Wednesday 17 August 2011

Michele Bachmann and the far, far, far, far, far right

There are odd rants about God on the Internet. You find a funny religious tract lying on a table in the coffee shop. A guy standing on some box at a downtown corner preaches out loud gawd only knows what to whoever will listen. Normally, you don't pay attention. You just tune it out. It's meaningless and insignificant; it's not worth your time. It's just part of the background noise of life.

But what if those odd, somewhat religious, occasionally illogical statements were coming out of the mouth of a candidate running for office, even running for the president of the United States? Would you ignore it? Would you find it funny? At what point would you think to yourself, "Holy crap. This is no longer a joke; this is serious. This person may have a chance, a real chance of ending up in the White House."

On August 14, 2011, The Daily Beast published an article by Michelle Goldberg entitled "A Christian Plot for Domination?" in which she describes how Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are closely associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism. Let's touch upon a couple of points to ensure we all know the details. Theocracy is a form of government in which a state is understood as governed by immediate divine guidance provided to ruling clergy or other ruling officials. (Wikipedia) Dominionism, in the context of politics and religion, is the tendency among some politically active conservative Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States. (Wikipedia)

Ms. Goldberg writes: "Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions." This statement is startling and just a tad hard to believe. In fact the author goes on to point this out by saying that "ordinary people" call her and others writing about this as paranoid. However, Ms. Goldberg comes to the table with quite a degree of authority on the subject being the author of the book "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism", her thorough firsthand reporting of the Christian right In America.

For a long time, I have heard people make the statement that Christianity has been one of the most imperialistic movements throughout history. It would seem that Ms. Goldberg is pointing out a worrisome recrudescence of this imperialism however this time; it is making its way into mainstream politics. For a country which supposedly promotes the idea of the separation of church and state, there are many within its ranks who believe otherwise.

Stephen Colbert, an absolutely hilarious caricature of the Conservatives once said on his show, "I support all religions like Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. After all, there is more than one way to Jesus Christ." Even though I laughed, I did recognise a truth in what he said, that is, deep down, Christian fundamentalists believe they are right and everybody else is wrong. It almost goes with the territory. If you believe in something, truly believe in something, don't you want everybody else to have the benefit of the miracle you have? Gosh, I'm so enthused right now; I could jump up and down on Oprah's couch, not to make a reference to anybody else who may have bought too far into their beliefs.

The problem, as Michelle Goldberg pointed out, is for ordinary people to take any of this seriously. I have said it before that Sarah Palin and now Michele Bachmann, two good looking women who are very photogenic, open their mouths and all of their credibility vanishes within two seconds. The two of them have uttered such absurd statements, that to this day I am waiting for them to stop, laugh, then say, "Okay everybody. I was just joshin' ya. Now I'm going to tell you the real stuff."

Ryan Lizza wrote of Bachmann: In the spring of 2009, during what appeared to be the beginnings of a swine-flu epidemic, Bachmann said, “I find it interesting that it was back in the nineteen-seventies that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat President, Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama—I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” (New Yorker, Aug 14/2011: Leap of Faith) If Stephen Colbert said that, I would "get it" immediately. However here is a person who is running to be the GOP candidate for the next president of the United States. This is no longer funny. This woman is, to put in bluntly, an idiot and I am personally offended that she would utter such a statement thinking I'm so stupid as to believe it. Personally offended? Yes, I am angry to have somebody blather away rattling off inanities with a total disregard for the facts and logic expecting me to cow to Fearless Leader. This person and her followers must have an I.Q. in the double digits. I might go so far as to say equal to their age but even Forest was evaluated at 75. (Wikipedia)

What is truly scary in the rest of Ryan Lizza's article is his discussion of the machine in place to try and get Michele Bachmann to the White House. It isn't a question of whether Bachmann is the right person or not, it is a question of playing the "game" and winning the "game". The testing of Michele's new tagline, " Barack Obama will be a one . . . term . . . President!", planning on media coverage, how to do interviews, etc., are all steps in playing the game and getting their candidate to win. Just think about what I just said. The goal is not to do the right thing. The goal is not to elect the best president. The goal is to win. Period.

Matt Taibbi has written some terrific investigative pieces for Rolling Stone magazine and continues his quality reporting in his July 22, 2011 article entitled "Michele Bachmann's Holy War". He starts with the tagline, "The Tea Party contender may seem like a goofball, but be warned: Her presidential campaign is no laughing matter." Mr. Taibbi describes a woman who is a religious zealot who has both divine visions and paranoid delusions. While you may say that this indicates Taibbi's hostile approach to reporting on Bachmann, he goes on to factually report what Bachmann has said and done. Michele hangs herself and she's been hanging herself over and over again. The true surprise is that she has a following. She, like Sarah Palin, has indicated so clearly and so repeatedly that she hasn't got the slightest idea of what she's talking about outside the realm of her own mind, it is hard to fathom how anybody could take her seriously never mind vote for her. But since some people are following her and those people will vote for her; there is the nagging question about just who these people are.

Published on Oct 19, 2012 by Minnesota DFL
Michele Bachmann: Had Enough?
Michele Bachmann's greatest hits in just under 3 minutes - featuring presidential campaign footage and special guest Tim Pawlenty!

Final Word
Is there hope? The Tea Party represents a minority in America. However they are a very vocal minority which may give the impression they are bigger than they are. From my blog of August 14, 2011, Michele Bachmann, a Corn Dog and the Oral Office:

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll with 28.6%. While various news analysts and Ms. Bachmann herself have supposedly called this an important win or a solid or resounding victory, an article in the Huffington Post by Richard Greener points out something so obvious, so overwhelming obvious, it is surprising at how these people could be so blind. 71.4% of the voters did not pick Michele Bachmann. At a GOP-sponsored affair where the most fervent supporters of the Iowa Republican Party come together and nearly three-quarters of those people do not vote for Bachmann, how can anyone, media or Bachmann herself, say that this in any way resembles a victory?

One can only hope that Bachmann herself is so far right, she ends up being too radical for the Conservatives themselves: too right for the right. It's not just her religious fanaticism which is worrisome; it's that she, like Sarah Palin, is just plain dumb.


The picture of the Statue of Liberty holding a cross instead of a torch is in front of the World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

Wikipedia: Dominionism
Dominionism, in the context of politics and religion, is the tendency among some politically active conservative Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States. It is also known as subjectionism. The goal is either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. The use and application of this terminology is a matter of controversy.

Although dominionism is used in several distinct ways, most usage originates directly or indirectly from a specific passage in the King James Version of the Bible:

And God blessed [ Adam and Eve ] and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." —Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

Christians typically interpret this verse as meaning that God gave humankind responsibility over the Earth, although theologians do not all agree on the nature and extent of that "dominion".

The Daily Beast - Aug 14/2011
A Christian Plot for Domination? by Michelle Goldberg
[A good article and a little scary]
Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry aren't just devout—both have deep ties to a fringe fundamentalist movement known as Dominionism, which says Christians should rule the world.

official book site
Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg
Whenever I talk about the growing power of the evangelical right with friends, they always ask the same question: What can we do? Usually I reply with a joke: Keep a bag packed and your passport current. I don’t really mean it, but my anxiety is genuine. It’s one thing to have a government that shows contempt for civil liberties; America has survived such men before. It’s quite another to have a mass movement—the largest and most powerful mass movement in the nation—rise up in opposition to the rights of its fellow citizens. The Constitution protects minorities, but that protection is not absolute; with a sufficiently sympathetic or apathetic majority, a tightly organized faction can get around it.

official web site: Michelle Goldberg
Michelle Goldberg is an author and senior contributing writer for The Daily Beast/Newsweek. Her first book, the New York Times bestseller “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” (WW Norton), delved into some of the reddest precincts of the United States to expose the ascendant politico-religious fundamentalism dominating the Republican Party and, at the time, the Bush administration. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it “an impressive piece of lucid journalism…carefully researched and riveting.” It was a finalist for the 2007 New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism.

The New Yorker - Aug 15/2011
Leap of Faith by Ryan Lizza
[This is an excellent, well researched article which is well worth the read.]
The transformation of Michele Bachmann from Tea Party insurgent and cable-news Pasionaria to serious Republican contender in the 2012 Presidential race was nearly complete by late June, when she boarded a Dassault Falcon 900, in Dulles, Virginia, and headed toward the caucus grounds of Iowa.

Rolling Stone - July 22/2011
Michele Bachmann's Holy War by Matt Taibbi
The Tea Party contender may seem like a goofball, but be warned: Her presidential campaign is no laughing matter

my blog - Aug 6/2010
Sarah Palin: Refudiate this!
A plan to build a mosque near the Ground Zero site in New York generated quite a bit of controversy. People have been jumping on the bandwagon saying that this is offensive to America in light of the events of 9/11. On July 19, Sarah Palin, on the social networking site Twitter, wrote asking "peaceful Muslims" to "pls refudiate" the plan. She then corrected herself by then calling on "peaceful New Yorkers" to "refute the Ground Zero mosque plan". Well, refute isn't quite right either and while repudiate might fit, reject would probably be better but by then, it was too late. The rest of the world got a hold of this and have both savagely and delightedly gone after her for this "creative" use of the English language.

my blog - Aug 10/2010
3.8 Trillion Reasons to Think of Sarah
Sarah Palin has been putting out the following message: Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to institute the largest tax increase in the history of the United States, an amount of $3.8 trillion. Is this true or not true?

my blog - July 15/2011
Michele Bachmann: The next president of the WTH!?!
I read the news articles; I watch the video clips and I realize I don't have to say anything. Michele Bachmann speaks for herself. I used to think Sarah Palin was a one off, a unique event on the American political landscape. I now know Sarah has a twin. Both of them look great; they have a certain presence and somewhere there is the hope this is the person from whom one could expect big things. Then they open their mouths.

my blog - Aug 14/2011
Michele Bachmann, a Corn Dog and the Oral Office
Joseph Curl of the Washington Times wrote, "Soon-to-be president Michele Bachmann swept off with the top prize, but only after eating her body weight in corn dogs." ... Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll with 28.6%. ... 71.4% of the voters did not pick Michele Bachmann.

Think Progress - Jun 16/2011
10 Of The Craziest Things Michele Bachmann Has Ever Said

Huffington Post - Aug 16/2011
Kathy Griffin Talks Michele Bachmann 'Bigot' Meeting On Conan (VIDEO)
Appearing on "Conan" Monday night, Griffin recalled the time she met Bachmann in Washington while researching for her rally to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Perhaps mistaking Griffin for someone else, one of Bachmann's staffers pulled out a video camera to capture their interaction for her website. First, Griffin says she asked the Congresswoman if she'd support an effort to repeal the law that banned homosexuals from the military. When Bachmann declined, Griffin got personal.

"Congresswoman Bachmann, were you born a bigot or did you, like, grow into it?" she asked -- on tape.

As for Bachmann's answer?

"That's a good question. I'm gonna have to get back to ya," she said, perhaps not creating the best of campaign slogans.


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1 comment:

Unknown said...

this is a sick sick woman. not to be confused with all the sick sick men who are just as brain washed as the next.

when will people stop hating?