Caucusing With Madness: Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party

Bachmann super crazy The lunatics have assembled like hungry piranha around Tea Party caucus leader Michele Bachmann. Twenty-eight Republican members of the House are listed as members of the caucus. There are currently 178 Republican members of Congress. By my count then, some 15% of the House has declared itself insane and unfit to hold public office.

“Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, April, 2009

No, Michele, it only prevents hemoglobin from carrying oxygen throughout your body, which leads to hypoxia which results in organ failure, brain damage and death. What’s your excuse?

As a Minnesotan by upbringing if not birth, I find myself compelled to offer a few comments on the occasion of Michelle Bachmann’s self-promotion to chairman of the of the House Tea Party caucus in Congress, and the unveiling of her own national political action committee. Minnesotans, she apparently reasons, should have the opportunity to see their money go to lunatics like her across state lines.

There should be a federal law regarding that.

But it’s a free country and people have a right to be appointed by God to be president (G.W. Bush) or told to run for political office by the Big Guy in the Sky (Bachmann). I mean, why not? It’s the land of opportunity; the sky’s the limit.

Unless you’re the wrong color or the wrong religion or love the wrong person.

But we won’t go down that road…yet.

Bachmann had some interesting qualifications for her Tea Party caucus: “We decided to form a Tea Party caucus for one very important purpose: To listen to the concerns of the Tea Party.”

“We are not the mouthpiece of the Tea Party. We are not taking the Tea Party and controlling it from Washington DC. I am not the head of the Tea Party.”

That’s a relief, Michele!

“We are also not here to vouch for the Tea Party, or to vouch for any Tea Party organizations or vouch for any individual people or actions or billboards or signs or anything of the Tea Party. We are here to listen and to be a receptacle.”

Oh yes…well, my genteel upbringing prohibits me from commenting on Ms. Bachmann’s receptacle status. Let’s just say that she is a unique repository of all sorts of…”remarkable”…things.

The lunatics have assembled like hungry piranha around the caucus leader. Twenty-eight Republican members of the House are listed as members of the caucus, including two high ranking members of the GOP House leadership, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions.

According to the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, there are currently 178 Republican members of Congress. By my count then, some 15% of the House has declared itself insane and unfit to hold public office.

Anyone else wish to declare themselves?

Or perhaps we should ask God. Did he tell them to run for office too?

Bachmann doesn’t seem to think things through. But maybe that’s just the whimsy of divine inspiration at play. For example, she says the most astonishing things, like: that she hopes her caucus will eventually become bipartisan in nature.

The Tea Party is an extreme right-wing political movement that is by its very nature divisive. It’s “our” country but you “others” are welcome to join too. That’s like Hitler inviting a Jew into the Reichstag. But that’s exactly what Bachmann did:

“The first letter I wrote about the Tea Party caucus was to speaker (Nancy) Pelosi to invite her to also become a part of the Tea Party caucus, so I’m hoping Democrats and Republicans will come together to become a part of this caucus,” Bachmann told CNN.

Grandstanding. Bachmann obviously has a sort of low animal cunning. Or perhaps that’s God…

If it is God, did God forget he told Bachmann to challenge the loyalty of members of Congress?

In an interview with Chris Matthews of MSNBC, she offered this McCarthyesque gem: “What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think the American people would love to see an expose like that.”

This went over…not so well. There was a move to censure her. Michele then claimed she never said that at all. On Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes,” she said, “It’s an urban legend that was created,” she responded. “That isn’t what I said at all.”

Maybe God’s self-appointed avatar is stuck at a Bronze Age technological level along with the Ten Commandments. We have these things called recording devices, Michele. We know what you said. We can play it back and laugh endlessly.

And we do.

It should be obvious to everyone (including God) that she was talking (among others) about Nancy Pelosi, whom the Tea Party seems to see as the nexus of evil in Congress.

At least Bachmann has a realistic appraisal of her own rather limited abilities and talents. Interviewed by Todd Fiel at KKMS in 2003 she said, “I look at the Scripture and I read it and I take it for what it is. I give more credence in the Scripture as being kind of a timeless word of God to mankind, and I take it for what it is. And I don’t think I give as much credence to my own mind, because I see myself as being very limited and very flawed, and lacking in knowledge, and wisdom and understanding. So, I just take the Bible for what it is, I guess, and recognize that I am not a scientist, not trained to be a scientist. I’m not a deep thinker on all of this. I wish I was. I wish I was more knowledgeable, but I’m not a scientist.”


This is the woman who thinks if we do away with minimum wage that unemployment will be wiped out.

Flawed hardly covers it.

And Bachmann’s “rainbow coalition” ends up being pretty small, which will put limits on her caucusing (or should we call it Caucasianing?). From

On gay marriage: “This is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understating that.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

On public education: “That’s my number one issue.” — Senator Michele Bachmann quoted in Stillwater Gazette, July 24, 2006. K. Janisch, “Rove stumps for Bachmann in Stillwater ”

“This really is the number one issue for our country right now, how are we going to deal with this threat of radical Islam.”—Senator Michele Bachmann, Northern Alliance Radio Network, September 9, 2006.

On her March 2004 rally against same-sex marriage: “It will be an awesome day. We are going to be beseeching the Lord.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

Besides showing an utter disdain for people who don’t share her beliefs, Michele seems to have a difficult time determining what is most important. George Carlin always said God was bad with money. Maybe he’s bad at organizing too, and lacks judgment (ironic for someone who enjoys judging so much). Or maybe it’s not God at all, but Michele Bachmann.

I think that’s a safer bet.

10 Replies to “Caucusing With Madness: Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party”

  1. Hraf, this is a totally different style than your usual pieces and I love them both equally! Great job. Michelle Bachmann’s call for an investigation of members of congress was a new low and something I will never forget. Little did we know then that Republicans would be competing with one another to impress the Tea Party by disrespecting the very foundations of this country.

  2. Interesting post.

    I’ve been voting for 40 years and my neighbor for 60 years, and we can both say unequivocally that we’ve never seen this level of sustained crazy talk by so many politicians. The media cover them breathlessly with hardly any counterpoint to their fabrications, apparently hoping against hope that these weirdos will say something even more outlandish to display in the next news cycle. Palin. Bachmann. Angle. Rand Paul. Tea Baggers. The list goes on and on …. insanity.

  3. I remember Michelle Bachmann’s demented statement about investigating Congress members for being “un-American” and a bunch of other nutty statements. But just looking at the picture of her above illustrates the truth that the eyes are the window to the soul, or one picture says a thousand words. She looks every bit as loony as we know she is. But she’s only one face of the insanity we get subjected to 24/7.

  4. Writing about Bachmann was really about choosing how much to omit. For such a short political career, she has made a lifetime’s worth of stupid statements, often mutually exclusive, as with her “most important issue” comments I included at the end. I don’t know if it’s truly possible to capture the extent of her lunacy but I’ve got to say if the Tea Party deserves leaders at all, it deserves people like Palin and Bachmann, who embody it’s essential nature.

  5. What still stuns me more, Sarah, than her attack on congressional loyalty, is her feeble attempt to deny she ever said it. My six-year-old does that. This is a grown woman who should understand technology. We’ve had TVs and cameras for a great many years now, after all.

  6. That bothers me as well, C.L., that throughout 2008 and ever since, any lie told is simply repeated by the “left wing media elite” like it’s true. No questions, no analysis, no debate. Even MSNBC often gives the right-wing guest the last word, or fails to challenge on obvious untruths and exaggerations.

  7. You’re right. This has long been the strategy of public officials busted, but what astounds me is that the Right is particularly slow in realizing that we have youtube now and that simply is no longer a viable strategy.

    But this Orwellian speak has not been pushed back enough by the media. Remember Palin telling reporters that she had been exonerated of Troopergate? Sigh.

  8. Hraf, what a stylistic difference between this post and your others!!! You are demonstrating some nice versatility. The sad thing is that Bachmann used to be the exception not the norm, but since the GOP flew over the cuckoo’s nest, Bachmann has had to be even more insane to fulfill he seemingly endless need for ego stroking attention.

  9. Thanks, Jason. Yes,they’re trying to outdo each other, aren’t they? And they seem endlessly willing to sound like lunatics. You have to wonder where it will end. It amazes me that this woman is still in office. I really feel for the people she purports to represent. And I thought I was in a bad way being stuck with Souder.

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