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Touting Her Currency Conspiracy, Bachmann Insists: ‘This Is Not Michele Bachmann Being a Kook’

Michele Bachmann
Rep. Michele Bachmann

By Ali Frick
Think Progress
March 27, 2009

Earlier this week, right-wing fanatic Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) started peddling false conspiracy theories that the world was moving toward a unified global currency — and that the U.S. might join in as early as next week’s G-20 conference.

The myth was started when China’s central bank governor suggested replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Though the suggestion has nothing to do with a unified global currency, Fox News’ Major Garrett decided to ask President Obama whether he supported the fictional prospect of such a move. (Obama, for the record, does not.)

Today on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Bachmann declared that the U.S. will soon be moving to “give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency.” Such action, she warned, would mean the U.S. as a country would be “no more”:

BACHMANN: As you know, Russia, China, Brazil, India, South Africa, many nations have lined up now and have called for an international global currency, a One World currency and they want to get off of the dollar as the reserve currency.

BECK: Most people don’t understand, Michele, what that means.

BACHMANN: What that means is all of the countries in the world would have a single currency. We would give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency. … If we give up the dollar as our standard, and co-mingle the value of the dollar with the value of coinage in Zimbabwe, that dilutes our money supply. We lose control over our economy. And economic liberty is inextricably entwined with political liberty. Once you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom. And then we are no more, as an exceptional nation, as we always have been. So this is imperative.

Bachmann claimed that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he was “open” to the One World currency. (In reality, he only said he was open to changes in the IMF special drawing rights, and reaffirmed his commitment to the dollar.) Beck warned that speaking out about the global currency gets one labeled a “kook,” but Bachmann brushed off such concerns, saying she’s been called that “throughout [her] political career”:

BACHMANN: Well, Glenn, I have experienced that throughout my political career, being labeled a kook. It just happened again in a big story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But all we have to do is point to the treasury secretary on tape, on camera. This is not Michele Bachmann being a kook. This is our treasury secretary on tape and on camera.

Listen to it:



  • Bachmann has introduced legislation to prevent the hypothetical adaptation of a fictional global currency.
  • The falsehoods here are coming so fast and loose that its hard to know where to start,” Matthew Yglesias writes, beginning a thorough debunk of the conspiracy theory: Keep in mind that these aren’t just two weirdos hiding out in a cabin somewhere. Beck has a show on a major cable news network and Bachmann has a seat in Congress.

Read comments



MSNBC “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann

Commentary by Bill Prendergast on the Dump Bachmann Blog

If you only watch one Countdown segment on Bachmann, I recommend that it be this one.

Olbermann’s guest Jonathan Alter is an MSNBC analyst and Newsweek editor. He notes that she has “got a little problem with reality,” which is an understatement. But the real reason the discussion here is worth watching is because of what it points out about Bachmann’s latest rhetoric: it’s not about elections any more, it’s not about proceeding to change the government via constitutional or traditional political procedures.

It’s about revolution. Here is a US Congressional representative referring to extra-legal, non-constitutional methods to change the government and remove “Marxist” elected officials from power. …

That’s a very un-American way for an elected official to present a call for change. Elected officials are supposed to support the system of elections that brought them to power — not to call on Americans to ignore those results and “rise up.”

As the speakers point out in the clip: if you’re unhappy with the government, your option as a citizen is to work within the law and under the Constitution to change the government via the electoral process. Bachmann isn’t talking about doing that, she’s encouraging conservatives to doing something revolutionary now, without the consent of the governed.

I think Alter is wrong when he says that Bachmann doesn’t represent the GOP — for the simple reason that they haven’t chosen to rein her in or distance themselves from this apocalyptic rhetoric. I think the current GOP strategy is to let her go out on this limb and see if it works to rally their old base. If the calls for revolution play well and re-vitalize the old base, they won’t distance themselves from her. If her calls for revolution lead to violence or assassination attempts, they will.

My criticism of Olbermann’s and Alter’s remarks is that they both insist that Bachmann nearly lost her last election (in the wake of calling for an investigation of anti-Americans in government.) She did nearly lose; so what? How is that near-loss “progress” (as Alter claims) when an extremist is returned to office despite the efforts of people in all fifty states to remove that extremist from office?

Olbermann probably doesn’t know that this “extra-legal” stuff is not new to Bachmann. Back when she was in the Minnesota State Senate, she led rallies attended by thousands to oppose gay marriage. At that time she was on local radio urging the demonstrators to invade the offices of her elected colleagues and physically confront them. At one of the rallies she also urged the huge audience to enter the capitol to challenge their elected officials. We expect that kind of urging from radicals outside the government who don’t believe in American democracy and representative government — but this was a case where an elected member of the government was urging a mob to intimidate elected officials into compliance with her will.

That’s not something you do if you believe in elected government, democracy, or American freedom. That was an attempt to use a mob to coerce her elected colleagues in government. It demonstrated that Bachmann has no respect for constitutions or elections or the will of lawfully elected legislators — when things aren’t going her way.

Encouraging audiences to think that American elected officials are secret “Marxists” is not something new for Bachmann, either. Bachmann has in the past made similar charges against fellow Republicans, including Minnesota governor and potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, when she charged that his pet plan for the state’s economy was being formulated in accordance with the Marxist principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” [link added]

And incredible as it may seem, when Bachmann entered the Minnesota State Senate as a Republican she charged that President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress were overseeing federal education laws designed to prepare America’s children for future servitude in a one-world, Soviet-style economy.

This stuff goes deep into Bachmann’s psyche. People who think that Bachmann is “just speaking metaphorically” with this extreme rhetoric are not familiar with her history or her long-term political strategy and thinking. She’s fishing for extremist action here — again. If things go bad (e.g., an assassination inspired by Bachmann’s call for “immediate action” and charges of un-Americanism and Marxism in government), she’ll back off and say she meant it all “metaphorically.”

But if conservatives and extremists rally to her without killing or hurting people, she’ll accept their support and keep talking about “armed and dangerous” [and] “rising up” so they’ll stay motivated, enraged, and frightened of their own elected government.

She’s demonstrating again that her support for American representative democracy is limited to when elections go the way she wants them to. She doesn’t want to wait for elections; she’s asking for “immediate” action. A very undesirable person to have in any government of free people.

But thank God that national media have actually started to pay attention to the wild-eyed calls for action and obscene charges that she’s been leveling on talk radio ever since she entered politics.

MSNBC “Hardball” with Chris Matthews

Commentary by Bill Prendergast on the Dump Bachmann Blog

I’m a little worried when I see a journalist like Matt Taibbi simply giggle about something Bachmann said, and dismiss it as the ravings of someone that might have been “huffing glue.”

I mean, in one way it’s good. On this blog we’ve been telling people for years that she’s a nut, even as local newspapers and the professional media continued to take her seriously, as if she were a rational responsible person worth listening to. We were gathering and reporting the significant evidence to the contrary — the evidence out of Bachmann’s own mouth, that indicate she was an extremist living off the map of honesty and reality and integrity.

At first no one paid much attention to us or believed us, and the local media continued to cover for her — reporting on B’s foster children and celebrity appearances with Jewel, publishing puff pieces that never mentioned her crazy political base and views.

We published that “evidence she’s nuts” stuff, but we weren’t vindicated for years — not until after the national press and media got one look at her and instantly recognized her for what she was: a nut, an extremist nut, a liar, and a bigot.

The clip here bugs me because people like Taibbi make the same mistake that many liberals here made when Michele started her political career: they think that because this person is saying something nuts, they can be dismissed/laughed off or laughed out of existence.

I can tell them from personal experience that that’s not so. Bachmann is currently representing (in the US Congress) many liberals who discounted her at the outset. They had contempt for her, pointing out the fact that she is much nuttier than the average Minnesota Republican — and to this day, nut that she is — she is in Washington, representing all those people who laughed at her ravings.

I don’t know what’s so funny about that; if you’re familiar with the deterioration of the economy in her district — it’s not very funny at all.

“The Young Turks” with Cenk Uygur

Cenk Uygur discusses Bachmann’s call to arms that she wants people in Minnesota “armed and dangerous” on the energy tax issue, that “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,” and that the people “are going to have to fight back hard if were not going to lose our country.”

Money quote: “To the good people of Minnesota . . . This is an elected representative of the people of that district. You’ve got to be embarrassed, man. It’s your job in 2010 to pull her. This is an absolute debacle over here; she’s a train wreck — you’ve got to get her out of there. Get another Republican; do whatever you’re gonna if it’s a heavily Republican district, but you can’t have this woman embarrassing you in Congress every day.”



Stephanie Zvan of the Quiche Moraine blog performs an exceptional excision of the lowlights of Bachmann’s first five months since reelection with surgical precision — and the extracts read more like a rap sheet than a resume.

The Civilianism blog, in an article titled “Something is wrong with Michele Bachmann,” calls Bachmann “the lead conspiracy theorist in the U.S. Congress.” Bachmann is characterized as always having been flaky but becoming “completely irresponsible” of late and possibly having “some type of medical problem.” Bachmann’s call for the people of Minnesota to become “armed and dangerous” in opposing cap-and-trade policies and her “One-World currency” conspiracy theory are said to be “ridiculous and dishonest and deliberately misleading.” The writer concludes, “Bachmann is either incredibly dishonest or incredibly stupid. I don’t think she is stupid, which means she is being purposely dishonest and extraordinarily partisan, for no apparent reason. … What seems to be happening with Bachmann is that she takes standard Republican talking points … and embellishes them, exaggerates them, and adds her own crazy spin. The problem lately is that she is a growing embarrassment for the people of her state …”

Andrew Leonard, writing at, notes: “Just because Michele Bachmann is crazy doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a right to be worried about the U.S. dollar.” … “Unfortunately, Bachmann has the causation a bit bass-ackwards. The dollar will only be replaced if it turns out to be fundamentally unsound. That is, if the United States continues to mismanage its economy, the dollar will no longer be a safe place for other countries to invest their savings in, and they will look for another alternatives. …”



Some think moon landing was faked

18 Responses to “Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook””
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann Census Sedition Silence Says:

    […] Bachmann touched on the priorities of Republicans if they retook Congress in 2010, to pass repealer bill after repealer bill, to prevent the creation of a one-world currency, and to pull the government back from the 36 percent of private business profits that she claimed it now controlled. […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » MN-06 Endorses Conspiracy Nut Says:

    […] Sidebar: Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Michele Bachmann Found in Ohio Says:

    […] Sidebar: Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann Between the Lines Says:

    […] Sidebar: Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann’s ‘One World’ Paranoia Says:

    […] Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” (March 28, 2009) […]

  6. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Response to Pro-Bachmann LTE Says:

    […] Bachmann’s Census Paranoia Bachmann Brainwashing Paranoia MN-06 Endorses Conspiracy Nut  Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” “Craziest Interview” in U.S. History Bachmann Retort “Kind of Stupid” […]

  7. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann’s March of Folly Says:

    […] Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” (March 28, 2009) […]

  8. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann Conspiracy Nation Says:

    […] Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” (March 28, […]

  9. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann Headlines British Press Says:

    […] Bachmann Says ‘I’m Not a Kook’ (March 28, 2009) […]

  10. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bachmann Suckers St. Cloud Times Says:

    […] Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” (March 28, 2009) — Q: Critics point to your appearances on talk shows and your national following and wonder whether they’re distractions from representing the 6th District of Minnesota. How would you respond? […]

  11. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » The Psychological Profile of Giffords Shooter Jared Loughner Says:

    […] There is no direct evidence that Jared Loughner’s thoughts or actions were specifically influenced by the incendiary political rhetoric of the recent past, such as Sarah Palin’s “target list” or Michele Bachmann’s provocative “armed and dangerous” remarks or her paranoid conspiracies — for example, AmeriCorps youth brainwashing, “one-world currency,” or the U.S. census. […]

  12. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Jared Loughner’s Mental State Says:

    […] I had insufficient information to determine whether Loughner met the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia, but concluded that there was no direct evidence that his thoughts or actions were influenced by vitriolic political rhetoric such as Sarah Palin’s “target list” or Michele Bachmann’s inflammatory “armed and dangerous” comments or politically paranoid AmeriCorps brainwashing and “one-world currency” conspiracy theories. […]

  13. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Welcome Home, Red Bulls! Says:

    […] Bachmann Says ‘I’m Not a Kook’ […]

  14. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Barack Obama’s Libya Speech Says:

    […] Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook”  […]

  15. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Honors for Michele Bachmann Says:

    […] Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook” (March 28, 2009) […]

  16. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Investors Losing Confidence That Debt Issued By Dysfunctional U.S. Government Is Risk-Free Says:

    […] Bachmann: U.S. Will Soon Give Up Dollar As Currency (March 28, 2009) […]

  17. Immelman vs. Bachmann » Blog Archive » Michele Bachmann is a Nut Says:

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  18. Immelman vs. Bachmann » Blog Archive » Michele Bachmann’s Record of Reckless Conspiracy Theories Says:

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