Monday, May 4, 2009


Let’s just get this out of the way first – the goofballs alluded to in the above headline are consummate whack-job Michele Bachmann, the neocon congresswoman from Minnesota; the man without a verbal filter of any kind, RNC Chairman Michael Steele; and of course, the true face and voice of the current Republican party, entertainer Rush Limbaugh. (Bachmann and Steele are pictured at right. We've all seen enough of Rush, haven't we?)

You know everything you need to know about Rush. I’m not wasting bandwith on him. Let’s look at Michele, and I will now write the longest sentence I have ever written, a summary of Michele’s unfortunate views and positions: Michele Bachmann claims pedophiles are all gay; insists God told her (through her husband) to get a post-doctoral degree in tax law and then to run for elected office, and ultimately labels herself a “fool for Christ” and says she’s “hot for God” ; claims the current H1N1 virus is “interesting” since it happened under the watch of a Democratic president, just as it did in 1976 (although all historical records still agree the President of the U.S. in 1976 was Gerald Ford, a Republican); believes many members of Congress are anti-American; fears that the U.S. is “running out of rich people”; said in a speech on the Senate floor that carbon dioxide is a harmless gas; believes the government is trying to establish “re-education” camps for young people, to train them in the philosophy of the Democratic party; publicly referred to the late Terry Schiavo as “healthy”.

Can we all just agree that Michele Bachmann is indeed a nut? Unfortunately for the Republican party, she never stops talking. She is rapidly becoming a high profile face of the party. Aside from the time she said two lesbians blocked her from leaving a public restroom (I promise), here is one of my favorite Bachmann appearances. On Hardball with Chris Matthews Congresswoman Whackadoodle showed her full paranoia, naming Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Michelle Pelosi as “anti-American”:

One time, appearing together, Bachmann praised (?) RNC Chairman Michael Steele by declaring, “Michael Steele, you be da man.” Yes, she said that. And in fairness, Steele has almost courted that unfortunate image. Here’s a typical Steele response to a reporter’s question – this time it had to do with Republicans voting against money for a potential flu pandemic. Steele’s logic? We didn’t have any way of knowing there would be a flu pandemic, so why would we allot money for it? Evidently, Steele believes we generally know in advance when there will be a pandemic, or other national crisis:

Steele is what we call a “loose cannon.” The Republican royalty apparently did not expect Steele to be quite so controversial when they chose him, but he’s trouble. He spends a lot of time talking about things that have nothing to do with….well, with anything. Here is what he said about Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown: "I wasn't feelin' that. Didn't like the cut. All the little puff things on it -- what was that all about? She could have done a Valentino." Huh? And then there was this, in an interview with GQ Magazine: "I love to party. I love hanging out with women, sometimes more than men. You know, sit back and let your hair down type thing?" So 50 Cent,right? All of this, just as he said on CNN that he is the “de facto leader of the Republican party.” Seriously, does he believe that?

At a minimum, Steele does not display much of a sense of decorum. At the extreme, he is overtly partisan, prone to hair-trigger responses to reporters’ queries, and generally not a good team player. Some typical Steel-isms: One time, speaking to a Jewish group, he compared stem-cell research to Nazi medical experiments on Jews during the holocaust years. Oy. Another time, speaking of pending healthcare reform legislation, Steele actually joked about Senator Ted Kennedy’s brain cancer, saying the bill should probably be called the "Ted Kennedy Memorial Healthcare Bill." Ouch. There is more: In a party that does not pride itself on social change, particularly when it concerns gay issues, Steele has publicly stated that homosexuality is not a choice. On the other hand, Steele calls himself a pro-lifer, but has made comments that sound distinctly pro-choice.

The problem? Steele is not a politician, and in the Republican party’s current precarious position, they need a politician. The further problem? Steele is more focused on promoting himself than the party. He was a bad choice for the job. Nobody in the party wants to come out and say it emphatically, but in a year of particularly bad choices (Read: Sarah Palin) Steele may be among the worst.

We need at least a two party system. The competition and the ideological tug of war is a healthy construct for the democracy. People like crazy Michele Bachmann and Michael Steele should become Republican party reorganizational road kill.

And of course, I mean that in the nicest way possible. Uh huh.


Joan Eisenstodt said...

Now how do we get those who need to read this to do so? I've sent it on .. maybe others will do the same.
Thanks for putting it all in one place, Paul -- each time I hear any of the strange utterances of those who seem to 'lead' the GOP, I wonder at the voters who elected them or those who keep them in place. Strange doings.

Paul A. Greenberg said...

I know....could somebody please tell me how Michelle Bachmann ever got elected? My God. Well, this is the same country that elected George Bush as President, and Ray Nagin at Mayor of New Orleans. Oy.