Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Growing up Bachmann?

Michelle Bachmann released her official holiday Christmas greeting the other day, and I realized something. She never bothered to learn the names of her own kids.

To be honest, it's understandable: she and Marcus have five children of their own, and they've taken in 23 foster children, all girls. (They had to be girls: Marcus only has so much self-control, after all...)

However, this sounds like it leads to an interesting opportunity. If you're a homeless girl between the ages of 15 and 25, and you have the misfortune to live in Michigan, just go down to the Bachmann ranch. Slip in when nobody's looking, keep your head down and try to assimilate. How could anybody notice?

(If you're a homeless male, of course, your only choice is to join the endless stream of closed-mouthed rentboys going in the back door - so to speak - of Bachmann's clinic.)

Try to imagine growing up in Michelle Bachmann's house. If you're like me, you imagine it's all pillowfights and long, lingering hot showers; the reality, of course, would probably be more like those women's prison movies that became so popular in the 60s and 70s.

Except, of course, that as it turns out, the true reality isn't quite as it seems, either.

See, for most of us, "foster children" indicates a long-term commitment: yeah, maybe you get them in their teens, but you raise them. This myth spread by the Bachmann camp tells us what a wonderful, sharing person Michele is, opening her home so many times, to so many troubled girls. She said, in interviews, that she "raised" 23 foster children.

The truth is, Bachmann and her husband got a license to counsel girls with eating disorders. They lived in her house: some for a week, some for a year or so.
Bachmann often says she has "raised" 23 foster children. That may be a bit of a stretch. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Bachmann's license, which she had for 7 1/2 years, allowed her to care for up to three children at a time. According to Kris Harvieux, a former senior social worker in the foster care system in Bachmann's county, some placements were almost certainly short term. "Some of them you have for a week. Some of them you have for three years, some you have for six months," says Harvieux, who also served as a foster parent herself. "She makes it sound like she got them at birth and raised them to adulthood, but that's not true."

Yet Bachmann clearly had some of her foster children long enough to enroll them in local schools, and it was through them that she got involved in school politics. While she taught her own children at home before sending them to private Christian schools, state law required foster kids to go to public school. Seeing their curriculum, she became convinced that "politically correct attitudes, values, and beliefs" had supplanted objective education. She helped found a charter school but soon left the board amid allegations that she was trying to inject Christianity into the curriculum. Then, in 1999, she decided to run for the local school board.
But she keeps saying that she's "raised" 23 kids. And that's because Bachmann isn't afraid to lie to make a point.

That's what you have to keep in mind about Michele Bachmann. If she feels that she has a narrative that's important to make her point, she's more than happy to pretend that the story at the core of the narrative is true. Whether it is or not; it just has to conform to her agenda.

Like a few months ago, when, attempting to attack Rick Perry (September's GOP Flavor of the Month for the 2012 Goat Rodeo Republican Primary) for one of the only good things he ever did.
Bachmann first raised the issue during a Republican presidential debate on Monday as a swipe at Republican rival and Texas Governor Rick Perry, who issued an executive order in 2007 mandating girls get the HPV vaccine as part of a school immunization requirement. The order was later overturned.

In that forum, she questioned the state's authority to force "innocent little 12-year-old girls" to have a "government injection" that was "potentially dangerous."
Of course, when she was later pressed for details as to how a vaccine which protected girls against the single most common cause of cervical cancer might be dangerous, she said that she met a woman who said her daughter became "mentally retarded" after getting the Gardasil vaccine.

This is a standard defense for the habitual liar: when called out for an unsupported spew of easily-debunked bullshit, they'll claim that somebody told them - it isn't their fault if somebody else is mistaken, is it?

(It's also interesting that this argument was over a vaccine that is specifically controversial among right-wing fundamentalists. Like Michele Bachman. Remember what I said earlier about lies which conform to her agenda?)

This is standard practice for Ms Bachmann. The more gentle among us might say that she "has a history of making inflammatory statements." But that isn't what's going on. The woman is a liar. Need more examples? She went on the Dennis Miller radio program and claimed things about the "Obamacare" bill that were just complete and utter crap.
"On the 16th page, it says whatever health care you have now, it’s going to be gone within five years. So your current health care plan, you’re not going to have in five years. What you’re going to have is a government plan and a federal bureau is going to decide what you get or if you get anything at all."
In case anyone is curious, page 16 covered people whose healthcare plans would be grandfathered in - i.e., they'd get to keep it, not lose it.

She also claimed that 17 million illegal immigrants would start to get free healthcare under the bill. Ignoring the part that said "Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States."

( has volumes of material on this woman.)

Michele Bachmann is never afraid to lie in support of what she considers a "higher truth." Because that's how her mind works.

1 comment:

Cyc said...

For the longest time I have considered Bachmann as straddling the fine line between bat shit insane and depressingly stupid. Now I know I can add habitual liar to that pathetic Venn diagram...