You’ve seen it, of course. U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann on Hardball. Just in case you haven’t, just in case you usually feel Matthews is too obnoxious to watch, I’m going to post it again here, because this may be the most important video of this election season. I ask that you watch it.
It’s tempting, seeing this, hearing this, to dismiss Bachmann as a crazy. She makes it easy, as she always does, with the startlingly wide eyes and the smiles at inappropriate times and the words. Oh, the words.
But dismissing her would be a mistake. Bachmann isn’t trying to scuttle her campaign. She isn’t quite insane. She’s so wrong on so many counts that it’s painful to think about, but she knows what she wants and she’s doing what she thinks she needs to get it.
What does Bachmann want? She wants what her church wants, as evidenced by her pastor’s endorsement. She believes that God has guided her life, not generally, but very specifically to this point. She wants to make the prosperity gospel an American reality. She wants the few who believe like her to see proof that they believe correctly. The only way for them to have this proof (to replace their faith) is to end up the ones on top.
With that in mind, Bachmann’s positions suddenly make more…well, they look more consistent. She wants to take steps like drilling in ANWR to make the country more financially independent but supports the Bush plan to bring American-style (read Christian) democracy to a Muslim country. This isn’t a conflict between isolationism and interventionism. It’s keeping the money here to reward those who are sending others to fight heresy abroad.
She’s a pro-lifer, because her church tells her she must be, but is happy to leave the health of everyone else in the hands of God. God will also provide, apparently, for transportation projects in Bachmann’s district–if he so chooses. Bachmann won’t. She’s not interested in sharing, even with her constituents. For everything else, her votes make up a litany of denial.
It’s with this litany that the point of Bachmann’s Hardball appearance starts to become clear. Matthews didn’t push her into saying anything she didn’t believe. He merely asked enough questions that she did what she’s been dying to do since the Republicans made her one of the voices of their party in September. She went off script and said what she really thinks.
Liberals, with their concern for more than the rich and the fundamentalist Christian, with their willingness to tax the chosen people, really are betraying America. They may be betraying only the America that exists in Bachmann’s head, in her pastor’s head, in the heads of those that follow the prosperity gospel, but this is still a betrayal.
They’ll do whatever needs to be done to stop them. Investigation, sanction, slander, more? That’s just fine. This isn’t a class war that Bachmann and the others are fighting, after all. It’s a religious war–in America.
And it doesn’t get much more anti-American than that.