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John Emerson

Prosperity gospel Christians believe that anything good that happens to them, e.g. money, is a blessing from God and means that they have pleased God, and that anything bad that happens to anyone is God's curse and means that they've displeased God. They also believe that, when Christians drop down into the evil world to save it, sometimes that have to do evil too, and that's OK because they're doing to for a good cause. And they also believe that if a Godly person slips and sins but then repents, they're still better people than even the virtuous unbelievers.

In other words, it's self-serving fropm top to bottom. It's stuff that would you make you suspect psychopathy or cluelessness if someone believed it for non-religious reasons.

Religious tolerance is sort of a messy way of accommodating the fact of religious diversity. And there has to be some line beyond which intolerable beliefs and practices cannot be excused on religious grounds. Bachmann's heavily-politicized religion is a legitimate reason to vote against her.


I get your point, Lance, but here's the thing: this was not an off-the-cuff remark. It was not a throwaway line. It was a planned statement that SOMEone must have inserted into her speech.

Now that either means she's a complete idiot for not vetting her speech more carefully or she's got a serious mental incapacity in that either herself or her staff left that in after, yup, checking.

That, we need to know about.

True, her substantive points need exploration, but in what I'm going to call the Actor212 Theorem of Conservation of Energy, I'd rather the press hit the softball out of the park and eliminate the need to expend energy on something from someone who will be irrelevant within weeks, saving it to work on the position papers of Romney and Perry.

When McCain ran in 2008 against Obama, no one spent much energy tracking down unsubstantiated rumours on either of them (save the birthers, of course). Palin came into some flack, yes, but then Palin brought an awful lot of that on herself. Too, she was an unknown and so was deserving of investigation. She was the clown car at the circus while the roadies mopped up the guy who fell off the high wire.


I don't think Bachmann is a Prosperity Gospel type. She's actually much stranger. Yes, she believes that anything good that happens to her is a blessing from God and that she's pleased God, but anything bad that happens to her is not a curse from God, but an attack by Satan, and therefore further indication that she's on the right path in serving God. So, nothing is ever a sign that she's on the wrong path. Bad things happening to other people is just a sign that they aren't Real True Christians.

chris the cop

I don't know if Michele has the brains of a turnip or not. I do know that "God has called upon her to run for president" does sound goofy, but

"It means that I have a sense of assurance about the direction I think that God is speaking into my heart that I should go"
(From the same CBS interview)

does not.

I don't think she's going to be "irrelevant wihtin weeks," either, for better or worse.

A coupla cheap shots too many in this one, Lance.

Jeff Boatright

As I read elsewhere on teh 'toobes today, it's instructive to remember that Howard Dean was run out of town over one syllable taken out of context and literally amplified by the media. One syllable. Yet Bachman can rant for YEARS, spinning complete fantasies that inform her policy decisions, and not ONE of her wacko (and public) proclamations gets picked up by the press. Not one.


"Founding Fathers Ended Slavery" might not be as easy to shrug off. Yes, the press is stupid in its coverage of power politics, but I agree with actor212 about being thankful that they are at least hitting the softballs out of the park.

More proof, as if any were needed, of the old saying that if you talk to God, you're religious, but if God talks to you, you're schizophrenic....

Kevin Wolf

Well, I think you're spot on, Lance. Bachmann's religion is the wellspring of her hideous policies - and she should be taken to task for those by her opponents and by the press. But she won't be.

Her ignorance, though, is standard issue for the radical right wing in this country. They are willfully, gleefully ignorant but being wrong doesn't seem to matter these days.

Earl Bockenfeld

Bachmann was trying to find a way to justify her ridiculous claim that the Founding Fathers "fought tirelessly" to end slavery, and what she happened upon was to put the whole burden of that conclusion upon John Quincy Adams who wasn't actually a Founding Father, though he was the son of one.

What saddens me is that neither Bachmann nor the people who support Bachmann know the slightest bit about American history they pretend to revere so deeply. The fact is that there was at least one Founding Father who was steadfastly opposed to slavery: Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin signed a letter, along with the Pennsylvania Quakers, to Congress that caused a big stir. They asked the newly formed United States Congress to end the practice of slavery. The prominence of that signature, Franklin being the only man in America who approached George Washington in terms of being universally respected, was such that it threatened the fragile democracy, which was only able to be formed because the non-slave states agreed to the Great Silence (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 of the Constitution), as well as some other provisions regarding the slave trade. Southern representatives would not even discuss abolishing slavery and only the slave trade, the importation of new people into the United States, made it into the Constitution, and then only to provide rules against discussing ending the slave trade or taxing it.

Bachmann could have avoided most of her ridicule by using Ben Franklin instead of John Quincy Adams. But they can’t back Ben Franklin. He liked the French, sex, and was also an original scientist. Basically, everything they hate.

pseudonymous in nc

A coupla cheap shots too many in this one, Lance.

I think Lance pulled his punches. Bachmann is a crazy person. A crazy person with a degree of political capability, but politics is traditionally one of those areas where crazy delusional people can do scarily well. And as Matt Taibbi rightly said, "Bachmann is exactly the right kind of completely batshit crazy" to avoid the disdain she deserves, while other politicians have been declared beyond the pale for such craziness as advocating universal healthcare.

That's a genuine structural problem, as is the way the press clearly want her to stick around and provide entertainment value for the reality show that is the presidential horse-race.


Did somebody mention turnips?! You guys would probably like my Facebook page called "Who's Smarter: Michele Bachmann, or this Turnip?"

11,000 Turnipites can't all be wrong.

BTW, great article. I hope you don't mind if I post a link to it on my page.


The guys on the street corner screaming their nonsense are fine. Crazy, but fine. But when you aim to be the President of the United States, you must be spot on, all the time. No mistakes. And when you do make them, you have to own up. Be humble. Admit human failings. Apologize and move on. That's an unrealistic expectation to put on anyone; I'll admit that. But we crucified Dan Quaile for his gaffs. And when Al Gore invented the internet, we railed at him. The problem is that most of the dumb (and I make no apologies for using that term) people in this country are happy to hear things that make them feel good and "sound about right." They don't want to think. So they don't. And Michelle is cute. And "heck, I can relate to her!" Well, that's going to get us a whole lot of trouble. We do not need nor should we want a President who is just one of the people. The average person is not suited to be President. But, maybe it will lead to a real revolution. Maybe if the Tea Party finds itself floating in Boston Harbor, maybe we can get around to fixing the country's problems. Ignorance should be top priority. But taking away people's ignorance is like taking away their guns. Heaven forbid!

Sean Cooper

I hope she gets the nomination, a smart phony baloney twerp like Romney scares me as a candidate more than she does. Romney is an empty suit, but smarter then the others, and gives the press no trivia fodder for their tiny minds to latch on to. And when he is the nominee, they'll politely take his words down like the stenographers that they are, and do any reporting of substance on him.

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