Frances Fitzgerald titled her 2000 book on Reagan's Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative, "Way Out There in the Blue," leaving unsaid but letting readers conclude that America during his tenure was run by right wing extremists.
He and most others around him were ideologically hard right, their legacy including:
- disdain for working Americans;
- contempt for the rule of law, civil liberties, human rights, and democratic freedoms; and
- support for concentrated wealth, power and budget-busting militarism.
- sweeping deregulation;
- destructive "free trade;"
- offshoring high-paying manufacturing, service, and other jobs;
- the war on drugs - in fact, a war on poor minorities, escalating America's prison population to the highest by far in the world, two-thirds in it Blacks and Latinos, most for nonviolent offenses;
- tax cuts for the rich;
- draconian social program cuts;
- support for global despots, apartheid South Africa, star wars, death squads, proxy wars in Central America, Africa, Afghanistan, and Middle East by helping Iran and Iraq wage war; and
- contempt for gays, lesbians, people of color, the poor and disadvantaged, and more.
Age 24 in 1980, Bachmann voted for Reagan and worked for his campaign. In Congress and as a Tea Party presidential candidate, her extremism may be unrivaled.
Announcing her candidacy on June 27, before a hometown Waterloo, IO crowd, she was low key, saying:
She never "planned on getting into politics, (but) decided to more than just complain (so sought) public office to make our local school district better."
"And now I seek the presidency....because (we) cannot continue to kick the can of our problems down the road. (We) cannot continue to rack up debt on the backs of future generations (or) an unconstitutional health plan. (We) can't afford four more years of Barack Obama."
Indeed, but not for Bachmann to replace him nor others like her - way, way out there in the blue against the interests of struggling working households her agenda will hit harder, not help.
Calling herself a "constitutional conservative," she's a Tea Party favorite. For supporters, she's a crusader, for opponents, an extremist demagogue against democratic values. More on where she stands below.
On June 22, Matt Taibbi headlined, "Michelle Bachmann's Holy War," saying:
"Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions."
She thinks China wants the dollar replaced, that light bulbs kill cats and dogs, "and that God personally chose her to become....a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government."
Supporting handouts to corporate favorites and illegal wars, she opposes America's social contract, especially Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, wanting everyone left on their own sink or swim.
Calling her "grandiose crazy," Tiabbi said "she's living completely inside her own mind, frenetically pacing the hallways of a vast sand castle she's built in there, unable to meaningfully communicate with" ordinary people outside.
Waging war against democratic values and secular humanism, her record is full of "lies, embellishments and contradictions," based on what she calls divine inspiration. In fact, she's "a rare breed of political psychopath, equal parts crazed Divine Wind kamikaze-for-Jesus and calculating, six-faced Machiavellian prevaricator."
But she's no joke. She's running to win to take American more than ever way out there in the blue not fit for anyone to the left of her extremism. She even worries some on the right, including Fox News commentator Brit Hume, saying:
"In the end, she would prove too toxic to independents much like Sarah Palin did....They would think she is just too much."
In 1999, she first ran for office with other Republicans, trying to take over the Stillwater, MN school board. They all lost, she for the only time. Then and later she said she had "no desire to be in politics. None," but ran because God told her to do it.
In fact, her entire political career repeated the same "God speaks directly to me fundamentalism mixed with pathological, relentless, conscienceless lying." For her, it's a holy duty to confront infidels, anyone to the left of her extremist Christian fascism.
In office, however, she never introduced meaningful bills. In the Minnesota legislature, she concentrated on two unsuccessful protest campaigns - against school standards and gay marriage, including proposing a constitutional amendment banning what state law already prohibited.
In Congress, she introduced a resolution to "bar the dollar from being replaced by any foreign currency," like other lunatic fringe ideas she supports. Her war on gays and lesbians is especially outlandish, calling it an "earthquake issue....the biggest (one) that will impact our state and our nation in, at least, the last 30 years."
Not passing her proposal, she said, would mean that "sex curriculum would essentially be taught by the gay community (so that) little K-12 children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural, and perhaps they should try it."
In spite of her lunatic views, over-the-top agenda, and no legislative achievements, she defeated credible candidates and now wants to be president. So far, in fact, she scores well in name recognition and positive intensity, according to Gallop on July 19, suggesting she's very much in the race though it's too early to pick a Republican favorite.
Tiabbi calls her "the champion of those tens of millions of Americans who" read and believe apocalyptic Christian radicalism, explaining "an elaborate fantasy (about) true believers" raptured to heaven for eternal immortality while non-believers are doomed to suffer hellish unspeakable torments.
She also espouses Christian fascism, embracing totalitarian free market extremism, militarism against heretics, and traditionalism. Ideologically it endorses racism, white Christian supremacy, a fanatical devotion to Israel, male gender dominance, gay bashing, disdain for non-believers, proselytizing them to convert, and opposes abortion, independent free thought and analysis, secular humanism, Muslims called "terrorists," and everyone to the left of their views.
Despite these and other lunatic fringe notions, she became prominent in Congress, formed and heads the House Tea Party caucus, stays rigorously on message, attracts considerable media attention despite notoriously misstating facts, and now wants to be president to represent America like she does Minnesota's Sixth congressional district.
Bachmann On the Issues
She's militantly anti-abortion, including wanting fetuses granted equal 14th Amendment protections.
Supports a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
Supports another one defining marriage as only between and man and woman.
Opposes prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Opposes letting shareholders vote on executive compensation.
Wants Obamacare and financial reform repealed.
Supports tough on crime legislation.
Endorsed subsidies for Big Oil.
Opposed tax incentives for renewable energy.
Supports privatizing public schools, destroying public education by turning it into another profit center.
Wants America's social contract ended, especially Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, no matter the devastating consequences.
Embraces total support for Israel, despite its occupation and unspeakable crimes of war and against humanity.
Opposes gun control.
Supports warrantless surveillance (illegal spying).
Opposes progressive immigration legislation, and wants English made America's official language.
Opposes pro-labor legislation.
Endorsed a flat tax and pledged no increases.
Opposes withdrawing troops from war theaters.
A Final Comment
Despite her lunatic fringe views, dubious character, and no qualifications for any political office, she's waging a "holy war" to be elected president in 2012. Don't rule her out.
Though a long shot at best, her doggedness during hard times makes anything possible. However, the notion of President Bachmann should chill everyone to fight it at a time America already is no fit place to live in. Imagine it under her, making Washington Christian fascist occupied territory.
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|Allen L. Jasson|