?Michele Bachmann has never been a model of responsibility, but this latest attack is one step too far,? said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. ?Members of the House Intelligence Committee are entrusted with classified information that affects the safety and security of all Americans. That information should not be in the hands of anyone with such a disregard for honesty, misunderstanding of national security, and lack of respect for her fellow public servants. ?Speaker Boehner was right to call out Rep. Bachmann?s dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric. Now he should act on those words.? – PFAW Calls on Speaker Boehner to Remove Michele Bachmann from Intelligence Committee
WHATEVER AMERICA USED to represent it doesn’t any longer, with Rep. Michele Bachmann the leading poster propagandist representing why this is true, though she’s got company in her clan. It includes Mitt Romney’s booster John Sununu, a former governor of New Hampshire and George H.W. Bush’s chief of staff. Along with these Republicans you can add many other individuals, which include American citizens who prop up the worst example of what American politics should be offering.
The verdict from Washington last week was swift and bipartisan: Michele Bachmann was out of line. Accusing two prominent Muslims ? State Department aide Huma Abedin and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota ? of being tied to the Muslim Brotherhood was a step too far, even for the conservative firebrand. But the Northeast corridor?s stunned disbelief at what it saw as a loony conspiracy theory is replaced with hollers of support among Bachmann?s many devoted fans here in the exurbs north of the Twin Cities that she represents.. – Michele Bachmann finds plenty of friends back home
Frank Rich broadened the conversation in his column on Sunday titled “Mayberry, R.I.P.”.
… Samuel Huntington wrote in 1988 that declinist waves ?may be better indications of American psychology than of American power,? and that ?decline, in short, may be in the eye of the beholder.? That certainly applies now. However serious America?s problems, the declinist panic has been fed psychologically by the advent of Obama: He was vilified for negating American exceptionalism months before he was even inaugurated and had the chance to take any official action that affected the country?s fortunes one way or the other. That Establishment pundits would be fellow travelers in this animus, yearning for an Obama who is not Obama, or for a great white daddy who would bring back the good old days, is a bipartisan indicator of a larger resistance to the onrushing ethnic, social, and cultural change in America of which Obama is only the avatar. It?s a kinder, gentler, and more respectable form of Palinism.
Lost in all our declinist panic is the fact that the election of an African-American president is in itself an instance of American exceptionalism?an unexpected triumph for a country that has struggled for its entire history with the stain of slavery. ?Only in America is my story even possible,? Obama is understandably fond of saying, knowing full well that as recently as the year of his birth, 1961, he would not have been welcome in Mayberry, let alone the White House. That his unlikely rise has somehow been twisted into a synonym for America?s supposed collapse over the past four years may be the most disturbing and intractable evidence of our decline of all.
The rise of what Rich calls “Palinism” is why I began writing of Sarah Palin’s grass root strengths while most liberal writers were laughing at her, simply because she couldn’t be president. The vacuous way in which political analysts, especially on MSNBC, treated Sarah Palin helped people like Michele Bachmann to gain traction, which ended in her making history as the first Republican woman to win a presidential straw poll, caucus or primary. Bachmann’s Palinism, her unhinged ideology that finds enemies and fantasy events of un-Americanism that don’t exist, has led to an unprecedented assault on Pres. Obama’s very Americanism.
Treating women like Bachmann seriously then offers a way to hold her accountable for her words and actions, instead of people just shrugging and saying, oh, there goes that “crazy” woman again. It allows “crazy” to gain advocates that could put people’s lives in danger, which is exactly what has now happened.
Mrs. Bachmann’s charges against Huma Abedin have now led to her receiving police protection, with Joe McCarthyism ringing into the second decade of the 21st century with the phrase “have you no decency” madam, resoundingly resonate. The answer to that question a firm no, she doesn’t, but again, she’s got a lot of company.
Yet back in her home quarters Rep. Bachmann is lauded and cheered, as well as on her way to being re-elected. Her fans believe Michele Bachmann is the very notion of “American exceptionalism,” which Frank Rich rightly labels as a campaign being associated with Pres. Obama, the aim to prove the President is an example of what it’s not.
Back to Frank Rich:
The moment when American exceptionalism was pushed into the fray?or, more accurately, jumped the shark?can be traced to the final months of the 2008 presidential campaign. Its champion was Sarah Palin. She first embraced the concept at a rally in Nevada that September, speaking of how ?we are an exceptional nation? and telling her fans, ?You are all exceptional Americans.? There?s nothing objectionable about that, but a month later she was recasting her definition of exceptionalism to expressly quarantine Obama from the American mainstream. In October, as she took to accusing him of ?palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,? she went on to say (of Obama, not Bill Ayers): ?This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America. We see America as a force of good in this world. We see America as a force for exceptionalism.? Once Obama was elected, American exceptionalism became as Palin had defined it?a proxy for the patriotism that the new president lacked.
Today’s Republican electorate, as well as the party’s leaders, beginning with the base who nominates their candidate, is representative of what used to be unacceptable in the political arena. But somehow, amid the financial crisis, the middle class wage stagnation, the rising costs of health care, and the lack of access to wealth, bootstrap cheerleaders like Rush Limbaugh continue their campaign to keep right-wing radio listeners attached to the idea of voting against their own interests in election after election, while upscale Republicans make economic hay off the backs of the middle class.
Mitt Romney represents this ode to “American exceptionalism” perfectly, which can’t have anything to do with Pres. Obama, the first African American president in U.S. history, because Obama’s policies, actions and entire presidency is somehow “foreign,” a word Mr. Romney chooses to drive the notion home to voters that the Palin/Bachmann coalition typifies. It’s this coalition that Mitt Romney catered to in order to be where he stands today, a mess of contradictions, with no core on which to stand. Presidential candidate Rocky Anderson, on the Justice party ticket, said on Chris Hayes on Saturday that though he endorsed Gov. Romney for governor at one point, today their disagreements are “massive” and implied he couldn’t recognize the man anymore.
“Palinism” has its price.
That Rep. Bachmann is receiving no repercussions for her un-American activities in leveling scurrilous, unproven accusations against Huma Avedin offers additional proof that “American exceptionalism” no longer represents what it once did. American citizens have undone the punishment of Joe McCarthy, a man Ann Coulter touts as a hero, which is now been mainstreamed by Michele Bachmann, who’s following in his footsteps.
That it’s women who have been leaders in solidifying these attacks against an exceptional American, Barack Obama. Because even if you think he’s not an exceptional president or leader, Mr. Obama is someone who rose above great challenges to become the first African American president, but who is being remarketed as an example of un-exceptionalism by Republicans.
?When you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don?t know what the fuck you?re talking about. Yosemite?? – Will McAvoy in “The Newsroom”
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