What do the following people have in common?
– Jesse Ventura
– Al Franken
– Michelle Bachmann
The answer is, they are all examples of curious selections by the voters of Minnesota. (Though to be accurate, the jury is literally still out on Franken, but even if he doesn’t wind up being seated he certainly came close enough to join the club.) Representative Bachmann may not seem like a natural fit on this list unless you’ve been paying attention to her increasingly bizarre mental lapses over the last year. During the run up to the election, this is the woman who went on the air and called for McCarthy-style hearings to see how many members of Congress were “unamerican” or some sort of enemies of the state. This week, yet another hamster wheel seems to have slipped off its axle when she declared that we’re running out of rich people. Steve Benen explains:
A friend passed along an item from the weekend, with an audio clip of Michele Bachmann chatting with a conservative talk-show host in Minnesota. In the ongoing debate as to which member of Congress is the single most ridiculous, this interview is very compelling evidence that Bachmann is, at a minimum, near the front of the pack.
Bachmann “explained” to the host and Minnesota audience:
* ACORN is “under federal indictment for voter fraud,” but the stimulus bill nevertheless gives ACORN “$5 billion.” (In reality, ACORN is not under federal indictment and isn’t mentioned in the stimulus bill at all.)
* many members of Congress have “a real aversion to capitalism.”
* the stimulus bill includes a measure to create a “rationing board” for health care, and after the bill becomes law, “your doctor will no longer be able to make your healthcare decisions with you.”
* the recovery package is part of a Democratic conspiracy to “direct” funding away from Republican districts, so Democratic districts can “suck up” all federal funds. Bachmann doesn’t think this will work because, as she put it, “We’re running out of rich people in this country.”
* the “Community-Organizer-in-Chief” is also orchestrating a conspiracy involving the Census Bureau, which the president will use to redraw congressional lines to keep Democrats in power for up to “40 years.” When the host said he was confused, noting that congressional district lines are drawn at the state level, Bachmann said Obama’s non-existent plan is an “anti-constitutional move.”
I don’t live anywhere near Minnesota and even I sent in a campaign contribution to her opponent last fall. Sadly, it was to no avail as Minnesota stayed true to form and sent Bachmann back for another term. The question is, how many more displays of an alarming disconnect from reality are required before even her supporters notice? Blatant partisan bickering is one thing, but I don’t see how this can entirely be an act. In fact, alarming hardly suffices as a description.