Friday, August 13, 2010

Stop me if you've heard this before, but Michele Bachmann is nuts.


Earlier this week the House of Pho got a robocall from Rep. Michele Bachmann. Somehow we are on some right wing list, even though neither of us have done anything remotely right wing within memory.

So admittedly my attempt to get back into blogging this summer hasn’t gone well. (In related but better news, my house painting is nearly done.) I’ve been looking for something to get me excited about the blog again and if Michele Bachmann robocalling can’t do it, I should just quit. Hell, if Bachmann bringing the crazy to my personal answering machine can’t get me excited, I should check my pulse.

As Bachmannalia goes, this is fair to middlin’. To the good, it turns a basic policy disagreement into a vast conspiracy – a circle of money no less. To the bad, no one is accused of being a Communist or a U.N. spy or even un-American.

But the real crazy here is the call itself. It violates every rule of campaign communications, runs like mad for a full two minutes and ends up no where. I’ll try to get this hosted somewhere because there is no substitute for actually hearing her drone on interminably. In the meantime, here is a transcript, with some notations.

Hi I’m Michele Bachmann and I’m sorry that I missed you.1 As you might know Speaker Pelosi has taken the unprecedented2 step of calling all 435 House members back to Washington DC today for the purpose of spending $26 billion that we don’t have.3 The members were out on a six week hiatus, they’ve scattered to the four corners of the Earth4, and I think the reason Speaker Pelosi is bringing us all in today is because her members are in political trouble and she knows they’ll need the financial support of the public employees unions. 5

This $26 billion represents a circle that works like this. Take $26 billion out of the productive private sector6, deposit it in the U.S. Treasury. Then Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat majority will vote to send this money from the Treasury7 and to politicians all across the country8. Then state and local politicians will give this money to employees of the public employees unions. The public employees unions will skim their share off the top of the workers check first in the form of union dues.9 Part of the dues will be funneled into the union’s political action committee which in turn will be spent on political TV, radio, internet and print ads as well as union boots on the ground.10

Tonight we’re calling one million households.11 We’re telling them what the Speaker of the House is doing and we’re asking the people’s opinion on this cash for Democrat reelection program.12 Please come to my website MicheleBachmann.com13 for more information at MicheleBachmann.com.14

Speaker Pelosi has targeted me for defeat this fall15, so please go to my website MicheleBachmann.com16 and please do all you can to help.

This is paid for by Bachmann for Congress. My campaign can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX.17

1I know this it pro forma, but it kind of creeped me out. Like if we had been home, Michele would have wanted to chat. Or ask if I harbor anti-American beliefs.


2Stopping here would have been good. Stopping here I would have respected. George Will is fond of saying “X is a good idea but we cannot afford all good ideas.” It's a damned persuasive argument. But Michele Bachman is dispositionally incapable of stopping at a good, persuasive argument.

3Unusual but not unprecedented, even over the recent past.

4Seriously, I’m supposed to feel sorry for legislators who are called upon to legislate?

5Here comes the wacky. Congress isn't sending aid to the states because laying off thousands of teachers and cops would be a bad thing. No, it's all a big conspiracy.

6Again, do you really want to go there? The private sector is currently producing what exactly?

7No idea why this business about into and out of the Treasury is in here. Unless she thought that a robocall of 1:40 just wouldn't do.

8Last I checked, the Tea Party believes more than anything else in the wisdom of state and local governments. They believe everything went wrong when the Federal Government grew more powerful to the detriment of the states. Hell, the baggers even want to repeal the 17th Amendment and go back to states appointing Senators. But when state officials think that it might be nice to have enough money to fulfill basic state functions, they are no longer the noble defenders of liberty, they are (make a face when you say it) politicians.

9Mind you this never ever happens when the private sector gets Federal money. For instance White Hat surely has never spent a dime of state money on behalf of the legislators who guarantee it a healthy slice of the education pie.

10When corporations support Republicans, the Bachmanns of the world insist that it's not because they expect legislative favors, it's because those are candidates who support free market principles. That same logic could apply here. The public employee unions support politicians who don't make it a campaign plank to screw them over. But no, in Bachmann's world Republicans are noble defenders of the rich and powerful, but liberals are liberals only because they are corrupt and evil.

11This blows my mind. I can't imagine one million robo calls on this issue being cost effective, especially since all but the most rabid Bachmanniacs have hung up on this thing by now. But when you raise crazy money, you can do crazy things with it, apparently.

12So at this point I'm expecting a big finish. I'm expecting some sort of call back option or online poll or something, but I get. . .

13Really, that's it? Go to my website is it? This is all about getting hits on the website? And by the way that website doesn't mention any of this. Admittedly I got to it a day late, but still that's not an unexpected response time.

14Syntactically flawed repetition of the website sic which, along with her increasingly agitated tone and the runon length, makes me wonder if she had a script or was making one million extemporaneous robocalls.

15DCCC apparently has her opponent Tarryl Clark on their “Red to Blue” list, but I doubt they intend to do anything more than make her spend money on her own race. She's in an R+7 district, raises incredible jack and it's not our year. And while Bachmann raises lots of money for her side, she does pretty well by our side as well. In any event, it's a stretch to say Pelosi has "targeted" Bachmann -- certainly she hasn't in the way that Bachmann has targeted Pelosi.

16Note that Bachmann's name is spelled idiosyncratically – one “l” in the first name and two “n's” in the last. Anyone who knows this probably doesn't need a robocall from her. And neither “MichelleBachman.com” nor “MicheleBachman.com” refer you to her actual website. Didn't most web pros learn this stuff like ten years ago?

17The phone number is on the website as well, but no one who reads this blog would do anything wholesome with it and phone pranks can get quickly out of hand. I will be no party to that.


3 comments:

Tim said...

I'm from Minnesota, living in Akron now, and i am ashamed to say she is a representative from my state. It is an outrage, that anyone in their right mind would vote for Captain Crazy-Bachmann, Republican or Democrat.....

RoHS said...

That's your free...

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