the debate. This is the very real concern and people have to draw their own conclusions.

    Again, I agree, she should not have said this without making a further investigation. But it is no doubt a true story. One more sentence of caution was all that was needed. But she made a mistake.

    On the scale of mistakes that politicians make all the time I don’t think that relating an unsubstantiated anecdote (and not endorsing it) is so horrible.

    • #18
  19. Fredösphere Member
    Fredösphere
    @Fredosphere

    Son of Spengler: ”COMMENT” is the new “quote”.

     In fact, if you highlight only the text and then click “Comment”, it will helpfully include only the highlighted text in the text box. Just like I did here in this comment/quote. If we all start using it, we’ll cut down on redundant quoting.

    • #19
  20. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Son of Spengler:

    katievs:

    How are you all managing to quote each other’s comments? I thought that was gone with the old Ricochet.

    ”COMMENT” is the new “quote”.

     Oh, now I get it. Thanks!

    • #20
  21. user_3130 Member
    user_3130
    @RobertELee

    I am not a fan of Michele Bachmann.  Her proposal to cut veteran’s benefits is the reason.  Good riddance.

    • #21

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