Woe Is She: A Mainstream Liberal Gotcha Media Guide to Michele Bachmann

Why hate her because she’s beautiful, when there are so many other reasons to hate her? Before you attack a candidate for her appearance, parenting choices, or emotional state, take a minute to consider all of the valid, legitimate, non-sexist reasons to criticize. Such as:

Candidate: Michele Bachmann

Standard go-to criticism: Crazy, and a fox

———

The valid alternative: Christian wifely submission

The headline: Love, Honor, and Obey: Who would run a Bachmann White House?

The cover story: Conservative Christian Bachmann has openly stated her belief that a wife should submit to her husband. She’s said that she submits to the will of her husband Marcus and even studied tax law, despite hating it, because he told her to and she “was going to be faithful to what [she] felt God was calling [her] to do through her husband.” We speculate on the potential impact of Michele Bachmann’s gender-theology politics, both on the nation as a whole and on the women she will govern. Can a president lead effectively without the power to make his or her own decisions? Does a person understand personal accountability who credits career and life decisions to orders from God? Could a president whose dominionist leanings led her to an early career of Christian indoctrination and obedience possibly serve without trying to impose biblical governance on the country?

The cover photo (Note: I am not an art director): Something like this one, this one, or definitely this one

The sidebar: Michelle Bachmann’s Christian history on abortion, gay rights, and childhood indoctrination

The sidebar: Michele and Marcus Bachmann on “reparative therapy” and the creeping threat of homosexuality

———

The valid alternative: Willful (or unwitting) ignorance

The headline: Fear Factor: Michele Bachmann has become known for her public gaffes–but does she know something we don’t?

The cover story: If her public statements are to be believed, Bachmann believes that the end times are nigh, Obama’s push to expand a public service act amounts to government re-education camps, the census is dangerous and the government shouldn’t be trusted, and the government is coming after your incandescent lightbulbs and your folding money. She is “a foreign correspondent on enemy lines.” She’s just… wrong. A lot. We look at some of her more bizarre assertions. Is she merely inflammatory, trying to whip voters into paranoia and positioning herself as their true hope against an encroaching government? Or does she sincerely not get it? And if it’s the latter, does she reject the facts or is she insulated from them? And most important, is it working? Will enough voters be swayed by it to earn her the White House in 2012?

The cover photo (IANAAD): Something like this one, with less squinting; this one, but maybe with some ominous storm clouds in the background; this one or a better shot of this one; or this one, with equal intensity, but without catching her in the middle of a word

The sidebar: Michele Bachmann’s McCarthy-esque quest agains anti-Americanism

———

The valid alternative: Hypocrisy

The headline: The Two Bachmanns: Michele Bachmann talks a good game. But how much do the Tea Partiers really know about their chosen voice?

The story: Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann publicly supports fiscal conservatism and speaks out strongly against entitlement programs and what she perceives to be the misuse of tax dollars. But she and her husband have personally benefited from federally backed home loans and health care spending. She has spoken out against the federal stimulus package and against government spending while covertly asking for her share. As she denounces the IRS, she’s forced to downplay the fact that she worked for them. She calls for small government–and denounced the census as too intrusive–but voted to extend the PATRIOT Act. As Bachmann rises to the top of the GOP race, do her Tea Party supporters not know about her past, or do they not care?

The cover photo (IANAAD): Something like this one, juxtaposed with something like this one

The sidebar: GOP front-runner Mitt Romney vs. the Tea Party

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15 Responses

  1. April
    April August 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm |

    Ooh, I just stumbled across this gem from The City Pages, which is a generator of strange and terrible things Bachmann has said or done, in case anyone needs any more good substitutes: http://microapp.citypages.com/bachmann/index.php

  2. slim
    slim August 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm |

    I’m pretty sure that when people call Bachmann “crazy” they mean “her ideas are totally out there and would do a lot of damage.” They don’t mean “she’s emotionally unstable and, as with all emotionally unstable people, she shouldn’t be listened to.”

    In other words it’s quite possible to say “she’s crazy” about a politician in a non-ableist way.

  3. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 August 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm |

    I’m finished voting for candidates, for people. I’ll vote on issues, but not on these clueless politicians.

    I’m done.

  4. karak
    karak August 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm |

    Bachmann has openly gotten testy when people ask her about that love and obey question when it comes to her husband–ie, is she going to let him dictate policy?

    Now, see, it would be creepy to ask a candidate that question like, say, Palin. She’s got an amazing working relationship and keeps her husband in the background of her career (as far as I know). But when Bachmann repeatedly says she obeys, has life examples of it, and throws a shit fit when someone asks about it… well, mebbe you better not run for office. Heck, it would be a valid question for Clinton, too, because her husband IS an ex-president, and anyone who asked her that got a flat, “no”, not HDU, because Clinton is not stupid.

  5. Deb
    Deb August 15, 2011 at 11:37 pm |

    slim:

    In other words it’s quite possible to say “she’s crazy” about a politician in a non-ableist way.

    Using ‘crazy’ to mean ‘her ideas are totally out there and would do a lot of damage’ IS ableist.

  6. notemily
    notemily August 16, 2011 at 12:59 am |

    In other words it’s quite possible to say “she’s crazy” about a politician in a non-ableist way.

    No, it’s not.

  7. kiturak
    kiturak August 16, 2011 at 3:21 am |

    Here are some thoughts on the word:
    Ableist Word Profile: Crazy (to describe political viewpoints or positions)
    , on FWD

    Great post!

  8. cam
    cam August 16, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    For what it’s worth, Michele Bachmann has recently said that to her “submission means respect, mutual respect” and that it doesn’t mean being subservient : http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/14/ftn/main20092175.shtml

  9. Raja
    Raja August 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    How someone with her narrow world view and limited intelligence even got through law school is pretty amazing to me considering that isn’t exactly the easist field in the world.

  10. slim
    slim August 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

    So if I refer to a an “Angry Birds craze sweeping the nation” — is that ableist too? Surely we can acknowledge that it’s an old, complicated word, and that in many contexts it does NOT function to demean the psychologically unstable.

  11. no name here
    no name here August 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    Oh, joy, the “Ableist Word Profile,” so beloved of whingy Critical Studies types around the internet who hope to purge the language of such oppressive terms as “weak,” “stupid,” “scab,” and many other horrible words I bet you thought weren’t evil.

    Michele Bachmann is a fucking lunatic. Deal.

  12. Laurie
    Laurie August 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

    When Bachman said her reference to “wifely submission” simply means “mutual respect,” she was l-y-i-n-g. Either that or she was lying when she said she only went to law school because her husband told her to. One spouse dictating to the other that she undergo a course of study she hates is not mutual respect.

  13. Brigid
    Brigid August 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Ha! This is great, and funny despite its seriousness. I’ve wondered what’s up with the “Willful (or unwitting) ignorance” story — which I notice you didn’t link — not being covered by the press.

    Every recent national election season, there has been at least one candidate (if not a whole cadre of them) who believes, or at least says, a lot of outlandish and blatantly untrue things. And for the most part, it’s like the press just looks the other way. Or thinks that everyone agrees that outlandish things are outlandish, so they don’t need to mention it. When in fact, popular support for candidates like Bachmann suggests that many people do, indeed, need the outlandishness of their rhetoric to be explained to them.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but a whole lot of my frustration during election season comes from having to hear unbelievable, easily disprovable falsehoods repeated ad nauseum. It seems like if the mainstream media actually held people accountable for, I don’t know, facts, it might improve the situation.

    What gives?

  14. Iam138
    Iam138 August 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

    Well, to be fair, she only worked for the IRS because her husband told her to do it (perhaps to get a better look at the inside of the beast?). So to mention that is probably double-counting.

  15. ch
    ch August 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    Raja, she mostly got through law school with all these beliefs intact because she went to law school at Oral Roberts University.

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