Announcement by Rep. Michele Bachmann:
Bachmann Health Care “House Call” on Washington
Minnesotans spoke up this August about health care reform and Rep. Michele Bachmann was listening. Unfortunately, Democrats in Washington weren’t listening and the health care proposal they just released contains the same budget-busting, government-interfering issues as before.
This Thursday, Americans have a chance to join together in Washington and in Minnesota to DEMAND control of our health care.
WHAT: Health Care “House Call on Washington” Press Conference
WHO: Republican Members of Congress, Actor Jon Voight, Radio Host Mark Levin, and others.
WHEN: Thursday, November 5, 2009 from 12:00-1
WHERE: West Steps of the U.S. Capitol
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann resurrected the Ghost of Political Stunts Past.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Bachmann’s political career that she would go on national television to call on supporters to descend on Washington, invade the halls of Congress “at high noon” to protest health care reform, and confront members of Congress, looking “at the whites of their eyes.”
Speaking in opposition to House Democrats’ healthcare reform plan, Bachmann said:
[Start 06:05 in embedded video]
“The clock is striking 11:59. We need people not only to call their representatives and visit their district offices — I’ve never done this before [not true, as I'll explain later] – but I’m asking people to come to Washington, D.C., by the carload and next Thursday at noon I’ll be at a press conference on the steps of the Capitol.
“I’d love to have every one of your viewers join me so that we can go up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, ‘Don’t take away my health care.’ [Sean Hannity cross-talk]
“Well, I’ll tell you what, Sean, it’s not inevitable; this doesn’t have to pass. And I don’t think it will pass if we can get people to literally, physically come to Washington, D.C., next week, anytime next week, but specifically Thursday at noon. We need to pay a House call on Nancy Pelosi and tell her what she can do with the Pelosi healthcare plan.
[07:03 ... 09:03]
“This is our liberty and tyranny moment. This is it. This is about patriotism and manning up. And if we can get Americans, literally, by the busload to come to Washington, D.C., next week, look their member of Congress in the eye, pay a house call on Congress and say, ‘Don’t you dare take away my health care, cradle to grave, we’ll stop this.’ … [Hannity cross-talk]
“… At high noon … Thursday at noon. You could go to michelebachmann.com for more information, and we can walk together through Cannon, Longworth, Rayburn, walk through the Capitol, sit in the gallery. …”
[End 09:53 in embedded video]
Listen to the interview:
As I noted at the outset, it’s simply not true that Bachmann has never pulled this kind publicity stunt before to short-circuit the democratic process; maybe not while a sitting member of Congress, but certainly something very similar, while crusading in the Minnesota state Senate for a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions.
Here’s how Checks & Balances, an online state politics newsletter, on May 3, 2004 (also reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 6, 2004) described the scene in the Minnesota Senate chamber as then state Sen. Michele Bachmann led supporters of her proposed gay marriage amendment to the unoccupied desks of senators who opposed the Constitutional change:
Sen. Michele Bachmann (R-52, Stillwater) brought a number of people on the floor of the state Senate last week while it was not in session. This is not an unusual event because legislators often bring visitors onto the floor to show them the surroundings. The difference this time is Bachmann led the people she brought into the chamber to the various desks of members of the Senate that she believed would not be voting for her Gay Marriage ban and they prayed over the desks.
People viewing this thought they were witnessing a séance or an exorcism [emphasis added] as they watched these people move about the chamber.
This is not the first time Bachmann has taken non-traditional approaches in the foisting her opinion and that of her acolytes into the political arena. She rallied her supporters to storm the Senate chamber [emphasis added] earlier in the session when the Gay Marriage ban was voted down as an amendment.
After picketing the Minnesota Senate chamber during her tenure as a state senator, Bachmann sent an email to supporters boasting about shutting down a legislative session over her anti-gay marriage amendment:
To my dear friends:
Today, May 17, 2004, is a momentous day of change for America, but our God is mightier still.
Thank you for calling upon your listeners to come to the Capitol to pray for the final session countdown. We adjourned at 7 a.m. on Sunday in a thunder of confusion and it was all over the issue of letting the people vote on marriage.
The number one story for the end of session was the praying people, their clear pro-family witness for Christ, and their strength of numbers. Over a 24-hour period from Saturday through Sunday, there must have been 500 people at the Capitol. The people’s presence charged the entire dynamic for end of session. Bills were deliberately not taken up because of the marriage issue.
Pro-family people were everywhere faithfully persevering in prayer.
We tried for 21 hours to get the marriage bill on the Senate floor for debate and a vote, but were prevented from achieving that goal. The Senate refused to recognize me when I stood requesting to speak on any bill. Other Senators tried to speak and tried to yield their time to me so I could speak, but the Senate President ignored me and continued to pound his gavel at the desk.
Members from the House huddled around TV sets to watch the Senate proceedings and were stunned that the Senate would purposely and repeatedly ignore a sitting member who repeatedly requested to speak.
In the end, the Senate Majority Leader moved for final adjournment and ran out the side door of the chamber to avoid meeting the faithful prayer warriors out by the front doors. Once again, I spoke into my microphone, but the majority leaders left the Senate chamber, and the session was over with a thud.
Afterwards, the faithful gathered their signs, we hugged, and they applauded the group of Senators who voted for man/woman marriage. It was 7:30 a.m., Sunday morning, and we had lost the battle, but encouraged one another that our God would be victorious in the end.
Today, we’re having a press conference to tell the people of Minnesota to keep praying. Because, as of today, homosexual marriage is legal in Massachusetts and that imposes a real threat to Minnesota’s definition of marriage and to our civil and religious liberties.
State Senator Michele Bachmann
Sign displayed at a rally Michele Bachmann keynoted at the Minnesota State Capitol in 2004, as reported by Eva Young at Dump Bachmann.
Bachmann’s March 2004 call to action for supporters to rally against same-sex marriage is not only classically Bachmannesque; it’s also very reminiscent of her latest call on “Hannity” (Oct. 30, 2009) to descend on the U.S. Capitol to protest health care reform:
“We need to have the phone lines melted this week. We need people to melt the phone lines. Not to the House members, you don’t need to call them, and you don’t need to call the Republican Senators. Its the Democrat Senators that we need to melt their phone lines. Even more important, if anyone can come to the rally on Monday, they need to come, and we will give them maps with the offices of where the Democrat Senators are. (State Sen. Michele Bachmann, appearing on the radio program “Prophetic Views Behind the News,” KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004).
By Bob Cusack
October 31, 2009
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is urging Americans to come to Washington, D.C., next week to roam the halls of Congress and lobby lawmakers against the House Democrats’ healthcare reform plan.
The strategy aims at resurrecting the momentum Republicans enjoyed during the August recess, when many critics challenged their members of Congress on healthcare reform. Since then, Democrats have regained their footing and have captured some political momentum to pass a bill.
During an appearance on Fox’s “Hannity,” Bachmann on Friday night said the plan can be defeated, but only if critics make their case face-to-face with legislators.
Bachmann told conservative commentator Sean Hannity, “The clock is ticking 11:59 … I’ve never done this before but I am asking people to come to Washington, D.C., by the carload and next Thursday at noon I’ll be at a press conference on the steps of the Capitol.
“I’d love to have every one of your viewers to join me so we can go up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, ‘Don’t take away my healthcare.’”
After Hannity opined that lawmakers would likely hide from the crowds, Bachmann responded, “It’s not inevitable. This doesn’t have to pass and I don’t think it will pass if we can get people to literally, physically come to Washington, D.C., next week.
“We need to pay a House call on [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] and tell her what she can do with the Pelosi healthcare plan,” Bachmann added.
The vocal Republican noted that many Blue Dogs — a group of conservative Democrats — are on the fence on how to vote.
“That’s why this is such an exciting opportunity for us … This is our liberty and tyranny moment. This is about patriotism and manning up.”
She said the plan on Thursday afternoon will be to walk through the House office buildings to look for lawmakers: “We can walk through Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn [office buildings], walk through the Capitol …”
The House is scheduled to start debate on the healthcare bill later this week, with a vote likely occurring within the next 10 days.
She calls for Americans ‘by the carload’ to descend on DC
By John Johnson
October 31, 2009
Michele Bachmann wants Americans “by the carload” to come to Washington next week so she can lead them through the halls of Congress to oppose health care reform. “This is our liberty and tyranny moment,” she told Sean Hannity on Fox yesterday. “This is about patriotism and manning up.” The Minnesota congresswoman plans a news conference at noon Thursday, after which she’ll lead the masses through House office buildings, reports The Hill.
“I’d love to have every one of your viewers to join me so we can go up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, ‘Don’t take away my health care.’” And one office in particular will get special attention. “We need to pay a House call on Nancy Pelosi and tell her what she can do with the Pelosi health care plan.”
Bachmann, Palin to speak at National Tea Party Convention
(Elyse Siegel, The Huffington Post, Nov. 25, 2009)
Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann
(Photo composite: Huffington Post)
Rep. Michele Bachmann leads Capitol Hill health care protest
(Transcript from “Glenn Beck,” Fox News Channel, Nov. 4, 2009)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (Fox News Channel image)
Bachmann promotes D.C. ‘Super Bowl of Freedom’ anti-health care reform rally(Matthew DeLong, The Washington Independent, Nov. 3, 2009)
Bachmann calls for protest gathering on health care
(Cynthia Dizikes, DC Dispatches, MinnPost, Nov. 2, 2009)
GOP plans Pelosi “house call” Thursday
(Glenn Thrush, Politico, Nov. 2, 2009)
Tea Partiers get set for hectic final push against health-care reform
(Zachary Roth, TPM Muckraker, Talking Points Memo, Nov. 2, 2009)
Bachmann: House health care bill is ‘Crown Jewel of Socialism’
(Ben Frumin, TPM LiveWire, Talking Points Memo, Nov. 1, 2009)
Bill Prendergast, author of False Witness! The Michele Bachmann Story, wrote a similar blog for his Oct. 31, 2009 Daily Kos Diary, in which he outlines how past is prologue when it comes to Bachmann’s penchant for short-circuiting the respresentative democratic process through mob action.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 1, 2008
One year ago today, on the 14th day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I drew attention to blogger Eric Zaetsch’s pointers for casting a write-in ballot and reported ongoing political wrangling and violence in Iraq.
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