The WP's Dana Milbank, like other MSM pundits, can't bring himself to dismiss Michele Bachmann (shown left) as the whackjob she is. But he deserves some credit for at least highlighting the gas pains she's giving the G.O.P. leadership, and highlighting the Minnesota congresswoman's peculiar grasp of U.S. history.
Here's Milbank on his WP blog:
Party leaders, intimidated by the Tea Party activists, have little control over Bachmann. They denied her the party leadership post she sought, but when it came to her plan to upstage the authorized GOP response Tuesday night, the most House Speaker John Boehner could do was grumble that it's 'a little unusual'.
Bachmann is more than a little unusual. Her greatest hits are now legendary: Her suggestion that President Obama and the Democrats are "anti-American," her caution that the census could be used to create internment camps, her accusation that Obama is running a "gangster government" and her request that people be "armed and dangerous" to fight climate-change legislation...
'It is my firm belief that America is under greater attack now . . . than at any time,' she warned, voicing 'grave doubt' about the nation's survival. She presented to the assembled Iowans a novel view of American history in which the 'founders . . . worked tirelessly until slavery was no more." In Bachmann's version, "It didn't matter the color of their skin. . . . Once you got here, we were all the same'.
Hard to believe Al Franken and Michele Bachmann were elected from the same state.
Hmm. Obama is a greater threat to the Republic than were the Redcoats, Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, and the Klan? (I'd throw in the perpetrators of reality television, but that would be gilding the lily.)
To be sure, slaveowners George Washington, Thomas Jefferson et al were at least cognizant of America's "original sin." But they punted on that one, because otherwise there'd have been no Union comprising the likes of Virginia and the Carolinas.
Have I mentioned America's scandalously low world rankings in educational achievement? You could pore over the latest OECD study on that, or just have a cursory read of Bachmann's latest speeches for anecdotal proof.
Ike once said of a knuckleheaded ally that, "To the question of how dumb he is, there appears to be no conclusive answer." With Bachmann, it's as though she took her civics lessons from a second-hand Cliff Notes with three-quarters of the pages ripped out.
And which of us didn't once do that? But our better instincts kept us from seeking high political office.