Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Michele Bachmann Responds

In case you missed it, Rep. Michele Bachmann's Democratic challenger raised over $600,000 in the 48 hours after Bachmann's disgusting Hardball appearance Friday night. Today, Bachmann took to the pages of the Politico to respond to the uproar over her comments:
In a matter of 48 hours after I participated in an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” more than $640,000 from donors across the country flooded into my opponent’s campaign. Almost to a one, these are people who never would have considered voting for me if they lived in Minnesota. In fact, most of them have probably never voted for a Republican. These are strong supporters of Barack Obama who want to see more liberal policies enacted in Washington.
Yes, I suppose this is true. But I really like her choice of wording for the last night: "strong supporters of Barack Obama who want to see more liberal policies enacted in Washington." The Democrats have been in power of Congress for less than two years, and thanks to a stupid and stubborn President, have accomplished, well, nothing. There were some minor victories, like the minimum wage. That's "liberal." And I suppose you could call the $700 billion bailout "liberal" ... even though Bachmann's Republican buddy, President Bush, and his treasury secretary were the guys who came up with such a "liberal" policy. Here's more of Bachmann's statement:
Despite the way the blogs and the Democratic Party are spinning it, I never called all liberals anti-American, I never questioned Barack Obama’s patriotism, and I never asked for some House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunt into my colleagues in Congress.
I guess "the blogs and the Democratic Party" would include Gen. Colin Powell, virtually the entire media establishment and anyone with half a freakin' brain - or two working ears. Bachmann may not have called all liberals anti-American, but she certainly insinuated there were some residing in Congress. She may not have said the words "Barack Obama is not patriotic," but she questioned his associations and worried aloud that he was anti-American. How could one be patriotic and anti-American at the same time? It seems to me that, if one is anti-American, one is not patriotic. Duh. And she may not have used the words "House Un-American Activities Committee" or "witch hunt," but she absolutely, positively called for the media to investigate which members of Congress are pro-America and which members of Congress aren't. That sounds a lot like HUAC to me.
Why isn’t it appropriate to ask about the formative relationships he’s had? The types of relationships that may have influenced Barack Obama’s views on public policy and on government decision making? Why is the media more intent on learning the type of plumbing license Joe the Plumber has than on exploring the obvious questions about Barack Obama’s formative relationships with people such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers — people with views far outside the mainstream, where most voters find themselves?
It is appropriate to talk about the formative relationships Obama has had. And you know something? Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers surfaced way back in the spring. People have learned about them, and about their relationships, or lack thereof, to Obama. They have made their informed judgments about them, and they still elected Obama the Democratic presidential nominee, and he is still leading in every single national poll, and in most of the battleground states.

I keep hearing Republicans complain that "we don't know the full story" about Obama's "radical associations." Actually, we do. With Ayers, there was never a close relationship. With Wright, there was obviously a close relationship, but Republicans have chosen to cherry-pick a few outrageous - and, yes, they were outrageous - comments made over decades of preaching in order to demonize a man who has done a lot of good for his country and his community. Wright was a Marine, has done a lot of charity work and has even been invited to the White House. This is not a man who "hates America." This is a man who, unlike Republicans, is an adult and, yeah, he's pissed off at America for not always coming through on its promise to deliver the American Dream to all its citizens, particularly those less fortunate.

But Bachmann and her compatriots on the right only want people to see the distorted version of Obama's associations that they see. They don't care about the truth - or, at least, Michele Bachmann certainly doesn't. Her pathetic explanation - which came in a statement, not in a press conference (probably too afraid to face that liberal elite media!) - is nonsensical and ignorant. She did say offensive things that were stupid, wrong and despicable. Michele Bachmann and her fanatical, close-minded, let's-not-ever-question-America-for-any-reason view of the world have no place in our political discourse. The least she could have done was say, "You know what? I screwed up, and I'm sorry. My words came out wrong. By no means did I mean to insinuate that some people were less American than others."

But, like John McCain, who preaches "Country First" while trying to scare and deceive his way into the presidency, Bachmann doesn't get it. It's not Country First. It's Bachmann First. And with any luck, come November 4th, Bachmann will come in second.

You can donate to her challenger here.

Good riddance.

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