Manchester, NH: The headlines screamed Bachmann wins the debate, like a pistol being fired at the start of a track meet, it was startling for me, and grabbed my attention. Michele Marie Bachmann, the Congresswoman representing the 6th Congressional district, from Stillwater, Minnesota, announced she is seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Often compared with the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, both have predilections for rewriting American history, and are big supporters of the tea-party movement. Bachmann started the tea-party caucus in the House of Representatives.
Who is Michele Bachmann? A born-again culture warrior, she grew up in Waterloo, Iowa in a democratic family. She worked hard for Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in 1976, with her husband. She became disenchanted with Carter after he voiced support for legalized abortion. She worked for Ronald Reagan's campaign in 1980, completing her transformation to a Republican.
In 2000 she ran for the Minnesota State Senate, and was elected to represent District 56. In 2003, she proposed a state constitutional amendment that would prohibit same sex marriages. The bill failed, and she reintroduced the measure in 2004 and 2005. The proposed amendments failed again.
In 2004 The Senate Minority leader appointed her an Assistant Minority leader in charge of policy. In 2005 the Republican caucus removed her from a leadership position. This action was taken after she was caught trying to hide behind bushes, in order to spy on a gay rights rally. Her excuse: she was just sitting to rest because her heels were killing her.
In 2006 she ran for Congress, and was elected to represent the 6th Congressional District, encompassing the northern suburbs of Minneapolis, and St. Cloud.
In the 110th Congress she notably opposed a higher education finance bill, which was passed and signed by President Bush, because she called it a gimmick. She introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, because fluorescent bulbs are a health risk, and are very unflattering. She said that global warming is a hoax, and stated on the House floor that carbon dioxide is a harmless gas. She also told Nacy Pelosi to give up on saving the planet, because Jesus already did that.
The single issue that Bachmann is best known for is her virulent anti-gay positions, which she expounds upon whenever possible.
In Michele Goldman's exceptional story in the Daily Beast, Goldman writes about the origins of Bachmann's political career, and notes the division within the Congresswoman's family that have been created because of her extreme views.
In 2004, Bachmann gave a speech warning that gay marriage would lead to schoolchildren being indoctrinated into homosexuality. She wanted everyone to know, though, that she doesn't hate gay people. "Any of you who have members of your family in the lifestyle, we have a member of our family that is," she said. "This is not funny. It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say that this is gay."
She was clearly talking about her 51-year-old stepsister, Helen LaFave, who had lived with her partner, Nia Wronski, for more than 15 years. As Bachmann became the public face of opposition to gay marriage, her relationship with her stepsiblings grew strained. "Helen always liked Michele, always," says Linda Cielinski, one of Bachmann's other stepsisters. "They lived together as teenage girls. They were very close at that time." Bachmann's anti-gay activism, Cielinski says, "was a hit to the gut."
Goldman also writes that “In April 2005, Pamela Arnold wanted to talk to her state senator, Michele Bachmann, who was then running for Congress. A 46-year-old who worked at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Arnold lived with her partner, the famed Arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, on a farm in Scandia, Minnesota. Bachmann was then leading the fight against gay marriage in the state. She'd recently been in the news for hiding in the bushes to observe a gay rights rally at the Capitol. So when members of the Scandia gay community decided to attend one of Bachmann's constituent forums, Arnold, wanting to make herself visible to her representative, joined them.
A few dozen people showed up at the town hall for the April 9 event, and Bachmann greeted them warmly. But when, during the question and answer session, the topic turned to gay marriage, Bachmann ended the meeting 20 minutes early and rushed to the bathroom. Hoping to speak to her, Arnold and another middle-aged woman, a former nun, followed her. As Bachmann washed her hands and Arnold looked on, the ex-nun tried to talk to her about theology. Suddenly, after less than a minute, Bachmann let out a shriek. "Help!" she screamed. "Help! I'm being held against my will!"
In this week's debate Bachmann said “the most eloquent words ever written were those in our Declaration of Independence, that said it's a creator who endowed us with inalienable rights, given to us from god, not from government, and the beauty of that is that government cannot take those rights away, and only god can give, and only god can take away.”
The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document, it is a notice to King George III that the colonies would not accept taxation without representation. It is the same document that religious leaders cite, in order to circumvent the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The view that Bachmann is espousing is a theocracy, which is a form of government where the people are governed by a divine guidance, and the head of state is either a clergyman, or the individuals who are deemed guided by god. That is a theocratic statement, and is completely at odds with what our country represents. A theocracy is what the government of Iran represents today.
Bachmann was the research assistant for an Oral Roberts University Professor's book entitled Christianity and the Constituion, that promoted the idea that the United States was founded as a Christian theocracy, and should become one again. The Congresswoman has credited this professor as having one of the greatest influences on her. According to Right Wing Watch, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, John Eidsmoe is colonel in the Alabama militia.
“Eidsmoe has spoken before the League of the South, tagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group because it believes slavery was ordained by God. He's also spoken at meetings of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which opposes racial integration; has compared Michael Jackson to an ape, referred to blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity," and says America should "remain European in character," according to the SPLC. "Eidsmoe doesn't just flirt with white supremacists, he regularly speaks to them," said SPLC research director Heidi Beirich.”
How viable a candidate is Michele Bachmann? I don't think she stands a chance, and the longer that the media and extreme right wing allow her to stay in the race, the better it is for democrats. She will be exposed, and her extreme views will be scrutinized, and the American people will see that she is anti-American.
I feel that Michele Bachmann's extreme views are a threat to our country, the rule of law, and our Constitution. We must expose her lies, and theocratic view-point. Her views are subversive, and suggest that only god can give rights, and only god can take away rights, which are the antithesis of a democracy.