Why Does Anyone Take Michele Bachmann Seriously?

Michele Bachmann wraps herself in the flags of patriots but has no understanding of our nation’s patriotic history.


OK. I have to do it. I was raised in Lexington, Mass., until junior high. I learned the Longfellow poem, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” by the third grade. Every April 19th was a holiday, and we had the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, complete with Redcoats and the Minutemen on the Green by our First Parish Church. A big parade was held, and Paul Revere and William Dawes came riding through town on their horses.

Yes, I was steeped in the “shot heard round the world,” so I am downright disgusted that Michele Bachmann is such a know-nothing. Concord, New Hampshire? What? How could she speak with such certainty about such a basic part of our history and butcher it? And coupled with her total misunderstanding of the issue of our “founding fathers and slavery” that she opined on earlier in Iowa, why is this woman in Congress, let alone traveling the country talking about running for president? [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the Tea Party.]

She wraps herself in the flags of patriots but has no understanding of our nation’s patriotic history; she claims the mantle of our founding fathers but has no sense of what they believed or accomplished. Bachmann is an example of someone who not only “slips up,” but gets the basic facts and the basic history wrong. Worse still, she repeats her errors, confounds common sense by trying to joke and make light of her ignorance. This, sadly, is how far we have come as a media-starved nation when 24/7 cable television hosts from Sean Hannity to Chris Matthews give her air time. Despite referring to Bachmann as a “Balloon Head,” Matthews has her on TV, pure and simple, because of ratings.

Why should we take her seriously? Her ideas have no depth, her hard ideology does not allow for true accomplishment, her sole platform is a simplistic right-wing rant. And even her rant gets all caught up in those pesky things, called history and facts. [Vote now: Who is your pick for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination?]

Nate Silver of the New York Times does his poll analysis and comes to the conclusion that this field of Republican candidates is one of the weakest in recent history. You don’t need polls when you look at someone like Bachmann, or, for that matter, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump, or even Rick Santorum, Haley Barbour, and Mike Huckabee. Should the Republican Party nominate any one of these candidates, in my view, it would be game over. [Read more about the 2012 presidential election.]

But, think about it, what must the American people think when they watch this crowd on the stump? These people are running for president, really? 

Michele Bachmann, like Sarah Palin, must put mainstream Republicans into cardiac arrest.

  • Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the Tea Party.
  • Vote now:Who is your pick for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination?
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