U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, chats with a supporter at an Independence Institute fundraiser in Denver, Aug. 31, 2009. (Photo: Ernest Luning)
By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Independent
August 31, 2009
DENVER – In a fiery speech that had her conservative Colorado audience cheering, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann railed against the dangers of health care reform and other Democratic initiatives, warning the proposals “have the strength to destroy this country forever.”
“This cannot pass,” the Minnesota Republican told a crowd at a Denver gathering sponsored by the Independence Institute. “What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass.”
“Something is way crazy out there,” Bachmann said in her remarks, billed as a “personal legislative briefing” by the Golden-based Independence Institute, which bills itself as a “free market think tank.”
“This is slavery,” Bachmann said after claiming many Americans pay half their income to taxes. “It’s nothing more than slavery.”
In a speech filled with urgent and violent rhetoric, Bachmann – who proudly acknowledges she is the country’s “second-most hated Republican woman,” behind only former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – drew a clear line on health care reform.
“You’re either for us or against us on this issue,” she said after deriding U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, a Fort Collins Democrat, for “[sitting] on the fence” about health care proposals at recent town halls. …
At times, Bachmann’s legislative briefing sounded more like the plot of a slasher movie.
“Right now, we are looking at reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom,” she said. “And we may never be able to restore it if we don’t man up and take this one on.”
While Bachmann didn’t ask this audience to “rise up” against President Barack Obama’s tyrannical rule, they stood anyway and applauded when she announced she was No. 1 on House Speaker Nancy Pelosis list of “top targets.” …
“[Pelosi] will slam this through in the month of September,” Bachmann said, even if she has to “break the arms of the Blue Dogs.” Then it comes down to the Senate, where Bachmann said “the lobbyists and special interests only have to hover around 15 senators,” with a bill expected by the end of the year. …
9/3/09 Update: Related report in MinnPost with reaction by Bachmann’s Democratic opponents
On the face of it, Bachmann’s rhetoric is deeply disturbing. Although she has frequently made public utterances indicative of political paranoia (“reeducation camps,” “armed and dangerous,” census noncompliance), I do not recall any of her speeches so liberally laced with violent and sadistic imagery:
In his Daily Kos diary, long-time Bachmann watcher Bill Prendergast, author of the illustrated political biography “False Witness! The Michele Bachmann Story,” steps up to “play amateur psychologist” in an attempt to explain why Bachmann’s “slit our wrists” remark – which he characterizes as a “Freudian slip” – should disturb voters.
Prendergast concludes that Bachmann’s choice of words amounts to an “unconscious slip” consonant with her “apocalyptic world view,” “revealing her feelings about ‘death’ as a necessary consequence of opposing the Obama administration” — a belief that “sooner or later, Americans will be fighting each other to the death for control of the country, and that it is necessary for conservatives to embrace that possibility to the point of suicidal opposition.”
Although I happen to be a professionally trained psychologist who specializes in the psychological evaluation of political figures, I will not attempt to psychoanalyze Rep. Bachmann in the public square.
Suffice it to say, in the words of MSNBC talk show host Ed Schultz, that Bachmann’s latest outrage is real “psycho talk.”
Following is full video coverage of Rep. Bachmann’s speech and question-and-answer session at the Independence Institute. Her wrist-slitting remark occurs at about 6:30 into the Q & A video.
Jason Kosena of the nonpartisan Colorado Statesman has a good, in-depth follow-up report. Following are excerpts from his article.
Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks to a luncheon crowd at the Denver Athletic Club, Aug. 31, 2009 (Photo credit: Jason Kosena / The Colorado Statesman)
By Jason Kosena
The Colorado Statesman
September 4, 2009
There are certain politicians who never disappoint. Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is one. …
In 2008, Bachmann called for the media to investigate Democratic members of Congress to determine if they were “anti-American,” a statement that led many to compare her to the late Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose fear-mongering set off the “Red Scare” of the 1950s. She has become a regular guest on conservative talk radio shows and Fox News, where she openly compares President Barack Obama to a tyrant.
Bachmann lived up to her billing last week during a speech at the Denver Athletic Club hosted by the Independence Institute, a right-leaning think tank based in Golden – throwing out enough criticism of the Obama administration and other Democrats to get a roomful of diehard conservatives all pumped up.
“Right now, we are looking at reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom,” Bachmann said of the Democrats’ push to pass health care insurance reform and climate control legislation. “And we may never be able to restore it if we don’t man up and take this one on.” …
“This is a seminal moment,” she continued. “It may be the moment that we were born for. It may be the moment that those of us in Congress were put there for. This is the moment to make the case for what started America, for what made us great, for what has given us the opportunity to be the best country that has ever existed in 5,000 years of recorded history.” …
Mike Miller, Nancy Miller of the Independence Institute, Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus Bachmann, at the event held at the Denver Athletic Club, Aug. 31, 2009 (Photo credit: Debi Brazzale)
Unlike fellow Republican Sen. John McCain, who warned against climate change in a recent visit to Estes Park, Bachmann discredited those who believe that the globe is warming, then lashed out at members of the Republican Party in the House who voted for the Cap and Trade bill that passed in July.
“I talked to some of those Republicans who took that bad vote. And they had given their word early, and they had drunk the Kool-Aid early, so to speak, on the global climate change philosophy,” Bachmann said. “They just weren’t going to change, despite new evidence.”
Bachmann did not cite the source of the new evidence she said indicates that climate change philosophy is incorrect. …
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago Today — September 2, 2008
One year ago today, on the 50th day of my campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination as House of Representatives candidate in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I reminded voters that just one week remained until the September 9, 2008 Minnesota state primary election, offering voters an opportunity to vote Rep. Bachmann out of office.
One week left until Rep. Michele Bachmann is retired from Congress …… but only if disaffected Republicans and independents turn out to vote and a good number of Democrats cross over in the open primary to vote in the Republican column.
Let’s join across party lines to restore fiscal responsibility in Washington and say No to the destructive foreign policies that gave us the unecessary war in Iraq.
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