It’s not surprising that since she left her home state of Iowa for the wilds of Minnesota when she was 12 she’s forgotten that John Wayne was from Winterset not Waterloo. After all, since she left Iowa she’s forgotten what it means to be a Democrat too.
And while it’s an almost amusing coincidence that the serial killer John Wayne Gacy spent some time in Waterloo, that’s all it was a coincidence. She wasn’t confusing the murderer with the movie star.
As for the movie star whose spirit she invoked, she was only doing what millions of Americans have done for decades, taking the screen persona for the actual man. Anyway, it’s just symbolic, a form of flag waving. Pointing out that the man wasn’t like the character he played is like pointing out that the flag is a cheap piece of cloth during the Pledge of Allegiance while noting also that Pledge was written by a socialist. All you’re doing is making yourself look like a humorless, clueless, sanctimonious know-it-all.
Parading your own virtue doesn’t persuade anybody who isn’t already marching along with you. Showing off how much smarter you are than Michele Bachman on this one is showing off how much smarter you are than the average American and that’s just…showing off.
The things she said about Waterloo and John Wayne were campaign boilerplate and far from being the most deranged, ignorant and dangerous thing she’s said in her brief career. The most truly deranged, ignorant, and dangerous thing she’s said…
Well, besides wanting to abolish the minimum wage…
And Social Security…
And thinking it won’t cause any problems if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling..
As far as I know, God didn’t call upon George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or even Ronald Reagan. Doesn’t it seem odd that after ignoring them He’d give Michele Bachmann the divine nod?
Of course it’s odd! It’s lunatic. But as far as the journalists covering her are concerned, it’s barely worth mentioning.
As far as the New York Times and NPR cared the other day, Michele Bachmann might as well be Rick Perry who might as well be Mitch Daniels who might as well be Mike Huckabee who might as well be Sarah Palin who might as well be Tina Fey. The only interesting thing about her is the what would have been for them the only interesting thing about the others. Her presence in the race makes things more fun to write and talk about.
Michele Bachman can’t keep her facts straight. She lies reflexively. She has no clear understanding of how things are and how they work. And she believes that whatever comes out of her mouth must be still be the truth because she’s chosen by God. Her thinking is wildly disordered because her brain is constantly at work making whatever enters it fit her paranoid and apocalyptic world-view. Bachmann believes that she has been called by God to be the heroine in a fight against the forces of evil in which victory will be the shredding of the Social Contract.
She says this all the time. She brags about it. She is a Right Wing Christianist idealogue on a mission from God to punish those who don’t enjoy God’s favor, which is to say, those Michele Bachmann loathes and despises. And the Media ignores it.
I wish I had favorited it or RT-ed or just flat out memorized it so I could give proper credit, but someone I follow on Twitter wrote the other day that if a person stood on a street corner and started shouting at the crowds the sort of things Bachmann says wherever she goes, people would cross the street against traffic in their hurry to put space between themselves and the nut.
But let the nut stand on a platform surrounded by flags and crowds swarm and the Media reports on those flags and the size of the crowds.
The journalists covering her know what she really is but they don’t feel they can say it unless they can find a Democrat they can paint as being just as bad. And since there are no Democrats running for the Republican nomination for President, not even crazy ones, their only alternative is to wait for one of her opponents to point out that she’s nuts. It’s actually a story that none of them will because they’re all afraid of angering the Religious Right which is made up mainly of people whose beliefs are as radical and as paranoid and as apocalyptic as Bachmann’s, but that hasn’t ever been a story the Beltway Media has longed to tell.
Instead, they glom onto the “gaffe.”
Look, isn’t it funny? She’s from Iowa but she didn’t know what we didn’t know until somebody on the web looked it up that John Wayne is from Winterset not Waterloo! Har dee har har!
This amounts to telling people who are worried about their jobs, struggling to meet their mortgages, scrimping at the grocery store, and waking up in the middle of the night terrified about what will happen if they get sick or the car breaks down or their kid doesn’t get enough financial aid that Michele Bachmann would have lost on Final Jeopardy.
As Atrios said, with a nod to Jay Rosen:
The press feels empowered to jump all over these trivial things while not empowered to point out facts when two sides disagree or to explain the horrible consequences of certain policies. Aside from failing to educate the public, this has an additional pernicious effect. It helps to convince the vast majority of people who only kinda sorta pay attention to politics that Maureen Dowd is right, that this trivial bullshit is what really matters in politics.
So the average Jane and Joe tune out and stay home leaving the decisions to the True Believers.
It’s convenient for journalists to treat politics as a trivial game played by teams of cynical opportunists on both sides. It means they don’t have to care or pay close attention. They don’t have to know anything because there’s nothing to know except who’s winning at the moment, which appears to Michele Bachman, look at those poll numbers jump! Why only 78 out of 100 Iowa Republicans don’t plan to vote for her now!
Lamestream media types can content themselves with being knowing as opposed to actually knowing stuff. The rest of us need to know more than that John Wayne was born in Winterset and dodged the draft during World War II while John Wayne Gacy served chicken dinners in Waterloo prior to moving on to Illinois to become a mass murderer, oh, and the American Revolution started in Concord, Massachusetts not Concord, New Hampshire.
We need to know more than how much better we’d do than than Michele Bachmann if we’re ever on Jeopardy.
Michele Bachmann is on a mission from a God she’s remade in her own image, which makes him a nasty, vicious, vindictive, paranoid, socially and economically destructive God…
…Who wouldn’t do well on Jeopardy.
Photo by Jim Cole for AP via NPR.
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