[I] don’t know what causes people to either create beliefs about something that is not true, or to accept incredible beliefs of this sort. I do know that I’ve had such beliefs. When I was 12. At the time that I was 12 and a couple of years before that, I believed that theories like “Worlds in Collision” were interesting and possibly valid. I had mixed feelings about Ancient Astronauts. For at time I felt that Edgar Cayce explained everything. But then, I turned 13 and literally grew out of it. Well, there were other influences. And for some of those beliefs it took another year to completely go away. I’m pretty sure my old-world style Catholic upbringing prepared me to believe things that I now see as incredibly unlikely. If one grows up knowing that demonic possession, poltergeists, assumption, and coming back from the dead are well known phenomena, then an as yet undiscovered hominid living in the forest, or alternative theories of how the solar system evolved are not so hard to accept. But one grows out of these things.
So, is the problem with Michele Bachmann that she never grew out of the stage where believing in elaborate conspiracy theories was easy? She has a lot of kids (dozens) so maybe she read so many bedtimes stories to so many kids that her view of reality is warped. Her religious upbringing went way longer than mine, and I’m pretty sure it was as part of a sect that has extreme beliefs as well, so perhaps that is the reason she has invented, or perhaps heard and than accepted uncritically, a conspiracy theory whereby five departments of the United States Government have been infiltrated at the highest levels by agents of the shady Middle Eastern organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood.
She has come forward with this theory and she’s started naming names. Congressperson Keith Ellison, of Minnesota’s 5th district, a district that adjoins Bachmann’s, is one of the names. Ellison is the only Muslim in Congress. And now, he’s infiltrated, well, Congress, apparently. She named Huma Abedin, the highly respected top aide to Secretary of State Clinton.
Two days ago, the Seattle Times has called for Bachmann’s censure, suggesting that she receive a similar censure to that applied to Senator Joe McCarthy. I do find it somewhat disturbing that while I can read about the Seattle Time’s suggestion in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Strib (as it is called) seems to have not seen fit to jump in at this point, or at any earlier point in Bachmann’s career to point out that she is prone to untenable ideas that clearly indicate that her thinking is not straight, such as her suggestion that the Loin King was gay propaganda, that the brain-dead Terri Schiavo was fine and healthy, that Melissa Etheridge’s cancer was caused by her lack of religiosity, that every Democratic member of Congress should be investigated, or that Carbon Dioxide is harmless (it isn’t; don’t be breathing in pure CO2, you’ll die!). When I look through the Star Tribune all I see are editorials condemning her statements.
Dear Star Tribune: That a member of Congress representing part of your readership area has Gone McCarthy is news. Cover it as such please. Investigate. Report. Criticize. Notice what the Grass Roots press is doing and follow their example. Sincerely, America.
OK, the Strib does report one item of interest that is not an editorial. Bachmann and Ellison communicated prior to Bachmann’s attempt to throw the Congressman under the Conspiracy Bus. Ellison wrote to her, on July 12, to ask her to provide documentation to back up her allegations about Abedin. Bachmann responded the next day with a 16 page letter with 59 footnotes. The letter, reportedly, did not mention Bachmann’s belief that Ellison was part of the conspiracy. The letter contained vague and wild insinuations and no credible information, apparently. Ellison responded a few days later with a much shorter letter in which he said that Bachmann, “[i]n making this connection, which is five times removed from Ms. Abedin, [engaged in] in guilt by association.” The next day, Bachmann publicly accused Ellison of a Muslim Brotherhood link on Glen Beck’s show.
Just so you know, it is not like we are talking about an effective, important member of Congress who has some controversial ideas. Bachmann is congressional dead weight. In a recent interview, Jim Graves, who is running against Bachmann, said, Bachmann…”has never sponsored a bill in her entire tenure in Congress that has gained any traction or ever passed….she is one of the least effective members in Congress.” Regarding the current debacle, here is a statement from Jim Grave’s web site
According to the local press, Bachmann has gone dark. She does that a lot.
Here is a petition to remove Michel Bachmann from the House Intelligence Committee. For obvious reasons.