|What?! Me, Crazy?!|
When we last left Minnesota Congresswoman, and Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann, she was bowing out from the GOP Presidential Race, much to the chagrin of political columnists, late night comedians, and smart asses like me who were looking forward to seeing what a presidential debate between Bachmann and President Barack Obama would look like.
But while she is out of the Presidential Race, Rep. Bachmann is never far from the spotlight. She’s one of those folks that from whom the combination of an open mic, and a vivid imagination spring the kind of results that not even the best novelists or screenwriters could make up.
Her latest bit of “We’re gonna find the anti-Americans and smoke ’em out of their holes” nonsense involves Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and a fellow member of the Minnesota delegation, Congressman Keith Ellison.
Now why is she singling out Abedin, the wife of former Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York and Ellison?
Because they’re both Muslims.
And in Bachmann Land, a place that I imagine is a bit like the Eagles’ “Hotel California” (You can check out anytime you like, but you may never leave…) that makes them members of the Muslim Brotherhood that are helping this Egyptian political party bring down America.
No, you’re not reading that wrong. A current member of Congress is accusing a fellow sitting member of Congress and the wife of a former member of Congress of being part of a group that she says is looking to bring down America.
She made the accusation against Abedin in a letter that she sent to the Inspectors General of the Departments of Homeland Security, State and Justice that asked that they look into possible ‘tentacles’ of anti-American activity.
(Man, do I wish that Rep. Weiner was still in Congress! His floor speeches used to be one of my favorite things about C-Span. I can only imagine what he would have said about this…)
The accusation against Rep. Ellison came this morning in a story published in The Star-Tribune about Rep. Bachmann’s appearance on Glenn Beck’s program Thursday night. “He has a long record of being associated with [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] and with the Muslim Brotherhood,” she said to Beck.
(By the way, does anyone watch Glenn Beck’s new program? When you’re so off the wall that you get kicked off of Fox News, what does that say about you?!)
In any case, the accusations have caused a bit of an uproar and unlike most things in the current Congress, it’s bipartisan.
The Sen. John McCain that would have given President Obama a run for his money four years ago showed up on the Senate Floor to denounce the accusations, calling them “sinister”. Speaker of the House John Boehner, seeing yet another one of the ways that the Devil takes his payment up front and in pounds not ounces when you make a deal with him, said “Accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous”…and not just to my position as Speaker of the House…
(Actually, that last part was mine…)
And just about everyone compared Bachmann’s charges to someone that no Republican likes to be connected to: Joseph McCarthy.
For those of you who don’t remember the whole Red Scare thing (and to my former students, no, I wasn’t there and I’m not that old…smart asses…) Communism was the boogey man in question. Because the Soviet Union had become this big thing post World War II, Rep. McCarthy thought that Communists had infiltrated the United States and were trying to bring America down from within.
As a result, he held a series of hearings that led to mothers testifying against sons, husbands against wives, artists being “blacklisted” and unable to find work, and a climate of fear that so seriously abridged freedom of speech that it got ridiculous.
Fortunately, JOURNALISM existed back then. Folks like Edward R. Murrow dug into McCarthy’s charges and exposed them as false, which is what journalists are supposed to do. Once that happened, McCarthy and his series of hearings came to an end…and McCarthy himself would up dying drunk and friendless.
But unfortunately, it appears that no one has learned from this exercise. Earlier this year, Rep. Allen West, a man that Kid from Kid and Play will be suing any day now to get his hairdo back, accused members of Congress of being Communists.
However, to outdo Bachmann in the Congressional Sweepstakes of Crazy, you’ve gotta work real hard and get up real early…She always brings it, and it’s usually a level of nuts that no one could make up.
Now are there folks in the so-called Muslim World (and I say so-called because I went to a panel discussion on Islam and the Media earlier this week that kind of taught me that this is how I should refer to it) that might want to knock America down a peg or two? Yep. While no one wants to admit it, we haven’t always been kind to folks in that part of the world.
But is everyone who practices the faith of Islam here in America looking to do the country in? Nope. Most Muslims are just trying to live their lives, raise their kids, and follow their faith without people giving them a hard time.
The least that a member of Congress, the body charged with creating the laws that we all live by in this country, could do is not make that harder.
But when it comes to Rep. Michele Bachmann, I think that Mark Twain said it best…
“‘Tis better to be silent and be perceived a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt…”