I don’t know about you, but I’ve contracted Bach-mania. It attacks the brain stem, and the only cure is the electrifying charisma of Michele Bachman. Or, you know, October. For now, though, with a mere 16 months left in the campaign season, Mm-Bach is tied with Mitt Romney for President of Theoretical Future America. It’s possible I meant to type “Theocratical Felcher America,” but we’ll get to that in a second. First, I went to continue the nascent and ugly trend of Combat! blog quoting Combat! blog. Remember yesterday, when we were talking about her segment on Face the Nation, and I was like:
…large portions of this interview are not about getting caught lying, at least not yet.
Wasn’t that clever? It seemed like a cheap shot at the time—possibly even lazy—but it turns out it was a genius laser telescope peering 24 hours into the future. According to this depressingly non-surprising article in PolitiFact, Michele Bachmann defended herself against allegations of untruthfulness Sunday by lying her ass off.
"The Bob Schieffer is neither a bob nor a SYNTAX ERROR. END."
Everyone’s favorite tempero-cultural anomaly went on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday morning, where she answered questions about how she compares to Mitt Romney (molded plastic vs. lifelike vinyl) and why so many of the sounds she makes with her mouth are not factually accurate. Full video after the jump. Brave spelunker Bob Schieffer made an admirable attempt to plumb the depths of Michele Bachmann’s head, but ultimately, he was swallowed up like so many styrofoam packing peanuts before him. At issue was PolitiFact’s* recent examination of 23 of Mm-Bach’s public statements, only one of which was found to be “completely true.” Others ranged from “barely true” to “pants on fire.” I think we can all agree that we want our president to make a lot of statements that can be described as “barely true,” but that’s not what’s fascinating about this interview. What’s fascinating is the sheer quantity of rhetorical chaff Bachmann deploys to avoid acknowledging that she, you know, lied. And it sort of works, although whether on Schieffer or on herself is not entirely clear.
The longer you look at her facial expression, the less it looks like a smile.
Yesterday, in our discussion of whether stupidity provides a natural barrier to participation in democratic politics, we linked to an article describing Michele Bachmann’s mildly disastrous appearance on Fox News Sunday. After lamenting that “one hundred percent of the private economy used to be private,” Bachmann alleged that federal interference in private industry is at an all-time high, and that the US government now controls “over 50% of the private economy.” Who knows what’s really going on in the nest of old newspapers and children’s drawings of Jesus that Representative Bachmann calls a head, but it appears that when she says “private economy” she means “domestic economy.” It also appears that when she uses the word “control”—as in, “the US government now has direct ownership or control over the health care industry,”—she means “regulates in some way.” Bachmann says a lot of things that sound terrifying when taken literally, and she backs them up with numbers. Here she is running down the same talking points on Face the Nation:
Scary, right? The federal government controls 51% of the economy, it owns half the mortgages in the country, 30% of doctors intend to leave the practice of medicine now that Obamacare has passed—all of these numbers describe an America in dire straits. Fortunately for us, they’re also made up. Bachmann’s tour of news show appearances to warn us about creeping socialism is built primarily on “facts” she got from chain emails or fabricated entirely, and while that sort of thing might fly on Fox News, CBS don’t play that. It turns out they have a whole staff of people whose job it is to find out whether the stuff people say on their television show is actually true, and Bachmann did not do so hot.