Minnesota Republican pleb Michele Bachmann announced that her current term in the House of Representatives shall be her last. Since her election to the House in 2007, Bachmann has spewed one ridiculous idea and action after another. In regards to her decision and its coverage by the media, Bachmann has been quoted as saying “I fully anticipate the . . . liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term.” Now, with that said, let’s look at some of the biggest blunders of Bachmann’s career.
5. In 2008, Bachmann cried for a McCarthy-type movement in the media to find out if Barack and Michelle Obama were “pro-America or anti-America.”
Bachmann made an appearance on an episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews and berated the, then, Illinois senator saying that “if we look at the collection of friends that Barack Obama has had in his life, it calls into question what Barack Obama’s true beliefs and values and thoughts are.” The conversation between Matthews and Bachmann was regared to Obama’s liberal political stance and affiliations with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Bill Ayers. Bachmann was trying to assert that because Obama had association with Bill Ayers, former member of the anti-Vietnam War group Weathermen Underground, that Obama was “anti-American.” Matthews asked Bachmann “Who would you consider anti-American?” to which Bachmann responded, “people who hate America.” And those “anti-Americans,” in Bachmann’s gerbil-wheeled brain, are liberals.
4. According to Bachmann, the HPV vaccine causes “mental retardation.”
After a presidential debate against GOP opponent Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) in 2012, during which Bachmann went on a tirade against Perry about his call for young girls being required to get a HPV vaccine, Bachmann reported a woman running up to her after the debate. Bachmann stated that the woman was “crying” because after her daughter was given the vaccine, she “suffered from mental retardation.” This event prompted Bachmann to then address the apparent “dangers” of the vaccine. She even went further to say that Perry’s “crony capitalism could have likely been the cause,” being that one of Perry’s aides became a lobbyist for pharmaceutical corporate-crooks Merck & Co. Bachmann’s claim that the vaccine causes “mental retardation” was so egregious that right-wing, mic-monkey Rush Limbaugh saw the claim as a stretch: “Bachmann might have blown it, she might have jumped the shark. There’s no evidence that the vaccine causes mental retardation.” Bachmann’s claim, of course, turned out to be false as the Center for Disease Control released a study indicating that “less than one percent of recipients suffer adverse reactions from the vaccine.” None of which were at all related to “cognitive disability.”
3. Bachmann said that “Americorps was a dangerous front for ‘youth re-education camps.’”
This everso staunchly-made accusation came about in early 2009. Bachmann had already taken unfounded, right-wing fears of an Obama “autocracy” to new heights, but Bachmann’s belief that Americorps was essentially a political indoctrination camp wielded by the arm of the liberals takes the cake. After an expansion by the volunteer organization, Bachmann noted it as a “dream come true for people who want to transform our country from a free-market economy to a centralized government planned economy . . . people should be shocked, they should be stunned with what is happening.” Exactly, because the way to take over a society is to brainwash college-aged students trying to earn extra money and make a positive impact on society.
2. 61 percent of Bachmann’s drivel was false.
That’s right, 61 percent of Bachmann’s statements were either grossly uninformed or just outright false. Bachmann had gotten her presidential administrations mixed up during an interview with Wolf Blitzer when she tried to assert that “under Barack Obama’s watch, we have expended $805 billion” on Iraq. The truth is that nearly all of that money was spent during the Bush Administration. Bachmann has also said that the only reason why Alzheimer’s disease couldn’t be cured is because of “overzealous regulators, excessive taxation, and greedy litigators.” She actually even attributed this misinformation to coming from actual scientists. However, field experts attribute it simply to “insufficient funding and complexity of the disease itself.” In fact, Boston University School of Medicine neurologist Robert A. Stern said that “it has nothing to do with her (Bachmann’s) naive and scary statements.” The icing on the cake and irony of this list-item is that after a 2011 debate with Newt Gingrich, Bachmann insisted that “after the debates we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true.”
1. Bachmann allegedly made money laundering and ethics violations during her 2012 presidential run.
This landed No. 1, not only because of the absolute vile nature of these allegations, but because Salon also released a story about the investigation in early May headlined as “This Could Be a Career Ender for Michele Bachmann.” Way to call it, Salon. In the last couple of weeks, the FBI has also joined the investigation that will look into the allegations that Bachmann misappropriated campaign funds to “promote her book” and that her “campaign laundered money.” Andy Parrish, Bachmann’s former chief of staff, stated that Bachmann “knew and approved” of paying Iowa State Sen. Keith Sorenson up to $7,500 a month. And seeing as how there are rules in place that forbid “state senators from accepting employment” from PACs, this is a clear cut case of rules and ethics violation. Of course Bachmann has denied everything and, in Sorenson’s case, said that it’s “totally baseless, without evidence, and a waste of Iowans’ time and money.” Much like her political career.
But, perhaps her career isn’t a total loss. At the very least, her denying the ethics allegations is one more thing that Politifact.com might be able to put under Bachmann’s profile, along with her claim that she isn’t leaving the House because of the ethics probe.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.