The Christian Right Killed the Republican Party is my latest piece on the Huffington Post, and I have to say that so far the responses have surprised me. I was expecting to get at least a few hate letters — or some prayers for my unrepentant, un-Christian soul — but no. The readers on HuffPo get it every bit as well as my blogging friends. Right-wing religion and politics have used each other, each for their own ends, and in doing so have corrupted both religion and politics.
Speaking of corruption, a lovely little solicitation flew into my hands yesterday, courtesy of Minnesota’s own right-wing nut, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who recently received her fifteen minutes of infamy for suggesting that the media should investigate Obama and other members of Congress to find out who is “pro-America” and who is not.
“They’ve got $2M To Smear Me Now!!” cries a sticker planted on the corner of the envelope. Inside, it gets even more interesting, with Bachmann suggesting that the outpouring of donations to her opponent after her disastrous Hardball appearance was due to “special interest liberal money”. It couldn’t, of course, have anything to do with how incensed Minnesotans of almost every persuasion were by her McCarthy-like suggestion. Even Governor Tim Pawlenty and Senator Norm Coleman, both Republicans, repudiated Bachmann’s statements.
“The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a front group for liberal extremists, is already running a negative smear ad against me on TV,” Bachmann alleges in her letter. Call something a “front group” and it brings up visions of an armed Patty Hearst, or a group of radicals setting off bombs. Follow it with “extreme” and you have all the makings of an anarcharchist revolution. Odd, because while the Alliance clearly has Democratic roots, there is nothing “front group” or extreme about them — unless you count advocating for the interests of the working and middle-class of Minnesota extreme. Bachmann never explains what she thinks the group is fronting for, but this kind of hyperbolic, fear-driven language has been part and parcel of Republican antics this year.
Lastly, Bachmann’s letter claims that the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) “is concerned enough to buy ad time” to support her campaign. Um, no. That’s also a lie. The NRCC canceled its planned media buys in the Twin Cities shortly after Bachmann’s Hardball appearance.
If you haven’t seen Bachmann’s disgraceful brand of conservatism, you really must. Here’s the whole, unedited clip on YouTube. After you watch it, read what she had to say about her own comments below, in a letter she wrote to subscribers of a national online conservative newspaper.
“Chris Matthews did what Chris Matthews is paid big bucks to do: Twist my words and set them up for full-fledged distortion when his next guest came on,” she wrote. “And, when the liberal blogs got hold of little clips of my appearance, the spin machine really kicked into overdrive…. They’re motivated entirely by their hatred of me and my conservative beliefs.”
There seems to be a serious disconnect between Bachmann’s mouth, brain, and conscience. The only “twisting of words” and “full-fledged distortion(s)” arising from Bachmann’s media snafu didn’t come from Matthews, liberal blogs, spin machines or haters — but from Bachmann herself.
Eight days to go, people, but who’s counting?