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Rep. Michele Bachmann works to undo self-inflicted political damage

Chances are, your weekend was better than Michele Bachmann's. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota speaks to the Republican National Convention

As a first-term congresswoman, the Republican from Minnesota likely would have been campaigning anyway. The surprise -- for her and those who had been watching her race -- was that she found herself on the defensive, trying to explain away controversial comments she made Friday night in what became a notorious appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball" (video of which appeared earlier on The Ticket).

Interviewed by host Chris Matthews -- which meant, as a conservative, she was operating without a net -- Bachmann said of Barack Obama, "I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views." She then went on to call for a "penetrating expose" by the media into the levels of patriotism among her colleagues on Capitol Hill.

As word of her comments spread over the Internet, some of her constituents might have been understandably confused. The day before her stop on "Hardball," Bachmann had this to say during a debate in her district with Democratic rival Elwyn Tinklenberg, “If the presidency would somehow go to Barack Obama, I would welcome him to the 6th District ... . As a matter of fact, I would put my hand on his shoulder and give him a kiss if he wanted to.” (The reference harkened back to what had been, until now, Bachmann's main claim to national prominence -- her physicality, as shown below, with President Bush as he worked his way out of House chambers after delivering his 2007 State of the Union address. Grab your headphones, the background music adds a certain quality footage.)

Aside from sending dramatically different signals about her attitudes toward Obama, Bachmann's proposed probe of Congress drew a rebuke, not surprisingly, from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Democrat, who just happened to be in Minnesota today, said Bachmann's suggestion "dishonors the position she holds and discredits her as a person."

But here's what really has to concern Bachmann: In the wake of her comments, Tinklenberg has taken in more than $700,000 for his effort to defeat her.

Bachmann, in a local radio interview Sunday, insisted she really did not consider Obama's views anti-American, calling that a "misreading" of what she said.

Actually, it's hard to see how her "Hardball" comments could have been read any other way. Regardless, there can be little debate that she has turned her reelection bid into a race that will be closely watched on election day.

-- Don Frederick

Photo: Associated Press

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These comments are just so sad and disappointing. We need to look at the rules an regulations of campaigns and get this country together.

I just donated to Mr. Tinklenberg's campaign; Ms. Bachmann would do well to remember that we patriotic American's can vote with both wallets as well as ballots!

It would be great to see Bachman lose as a result of her snide and reckless comments. I couldn't think of a more appropriate outcome for her political trajectory.

LIES: It's not Michele Bachmann's politics or Michele Bachmann's ability, it's her assumption that we are stupid enough to believe her when she so obviously lies.

I watched the interview, when it first came out - and have watched her say similar things in the past. There's only one way to read this: She was taking her cues from the McCain campaign and beefing it up the rhetoric to an even more dangerous level ( as if that were even possible ).

Justice would be in Tinklenberg knocking her out of her seat in the House --- and watching her fade into obscurity.

Obama is anti-American. Why is she in trouble for saying the truth.

The MSM's protection of this guy borders on the Orwellian. OK, we GET IT! You libs who sprang up in the 60's and 70's have an eternal wet dream brain washed into you that you need a Black Friend or a Black President or a Black Whatever.

But, some of us who have been working real jobs in Corporate America have seen how disgusting all this Diversity and Affirmative Action crapola is.

We ddidn't have the luxury of paying 5 bucks for a college credit and yearning to have a black friend. We paid 500 hundred bucks minimum for college credits, work as indentured servants to student loans companies, and have Overated Affirmative Action types (Great Interview/Great Resume/Incompetent at work though) ike Barack Obama as bosses.

It's completely and utterly appalling what a free pass this knucklehead gets. You don't belive me??? Compare his media scrutiny compared to Hillarys. The Journalists (if that's what we still call them) in the U.S. are complete effin joke!

Annoint your Messiah!

And when he screws up play multiple choice with who to blamce (Obviously he is Accountable to No One and Nothing):
- The legacy of slavery is always a good one for the Professional Blame Gamers
- Hmmm...what about the Bush Admin.
- Or.....Jim Crow

Ha ha ha...what a complete effin joke the so-called journalists in America are. First they let Bush start 2 wars withou as much as a peep and now they are handing this inexperienced Senator with no accomplishment (But, 2 autobiographies) become President and will NEVER hold him ACCOUNTABLE for anything....NOTHING....NADA....NEVER....NO ACCOUNTABILITY EVER FOR ANYTHIG HE DOES


Because he's fulfilling the WET DREAM of having a BLACK FRIEND by a bunch of libs who grew up in the 60's and 70's!

No other reason than that.



George Orwell, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, etc. are rolling over in their graves.

May be she showed her true color during the interview - her long held believe from her day in Oral Roberts. Most people from Oral Roberts have narrow view about the world.

She is very symptomatic. Actually, I see lots of symptoms in Republican women. I know that must sound like "generalizing" but, what IS it? Is it Repression? Is it Suppression? Is it...the devil?
Who ARE Republican Women??

While Michele Bachmann's comments were not only despicable but off-the-wall, the larger question to me is how, out of 300,000,000 American's we continue to select wackos like Michele when we enter the voting booth? There are so many middle-of-the-road Americans who are highly qualified to represent us. Why do we continually vote extremists into office? My personal opinion is that middle-of-the-road people simply don't generate enough interest to capture the attention of most American's. Our loss!

She is a disgrace to every American, for her chat with Mathews.

Does she even think? Or, has she been drinking the koolaid to excess?

"Interviewed by host Chris Matthews -- which meant, as a conservative, she was operating without a net"

Why should a grown woman, who is also a member of the House of Representatives, need to operate with a net?
If Bachmann is so drunk on Right-wing Kool-Aid that she thinks that those of us on the Left are "un-American", her constituency should know that she feels this way.
If Bachmann's district, in MN, wants to be represented by someone who spouts Neo-Fascist "clap-trap", so be it. Why shouldn't she be given a chance to show how she really feels?
If Bachmann wanted to be in "friendly territory", she should have gone on Fox News.

Not someone I would vote for.

She represents everything that is wrong with politics, say anything, smear and fear.

It is her kind of talk that resulted in interment camps in WW2 and the Red Scare of Joe Macarthy. Sarah Palin been close to crossing that line and Senator Mc Cain has fostered the tone that he cannot be proud of.

Finally, someone other than McCain calling Obama what he is...a socialist, and borderline communist, that, regardless of what he says, corporate records show that he worked to promote Ayers radical, communist agenda in schools for years. Obama and his redistribution of wealth is right out of Marx. For years we have watched movies and read books about a "communist" takeover. It will not happen overnight; it will come on slowly until freedom and democracy are a thing of the past. It will happen in a way where people will cheer it. State owned housing, state backed loans, state dictated education, a controlled media, and the ability to arrest people and never take them to trial, along with just two sanctioned political parties, where anyone not belonging to them is "fringe". George Bush started us down the trail to become a communist country; the only question now is will we take McCain's slow road, or Obama's fast road?

The phrase "un-american" has been bandied about a lot in the last few weeks. Its one of those vague concepts like patriotism or terrorism that are used to smear people. In the 50's, another republican, Senator Joe McCarthy headed the "House unamerican activities committee" that went around blacklisting people who he felt weren't "American" enough. What does that mean? How do you measure that? If you asked those questions, you were labeled unamerican. If that's being American, then I want no part of that.

How American is it to threaten others of being unAmerican because they challenge the status quo, want change or suggest the old way is not the right way. Michelle Bachmann is not old enough or obviously not well educated enough to remember, but does the term "McCarthyism" ring a bell. Certainly one of the sadist periods in American history...yet she seems determined to relive it. How sad for our country that people like this are elected to be anything more than a small town mayor.

I live in Minnesota and this woman has been a very real embarrassment from the moment the farmers up north decided to allow her in office. Not that I have anything against farmers, but I DO have disbelief that anyone could think this person was a real politician. From the time she was hiding in the bushes at the state capitol spying on pro-choice protesters, to the time she said global warming was "hokum" and a leftist scheme, to her insistence that offshore drilling would immediately halve the price of gas, to her very strong, diligently upheld belief that no one should ever be forced to use a fluorescent lightbulb.... she's been off the charts loony.

She also believes in christian wives subjugating themselves to their husband's wishes, so I always wonder how she manages to do an interview without him. Badly, I guess, obviously. I'm so glad someone finally allowed her to air her mental state in a national forum, and gave her time and freedom to just express the crazy.

It gives me hope I might not have to be ashamed of one of my state's congresspersons, soon....

(QUOTE) Bachmann said of Barack Obama, "I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views." She then went on to call for a "penetrating expose" by the media into the levels of patriotism among her colleagues on Capitol Hill. (UNQUOTE)
(QUOTE) Bachmann, in a local radio interview Sunday, insisted she really did not consider Obama's views anti-American, calling that a "misreading" of what she said.
I was watching TV when she came on the Chris Matthews Show. I was appalled at her comments about Senator Obama and just about fell out of my chair when she stated the media should vet the democrats to find out which were anti-American!! She sounded like McCarthy, and worse, like Hitler!! Very Scary person who has no business being the United States Senate. The state of Minnisota must recall her! This state's residents must NOT vote for her. Between this woman and Sarah Palin, we would find ourselves under a regime similar to the Natzis. God help us.
For her to say she was misread is baloney and like McCain and Palin is lying about what she said. There was NO misread, period. The republican party is going to Hades in a handbasket!!

The GOP has gone too far right into the realm of radical extremists and they are capable of undermining our democracy.
Some believe what they think they know. We believe what we see and hear directly from them.
I voted early today. Left the building in tears, realizing what a sacred duty I had just fulfilled, to take back my country. I have never cried before and i have been voting for the past 40+ years.
I urge you to vote early. I have felt more peace and more calm and more control of our destiny since voting. It can be very powerful in personally dealing with all the unprecedented filth we have witnessed and they are not finished yet. While Barrack is away in Hawaii to be with his Grandmother, who is very seriously ill, they will come up with another "lie of the week". Keep the faith and VOTE. It has become painfully clear that this right radical wing of the GOP needs to be put away and if the Republicans cannot reform themselves, then some will need to break away. In all my years, I have never witnessed what I am witnessing this time around. It is downright UnAmerican, really, it is. Paul Klugman has an excellent article in The New York Times today on this "new" Republican Party. Bottom line is, they are and have been in the process of undoing all of the social progress of the 60s. They are even advocating now against the middle class, if you listen carefully, and calling it "Socialism" because Obama wants to roll back the tax cuts to the wealthy to finance the government budget and they blatantly lie about him raising taxes. How many times has he explained that program? This campaign of theirs will not stand.

QUOTE "I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views." She then went on to call for a "penetrating expose" by the media into the levels of patriotism among her colleagues on Capitol Hill. UNQUOTE

I watched this portion of Chris Matthews Show! I was aghast at this woman's comments!! There was no misread, she is trying to cover up what she actually said. Shame on her! Also, when she stated the media should vet democrats in the congress to find anti-American lawmakers, I just about fell out of my chair! Sarah Palin, John McCain, and this woman are promoting the ugliness of McCarthyism and I would even go so far as to say Hitler. Are they already building the furnaces to throw those of us who support Senator Obama, since we do not agree with the republicans and therefore they label us as anti-Americans. Are they going to burn all the democrats in the congress? Palin has been talking about little towns being "pro-American"; what in the heck does that make the rest of the country? Are we anti-Americans in her view?? One thing I can say for certain, Todd Palin and Sarah Palin ARE anti-American. He was an active member of the Alaskan Independent Party which wants to secede from the United States and become the country of Alaska. That outfit hates and condemns America, her institutions, and her government!! They refer to the American Flag as, "that damned flag"!! Sarah Palin has attended these meetings and supported the IAP. In June 2008, she was a spokesperson for their annual convention, she welcomed its members to the IAP and congratulated and praised them for their work. What work was that, Sarah?? Hating and Condemning America, our institutions, our government and damning our flag?? Is that what your were congratulating and praising them for?? Sarah Palin and Todd Palin are the ones that are anti-American. Their current leader and the party were happy to see Sarah elected as governor; as he put it, they wanted their members to become republicans because this was the right party to infiltrate America's government. Looks like the Palins are just where the Alaskan Independent Party wants them!! And guess what? John McCain is not only enabling them, he is trying to put Sarah in the highest second position in America's government. These people do NOT see themselves as Americans, they see themselves as Alaskans period and obviously are working toward seceding from America. Fellow Americans, please google the Alaskan Independent Party and inform yourselves about it. Sarah and Todd are not America's friends, they are our enemies!! They are traitors and treasonous!!

That right-wing loose cannon makes Sarah Palin look like a mental giant. That is something I would guess any intelligent person would find hard to believe. She is a racist and fascist, and I hope the people of Wisconsin send her back to the rock she crawled out from under. There is no room for that kind of hatred in our politics today. It's obvious she's trying to make a name for herself by saying outlandish and repugnant things. I doubt she will be returning to DC, yet if she does she should be treated as the Joe McCarthy Pirriah that she has demonstrated she is. Go Mr. Tingleberg!

I am planning to contribute to TInklenberg's campaign. My brother was one of those who already sent his contribution on the weekend. People like Bachman must be defeated.

What is all this grabbing of President Bush' shoulder by Michele Bachmann? I mean, the woman would not let go of his shoulder!! And she made she stayed near him until she imposed herself upon him with a big hug and a kiss!! Goodness, has she lost her marbles?? And then to make the anti-American statements!! That woman looks and sounds like a real crazy!! Minnesota, you must recall this waman, better yet do NOT reelect her. John McCain, Sarah Palin, and this woman, if allowed to be in power, would convert this country to Hiterism/Nazi regime. Wonder if they are measuring for the erection of furnaces to get rid of those they think are anti-American?? The Republicans are quickly going to hades in a handbasket!! Todd and Sarah Palin are anti-American (google the Alaskan Independent Party and Tod Palin)!! We must NOT allow them anywhere near the White House. And guess what?? John McCain is not only enabling them to infiltrate our government, he offers her the second highest position in our government. If they cheat their way into the presidency and McCain dies of old age or melanoma, Sarah Palin would then be president. It is evident McCain did not thoroughly vet this anti-American and her anti-American husband!!

People like Bachman should be defeated. After hearing her incredulous remarks, my brother was one of those who donated to Tinklenberg's campaign this past weekend. I am planning to do so too.

Ms Bachman, in your Utopian world, who would be the arbiter of all that is good, holy, pure and American? YOU???? I hope not!

Rep Bachmann's remarks are just symptomatic of the division that is still prevalent in our Great Country. It is unfortunate that we can't sincerely agree to disagree. There seems to be a desire to demean others. As a Christian I am especially disappointed in Conservatives. We are to be kind one to another. I think free speech without personal regard for others can be dangerous. What do I know I'm just one of those NIGGERS the McCain camps keeps alluding to. God Bless

To all those who wish to fully debate the "socialism" issue, remember that Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the "Bailout", aid to farmers, aid to the airline industry, aid to the motor train industry, and our current tax system are all based on socialist principles of redistributing from those that HAVE to those that DONT. Good/bad/indifferent . . . the Social Security system was the first brick in the "socialist" wall . . .

And McCain has no problem receiving Medicare, so . . .

Perhaps it’s not the LABEL and it is the manner or extent to which the socialist principles are applied.

Finally . . . when debating why money should be taken from the top 5% and redistributed to the other 95%, first ask why every man, woman and child incurred a $2300 debt to give money to the top 5% and then ask what's wrong with taking some of that money BACK; why is it a patriotic exercise in supporting capitalism to give money TO the top5%, but "welfare" to give it to the other 95%?

AAAAaaaaaannnnnnnd . . . DISCUSS!

Hey Wolf, First you say Obama is anti-American, then you say you agree with most of Obama's policy. Please tell me you're not breeding!

Thanks, Don, for actually mentioning the McCarthyist part of her "reply" - when she calls for the media to investigate members of Congress to check for their "pro" or "anti" Americanism. I live in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, and unfortunately, the local media here - including the Star Tribune - have yet to really acknowledge these words of hers, focusing solely on the "Obama anti-American" utterings. But that's not what lit up the blogs. Heck, the "Barack is a terrorist" stuff is old, and has become quite a caricature of itself (yawn).
I'm still hopefully one of our local media folk around town here will finally "get it." The good news: Obviously, you do.
Way cool.
P.S. Me thinks the newest Tinklenberg total: $800,000 and counting...

The Spirit of Lincoln died with this election in the Republican Party. I don't think it too much to say that they would let the free market decide whether it was more profitable to keep or free the slaves if that decision had to made today. There is no room for people who don't meet their cookie-perspective. And if we needed more proof of the disdain they hold for there fellow citizens, since when does a cut for the middle class mean welfare? I work for my money, the fat cats don't. For those who care, Male White, 40+.

Shame on all the above posters.
Socialists all the way.

As I sit watching MSNBC hour after hour, I begin to wonder if I am under the sway of propaganda. Can the Republican party be that bad? Can it really be that the likes of Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman see the body politic correctly? I know they are not disinterested parties, but can the Republicans be that wrong??!! Then I see the likes of Michelle Bachman and I realize The Republican party is blessed this year with an disproportionate abundance of Bimbos. Can you say "Landslide"?

Virgil and Congresswoman Bachman have been frozen in stasis the last 7 years. The ruling Republican party staged a Bolshevik style coup and made real Virgil's fears of a communist/stalinist regime under comrades Bush and Cheney. That's an extreme description but much closer to the truth than their sad attempts to discredit Obama and the US Congress. Cheney and the neocons have held Congress in such comtempt that I'm sure that there must not be a single anti-American person in the legislative branch. Sorry, but those dedicated to public service and continuing to live in America are by definition Americans. As a small businessman, the Clinton years were halcyon years with smart, helpful, almost compassionate government guidance and regulation of industry. Al Gore led the way in pushing for a pragmatic, non-political regulatory and government agency framework - do the right things right - and business flourished. I believe Obama will bring back working American democracy with room for all three branches of government and respect for different political viewpoints. Down with the White House/Kremlin and hail the victory of the American people, white, black, brown, yellow, red - all are one people who can revel in many voices and one heart.

Bachmann - thanks for making making it easy for me to give Obama another $200 today! By the way, your political career is DONE - no one's fault but your own!!

It is disgusting when someone elected to office to serve their community which I am sure is filled with her " Un American" constiuants especially when not agreeing with her puts you in that category. I thank god that I do not live in her state or district, to all of you who do vote for anyone , ( the neighbors dog) but not her she has definately got some real issues and people in glass houses should not throw stones..............................

What fun it was to send a small contribution to her opponent!

I have to think the negative divisive righteous right mentality endures as a counterbalance to the model of inclusion, sharing, giving. It is entirely odd that the model of inclusion, sharing and giving is the Jesus message but this odd encampment of "believers" uses the cover of Jesus to continue their righteous program of division, exclusion, and selfishness. It's entirely odd that they feel so entitled to be so heartless hiding behind His name. Entirely visible and exposed to everyone else and not to the mirror.

where and how do i contribute to this trainwrreck's opponent? Oh, my god! This is no representative from my state!

Yes, I've seen my share of affirmative action disasters. I've also seen my share of useless white guys and gals who rose to their levels of incompetence (the "Peter Principle").
However, as a lawyer I can tell you this: No lawyer gets a break from any jury of judge because of color, gender, or any such classification. And NO ONE gets to be president of the Harvard Law Review without political skill and a SCARY SMARTS. There are just too many extremely ambitious people vying for the job in an entirely democratic (small "d") forum.
No, this is NOT another case of affirmative action. And it might surprise you to know that there are more than a few really smart black guys out there.
I don't need a "black friend." I DO need a president who has integrity, who has political skill, who does NOT take everything personally and who does NOT seem ready to fly off the handle at a moment's notice. Frankly, Mr. McCain, though an honorable war hero, has a loooooooooooong history of volatile temperament - going back to Annapolis - that scares the heck out of me.
And his running mate is a cynical Fruit Loops with her "Doggone, bless their hearts" affectations. Want to see the real Palin? Go to the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial debates. She's smart, on point, and not the least bit a citizen of Dog Patch. Why did she dumb down for this campaign? Why has she never given a direct answer to a reporter's question, other than "I'll get back to yuh on that"? Beats me. But she's a much better actor than Tina Fey, and I just don't appreciate such jokery in a potential president.
That's why I voted for Obama.

What a moron. If she knew the kind of show "Hardball" was...! I wonder if she can name any newspapers or periodicals she "regularly" reads.

Her comments are what every American who ever put a uniform on fights against -- that someone who has different beliefs is railed against as "Anti-American". She resurrects McCarthyism with all of its ugliness. What is great about America is diverse points of view, healthy debate -- not mud-slinging when someone doesn't agree with you. Her appearance on "Hardball" should be an embarrassment to her party and to the state she represents. She chose the low road and I can't see her recovering from those kind of statements and I am a Republican.

As I read through all the posts, it makes me wonder that of all issues present the most important one of all seems to be neglected. Has the majority of people in this legislative democracy (and we should all be cognizant of the fact that democracy is nothing short of mob rule) forgotten that we actually have a Constitution for the United States of America and a (used to be) REPUBLIC for which it stands ? This is the true rule of law. When I see a member of the elected voice concern regarding issues that actually reflect what we as a nation should be aware of (but do not) in regard to that document, the media host, and all of its minions, begin a smear onslaught. If the members of the elected (democrats and republicrats) were to get together and be involved in a constitutional coalition (i.e. those that still believe in the rule of law that should governs us) then, and only then, would positive CHANGE for this nation come about. Personally I don't see that happening. The movement now toward that socialist (i.e. communist) system is so integrated into the national conscience and the global system on integration that we as a people will eventually loose all relevancy as a an independent nation and speed full steam toward the oncoming North American Union pattered on the European Union model and the adoption of their joke for a constitution. So whoever we might be, as Americans we should have a litmus test called Constitutional integrity. Read the federal and state constitution, it really isn't hard to understand.

Why do Democrats get a pass when they make terrible remarks against Republicans. I believe Nancy made a comment about replubicans not voting for the $700/billion bailout, and being unpatriotic?

Okay, so which one of these jerks is going to be McCarthy?
It's different this time, however, because people are not as afraid as they were in the fifties. There are enough sane people out there who see the fear mongering for what it is.
Shame on McCain and the rest of them!

My party has swung so far to the extreme right, that it makes it all the more easier to cross party lines and vote for the liberals, although I'm not happy about it.
I hope Obama governs from the middle, not the extreme left, like Pelosi and cohorts.
Americans are by and large center, to center right, and I hope Obama doesnt forget that, the Republicans remember the right, but forgot the center.
The extremist have taken control of my party.

To all of the Republicans... You had your shot. 6 of the last 8 years you had the senate, the house and the presidency... in fact you guys were in office at a time when the country was so unified that most everyone was saying the same things. Well you blew it plain and simple. Your boy did nothing but spend his POLITICAL CAPITAL on a partisan agenda, now he and the rest of you are reaping the rewards of his cocky decision making. All I have to say is move out of the way! We are far worse off than when Bush took office. He squandered his opportunity to do well. The buck stops with him... and that is it.... no excuses. If Obama turns things around he gets credit, if he does nothing he gets the credit for that too. No excuses.

OMG. you mean obama is doing all this because he loves America? Go Michelle. As I see Obama and group are giving another 3.5 Billion to GM. Irronically a friend of my brothers went to buy a 1 ton Chevy pick-up, a 2010, they do not have them in and will not be in until spring he was told. He could go buy the Ford 1-ton however in the '10 model. It is a glimpse of what lies ahead. Keep proping up the real estate market so we never get to the bottom and we will never climb out of the hole we are in. Keep giving to everyone who voted for you and some day the rest of us will have to pay that loan back. At what cost. How could he really love America and being doing this, he cannot possibly be that stupid, or could he?

One thing about Congresswoman Bachmann, she speaks directly. Anyone care to count the broken promises and outright misrepresentations coming out of the present executive in the Oval Office?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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