What is it about current Republican Presidential candidates? Can’t they find another Reagan? Maybe something simple like an actor is not a bad idea. What about Bruce Willis? How about Jon Voight?
Why do we need kooks whom no one but the craziest of the crazies will vote for? An actor would be a suitable, and probably relatively sane substitute for one of the current Tea Party paranoid-schizophrenic politicians. But no–the Republicans cannot find just another crook like Richard Nixon…even a good guy like Gerry Ford. They have to search out and find…apparently from the dung heaps of society or the psychiatrists’ couches of the rich…the loony members of the farthest Right Wing cults.
How about as President…in the midst of a huge jobs crisis, a guy whose self-appointed task was to close factories here in the U.S. and send your job and tens of thousands of others to China and Mexico. Let’s get the guy who was one of the leaders in that. Mit Romney.
Or how about the woman who writes her answers to the tough questions on the palm of her hand, like a high school cheerleader, who thinks that diplomacy is seeing Russia from her porch in Alaska, a woman so eager to cash in on her celebrity that she left her job as governor…simply resigned…in mid term! Well, a couple of years and about $25 million richer, she is still getting it wrong, mispronouncing and sending out malapropisms to her adoring fans…the pop-star politician–Sarah Palin.
The latest is Michele Bachmann. Now here is the word you want to know when you think of Bachmann. “Fanatic.” Michele Bachmann is, even by American standards, a religious fanatic. She believes that the Pope is the Antichrist and that there should be no separation between state and church–her church, that is.
She will never tell you that because she doesn’t want you to know that this is what she thinks. But she follows people, as acknowledged religious and professional mentors, who do believe that…and worse. These are people who want to change America into their own vision of Christianity.
Now why do we say that? She will say that it is not true. But, oddly, true believers who want to use politics to get their way often lie in order to get what they want. The reason is that old religious principle: the end justifies the means. And true believers are not always religious. Hitler would never have told you his true intentions toward the Jews or Stalin would never have told you his true intentions toward the Poles. But I’ll give you an recent example from religion.
If you are told by your religious leaders that the rest of the world wants to destroy you and give you multiple examples of it from Colonialism to nuclear bombings of cities to taking your natural resources and leaving you nothing…you would be influenced to think that the heathens, those people who would be described simply as those not of your faith, are out to get you.
To stop them you might do something that is actually against your religion but do it for a greater good…to show these people that they cannot trample on everyone else. You might crash airplanes into their buildings, even though you would die and even though other innocent peopl would die because it is a means to the end, which is to get them to stop persecuting you. Soon you would become the kinds of people you hate.
Michele Bachmann is clearly on the Right Wing fringe…not just of politics…but of religion. Her motivation to run for President, while it may have multiple aspects…fame, fortune, power…is justified always in her mind by the belief system she has created for herself.
Michele Bachmann is not complicated. She shows the many contradictions in her character that are created by adherence to a mistaken view of the world and life after death. After all, if we all die and nothing happens…the lights just go out..then the most important social use for Christian belief is as a teaching to make society better.
You do not make society better by pandering to hatreds or regional differences. You do not make society better by helping 23 children grow up while voting to starve hundreds of thousands. You do not help society by making women adhere to your belief that they should not have an abortion but should raise a child…because your mistaken belief of what some God said…tells them to.
You do not make society better by enriching billionaires by putting elderly widows on the streets. You do not make society better by supporting wars against people you know nothing about and supporting vast medical insurance schemes to bankrupt American families while voting to end child care for poor children.
So how did this all get started…this disjointed view of society, and what drives someone who has really “gotten away with it,” to reach out for something that is–no matter what happens–unattainable? That is, what drives a woman who has made a good life, despite basically phony credentials, both hers and her husband’s to open themselves up to scrutiny in the most damaging way…in a way that shows that they are impostors…fakes…charlatans?
Michele Bachmann, nee Amble, comes from a broken home. Her father left her mother or vice versa, just as she was becoming a teenager. Her mother remarried and she became part of a step-family of nine kids. That is a shock for any child and cannot be underestimated in any analysis of her religious fundamentalism. Children of broken homes, thrust into new and less personal circumstances seem to either sink or swim. Michele seems to have found a life raft in fundamentalist religion.
Michele Amble attended one of the state colleges of Minnesota at Winona. There she met Marcus Bachmann. At that time she was a born-again Christian as was Bachmann. They married and moved to Tulsa so that she could attend law school at Oral Roberts University.
Now, whether you go to Oral Roberts because you are a devoted evangelical Christian, which means you have mistakenly created a supposed personal relationship with “God,” whatever that means to you, or whether you go to this kind of (then unaccredited) law school because you can get in…it doesn’t speak well of her academic credentials.
The then Coburn School of Law, named after O.W. Coburn a rich owner of an optometry business and father of Tom Coburn (that tells you something about Senator Tom Coburn, too) was part of Oral Roberts University, a university founded by Oral Roberts the television evangelist because, he said, God told him to. Apparently God for some reason did not tell him to go open a nightclub or join a circus but said…go open a university with a perennially failing, unaccredited law school.
Michele Bachmann says that during this period, one of her influences was John Eidsmoe, her professor and a man whose book she helped research. Eidsmoe has made a career of combining evangelical religion, law, war and Confederate principles. Remember, the actual, published motto of Oral Roberts Law School “the law from a biblical worldview.”
Eidsmoe has also discovered a new career as a speaker for Tea Party rallies. He is a minister, a preacher, a former Air Force Colonel and was one of Michele Bachmann’s professors at Oral Roberts Law School. Bachmann’s mentor spoke at the commemoration of the date of Alabama’s secession from the United States and says that Jefferson Davis was right and Lincoln was wrong. Remember this…this is what some of your Air Force officers believe. So if there were ever a Civil War, you can see what side John Eidsmore would be on.
Since we tend to respect people with advanced degrees, even those from law schools of all calibers–despite the fact that law school is basically “pass-fail” and leaves little room for true, clear academic distinction–we should say something about Michele Bachmann’s law degree. She did not really practice law. She worked tracking down tax cheats for the IRS.
Oral Roberts Law School had an abysmal rate of both students who passed the bar exam…fewer than half did…and accreditation. It was not or was barely accredited when Michele Bachmann attended. And get this. When it was transferred to Pat Robertson’s Regent University Law School, the current dean now says, probably half of the students would not even be accepted at Regent.
Her husband has a Masters from Regent University, this suspect academic institution where the first ten minutes of each class are given over to prayer. He has a degree there in counseling and then he took a Ph.d. in “interdisciplinary studies” from something called Union College, which is apparently an on-line diploma mill.
Bachmann conducts something in Minnesota called “Christian centric’ therapy and is not registered with any of the three state regulatory agencies that would oversee any of the kinds of therapy that he is supposed to be conducting…even though his practice is funded heavily with government funds.
So, do you see the problem? When Bachmann goes to a school board and actively promotes a private charter school that would teach her principles…that there is no such thing as global warming, that evolution is a scam and that God personally designed everything here on earth.
She wants schools that teach that women should be submissive to their husbands, that this should be declared a Christian country, run by her interpretation of Christian biblical teaching…that abortions should be abolished and the plan B drug, the overnight contraceptive to prevent pregnancy should not be allowed and that tiny cells smaller than a grain of sand should be considered humans and not used on research to cure cancer or Parkinson’s disease.
And it goes on and on…because we are all, she says, merely waiting for Jesus to return and society to take on her version of being “good.” She is not satisfied to merely run her life and her family’s life and influence the lives around her with her example and perhaps preaching.
No, the problem with Michele Bachmann is that when she runs for President and uses the power of the Koch Family Foundation and the financial power of the oil companies and the health insurance alliance to campaign against pollution and global warming and against health care reforms that would aid the 47 million people without health care, she is not the kindly, somewhat outspoken and perhaps even kooky neighbor next door.
Now she is dangerous. Now she is being used by those who know exactly what she is. They know that they can spin her words to make her sound reasonable. They can use her charisma with the other religious fanatics to promote the Tea Party to accomplish their complete takeover of states like Michigan.
Yes, Michigan, where the heirs to the Amway fortune have already put in place a Governor who simply swept in, created draconic laws that allowed him to take over a city, fire the city manager and replace the elected city manager with his own “Gauleiter” ( a Nazi term symbolizing a political puppet.)
This is what the Citizens United fund type support from global corporations can do today. It happened in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Kansas, Indiana, Florida and New Jersey. And while Wisconsin will be fixed, it took a major political movement and tens of millions of dolllars to fight back.
But in the meantime, the heirs to the Whirlpool fortune have taken over a town in Southwestern Michigan, thrown out the mayor, replaced him with a Neocon stooge, and begun development on a large, private, upscale home and golf course community where a public park used to be.
This is what Michele Bachmann represents–the use of religious fanaticism to accomplish political goals. And those goals, as you can see from the Michigan example, (which you can look up…this is all factual stuff) will never benefit the people at large.
How does promising to repeal health care reform, as Michele Bachmann wants, help the People? She voted, as all Republicans did, against any kind of health care reform before it was passed. And she never voted before it was brought up, or never introduced bills before it was brought up, to do anything for people suffering bankruptcies or death from lack of affordable health care.
Consider this: we already have 47 million people who cannot buy or cannot afford health care insurance. She hasn’t offered one solution. She is not a serious person on health care. She voted for the Paul Ryan budget. Do you know what that does? It puts seniors out onto the open market where they will have to compete with those 47 million who already cannot afford or cannot get health care insurance.
Let’s just take one second to consider some facts to show why Michele Bachmann is wrong being on the side of private health care. The Nobel economist, Dr Kenneth Arrow proved 50 years ago that health care is not a viable business. It is very simple to understand. People get sick repeatedly and with varying degrees of seriousness. So unlike life insurance which is a one-time payout, you can’t calculate it accurately.
So health insurance companies have only two ways to insure that they have high profits…(remember? profits? That’s what private companies do..make profits for stockholders.) They must raise rates …it is the opposite of a good business model–having to raise rates at the time your business is providing its best services
The second way is to cut costs. You can cut costs by making people live healthier lives…but that isn’t a reliable cost-cutting measure. Or you can simply deny claims. Just don’t pay. And that is not only not a good business practice, that is fraud. In fact, all of these factors went into the decision to create something called Medicare, which, as we said, Michele would eliminate.
People can be great people as neighbors or parents of your kids classmates, or even your classmates at college or members of your village with different opinions. That’s what America is all about. But you don’t elect a President who runs the country on the idea that gay people are deviants or psychotic…no matter how different their lifestyle may be from yours. You don’t elect a President who has fantasies about Jesus returning to earth with some dramatic possibilities about life specifically for those who happen to believe a certain way.
We love our crazies. We all have them in our families to one degree or another. But to put crazies into office is dangerous. We only need to think what four more years of George W. Bush might have done to this country.
Michele Bachmann would be worse, much worse–worse than an additional $9 trillion dollars in debt which it is now or will be soon…all thanks to Bush and Cheney’s stupid policies. Much worse than two wars. One that should have been over 8 years ago and another that never should have started. Worse than privatizing Social Security, which George W. Bush tried and which Michele Bachmann and her Neocon global corporate supporters are trying to eliminate so that they won’t have to pay their fair share of taxes.
Bachmann is dangerous because she is an absolutist, a true believer. And she, most dangerous of all, would take this country down, set it into Civil War, or risk nuclear annihilation if her beliefs demanded it.