This week, Michele Bachmann (R, MN) went on Meet the Press to discuss healthcare reform funding, the crisis in Libya, how John Boehner has fared as Speaker of the House, and whether or not she still believes we are operating under a “gangster government” (a phrase she famously originated in 2009).
Her first order of business was to call for Obama to apologize for “hiding” $105 billion in the healthcare bill. That money is earmarked for (drumroll, please) “¦ implementing the healthcare bill. She claims that Congress had no way of knowing what was in the healthcare bill before they passed it, and that Nancy Pelosi even admitted that when she said, “We’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it.” She conveniently left out the last part of the quote: “We’ll have to pass it so you can find out what’s in it, away from the fog of controversy.” Nancy Pelosi was saying that the American people wouldn’t see all the advantages of HCR until after it was passed, not that Congress had no idea what it said.
In other words, if Bachmann had done her homework and actually read the bill that landed on her desk about a year ago, this wouldn’t have come as a surprise. Bachmann called the “hidden” money a “deception from the beginning.” (It bears mentioning that Bachmann has been confused about the exact contents of the healthcare bill in the past.) Bachmann also asserted that, “From the very beginning, it has been said that Obamacare is a crime against democracy.” It’s pretty easy to pretend something is an actual fact when you preface it with, “It has been said “¦” Who said that? A bill that won the majority of votes in a representative government is the essence of American democracy. The fact that you didn’t read it carefully enough the first time doesn’t mean it was a crime against democracy.
Over the course of the 12-minute interview, the host tried to lead the conversation to things other than “Obamacare” (the Tea Party’s go-to derogatory nickname for the healthcare reform bill). Unfortunately, Bachmann just wanted to talk about her fantastic discovery about this $105 billion mysteriously hidden in the healthcare bill. The host had a tough time getting a straight answer out of her on anything. Questions like, “Would you vote to shut down the government?” and “Do you think John Boehner has failed the Tea Party?” were met with lengthy hemming and hawing about Creating Jobs and Out-of-Control-Spending and What The American People Want.
For instance, the question, “Do you think the Tea Party is chasing the broader GOP off the (metaphorical) cliff?” was met with, “You know, the political left has been very afraid of the Tea Party movement because it is not necessarily political.” She goes on to explain that it’s not about Democrats or Republicans, but about Real Americans who are Taxed Enough Already. In other words, she has no answer to the question.
By the end of it, the host got a little frustrated and point-blank asked if she still thought the Obama Administration was a “gangster government.” After some more mumbling about “troubling actions,” Bachmann finally concedes that she “does not take back (her) statement on ‘gangster government.'”
She also chillingly alluded to a potential 2012 presidential campaign.
So what do you think? Should Obama be penning a heartfelt apology note on White House letterhead, begging for our forgiveness for putting money to implement healthcare in a healthcare bill? Or should Bachmann take a break from decrying homosexuality and ignoring science and maybe do a little light reading in her down time?