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Caucusing With Madness: Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 08:39 pm

“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 theBachmannrecord.com:

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.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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