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26 June 2011

Palinizing Bachmann: Think Progress joins the fun

A Think Progress article opens with a description of a candidate who is extremely well-liked by their base and is an extremely effective fundraiser.  Sounds like Obama, no?  Nope, it's presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann.  Supposedly, she is Dangerous!, has Radical! Ideologies!, and recognizes that she is a Kook!

The article then lists the ten "nuttiest" things Bachmann has ever said.  Ever.  Ever, ever, ever!  (Does this mean that Think Progress's work is done, and they won't be publishing any further Bachmann smears?)

1. The headline claims Bachman described the Lion King as gay propaganda.  That is not what happened. Bachmann described a scenario in which a teacher might use the movie's music as an example of positive accomplishments of a homosexual person.  Propaganda is created to manipulate perception.  In this scenario, the Lion King is amoral, and the teacher is using it further a personal ideology/agenda.  Folks, people DO this.  I do this, you do this -- everyone does this.  We all point to amoral existences and talk about how it might be interpreted under myriad situations.  Note: if Bachmann had used this situational and hypothetical example to describe pro-gay indoctrination as a positive thing, it would not be on the list.  I contend that teachers should not be using propagandizing techniques in the classroom, regardless of the good/bad ethical intentions.  I love the gays, I kiss girls and boys, and I think Think Progress is a kook for listing this item as nutty.

2. The headline claims that Bachmann thinks eliminating the minimum wage would combat unemployment.  There is debate among economists about how minimum wage affects employment rates; the statement is certainly not determinably false, as Think Progress claims.  The only backup support they provide is from micro-economist Kruger, who is obviously commenting on a macro-economics issue.  Think Progress, you nutty boys.

3. Bachmann says scientists support "intelligent design".  Think Progress claims this is not true yet gives no evidence.  So, we're just supposed to believe them?  There are scientists who support intelligent design.  (Don't believe me?  Prove me wrong.  I don't care enough about this issue to waste time looking up examples.  Sowwy.)  This is obviously included in the list to associate Bachmann with intelligent design, thereby delegitimizing her in general.  They couldn't figure out a way to use citations to back up their claims, so they just said what they wanted.  Ends justify the means, no?  Nutty Think Progress doesn't need to cite their claims!

4. TP says Bachmann says Terri Schiavo was healthy.  Beyond the headline, they couch that with a Bachmann quote that recognizes Schiavo had brain damage but was otherwise healthy (not terminally ill).  The evidence that Bachmann's quote was nutty?  Well, apparently Bachmann did not have the ability to time-travel.  An autopsy showed that Schiavo's brain was severely atrophied.  Even if Bachmann continued to hold this claim after learning the autopsy results, Bachmann is being consistent with her views of life, death, the soul, and the government's place in intervening in these matters, and she was far from the only one who held this opinion at the time.  I happen to disagree, but disagreeing with a statement does not mean it is nutty.  Think Progress thinks consistency is nutty!

5. TP says Bachmann likened a visit to Iraq to the Mall of America.  They're really stretching now, and we're only at #5.  I think the comparison is odd, but consider that Bachmann is from MN, the home of the Mall of America.  She's been to a place that is beyond comprehension for most of us here at home, and she looks to an extended metaphor to describe the experience.  What does she choose as the metaphor's base?  A state icon with which most/all of her constituents can relate.  Uh... that's smart oration, TP.  Think Progress thinks smart oration is nutty!

6. TP says Bachmann claimed Carbon Dioxide is harmless.  They provide a Stanford study that cites it as harmful and a Bachmann quote that no study showed CO2 to be harmful.  Hmm.  Good jo-- wait a minute.  The study Think Progress cited showed a link between Carbon Dioxide and harmful events.  The CO2 does not directly cause the harm; it's effects on something else create a negative situation.  Bachmann said there wasn't a study that showed that Carbon Dioxide (itself) was a harmful gas (on its own).  Is this a stretch?  Well, of course.  This is an argument similar to that of gun control.  "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."  "Yeah, but the bullets have SOMETHING to do with it."  You don't have to agree or disagree with climate change to realize that many on both sides of the discussion pick their words carefully and point to "studies" and "lack of evidence" to "prove" their view point.  Think Progress doesn't say that it's nutty to not believe in man-made climate change; TP says BACHMANN is NUTTY for making a claim that thousands on her side of the issue have made.  (This is getting boring, but there's only four more.)

7. TP says Bachmann called for a "Congressional Witch Hunt".  Gah.  Not this old thing.  In an interview with Chris Matthews, Bachmann noted Obama's ties to radicals Ayers and Wright, and said that when one associates with radicals, it makes ya wonder how much of those views are shared.  She suggested that the media investigate the backgrounds of elected officials for "anti-American" stuff.  I'd much rather see investigations like this than investigations about tanning beds and tweeted erections. But maybe that's just me.

8. Bachman suggested Melissa Etheridge should repent after being diagnoses with cancer.  I call bullshit.  That's their headline, but the description gives a quote in which Bachmann offers prayers for the singer.  The horrors!

9.  Bachmann boasted about breaking the law, so sayeth TP.  WHAT!  BUT, BUT....  Oh, wait a minute. Bachmann didn't fill out the census card.  Know what?  Neither did I.  Apparently that's illegal.  Crap!  We're law breakers!  I wish I had known, so I could instead just take a quick swim in a pond.  Give it up, TP.

10.  <drum roll> Bachmann said she thought Glenn Beck could solve the national debt crisis.  OOOH.  Beck!  That's nuttiness by association, right?  I mean, his prediction (made back in February) that the Middle East and Europe were going to catch Protest Fever, that one hasn't come true at all...  Beck is just a nut.  Bachmann referenced a nut.

Personally, there are items on this list that make me less-than-thrilled about Bachmann, but for the sake of Pete, why not discuss the legitimacy of the issue and note where Bachmann stands?  Sheesh.  It's not like I expect anything other than propagandistic dribble from Think Progress, but the transferring of the microscope from Palin to Bachmann makes my stomach turn.  The country is in such bad shape that the Lefties must skewer anyone with a chance of beating Obama.  Obama cannot stand on his own record.  The worse their attacks, the more you can see evidence that they are scared they might be worshiping a false idol -- or, worse, an idol unable to be re-elected.

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