Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 2, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) isn't satisfied with the federal response to the BP oil spill disaster because -- get this -- she wanted to see the federal government seize control and ownership of more private property. Seriously.

"Where were the boats that could have been commandeered by the government to be sent into this region to deal with that oil plume as it was coming up to the water and destroying marine life? Nowhere to be found. Why? The administration was hands off on this policy."

As a substantive matter, arguing that the administration has taken a "hands-off" approach to the disaster is absurd. When it comes to reality, Bachmann is strikingly confused.

But that's an everyday occurrence. What makes these remarks special is the way in which Bachmann is so desperate to attack President Obama, she's apparently forgotten her own extreme worldview.

As Lee Fang explained, Bachmann "is known for decrying almost every form of government action as socialism. Bachmann has denounced emergency loans to banks, student lending programs, health reform, and regulations as examples of 'gangster' government and onerous government takeovers. 'People don't want the federal government to either own or control the private economy,' she said."

I can only assume that if the Obama administration had forcibly seized ownership of private property, Bachmann would have led the charge, howling about a "government takeover," and a heavy-handed federal government. Why, she would ask, can't the administration save tax dollars and allow private enterprise to tend to the disaster a private company created?

The point, for Bachmann, is to lash out hysterically and attack the president. Whether it makes sense or is consistent with her so-called principles is irrelevant.

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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Bachmann is a socialist? Whoa...

I'm still reeling from the Alabamans voting for a pro-evolution guv candidate ...

...mebbe there's something to this incrementalism...

Posted by: neill on June 2, 2010 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

The point, for Bachmann, is to lash out hysterically and attack the president. Whether it makes sense or is consistent with her so-called principles is irrelevant.

Obama himself, in order to get through the media's conservative filter, needs to point out Bachmann's 180 degree turn and ridicule it. Bobby Jindal needs the same treatment.

Then Obama should put the rest of the Republicans on the spot and ask publicly and often whether they were 'against nationalization before they were for it'.

Someone not in the administration could then ask the provocative question of whether they Republicans can come up with any new ideas that don't involve tax cuts for millionaires.

Posted by: SteveT on June 2, 2010 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

What goes on in her head isn't cognitive dissonance, it's cognitive dissident's. That's the ablility to dissent against anything resembling a cognitive thought.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on June 2, 2010 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

These are words that go together
Oh my Michelle
Bells in a belfry
Moon , in the Bachman sky
Michelle comfortably contradicting
Conservative virus
Because it is troubling to care about the difference
Between the angels on a pin or
The active places in her mind
Which still can tell the story
About right and wrong

Posted by: FRP on June 2, 2010 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

-Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. . .

Posted by: DAY on June 2, 2010 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

I want to see ALL of Grover Norquist's candidates forced to explain how their "baby drowned in a bathtub" could respond to this crisis... especially Toomey. As far as Bachmann's inconsistencies are concerned, the woman can't remember what cailber of ammunition she needs for her .44 Magnum, much less arrive at a coherent political philosophy.

Posted by: Larry McD on June 2, 2010 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

The point is for Obama and Congressional dems to realize, to understand, to take deep into their guts the truth we have been trying to beat past their concrete skulls:

The repugs are going to attack you no matter what you do, even if - especially if - you do exactly what they demand you do.

Therefore: Ignore. Them.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on June 2, 2010 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, don't be so hard on Michelle. I'm sure she thinks it is just like on TV or the movies where a non-uniformed cop stands in the middle of the street, flashes his badge (or not) and commandeers whatever movie vehicle he wants and proceeds to destroy it in a high-speed, destructive entertaining and never fatal car chase.

In Michelle's world, cops can do anything they want, so they should be in the Gulf taking boats and arresting oil. They're cops, not the socialistical fascist Obama gov't.

Posted by: martin on June 2, 2010 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Bachmann is a socialist?

And a farm owner welfare queen and probably using "government run healthcare" via the fed employees health benefits program.


Posted by: flyonthewall on June 2, 2010 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

martin may be closer to the deep cartoon , anime , construction of a conservative narrative than is actually possible .

Posted by: FRP on June 2, 2010 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

Umm, that should have been "moving" vehicle, but "movie" vehicle does seem to work nicely, doesn't it? ;>

Posted by: martin on June 2, 2010 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect she has been talking to Maureen Dowd the liberal turncoat , who thinks that by trashing Obama and his administration people will like and respect her. No wonder she can't get a date.

Posted by: john R on June 2, 2010 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

In Bobby Jindal's memorable (not) response to the State of the Union address, he ridiculed the federal government for spending some insignificant sum of money on research related to a potential natural disaster caused by a volcano. There are many active volcanoes in the Western U.S.

Still laughing, Bobby? No, now the little boob is begging for federal money. Again.

Posted by: Pug on June 2, 2010 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Maureen Dowd the liberal turncoat
Maureens issues are a bit more diffuse , and destructive , than being able to support her core at the expense of her histrionics .

Posted by: FRP on June 2, 2010 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Along with her soul-sister Palin, Bachmann is a model for what the GOP has become: the Fuckin' Idiot Party.

Posted by: David Bailey on June 2, 2010 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

This is actually the perfect bookend for all the lefty bloggers and commenters who are furiously demanding that Obama seize and nationalize BP without compensation to the shareholders, order the summary arrest of BP's executives for unspecified crimes without bothering with the formalities of an investigation or an indictment, militarize the efforts to stop the leak, and even use nuclear weapons on the leak, notwithstanding the fact that doing so is a) insane and, b) would violate at least two treaties.

It has become really hard to avoid the conclusion that ideology is a mental disorder.

Posted by: Steve (Not That One) on June 2, 2010 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

What is going on right now is BP is trying hard to deflect attention away from it to the Administration. In doing so they have enlisted a large part of the Republican/Fox News establishment, James Carvelle, and some other assorted CNN and MSNBC personalities and some pundits like Maureen Dowd who have been demanding Obama head for failing to fix BP's problem. This Michelle Bachmann comment is just part of the deflection campaign.

I would imagine some of the people they are using don't even know they are being manipulated. Big oil companies are experts at manipulating the media and politics in the third world countries they rape and pollute. Why should America be an exception.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 2, 2010 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Now imagine an entire audience composed of people just like Bachmann who apply their principles indiscriminately and interchangeably to fit the fashion of the times and don't care a whit if at the end of the day they match up, and you get some idea of the temptations and the opportunities that present themselves to the ideologically-minded folks who do the programming on Fox News. Like shooting fish in a barrel. Why wouldn't you brazenly lie if you were a Karl Rove and telling untruths advanced your agenda? What's to stop you? Moral scruples? To a political animal like Rove? Get real.

For most of us, "principles" and their consitent application are what keep us sane. By confining our ideas and arguments within the four walls of rationality, consistency and intellectual integrity we are able to make better sense of the world, understanding that this is the only way it is possible to build community -- or conduct a democracy.

But imagine an audience consisting entirely of people just like Bachmann who are committed to a certain outcome as if it were a religion (and in fact may be a religion) and so for whom the only real principle is conformity -- conformity to the agenda and conformity to approved authorities in their lives.

This is the way it is for the "right wing authoritarian followers" that John Dean popularized in his book Conservatives Without a Conscience, with his focus on the academic work of U. of Manitoba professor Bob Altemeyer, who has been studying the authoritarian personality and its connection to right wing (as opposed to merely conservative) politics for the past four decades.

Wonder why its impossible to argue with such people who seem so rigidly dogmatic and inconsitent, or why the arguments and goal posts always seem to move when they feel themselves getting the short end of an argument -- such as their insistance that their way is the only way and you are simply being "intolerant" for disagreeing, or why Rachel Maddow never wants for material for her show, which is practically predicated on pointing out the double standards, duplicities and glaring hypocricies that seem to go inexorably hand in hand with conservative thinking and rhetoric these days -- most likely because it now has access to a powerful media that understands what makes its audience tick, along with a practical monopoly on what they see and hear and belive (thanks to the demise of the Fairness Doctrine) which are the very first preconditions of any successful propaganda.

Posted by: Ted Frier on June 2, 2010 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Where's a troll to defend Madam Bachmann. She is crazy, but there has to be someone who is crazy-er? She must have constituents who adore her. Please. Someone?

Posted by: pokeybob on June 2, 2010 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Um, aside from her ideological incoherence, what does she expect all those commandeered "boats" could actually do to "deal with that oil plume"? Bring lots of paper towels?

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on June 2, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this northern middle state
Aboard this tiny brain.

The Rep was a mighty thinking gal
Her reasons brave but not too sure .
Five or six positions could sail on any day
For a three hour rant , her wildness was not scant .

The rancour started getting rough,
Her tiny mind seemed tossed ,
If not for the courage of this fearless one
The conservatives feel a loss ,
The conservatives would feel a loss

The policies set ground on the shore of this uncharted mindless mess
With Michelle
A half termer Gov too,
Millionaire's and sychophants ,
The movements movie star
The disgraced former speaker and propagandists ,
Here in Michelle's special place .

Posted by: FRP on June 2, 2010 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Being able to hold multiple, conflicting worldviews simultaneously is essential to success in the modern GOP. The post-rational nature of our discourse ensures there is no consequence.

Posted by: CJ on June 2, 2010 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Obama ought to commandeer Bachmann and include her in the next Junk Shot.

Posted by: Jon on June 2, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

I think the government has a few of it's own boats.

Posted by: agave on June 2, 2010 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

[...] order the summary arrest of BP's executives for unspecified crimes without bothering with the formalities of an investigation [...] Posted by: Steve (Not That One) on June 2, 2010 at 9:24 AM

... and stuff them down the well, as a part of the top kill. You forgot that in your list, Steve (Not That One), yet it's been a very popular solution on several lefty blogs.

Posted by: exlibra on June 2, 2010 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Um, aside from her ideological incoherence, what does she expect all those commandeered "boats" could actually do to "deal with that oil plume"? Bring lots of paper towels?" -R. Porrofatto

Exactly. I don't think a shortage of boats is the reason the oil well is still leaking. I think it might have something to do with the difficulty of stopping gushing oil wells a mile below sea level.

Posted by: Dylan on June 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

It's been a joy to watch the rest of the world discover the Michele Bachmann that we've all suffered with for years under her "representation."


Posted by: Karl on June 3, 2010 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

I got through a debt settlement company, and i can say it's safe and effective as long as its a company A rated by the better business bureau.

Posted by: Credit Debt on November 1, 2010 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK



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