An introduction to Michele Bachmann


Congresswoman Michele Bachman, R-Minn., used the June 13 CNN Republican Debate in New Hampshire to announce her intention to seek the GOP presidential nomination, thereby grabbing headlines. According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews she showed impressive "stagecraft" during the debate. Outside of the debate, however, she has shown an equally impressive "talent" for questionable statements and policy positions.

Having five children of her own, and being a foster mother to 23, she started her career through involvement in schools. In 1993, she helped to found a public charter school. Soon after it opened, many parents reportedly began to complain about the school's overtly religious curriculum. Among the concerns: a teacher once banned the Disney movie Aladdin because it contained magic, and the board running the school, which Bachmann sat on, advocated mandatory prayer.

In 2000, she ran for and won a seat in the Minnesota state Senate. In 2003, she introduced a bill to ban marriage equality in the state, saying it was because God told her to. The bill was ultimately defeated, even though she warned that its failure would mean "sex curriculum will be essentially taught by the local gay community."

Bachmann was elected in 2006 to the U.S. House of Representatives for the state's 6th Congressional District. Not long after taking her seat in Congress, in July 2007 she voted against the College Cost Reduction and Access Act that would increase the size of Pell grants, lower interest rates on student loans, and provide more favorable repayment terms. She complained that the bill favored a "government-run direct lending program over nonprofit and commercial lenders."

Among her other congressional actions have been sponsoring a proposed bill in 2008 to stall mandating the use of energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs, by requiring a study detailing their benefit before any mandate; opposing the (now successful) auto industry bailouts; opposing expansions to AmeriCorps; promoting the "death panel" myth on the House floor in an effort to block health care reform; and introducing legislation to repeal the Democrats' financial reform legislation.

In 2010, after founding the congressional Tea Party Caucus, she failed to win GOP support to get herself named House Republican Conference Chair when the position was vacated by Congressman Mike Pence.

Her policy positions include advocating teaching of intelligent design in public schools, opposing the minimum wage, increasing domestic oil drilling, repealing the Affordable Care Act, and banning LGBT rights.

A key policy point is Bachmann's desire to start phasing out Social Security and Medicare, stating that we need to start to "wean" people off of these benefits and privatize both programs. But anyone who has observed the tumultuous nature of the stock market since 2008 would be wary of tying Social Security benefits to that roller coaster. According to Wonk Room's Pat Garofalo, this would have cost seniors tens of thousands of dollars in the 2008-2009 crash.

The congresswoman is also no friend of environmental protections. She has repeatedly charged that global warming is a hoax, and she was a lead supporter of increased oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf. During the July 13 GOP debate, she called for closing the Environmental Protection Agency, stating that it should be renamed the "Job-Killing Organization of America."

When it comes to the LGBT community, she has made a myriad of anti-gay statements. She has said that being gay is dysfunctional and "part of Satan." She claimed that if "gay marriage goes through ... K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural and perhaps they should try it." She is against the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) and stated in the GOP debate that she would reinstate the military's discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" policy if she were elected president.

In a 2008 interview on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Bachmann claimed that Barack Obama, as well as all those who considered themselves "liberals," held anti-American views. She also stated that she would like the media to do a McCarthy-style investigation of members of Congress to see if they hold "anti-American views."

Among other equally entertaining but baseless statements, she has claimed there is no scientific evidence that carbon dioxide is harmful, that removing the minimum wage would solve unemployment, that there are hundreds of Nobel Prize laureates who support creationism, that  the message of "Lion King" is that gays can do things better because it happened to be written by a gay man, and that Planned Parenthood is striving to be "the LensCrafters of Big Abortion."

Bachmann has also shown herself to be a problematic student of history. For example, ignoring the fact that the famous revolutionary battles of Lexington and Concord took place in Massachusetts, she claimed, in two separate speeches in New Hampshire, that those battles happened there instead. Also ignoring the fact that several of the founding fathers and early presidents owned slaves, and that the original Constitution classified slaves as three-fifths of a person, she claimed that the founding fathers "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."

Perhaps because of all of this it is no wonder that Bill Maher, on his HBO program "Real Time with Bill Maher," described her as for "those who think that Sarah Palin is too intellectual."

Photo: Gage Skidmore CC 2.0 

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.


  • It has recently been revealed that she did not raise these foster kids through grade school to High School as most "Foster parents" do. The last foster kid she had was in 1998. Some she had for only a day or two. Since her husband does "Christian" based therapy in an effort to turn homosexuals straight, she had her home declared a "clinic" so she could collect a "higher" rate of approx $50 per day per girl. I say girl as its been reported that none of her foster children (regardless of their duration with the family) were boys. The laws in that state have Foster records destroyed after 7 years, so its been reported, so until one of these 23 girls, now young women come forward to tell us what actually went on in that house, er clinic, we will not know for sure.

    If you are one of those 23 girls, your story is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps millions right now to many that want to come to a deeper understanding of Michelle Bachman, don't sell out too cheaply.

    For those that mistakenly think she can not be a force and perhaps win, you are wrong, she is 100% controllable by the same Corporations that have controlled every President, House and Senate (now the Supreme Court) since the time of Ronald Reagan. We are living their economic dream right now.

    As we have learned with Pres. Obama, it does not matter who the "actor" is in the role of President is as their advisors always remain the same. Just look at the current crop of advisors, straight out of the Bush (Jr/II) administration.

    Under-estimate these shills are our collective, democratic peril.

    No economic market is FREE.
    We have lost more jobs than we have gained since after Pres. Clinton's term.
    We are living the trickle-down economic Reagan wet -dream and are experiencing the resultant depression / recession.

    We need jobs!
    We need to help the middle class.
    Tax breaks only benefit very large corporations already profitable, thus they can take advantage of those tax breaks.
    New business, small business and individual entrepreneurs can NOT utilize tax breaks! Never could, never will be able to.
    Large Corporations offshore jobs and drive salaries to the bottom; only real small businesses create jobs and provide for larger salaries for mid-level employees.

    Wake up, she is extremely dangerous to the health of any Corper (Republican, Tea Party, Libertarian and 40% of Democrats) will always be.

    Posted by cbemerine, 06/28/2011 3:16pm (4 years ago)

  • This candidate would provide lots of laughs if she ran for President of the United States.

    Posted by Joe Sompolinsky, 06/22/2011 1:07am (4 years ago)

  • This was a very fair assessment of Bachmanns' positions.
    Thank you for the endorsement. Her stance looks so much better when it is written down.

    Posted by coolmauistuff, 06/18/2011 6:19pm (4 years ago)

  • All in all, Bachmann sounds like a pretty average Republican these days.

    Posted by John Whiskey, 06/16/2011 11:05pm (4 years ago)

  • oh, and Obama said there were 57 states. throw some stones, ok?

    Posted by Gene, 06/16/2011 3:48pm (4 years ago)

  • C'mon....really? She rewrote history to suit her needs. Is Republican revisionism so common place? She'll never make it through the primaries. Scary thought...her as Commander in Chief. And I'm from Minnesota.

    Posted by fstickfranky, 06/16/2011 12:47pm (4 years ago)

  • Bill Maher? Seriously? Wow.

    Posted by , 06/15/2011 1:41pm (4 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments