Wednesday, June 22, 2011

American Humour, the Political Version

Here is the lead for an article in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi about Michele Bachmann, presidential "candidate". Read and weep and laugh and despair:
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann, do one more thing. Don't laugh.

It may be the hardest thing you ever do, for Michele Bachmann is almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics. Fans of obscure 1970s television may remember a short-lived children's show called Far Out Space Nuts, in which a pair of dimwitted NASA repairmen, one of whom is played by Bob (Gilligan) Denver, accidentally send themselves into space by pressing "launch" instead of "lunch" inside a capsule they were fixing at Cape Canaveral. This plot device roughly approximates the political and cultural mechanism that is sending Michele Bachmann hurtling in the direction of the Oval Office.

Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions. She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill, that light bulbs are killing our dogs and cats, and that God personally chose her to become both an IRS attorney who would spend years hounding taxpayers and a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government. She kicked off her unofficial presidential campaign in New Hampshire, by mistakenly declaring it the birthplace of the American Revolution. "It's your state that fired the shot that was heard around the world!" she gushed. "You are the state of Lexington and Concord, you started the battle for liberty right here in your backyard."
Go read the whole article.

In the crazy world of crazy right wing "politics" in America, Bachmann is "succeeding":
In modern American politics, being the right kind of ignorant and entertainingly crazy is like having a big right hand in boxing; you've always got a puncher's chance. And Bachmann is exactly the right kind of completely batshit crazy.


Bachmann's story, to hear her tell it, is about a suburban homemaker who is chosen by God to become a politician who will restore faith and family values to public life and do battle with secular humanism. But by the time you've finished reviewing her record of lies and embellishments and contradictions, you'll have no idea if she actually believes in her own divine inspiration, or whether it's a big con job. Or maybe both are true — in which case this hard-charging challenger for the GOP nomination is a rare breed of political psychopath, equal parts crazed Divine Wind kamikaze-for-Jesus and calculating, six-faced Machiavellian prevaricator. Whatever she is, she's no joke.
When I try to think of right wing crazies who were self-appointed saviours of their people, I keep stumbling on the name Adolf Hitler. He wrote a book of his crazy ideas. Despite that, he won power legally in Germany and then used the levers of power to deconstruct democracy and turn Germany into a police state. All in service to his "vision" of a "greater" Germany. He too was a "political psychopath". Americans should be terrified. They've seen the "prequel". Why would they ever walk down the garden path this this latest incarnation of a right wing crazy?

When you hear Bachmann talk about "government is not the solution, it is the problem" and "we need to shrink government down until it can be strangled in a bathtub" and "big government is tyranny". Keep in mind:
Michele took a job as a tax attorney collecting for the IRS and spent the next four years sucking on the tit of the Internal Revenue Service, which makes her Tea Party-leader hypocrisy quotient about average. (At least she didn't collect more than $250,000 in federal farm subsidies between 1995 and 2006 — that was her father-in-law.)
Here is the scariest fact about Bachmann:
Here's the difference between Bachmann and Palin:
While Palin is clearly bored by the dreary, laborious aspects of campaigning and seems far more interested in gobbling up the ancillary benefits of reality-show celebrity, Bachmann is ruthlessly goal-oriented, a relentless worker who has the attention span to stay on message at all times. With a little imagination, you can even see a clear path for her to the nomination.
I can think of one other right wing nut who was a focused and driven to claim his "rightful" place as head of government: Hitler. The better educated and more sophisticated politicians (and citizens) of Germany laughed at Hitler. They figured they would let him be Chancellor and then they would "control" him. That plan didn't work out. Anybody who think Bachmann can be safely allowed to rise to the presidency is seriously kidding themselves. History doesn't repeat, but it sure rhymes.

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