So what would I cut? I think really, what I would want to do is be able to go back and take a look at Lyndon Baines Johnson's Great Society. The Great Society has not worked, and it's put us into the modern welfare state. If you look at China, they don't have food stamps. If you look at China, they're in a very different situ-- they save for their own retirement security. They don't have AFDC. They don't have the modern welfare state. And China's growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us at The Great Society, and they'd be gone.
(Michele Bachmann, at Saturday's GOP debate)
Americans with functioning brain cells, watching Saturday's GOP debate
[Meanwhile, deep inside Bachmann Central Command, there is turmoil...]
"Good morning, everyone!"
"Good morning, congresswoman! How are you doing this -- "
"We need to have a meeting."
"Sure thing! Give us just a minute, OK? As soon as we -- "
"On second thought, let's have that meeting now. Hey, guys? Congresswoman Bachmann would like a few words with us."
"You bet I would! Don't any of you people watch TV anymore?"
"Of course we do, congresswoman. Whenever we have a free -- "
"Why are they on TV and I'm not?"
"Why are they on TV and I'm not? I turn on the TV and there's Rick Perry. I turn on the TV and there's Herman Cain."
"Yes, but that was Perry having his brain freeze on which departments he'd shut down. And Cain couldn't even remember what Libya was!"
"Exactly! Every time I turned on the set, first it was one of them, and then it was the other one. Over and over again!"
"So why wasn't I on? Don't you think we could use the exposure too?"
"Trust me, congresswoman -- that's not the way you want to be exposed. It's a blooper reel!"
"A blooper reel. They're on because they screwed up -- really, really badly."
"But they're on! They're getting all this publicity for their ideas."
"Those aren't ideas, congresswoman -- they're train wrecks! They're -- they're the bubonic plague!"
"Well, didn't I already say I'd repeal Obamacare?"
"That's not what I -- "
"I have a whole program of repealing Obamacare! And all the rest of the welfare state too! Didn't I talk all about that at the last debate? How we need to be more like China?"
"Actually, congresswoman, we may want to walk back from that China thing a little bit. I'm not sure China is the best model to use for how our government ought to run."
"But look at how they're growing! And they don't have food stamps or AFDC or any of the rest of that LBJ Great Society stuff!"
"They also don't have much of that democracy stuff."
"But they do have a lot of that starvation stuff."
"That's ridiculous! I've had Chinese food a bunch of times -- it's way cheaper than anything else! There was this Chinese restaurant right around the corner from -- "
"You might be missing the point here, congresswoman: Lots of Americans -- including you -- don't really like the Chinese system, remember? The Communist Chinese system? So holding them up as a -- "
"Wait a minute! Communist China is Red China, right?"
"No, wait -- we were talking about Red China on the Intelligence Committee!"
"And what did you decide?"
"Oh, they're bad news, those Red Chinese! They're like a dictatorship!"
"A lot like a dictatorship."
"And we're opposed to dictatorships!"
"There you go!"
"And I -- even when they get rid of the modern welfare state?"
"How about we hold it at 'We're opposed to dictatorships'? That's probably a good place to stop for right now, OK?"
"But didn't I say anything else they can put on TV?"
"Not if we're lucky, congresswoman. Not if we're lucky."
# # #
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.