A question about Bachmann
During an interview of Michelle Bachmann last weekend on CBS, Bob Schieffer played a clip of Bachmann in 2008 saying that she “absolutely” had concerns that Obama, on the basis of his associations with Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, had “anti-American” views. He asked if she still believed that. She replied, “I don’t question his patriotism.” But if Bachmann thinks that Obama has anti-American views, then of course she questions his patriotism. She didn’t seem to realize that she was flat-out contradicting her own past statement which had just been played on a video screen before her. Obviously if she was going to say that she didn’t question Obama’s patriotism, then she first had to retract or distance herself from her 2008 statement about his anti-Americanism. But she didn’t retract it. Instead, she went, without segue and without any attempt to reconcile the two statements, from saying that she absolutely has concerns about Obama’s anti-American views to saying that she doesn’t question his patriotism.
Then, still in the midst of this exchange, she said that “this is not about us, it’s about the American people.” But what did that empty cliché remotely have to do with the issue being discussed?
And there was yet a third disconcerting disconnect in the exchange with Schieffer. Bachmann said that the problem with Obama is that he has “failed” to handle the economy. Is that the worst she can say about Obama, that he lacks competence? Hasn’t she herself said many times that Obama is seeking to expand the power of the state? My guess is that her thinking is as follows: the economic news is bad now, and this is a major vulnerability for Obama, and she naturally wants to exploit it by referring to Obama’s “failures,” which in addition to being the obvious thing to say at the moment is also so much less controversial and “extreme” than calling him a leftist. But it makes her seem to be lacking in principles and consistency, since, obviously, the main problem—according to Bachmann herself in her own many past remarks—is not that Obama lacks competence, but that he is a leftist.
Bachmann’s repeatedly demonstrated inability to navigate from an earlier position of hers about Obama to a new position, her robotic way of answering questions, brought to the fore the first question I had had about her candidacy: does she have the intelligence to be president?
Jim C. writes:
I was the first person to call Bachmann stupid, so I feel vindicated. She’s a lightweight, and she should not be asked to be on the ticket by the eventual winner, which will be either Rick Perry or Master Hair Comb.Alissa writes:
Neither Romney nor Bachmann should be President. Both are contradictory, Romney a Mormon and Bachmann a woman.LA replies:
That’s funny. But how are Mormons inherently contradictory?Alissa replies:
Mormons have this twisted manner where they completely misinterpret the original meanings of words such as the Trinity and think that say it’s actually three gods instead of one God. Some of them believe that Christ was created (He’s a creation) or that Christ is a brother of Satan. I mean how can a person believe that Christ is good if He is a brother of evil?Dan R. writes:
I saw the interview and at first thought “there goes that liberal Schieffer again,” but as it progressed it became apparent that the questions were fair and his repeated criticisms of her for “not answering my question” were accurate. The Reverend Wright exchange was painful to watch. Not only did her answers raise questions about her intelligence—they thoroughly undermined her boast of a “titanium spine.” Too many “conservatives” appear to have a big stake in a game of upsmanship with liberals, wherein they feel compelled to support a purportedly conservative woman or black or other minority to counter the endless charges of racism and sexism.Jake F. writes:
I didn’t see the interview, but it sounds like Bachmann is handling herself correctly. I’ve gone through media training, and your job in an interview is not to answer questions, but to ensure that your message makes it through with as little corruption as possible. You’re looking for truth and clarity, but interviews are about marketing. I’m not saying that’s good, but it’s a fact of life.LA replies:
I only have time for a quick reply at the moment. If Bachmann is handling things just fine, then how is that she is making me, who have been disposed to support her, believe that she lacks convictions and intelligence?Leonard D. writes:
Let me second Jake F. on this. No traditional conservative will be elected President, at least not as a traditional conservative. I think Bachmann is smart enough to know that. Therefore she trims with half-truths, lies of omission, and non-responses—just as other politicians do. Is this desirable? No, but democracy is what we have. Democratic politics is about selling yourself, in both senses of the word. You’ll find no clean politician. (Even Ron Paul trims, and he’s not electable.) It’s just a matter of determining how dirty a person you are willing to vote for.Paul Nachman writes:
Jake F’s points about Bachmann are interesting. He may well be right. Unless an interview is being broadcast live, the interviewee is at the mercy of the interviewer and interviewer’s crew, who often have an agenda and are acting in nothing like good faith.LA replies:
But it was a live interview on Face the Nation or some such show, wasn’t it? Or in any case it was a lengthy interview taped in advance, not a Sixty Minutes type thing where they just take snippets and place them in their own context.Tom L. writes:
When you look at this side by side picture of Bachmann and Palin at CNN, the first thing that hits you is how vibrant Bachmann appears and how haggard Palin shows up. Bachmann looks a lot more presidential (if that can be said of a woman) than Palin. [LA replies: Yes. Bachmann looks together, Palin looks frenzied. If the U.S. were to have a woman president, Bachmann definitely looks the part.]LA replies:
As I may have said before, I doubt the prospects of a Romney-Bachmann ticket, or, as you speak of,a Bachmann-Romney ticket, for this reason: they are both very good looking, and together they would look like a couple.James N. writes:
I have a long commute, so I use podcasts to pass the time. I have an affinity in the morning for right-wing talk radio, and Michele Bachmann has been a frequent guest, during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, on programs I listen to.Jake F. writes:
Jim C. writes: “I was the first person to call Bachmann stupid, so I feel vindicated. She’s a lightweight”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 30, 2011 08:10 AM | Send