Having Backed Herself into McCarthy’s Corner, Bachmann Lashes Out

Michele Bachmann’s attempt at playing Joe McCarthy didn’t go so well. It backfired in her face, to be perfectly blunt, culminating in a call by People for the American Way for Boehner to remove Bachmann from her position on the Intelligence Committee. And now she’s playing the victim.

Bachmann’s problems all began when she and four other Republican House members, perhaps emboldened by Homeland Security chairman Peter King’s own McCarthyesque tactics (cheer-led by Fox News), decided to launch a witch hunt against Huma Abedin, who has been an aide to Hilary Clinton for years and whom you might remember as the wife of former Representative Anthony Weiner.

Abedin must not have seemed like much of a challenge to the bully in Bachmann. After all, Bachmann likes to call Obama himself “un-American” so what did she have to fear from an openly Muslim woman? Never mind that the Muslim woman is an American citizen, born not in the Middle East, but in Michigan.

What Bachmann did, along with Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) is back in June send letters to the Justice Department, Homeland Security and officials in both the Department of Defense and National Intelligence urging an investigation of Abedin’s alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

As People for the American Way has pointed out, “The letter relied largely on phony information peddled by anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney.” Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan official, is a professed Islamophobe. You might remember Gaffney for accusing CIA Director David Petraeus last year of “submitting” to Islamic law. You might keep in mind that Gaffney even accused Tea Party hero Grover Norquist of working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is telling that Mike Rogers (R-MI), chair of the House Intelligence Committee on which Bachmann sits, has refuted her claim. The Muslim Brotherhood has not infiltrated the U.S. government. He told USA Today, “That kind of assertion certainly doesn’t comport with the Intelligence Committee, and I can say that on the record. I have no information in my committee that would indicate that Huma (Abedin) is anything other than an American patriot.”

And Bachmann, the Tea Party darling, suddenly found herself criticized by her fellow Republicans.

“From everything I do know of [Huma Abedin], she has a sterling character, and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous,” House Speaker John Boehner said.

Senator Lindsay Graham told Politico the charges were “ridiculous” and that Ms Abedin “is about as far away from the Muslim Brotherhood view of women and ideology as you possibly could get”.

Marco Rubio (R-FL) is another Bachmann critic. Salon reports Rubio saying on NPR, “I can tell you that I don’t share the feelings that are in that letter. And in fact, I’m very very careful and cautious about ever making accusations like that about anyone.” Rubio said of Abedin herself: “”Everyone I talk to who has dealt with her, [says she is] a professional and hardworking and patriotic American who loves her country and in the service of her country is serving it.”

Bachmann’s former campaign manager Ed Rollins lambasted Bachmann on Fox News’ website. He said that Bachmann “sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level”. Saying “shame on you, Michele” he lays waste to her claims and her integrity: “Her unsubstantiated charge against Abedin, a widely respected top aide to Secretary  Hillary Clinton, accusing her of some sort of far-fetched connection to the Muslim brotherhood, is extreme and dishonest. ”

John McCain was Abedin’s most notable defender: “When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance for what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation and we all grow poorer because of it.”

McCain minced no words: “This report is scurrilous,” he said. “To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it.” (For the full text of McCain’s defense of Huma Abedin see the Washington Post 2Chambers blog)

Grover Norquist himself told Politico yesterday: ”It’s completely indefensible, there’s nothing else to say.”

In response to all this Republican criticism, Bachmann has no response. But she is standing by her original accusations and just a few days ago claimed in the National Review that “Obama’s friends are America’s enemies”. She even wrote a second letter, 16 pages long, to Keith Ellison in response to his letter to her, expanding on her original allegations.

Muslim Keith Ellison, himself a target of Islamophobic attacks, said “Instead of doubling down and claiming to be distorted, just admit that you’re wrong,” Of course that won’t happen; in response to Ellison’s criticism, she accused him of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood as well.

Well, we all know how this goes. She accuses, you defend the accused, she attacks you and so on and so forth until everyone has been accused of plotting against her and she runs out of enemies.

Ellison correctly pointed out that “She has a pattern of making allegations and then being called upon to prove them. She either switches the subject or says she didn’t say that or claims to having been distorted.”

Which is exactly what she has done in this instance.  She is claiming the media is distorted her letter, (read her letter here and see what you think) a strange claim to make while at the same time she expands on her original allegations to accuse even more people of un-American activities.

Both the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, have refused to investigate Abedin in response to Bachmann’s allegations.

Bachmann, not entirely without Republican allies, including Gaffney, is now playing the victim, but the true victim is Huma Abedin, who is now under police protection thanks to Bachmann’s recklessness. According to the New York Post, “Police and federal officials have placed security around ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, after a New Jersey man threatened her, law-enforcement sources said.

Republicans will continue to insist that their hate-filled rhetoric is not responsible for attacks on innocent Americans but the laws of causation say otherwise. When will Americans say they have had enough?

Bachmann seems to have exposed herself politically but The Atlantic warns liberals not to celebrate prematurely, that her position remains strong. Boehner, despise PFAW’s call, is unlikely to remove her from the House Intelligence Committee (he said in response to questions of that sort, “I don’t know that that’s related at all.”). She is still in a strong position, says The Atlantic, because she is still popular, has plenty of money, and redistricting. They do warn, however, that Bachmann is playing with fire in going against the State Department and the powerful Clintons.

It will be interesting to see if she survives that encounter.

Meanwhile, it is indicative of the shrill and ill-thought out and gaffe-prone nature of Bachmann’s politics that the Muslim Brotherhood seems more reasonable than her. Responding to Bachmann’s allegations, Ahmed Al Nahhas, “a long-time Brotherhood activist and leader in Egypt’s second-largest city, Alexandria,” according to the Global Post had this to say: ”I haven’t heard these rumors, but they strike me as ridiculous. Surely the United States government selects its employees very carefully.” Muslim Brotherhood mockery of Bachmann’s claims include a bit of self-mockery: ”‘The Muslim Brotherhood can’t even penetrate the Egyptian government,’ said a Brotherhood leader in Egypt’s Daqheleya province, Ibrahim Ali Iraqi, in response to the accusations his group had infiltrated top US agencies.”

If only we selected our House members as carefully.

29 Replies to “Having Backed Herself into McCarthy’s Corner, Bachmann Lashes Out”

  1. what’s this new big box at the bottom of the screen?

    it’s very irritating and it’s impposible to get rid of it.

    you know? some of us couldn’t care less about how many retweets something gets.

  2. It is curious that both she and the Romneys have the same glassy eyes. Perhaps they are the *real* hostile (space) aliens.

  3. The best protection from a Muslim takeover is a strong separation of church and state, though I’m sure Ms. Bachmann doesn’t understand that.

  4. The point is not to advertise Tweets but to make social networking accessible to readers so that they can share what they like with others.

  5. I don’t care how much federal money she gets for her district. This woman has no place in Congress. She is mean, vindictive, and a liar. I can find no hint of Christian values let alone the American ideals she trumpets, in her words and actions. Come on, Minnesota, send her packing. And shame on Boehner for allowing this evil woman to keep her seat on the Intelligence Committee. You , sir, are as bad as she is.

  6. Those creepy eyes come from staring at pictures of “fearless leader” as a way to absorb power…
    (you can fill in the blanks on a “fearless leader” figure). There is definitely some kind of a hypnotic Manchurian Candidate-style mind control games going on; people like herself are susceptible and easily controlled. Marcus has been manipulating her for years!

  7. I do believe Batty Bachmann did this in response to Anthony Weiner expressing a notion to get back into politics….he is a FABULOUS spokesman and the GOP do NOT want to deal with him…

  8. It has been irritating – thanks for mentioning it. It’s been moved to the bottom of the post, not the bottom of the screen. so it’s not in the way, but can still be used if you want to share the post.

  9. Interesting to hear Republicans defend attacks some of them launch (albeit with some subtlety) against this President.

    I wish they would come out and defend ALL Americans against this. How about the Democrats Michele called for an investigation of? No?

  10. Might someone investigate her sanity, along with that of Rep. Gohmert et alii? I am certain that officeholders are, at a minimum, suppposed to qualify as sui juris.

  11. Allow me to emulate my wingnut friends and a favored trick of theirs:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Should that be in all caps?

  12. I saw the comment by Rubio. He might be slightly more intelligent than Bachmann, but don’t trust anything he says.

    As far as I’m concerned, he’s worse… he hides his beliefs and connections better.

    My response when I read the accusations was along the line of “So what if people in the government are Muslim? That doesn’t make them automatically suspect!” In fact, I’d RATHER have a Muslim than a dominionist any day. With a Muslim, the chances are very great that they support the constitution. With dominionists, it’s just the opposite… some of their leaders have openly called for eliminating the constitution, and their stated goal is replacing our government with a theocracy!

    Since Bachmann and many other Republicans are dominionists or have strong dominionist connections, THEY are the ones who are automatically suspect!

  13. in this country backman and. RATney are called by titles every where else in the world they are called U.S.SPACE CADET DUO and their followers their army “SPACE CADET DUO AND THEIR ARMY” are at it again is anybody surprised ” no surprises here”

  14. I have no connection to it but there is a blog about the goings on in that foreign land of bachmannistan called dumpbachmann.com See… not all peoples of MN are crazy or stupid or both.

  15. A few years back, any type of accusation like this would have been laughed out of existence by the media and our government.
    In 2008 this country elected a black president. Since then, I have witnessed a venomous, vindictive and out right mean spirited verbal (and am sure the Secret Service can attest attempted physical) assault on this president unmatched in this counties history.
    bachmann (she is unworthy of any capital letters) is leading the charge in this vicious attack on a standing president in the hopes of his utter defeat, along with the liberal social policies President Obama has attempted to pass in the last 3 years.
    The more shrill, outrageous and contemptuous the accusations against the president, democratics or our liberal elected representatives, the more acceptable it becomes, and the more it is believed as truth.
    This coming election could see the election from the tea bagging son of a bitches more radical goons whose only purpose is to gum up the works of our government. The full purpose of these maggots is simple, destroy any social safety net programs, dismantle Social Security and Medicare and install a government that only answers to the profit driven capitalists blood suckers now polluting our election with untold wads of cash in order to BUY (read BRIBE) our government.
    This coming election is going to be a very telling one, for if the tea bagging maggots gain MORE seats, and we lose both houses and Romney is elected, then the beginning of the end of our experiment in representative government will begin.
    I am not sure what will happen then, but real blood in the streets, a very real bloody revolution, along with private armies paid for by the very rich is a real possibility in my lifetime, and I am 65.
    Is it too early for a call to arms??? That statement is not a joke, it’s for real. The poison being spewed forth by the christen right and sluts like backmann is just the beginning of a total destruction of freedom in this country. It’s going to happen if these scum bags gain any majority in both houses and the White House.
    The statement; Be Afraid, be very Afraid! is a truth these days, and backmann and her Nazi army are the tip of this very destructive spear.

  16. ”Why do people say ‘grow some balls?’ Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding!” – Betty White

    Grow a vagina, Boehner, and censure the dangerously inept Bachmann.

  17. Has Ms. Bachman had a psychological evaluation recently? My guess would be in the negative judging by her deluded spewings.

  18. My dad always said if you grab them by their short hairs, their hearts and minds will follow – you know that applies doubly to the “boys”

  19. it is beyond the pale that this moron is on the intelligence committee with her mccarthy like tactics. what an unabashed absolute idiot

  20. Moron Michelle should not be in Congress at all, but should be hauled before the FBI or some other organization designed to deal with subversive remarks. She is an absolute disgrace to this country but she has been emboldened by less openly incendiary remarks from fellow Republicans about our president and his loyalty to the country he presides over. I sincerely believe that the very first time any political figure makes such irresponsible and defamatory remarks about any other political figure should be their very last. She needs to have more severe costs inflicted on her than just being voted out of office.

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