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When 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.”
That’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.
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.