Matt Taibbi unearths Michelle Bachmann

June 23, 2011 | By | 6 Replies More

In the current version of Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi dissects Michelle Bachman. The biggest question is whether she is a nutcase or a knowing fraud, or both:

Bachmann’s story, to hear her tell it, is about a suburban homemaker who is chosen by God to become a politician who will restore faith and family values to public life and do battle with secular humanism. But by the time you’ve finished reviewing her record of lies and embellishments and contradictions, you’ll have no idea if she actually believes in her own divine inspiration, or whether it’s a big con job. Or maybe both are true — in which case this hard-charging challenger for the GOP nomination is a rare breed of political psychopath, equal parts crazed Divine Wind kamikaze-for-Jesus and calculating, six-faced Machiavellian prevaricator. Whatever she is, she’s no joke.

Speaking of jokes, Taibbi is one of the most entertaining writers out there, but also one of the most serious. His piece on Bachmann is one in a long line of hit pieces on well-deserving targets.


Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    Bachmann is just loony enough, and GOP voters are certainly stupid enough, to make her either the GOP nominee or the VP candidate with, say, front runner Mitt Romney. She brings Tea Party insanity to an otherwise mind-numbingly dull field of candidates. She also makes the Taliban look like a bunch of crazy liberals.

    Of course, this would not be much of a concern had not Sarah Palin reset the depths to which GOP voters will go to elect incompetent people.

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I read the article by Taibbi as well as many of the comments, and the gist of the negative comments oddly validated Taibbi's thesis that Bachmann is representing herself as the Uber-Christian to get the backing of the religious fundamentalists.

    Most of the negative comments respondents who seemed to think that Taibbi was attacking Christianity when he was only pointing out Bachmann's history of inconsistancy, hypocracy and deceit. Indeed, any of the comments appeared to be written by people who had not actually read the article.

    The point to this is that Bachmann is at best a pychopath who will do anything to win, and at worst, a schizoid psychotic alternating between delusions of grandeur and persecution.If she honestly believes that god is directing her political career, then I suspect the latter.

    I wonder how many of her supporters feel safe knowing that a candidate claiming all she does has a shot at getting access to the US nuclear arsenal?

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    At Democracy Now, Amy Goodman discussed Michelle Bachmann with writers Karl Bremer and Michelle Goldberg. Here are Goldman's comments regarding Bachman's world view:

    MICHELLE GOLDBERG: Right. Well, I think, to understand her, she is, even more than Sarah Palin, probably more than any political figure maybe short of Mike Huckabee, a perfect product of the religious right. You know, she came out of the big fundamentalist—or the big evangelical upsurge of the 1970s; like many evangelicals, including Pat Robertson, was initially enamored of Jimmy Carter, who was the first modern born-again candidate. Like the movement as a whole, she shifted abruptly to the right in the run-up to Reagan’s election.

    And she often talks about, in her speeches, what she calls a "Christian worldview," which is a really important concept, I think, for people to understand, not just Michele Bachmann, but much of the modern right. It essentially holds that Christianity, or at least their version of Christianity, is a total ideology. It has all the answers, not just to theological questions, but to historical questions, scientific questions, economic questions. And so, you know, what I’ve tried to get across in writing and speaking about Michelle Bachmann is that she’s not stupid, you know? And she’s not Sarah Palin, in that she doesn’t—she’s articulate. She’s, I think, a little bit faster on her feet. She’s just incredibly steeped in a body of knowledge, that is not—she’s incredibly steeped in a corpus of facts that aren’t true facts. She’s incredibly steeped in the alternate reality of the movement that I called "Christian nationalism" in my first book.

    And so, a lot of things that she says—you know, when she—for example, one of her most celebrated gaffes was when she talked about the founders of this country working tirelessly against slavery and how, you know, at the dawn of America, it didn’t matter what color you were, it didn’t matter your economic status. Of course, now, this is absurd, and everybody laughed at it, but if you look at some of, say, the books that she worked on when she was a student at Oral Roberts University, or you look at the whole kind of canon of Christian nationalist revisionist history, this stuff is all a truism. And so, to a lot of her base, this isn’t going to sound like gaffes. This is their reality.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Matt Taibbi is one hell of a writer and thinker. Check out the way he ends his article regarding Michelle Bachmann. This really nails it:

    "Michele Bachmann has found the flaw in the American Death Star. She is a television camera's dream, a threat to do or say something insane at any time, the ultimate reality-show protagonist. She has brilliantly piloted a media system that is incapable of averting its eyes from a story, riding that attention to an easy conquest of an overeducated cultural elite from both parties that is far too full of itself to understand the price of its contemptuous laughter. All of those people out there aren't voting for Michele Bachmann. They're voting against us. And to them, it turns out, we suck enough to make anyone a contender."

  5. I thought Taibbi's article was absolutely heinous, and I'm speaking as a liberal who despises far-right politics. I go into why here:

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    Bachmann believes the end of the world is imminent. Why would anyone elect a candidate who believes that the end of the world is on us? Isn't that an invitation to implement any and every self-destructive policy?

    "BACHMANN: Lord, the day is at hand. We are in the last days. You are a Jehovah God. We know that the times are in your hands. And we give them to you…The day is at hand, Lord, when your return will come nigh. Nothing is more important than bringing sheep into the fold. Than bringing new life into the kingdom…You have weeded that garden. The harvest is at hand."

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