Friday, July 01, 2011

Michele Bachmann Should Scare Us

Curl up close to the AC with a tall cold drink and try not to let this Rolling Stone article scare you enough to wet your pants. It's a must read.

Michele Bachmann metastasized several years ago and it's too late to stop her now. Please don't laugh. We've spent several years laughing at her––because she is funny, like those improbable bimbos in Scary Movie––but, seriously, this is one of those times when we need to be afraid. We need to be worried. We can't run away. We need to confront the danger for what it is.

Maybe it comes down to the Big Lie. Bush Jr. had a gift for the Big Lie, but Bachmann is even better at it. She's faster and she's everywhere. (Is there an end-times creature that has the power to be in many places all at once? Where's my Book of Revelations?)

Bush seemed to lie without comprehending. He was as clueless as the average American. Bachmann has this cunning ability to state falsehoods as if she believes them utterly, as if God himself whispered them in her ear. As if they are true because she believes them. And while the mean journalist is pointing out what she's gotten wrong or asking her to clarify a misstatement, she's onto another lie larger and stranger than the last. She does it without blinking, and her sincerity vouches for every word.

Also there's her delivery. Her falsehoods are fired off in rapid clusters making it hard to shoot them down. You can't stop them all. While the knowledgeable person is questioning her about one lie in a paragraph of lies, she's quickly on to other lies bigger and stranger than the last bunch.

Her career resembles W's in another way. She makes us laugh. Apparent inadequacy is sometimes charming and amusing. Someone this ill-informed and strangely-informed ought to be laughed out of politics, but because America loves to laugh and the news media is forbidden to tell a Republican they are lying, Bachmann is media gold.

And unlike Bush, she doesn't appear to be stupid. Someone smart enough to know better who is so provably wrong about so many things becomes downright dangerous. She is smart enough to know better, so there is a reason she pushes the ridiculous and the false.

Unlike Bush, it isn't flim-flam. She isn't someone else's puppet. With her it's a cultlike zealotry. She is on a personal crusade. It's a belief system based on the end-time notion that if she can cause enough irreparable harm, wreck enough public institutions, pour enough sand in the works, derail enough systems, impoverish enough people and allow the very rich to steal enough money, and get the rest of us to herd ourselves down the sluice toward economic and environmental disaster... if she can make things bad enough, Jesus will come and rescue us, or at least rescue the people who voted for her. And if you believe that will happen, maybe we all deserve the outcome.

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