"The Iowa trip is part of a bigger picture. There's a national story line here," said Bachmann communications director Doug Sachtleben, virtually begging for national media coverage.
That kind of talk is usually a bank shot.
... However, even in an increasingly crowded GOP field, mumbling about running for president in this age of 24-hour news cycles can attract much publicity for potential candidates, unless you're Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. And much publicity can attract crowds and, oh, by the way, much money. Especially if you appear to ride a rising tide of popularity and empowerment for successful conservative females.
Over at Megyn Kelly's Fox News show yesterday, the "Power Panel" chewed it over -- and largely reached the same conclusion. Indeed, what seems likely is that Bachmann actually is running for vice-president -- she wants to position herself as part of a Palin-Bachmann 2012 ticket -- or potentially as Romney-Bachmann ticket.
As Ronald Reagan's budget chief almost thirty years ago, a frustrated David Stockman famously lamented that when it comes to spending discipline, "there are no real conservatives in Congress." Now, three decades after he concluded "the supply-siders have gone too far," Stockman called the Republican demand for another $700 billion tax cut windfall for the wealthy, "unconscionable." As well he should. With the new GOP majority's financial toxic brew of gargantuan tax giveaways and still unnamed spending cuts, the Free Lunch Party has returned.
In truth, it never really left. As Stockman experienced first-hand, the national debt tripled under Ronald Reagan. The Gipper's M.C. Escher-like pledge to slash taxes, raise defense spending and balance the budget produced a torrent of red in that exceeded that of the previous 200 plus years of American history combined.
But conservative propagandists soon forgot Stockman's "magic asterisk" and Reagan's subsequent tax increases, neither of which could stop the record budget deficits he produced. After the Clinton balanced budget hiatus in the 1990's, George W. Bush doubled the national debt yet again. As explained in "The Bush Tax Cuts in Pictures," President Bush's Free Lunch dream predictably turned into a budgetary nightmare:
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities demolished the mythology promoted by President Bush ("You cut taxes and the tax revenues increase") and the usual suspects on the right. CBPP found that Bush tax cuts accounted for almost half of the mushrooming deficits during his tenure.
And as another recent CBPP analysis revealed, over the next 10 years, the Bush tax cuts if made permanent will contribute more to the U.S. budget deficit than the Obama stimulus, the TARP program, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and revenue lost to the recession put together.
For his part, this summer John Boehner wrongly claimed, "It's not the marginal tax rates ... that's not what led to the budget deficit." In July, Jon Kyl (R-AZ) the second ranking Senate Republican made the same point another way, telling Chris Wallace of Fox News, "You should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans." Aborted Obama Commerce nominee Judd Gregg (R-NH) soon chimed in, declaring "I tend to think that tax cuts should not have to be offset." For his part, Oklahoma's Tom Coburn argued his math will work in the future if you ignore the past, "Continuing the [Bush] tax cuts isn't a cost, if you added new taxes, new tax cuts, I would agree that's a cost." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained how tax cuts magically turn red ink black:
"I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,' and the people -- we the people -- are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country." -Rep. Rep. Michele Bachmann, March 2009
So it's come down to this. On Saturday, David Stockman, the legendary Reagan budget chief who presided over the Gipper's supply-side tax cuts, announced that the "debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts." The next day, the former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, who famously helped sell the 2001 Bush tax cuts to Congress, declared them simply "disastrous."
Sadly, Stockman and Greenspan are just about the only voices in the Republican Party speaking the truth about the fiscal devastation wrought by the expiring Bush tax cuts. After all, the national debt tripled under Ronald Reagan, only to double again during the tenure of George W. Bush. And as it turns out, the Bush tax cut windfall for the wealthy accounted for almost half the budget deficits during his presidency and, if made permanent, would contribute more to the U.S. budget deficit than the Obama stimulus, the TARP program, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and revenue lost to the recession - combined. Of course, you'd never know it listening to the leaders of GOP.
And that's just the beginning. Here, then, are 10 Republican Lies about the Bush tax cuts:
Oh, I just love Tea Parties, don't you? On Countdown last night, Keith Olbermann featured Michele Bachmann's newest bid for attention and concerned stares.
OLBERMANN: It's not just that there isn't much racism in the Tea Party. The contention is there's none, zero. Thats next in worsts. First, no, that's not your water coming to a boil. It's our nightly checkup on the something for nothing crowd. It's Tea Time.
Fifty percent of life really is an imitation of a Monty Python sketch. From Washington and the Committee on House Administration there comes this letter.
"I would like to register the House Tea Party Caucus as a congressional member organization. The 111th Congress has Tea Party Caucus, will serve as an informal group of members dedicated to promote America's call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution" -- . Michele Bachmann, Chairwoman
Michele Bachmann, Chairwoman Michele Bachmann of the House Tea Party Caucus. Chairwoman Michele Bachmann of the House Tea Party Caucus, consisting of the following members: Michele Bachmann.
Meantime in Kentucky, Rand Paul has vowed to start a Senate Tea Party Caucus. He bets on Paul not blowing what remains of his once big lead or about his only potential other member, Sharron Angle, when she out- Tea Partied the chicken lady, Sue Lowden, to get the Republican nomination in Nevada.
She led Reid by three points in the Mason-Dixon poll. The new Mason-Dixon poll is now out, Reid by seven, a ten-point swing in six weeks.
It is one thing to believe America agrees with you and your regressive, narrow-minded, prejudiced politics. Go ahead. Have a good time. But to think you are winning when you are getting your asses kicked, that takes us back to the Monty Python sketch. Or more correctly, the Eric Idol spoof of the Beatles called " The Ruttles."
The band was suddenly influenced by the spiritual teachings of an Indian Yogi, who turns them on to a new hallucinogenic drug. A new hallucinogenic drug is obviously a metaphor for LSD. The new hallucinogenic drug is TEA, tea. I think we just found out what the stuff is that Michele Bachmann drinks."
"The American people are speaking out loud and clear. They have had enough of the spending, the bureaucracy, and the government knows best mentality running rampant today throughout the halls of Congress. This caucus will espouse the timeless principles of our founding, principles that all Members of Congress have sworn to uphold," Bachmann stated. "The American people are doing their part and making their voices heard and this caucus will prove that there are some here in Washington willing to listen."
I guess that means the only Americans worth listening to are those folks with the signs out to 'take their country back'? Would that be most of the mainstream Republican party, perhaps?
I was going to poke fun at the staffer assigned to coordinate the new caucus, but it's not nice to make fun of folks saddled with the last name "Looser" who also work for Michele Bachmann, so I won't.
Teabaggers are a legend in their own minds, and Michele Bachmann is trying to keep a 'movement that was never a movement' afloat long enough to flog it through November. What will she do when she, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle all lose? Maybe we'll get lucky and she'll toss her hat in the GOP primary ring.
The first Republican Abraham Lincoln famously proclaimed, "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side." Now, in the latest sign of the transformation of the Party of Lincoln into the Party of God, Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle declared the Almighty is on her side. And to be sure, Angle, who just two weeks ago proclaimed "God has a plan" for pregnant victims of rape and incest, is far from alone in believing in the Divine Right. As it turns out, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Jan Brewer and Michael Steele are just some of the Republicans who believe they have been touched by the hand of God.
"How do you explain all this? You're now a national story, are you kind of overwhelmed by it all?" asked Reed.
"I believe that God has been in this from the beginning and because of that when he has a plan and a purpose for your life and you fit into that, what he calls you to he always equipped you for," Angle replied.
As Americans learned last month, if nothing else Sharron Angle is equipped with a heart of stone. Given the 2008 Republican platform and John McCain's prime-time mockery of the "health of the mother," Sharron Angle's extreme position on abortion sadly is not unusual among hard-line conservatives. But what is unique is her frankness in claiming the suffering of rape and incest victims is divinely mandated:
MANDERS: Is there any reason at all for an abortion?
ANGLE: Not in my book.
MANDERS: So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?
ANGLE: You know, I'm a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.
For Sarah Palin, one of those things can be found in her mirror.
I'm not sure who is more evil: Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin. Both have an uncanny ability to sound high-pitched shrill dog whistles for their fellow racists.
Michele Bachmann spoke in Colorado at the Western Conservative Conference over the weekend, and in Bachmann-like fashion, dropped a few claims that just made me shudder. This one, in particular:
"'We are determined to live free or not at all. And we are resolved that posterity shall never reproach us with having brought slaves into the world,'" Bachmann read from founding father John Jay , ending her reading with the statement, "We will talk a little bit about what has transpired in the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves."
She then launches into the requisite Tea Party theme of tyranny, pointing specifically to health care reform as some sort of tyrannical monster threatening the nation. (Cue death panels.)
But really, it's worth looking at her agenda, because Bachmann is as wingnut crazy as Sharron Angle:
“We reform social security, then we reform Medicare, then we pare back welfare to the truly needy, for the truly disabled, because, yes, we can make that determination,” she said. “Close and secure American boarders, cut the budget, limit our foreign entanglements for America, then we massively cut spending first, then we cut taxes.” Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39608.html#ixzz0tamKLmmS
A closer look, restated with real terms would read like this:
We privatize Social Security, then we privatize Medicare, then we starve those most needy, we let the disabled twist in the wind. Then we leave our troops twisting in the wind while cutting all social programs but not touching military spending. Then we give it all to our corporate masters.
I write about the need for journalists and bloggers and even average working class families to read books about the history of our country. Doing research for our new book, Over the Cliff, I was reminded of how long the conservative movement took to finally hatch their plans to treat the working class of America as one big cash register so Big Business could reap whirlwind profits, leaving most families to scurry along, begging for scraps.
That was what Barry Goldwater and his ideologues began after McCarthy and his reign of terror. Then Grover Norquist and his ilk built upon that foundation of oligarchy their ruinous ideology. I'm hearing naive stuff like progressives shouldn't vote in the 2010 or even in the 2012 elections floating around so we can teach those bad Democrats a really, really important lesson. Who cares if Michele Bachmann and Darryl Issa get subpoena power and Mitt Romney destroys whatever is left of the country? Do you?
Heck, by 2016, those same Democrats will realize that we mean business. Some of the comments I read seem like they are coming from people who were playing with their toy Tonka trucks in a sandbox during the 2000 election. Do we have to remind people of what happened when a third party was involved in the 2000 election, yet again? And what lesson would the Democrats take from being out of power until 2016? I know you know it.
Now, the guys who got it all wrong are winning the political argument, in large part because the Obama administration went for half-measures, and is now being punished for a weak economy — which people like me predicted would happen.
But never forget that as far as the facts go, the Keynesians won this, hands down.
What do you know? Krugman and his graphs tell the story. Facts are very important, but not in the Conservative universe. It took them over fifty years for them to control the media and to develop a totally insane version of America where the rich get richer and the poor go to hell.
David and I cover the long journey the Conservative movement has taken in Over the Cliff. Please support the liberal blogosphere and grab yourself a great summer read too!
Poor Michele Bachmann. She knows she lost the battle and the war, but still seems to be unaware that her one functioning brain cell ran away too. In this little audio gem, she insists that Berwick -- a champion of outcome-based health outcomes that don't threaten the doctor-patient relationship -- will be running death panels and denying us care.
Also? Honorary degrees spread egg over your face, doncha know?
BAKER: The number of people, the number of people involved in this health care plan...they seem to be big advocates of rationing!
BACHMANN: Yes, that is their foundation, and the reason why they want to ration is because they also want not just a wealth transfer, Chris, they want a power transfer. Today, if you're sick you just call up the phone [sic] make an appointment with your doctor or maybe you just walk into your doctor's office, get an appointment. They want to transfer authority for your health care to a government bureaucrat so a bureaucrat will decide if you get in to see a doctor, when you get in, and what level of care you will get.
We as individuals for the first time in America will lose control over our health care decision making and this individual who hasn't seen a patient for years, who the White House was touting as having Harvard professorships, and now the White House has egg over their face -- on their face -- he doesn't have professorships, they're honorary positions.
He's the individual with this radical, um, advocate of completely socialized medicine, government takeover, government decisionmaking, reduction of health care for all of us. He's the one now who will be in charge of implementing full scale Obamacare and he'll be in charge of Medicare and Medicaid.
BAKER: Oh boy, that's why I'm now referring to him as the chairman of the Obamacare Death Panel.
BACHMANN: That's right.
BAKER: That's my title.
BACHMANN: That's right because this is his quote. I have it right in front of me. It says "the decision is not whether we will ration health care; the decision is whether we'll ration with our eyes open." Well it's with his eyes open, because he is going to be the one who is denying people care.
There are so many lies in this two-minute segment I don't even know where to begin, but I'll try.