What a wonderful world! My daughter brought me a satellite radio for my birthday and I have been listening to the classic hits of the'50s. I call the station "50s on the Five for 50-Somethings." Unfortunately every time I hear the classic 1950s song "What a Wonderful World" by the great Sam Cooke, I think of Michele Bachmann. Why? Because of the opening words, "Don't' know much about history. Don't know much biology."
Earlier this year, Bachmann said that the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which started the Revolutionary War, were fought in New Hampshire when every school kid knows the battles were fought in Massachusetts. Any day, I expect her to say that Kaiser Willy should have been tried for war crimes for starting World War II.
Earlier this year, the conservative congresswoman described homosexuality as "sexual dysfunction." She may be surprised to know that the American Medical Association doesn't list homosexuality as a sexual dysfunction. Representative Bachmann has promised to release her healthcare proposal to the public shortly. Her husband tries to convince gays that they are straight and my guess is her solution to the healthcare crisis will be to convince the sick and injured that they're felling just fine. [See photos of Michele Bachmann.]
I would add meteorology to biology and history on the list of things she doesn't know much about. She said that hurricane Irene was a warning to politicians to reduce government spending. Her spokesperson said the candidate made the statement "in jest". The congresswoman has a sick sense of humor. I don't think a joke about a disaster that killed dozens of people and caused billion of dollars in damage is very funny. I wonder what other kinds of disasters Representative Bachmann thinks are funny. [Read Schlesinger: Bachmann Jokes Hurricane Irene Was Message From God.]
The congresswoman from Minnesota is chair of the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and her statements make her perfect for the job. The Tea Party has a new motto, "Just Say It," which is why a recent New York Times/CBS News national survey shows the group's negative has doubled from 18 percent to 40 percent in the last year. The nominee of the Party of Tea, the party formerly known as the GOP will drown with the weight of the Tea Party brand wrapped around him or her like an anchor.
Ever wonder why Americans dislike the Tea Party? Wonder no more. At a recent presidential campaign rally last week in Iowa, Robin Murphy of West Des Moines, Iowa, told Representative Bachmann. "I don't like what I see in Obama—him being born in Kenya and trying to cover up the birth certificate thing. And him being Muslim and trying to pretend he's a Christian." [See a collection of political cartoons on the Tea Party.]
As she held Ms. Murphy's hand, Representative Bachmann made no effort to correct the misstatements that the Iowan made about the president. The Minnesotan could have responded to her supporter with a criticism of the president for his economic policies but also reminded her that the president was born in Hawaii and is a Christian. But Representative Bachmann didn't. If ignorance is bliss, Tea Partyers must be ecstatic.
I lost electricity, Internet, and phones for a day and a half in the aftermath of Irene. It was actually pleasant to be out of touch with the rest of the world for awhile. I knew what it was like being a member of the Tea Party.
Robin Murphy's statements sound sweet to Tea Partyers and religious conservatives but they taste sour to the independent suburban voters who are sick of right wing rhetoric. As long as Congresswoman Bachmann and her supporters lie about the president's background, they won't get any play from the moderate swing voters who will choose the next president in November of 2012. I doubt Tea Partyers will change their rhetoric though because they live in a wonderful world all their own.