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How Michele Bachmann Profited off her Islamophobic McCarthyism
By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonAug. 3rd, 2012more from Hrafnkell Haraldsson
God-appointed candidate Michele Bachmann may not have made herself relevant with her anti-Muslim McCarthyism but she did make herself some cash. Salon reported yesterday that “The controversial congresswoman announced on Twitter yesterday that she had raised $1 million from July 1 through 25 — a massive haul.”
Haters love her. And why not? She’s their voice in mainstream politics. Through Michele Bachmann, hate is no longer fringe. When others back away, Bachmann does not. For the first time since Adolf Hitler, crazy eyes are chic.
And to be honest, it hasn’t been an entirely bad month for Bachmann. Despite being panned by her own party’s leadership, she did manage to get herself appointed to the rabidly Islamophobic Thomas More Law Center. Christian News Wire reported yesterday that “Michele Bachman Joins TMLC’s Citizens Advisory Board — Puts Her Country Above Politics, Party and Political Correctness”:
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, today announced that Congresswomen Michele Bachmann (R- MN) has agreed to serve on the Law Center’s Citizens Advisory Board.
Bachmann, of course, accepted, saying, “I am pleased to join forces with the Thomas More Law Center. They are in the courts aggressively fighting the internal threat to America posed by radical Islam.”
They’re fighting against common decency but in pursuing McCarthyism, so is Bachmann. Right Wing Watch offers the law center’s bonafides, saying it is,
best known for its unsuccessful lawsuit against Planned Parenthood and the Shepard-Byrd hate crimes law as well as its botched defense of a Pennsylvania’s school’s Intelligent Design curriculum, as of late has tried to appeal to anti-Muslim sentiments. The group believes that Islam is trying to “destroy America,” demanded a state investigation into the sale of a school to a Muslim group, and thinks that a school teaching Arabic will train kids to become terrorists. When not attacking the rights of Muslim-Americans, the group warns that Christians will soon be imprisoned due to hate crimes laws and that the “homosexual agenda” will cause America to “disintegrate.”
If they’re not perfectly in keeping with the radical Republican platform of 2012 where everything not White and male and Evangelical is hated and marginalized then nobody is. And these haters are sporting wood, if you take my meaning, creating a possibility that for the first time in decades a Republican tent might actually get larger:
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “We are honored to have the counsel of a tough, tested, true American patriot; a person who puts her country above politics, party and political correctness. She understands and shares our concerns about the internal threat to our nation posed by Stealth Jihad as well as maintaining the Judeo-Christian values that made this nation ‘the shining city on the hill.’”
Stealth Jihad! Speaking of wood and tents, if that doesn’t warm the cockles of a racist’s heart, nothing will. And what better way to rally the forces of religious hate than appealing to that shining city on the hill – Kabul – er, I mean, Jerusalem, where the Talibangelical morality police roam the streets gunning down sinners and yucky brown people alike in an orgasmic frenzy of divinely-inspired passion?
Career-building aside, on August 1st Bachmann penned a defense of her Islamophobia in a Minneapolis Star-Tribune op-ed warning everyone to “beware of radical Islam.” Self-styled superhero Bachmann tells the world: “I’m on the case because someone has to question Obama administration’s indulgence” (and run away from CNN reporters).
Well gosh, lucky us to get a deranged radical Christian on the case! She’s like Iron Man with a big red cross on her chest instead of a glowing reactor thingy. She has privatized theocentric national security: If the government (Obama) won’t get ‘em, I will!
Never one to court the truth when a lie will do, she wrote, “I cannot ignore the national-security threats facing our nation” even though – and she won’t mention this – Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on which she serves – said that Bachmann was railing against a nonexistent threat. She apparently doesn’t think the Star-Tribune audience doesn’t need to know this.
Nor do they need to be aware that Bachmann tried to destroy lives and careers:
The panic-stricken reaction to the letters that four of my congressional colleagues and I recently wrote to the Inspectors General of five government agencies, asking them to simply investigate the premise of our concerns, is an illustration of exactly how unwary many of our leaders are here in the United States.
Ouch, way to slap down your own party leadership. Bachmann has never been one to miss an opportunity and since she thinks like her low-brow constituents, she knows exactly which money-buttons to push.
But “asking them to simply investigate the premise of our concerns…”? Not quite. Bachmann asked them to investigate American citizens – specific American citizens, including Huma Abedin. She tried to instigate a witch-hunt against individuals, which is far from the same thing.
And she was slapped down by her party’s leadership, which is why in true demagogue’s fashion she appeals to the hater masses, which promptly fill her coffers with gold so she can go on spreading her radical Christian hate far and wide.
As Salon warns, her latest haul “also explains why she can get away with stunts like the witch hunt and countless others — she’s untouchable.”
In 2010 election cycle, she raised more than any other member of Congress, including soon-to-be Speaker Boehner or the members of the typically lucrative Ways and Means Committee (which oversees taxes) or appropriations. Bachmann said July’s harvest came from more than 22,000 contributions with an average donation of just under $50, typical of the kind of grassroots base extending far beyond her district’s borders that she’s been able to assemble as a national Tea Party figure.
You have to credit Bachmann for actually apparently speaking the hearts of admittedly sanity-challenged individuals, but at least she isn’t simply saying that people agree with her, like many Republican politicians have taken to doing as they go against opinion poll after opinion poll. Bachmann does actually have a crazytown constituency, probably many of the same people who thought Sarah Palin was the best thing to happen to the West since the Witch Trials.
Fortunately, popular as Bachmann is in certain circles, she does not have a wide enough populist backing to make her a national threat, as her failure in the presidential race showed. That’s not to say she and the radical conservative Christianity she represents don’t pose a threat – they do.
Until the Republican Party reins in its extremists, who all too sadly do not now reside at its fringes, or the American voter overwhelmingly rejects their ideology, or less likely yet, the media remembers its testicles, we will have to endure their propaganda and their poster girl, Michele Bachmann, who embodies in her crazy eyes all that’s evil in religious conservatism.