...her words, however, do.
Photo-op for the Photogenic:
The cover photo of a wide-eyed, seemingly dumbstruck Bachmann is less-than-flattering. Debating the contrary would be arduous and futile, as the Minnesota Representative is not typically photogenically challenged. Moreover, it stands to reason that a more becoming photo from the shoot existed, sans the resemblance to Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Regardless, the picture alone has no bearing on Bachmann's sanity.
In truth, Bachmann could just as easily have been photographed in a camouflage bikini holding an assault rifle, or biting the heads off chickens at a Klan rally. No photo-op can eclipse Bachmann's own words in accentuating her inherent craziness. She should not be considered crazy on account of a photograph. She should be considered crazy on account of the words that come out of her mouth.
Quoting the "Queen of Rage":
One could easily publish a book comprised solely of Michele Bachmann quotes/gaffes. The only troublesome task would be culling the prime quotes from what is truly an infinite cache, as she feels quite confident expounding on a variety of subjects, some of which include: science, economics, gay propaganda in Disney movies, and the uncanny similarities between an American shopping mall and an Iraqi war zone. A few of the more infamous examples include (note that these have not been embellished for effect):
- Despite having no expertise in matters of science, Bachmann felt compelled to give her views on carbon dioxide being a harmless chemical, stating in 2008 that although "carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful...there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas."
It is unknown whether she had been deep-breathing carbon dioxide for several hours prior to making the statement.
- In keeping with the science theme, Bachmann stated in a 2006 debate, "There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design."
This is simply false, and equivalent to one insistently singing lyrics to Credence Clearwater Revival's Bad Moon Rising as "bathroom on the right" rather than "bad moon on the rise."
- Bachmann has also demonstrated her economic prowess via public statement. In 2005, while discussing the minimum wage, she stated, "Literally, if we took away the minimum wage -- If conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially, virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." If such a notion sounds absurd, it actually pales in comparison to Bachmann telling a South Carolina audience, while referring to the national debt crisis, "I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers he can solve this." Indeed, she is referring to the Glenn Beck as the man with the solution to the national debt. This is the same individual who referred to Hurricane Katrina victims as "scumbags" the President as "a racist" and told 9/11 victims (families) to 'shut up' because "they're always complaining."
- Bachmann is also quite savvy at detecting gay propaganda in children's movies. In 2004 she stated that the "normalization" (of homosexuality) would lead to "desensitization" and that a "very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders is take a picture of The Lion King for instance, and a teacher might say, "Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?" The message is: I'm better at what I do, because I'm gay."
Unfortunately, although we did watch our share of Disney flicks, second grade more closely resembled Mr. Roger's neighborhood as opposed to Studio 54 when I was a young lad.
- Finally, saving the most ludicrous for last: In 2007, after returning from Iraq, Bachmann told her colleagues there was "a commonality with the Mall of America in that it's on that proportion. There's marble everywhere. The other thing I remarked about was there is water everywhere."
I have not visited the Mall of America in over a decade, but perhaps The GAP went out of business.
A Higher Standard: A Serious Candidate?
Last week I referenced CNN's Jack Cafferty and his suggestion that a competency test be required for presidential candidates. In Bachmann's case, her quotes should provide a staggering indicator of incompetency, no test required.
In reality, a random John (or Jane) Doe walking down the streets of Anytown, USA, referencing the similarities between the Mall of America and a war zone (where over 4,400 soldiers have given their lives) might likely be deemed insane by local authorities and taken away in a straight jacket, placed in a padded room a la One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and overseen by an entire team of psycho-analysts. Similar consideration ought to be given to a State Representative running for the presidency with such views, for she is not simply crazy (and not on account of a photograph) but a raving lunatic from another dimension.
She ought not worry about looking crazy. She should worry about being crazy (clinically speaking). The real question to be asked is: Why would Michele Bachmann ever be considered a serious contender for the presidency?