I've been trying to spread the word on this woman for a long time. Bachmann is as sick, as demented, and as dishonest a politician as we have in America. She's also a threat to the very survival of this nation. Were she somehow to attain high office, it would signal the effective death of the American Republic and signal to the broader world that the American age had passed. Think I'm exaggerating? Check this post from Michelle Goldberg at The Daily Beast right here if you doubt me. Excerpts:
(Bachmann shrieked that she was being held against her will when a lesbian named Pamela Arnold merely confronted Bachmann with questions in a public bathroom.) Lots of politicians talk about a sinister homosexual agenda. Bachmann, who has made opposition to gay rights a cornerstone of her career, seems genuinely to believe in one. Her conviction trumps even her once close relationship with her lesbian stepsister. "What an amazing imagination," marvels Arnold. "Her ideology is so powerful that she can construct a reality just on a moment's notice."
Belief is the key to understanding Michele Bachmann, who announced her presidential candidacy during Monday's Republican debate. Her impressive performance, which catapulted her close to the front of the presidential pack, surprised some, who perhaps expected her to be as inarticulate as Sarah Palin, to whom she's often compared. But in Minnesota, even those who don't like her politics say she shouldn't be underestimated. "The fact that she's not a heavy lifter, the fact that she's relatively unconcerned about the substance of legislation, does not mean that she's not crafty, that she's not intelligent and she's not fast," says former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson, a Republican. Her ideological radicalism should not be mistaken for stupidity.
On Monday, Bachmann didn't talk a lot about her religion. She didn't have to—she knows how to signal it in ways that go right over secular heads. In criticizing Obama's Libya policy, for example, she said, "We are the head and not the tail." The phrase comes from Deuteronomy 28:13: "The Lord will make you the head and not the tail." As Rachel Tabachnick has reported, it's often used in theocratic circles to explain why Christians have an obligation to rule.
Indeed, no other candidate in the race is so completely a product of the evangelical right as Bachmann; she could easily become the Christian conservative alternative to the comparatively moderate Mormon Mitt Romney.
A key moment in her political evolution, as for many of her generation, was the film series How Should We Then Live by the theologian Francis Schaeffer, who is widely credited for mobilizing evangelicals against abortion, an issue most had previously ignored. A Presbyterian minister, Schaeffer argued that our entire perception of reality depends on our worldview, and that only those with the right one can understand the true nature of things. Christianity, he argued, is "a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence." Theories or assertions from outside this system—evolution, for example—can be dismissed as the product of mistaken premises.
At Coburn, Bachmann studied with John Eidsmoe, who she recently described as "one of the professors who had a great influence on me." Bachmann served as his research assistant on the 1987 book Christianity and the Constitution, which argued that the United States was founded as a Christian theocracy, and that it should become one again. "The church and the state have separate spheres of authority, but both derive authority from God," Eidsmoe wrote. "In that sense America, like [Old Testament] Israel, is a theocracy."
Eidsmoe, who hung up the phone when asked for an interview, is a contentious figure. Last year, he withdrew from speaking at a Wisconsin Tea Party rally after the Associated Press raised questions about his history of addresses to white-supremacist groups. In 2010, speaking at a rally celebrating Alabama's secession from the Union, he claimed that Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood the Constitution better than Abraham Lincoln.
Reading Eidsmoe, though, some of Bachmann's most widely ridiculed statements begin to make sense. Earlier this year, for example, she was mocked for saying that the Founding Fathers "worked tirelessly" to end slavery. But in books by Eidsmoe and others who approach history from what they call a Christian worldview, this is a truism. Despite his defense of the Confederacy, Eidsmoe also argues that even those founders who owned slaves opposed the institution and wanted it to disappear, and that it was only Christian for them to protect their slaves until it did. "It might be very difficult for a freed slave to make a living in that economy; under such circumstances setting slaves free was both inhumane and irresponsible," he wrote.
After graduating from Coburn in 1986, Bachmann went on to get a degree in tax law from William and Mary School of Law in Virginia, while her husband studied psychology and counseling at Regent University, the school founded by Pat Robertson. His thesis was about the harmful effects of day care on children. "[T]he best interests of the public would be served if one parent did not work outside of the home unless it was absolutely essential," he wrote.
In the statehouse, Bachmann made opposition to same-sex marriage her signature issue. Both she and her husband, by all accounts her most trusted political adviser, believe that homosexuality can be cured. Speaking to a Christian radio station about gay teenagers last year, Marcus, who treats gay people in his counseling practice, said, "Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined, and just because someone feels this or thinks this, doesn't mean that we're supposed to go down that road." [Emphasis added]
In 2004, Bachmann gave a speech warning that same-sex 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."
None of this is likely to sour her many devoted fans. Indeed, it's precisely her unwavering ideological commitment that endears her to them. "She's not afraid to say things that other people on the right are probably thinking, but they're just too wimpy to say," says [a supporter]. "She says these things and she promotes these views because she really believes them."
Hate-filled, violently anti-gay. Determined to make America into a right-wing radical "Christian" [sic] theocracy. Ally to white supremacists. Holds an utterly distorted view of American history. Militantly anti-science. Bachmann is more dangerous than Palin, who is an ignorant fool and a grifter, because she's smarter and more articulate. Bachmann and her supporters are a deadly threat to this country. These people VIOLENTLY HATE AMERICA AND EVERYTHING IT STANDS FOR. Their coming to ultimate power--something to which they ludicrously believe they are entitled--would be a catastrophe of the first order. And remember folks--THE REPUBLICAN PARTY'S BASE LOVES THIS PSYCHOTIC WOMAN. She IS the Republican Party, heart and soul. Never forget that history takes wildly unexpected turns, and it is possible--perhaps not yet probable--that this woman and her minions will take over this country. If that happens, America is through.
And it's about that simple.