Michele Bachmann Presents: The Intellectual Tea Party!

bachmann-the-intellectualI would like to thank Right Wing Watch for ruining my afternoon studying session with another intellectually-stimulating video from CPAC and our friend Michele Bachmann – the Congressperson who offers those delightful Bachmann Diaries for our friend Erin Nanasi. Bachmann (R-MN) got us some more Vampire Cult Cheerleading for the heavy-hitting scholars of the intellectual Tea Party movement. Let’s begin analyzing this robust discourse, shall we?

You see, our movement [the Tea Party] at its core is an intellectual movement.

This is like when the Creation Museum calls itself “science.” See, while they borrow some findings of scientific discovery, the Answers in Genesis and other Literal Six Day Creationists reject the scientific method. But intellectualism – like science – must be honest and rigorous. It must be tested, verified, provable, brought out to the real world and brought back for more experimentation. It must come before peer review (and not just another circle-jerk). And your Tea Party movement isn’t very honest, let alone rigorous. It certainly isn’t open to new ideas; quite the opposite indeed. And except with polling with the reactionary conservative base, there really isn’t any research. So, not so intellectual Tea Party. But we digress.

 We’re based on the greatest ideas that have ever been conceived in the mind of man.

You mean like feminism so that we don’t need to refer to great ideas as having naturally come out of men? Come on, say it with us, Representative Bachmann: “F**k the Patriarchy!

Oh, these are the ideas our kids are supposed to eat, as fellow Congresscritter Paul Ryan suggested. Let’s tally them off like good intellectuals, shall we?

The Constitution…

I wasn’t aware that the Constitution of the United States of America is an idea- let alone a Tea Party idea. Which interpretation of the Constitution and what about it? Yes, it’s a framing document for the laws in our land and it has many commendable points. For instance, the First Amendment gives freedom of, for, and from religion. But Bachmann is a Dominionist, which means she believes that the supreme Law of the Land should be the Bible – God’s Law. Not the Constitution. Again, I’d ask which law of God’s we are to follow (I’m a fan of the “Love your neighbor as yourself one,” but it’s not in the Constitution so I can’t force you to follow it with me. Also, that wouldn’t be very loving). Additionally, Tea Party folks like her have argued that the Founders of the Constitution wanted to free the enslaved, whom they loved. Do the Tea Partiers mention that many of their precious Founding Fathers were slave-holders? And there’s still the fact that the founding document had slavery encoded within it and wouldn’t end until it was forced. The Constitution had no mechanism to end slavery. So, how much of it is such a great idea, Michelle?

Limited Government…

Why is your limited government regulating women’s bodies? And why is it changing election laws? And why is it so loving to the rich while so despiteful of the poor and oppressed? Is this intentional? Are you into “Limited Government” because you’re tired of saying “States’ Rights” because we’re on to you that “States’ Rights” means “pro anti-Black Racism”?

Free Enterprise…

Free for who? It’s not really free enterprise if the poor don’t get to participate, is it? Sounds restricted to me. But what do I know? I’m just a Poors.

Strong Families.

And again, we must ask what types of families are they defining as strong? Seems to me decreasing food aid, denying minimum wage increases, restricting reproductive rights (one example), blocking access to health care, and resisting any family not headed by a male and then a female (yes, patriarchy. Hetero patriarchy. And we thought you hated the patriarchy, Rep. Bachmann!) actually makes families weaker. Often, your party is working to make families physically weaker. Here’s something for your intellectual bonnet: How is arguing about Benghazi or voting fifty times to strike down health care options strengthening families? I’ll wait for your response.

Nothing in our Constitution says that government is supposed to be a charity.

Except for that pesky part about “the general welfare” of the United States? “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.

Government is not the family

Then why do you Tea Party politicians keep trying to interfere with families that do not meet up to your specifications? Why must you insist on defining our families and punishing us for not being what you think we should be?

It is not the church.

Nah, really. This coming from someone who insists that the government should be like her church and agree with her church.

And it most definitely should not be our doctor’s offices.

Huh, what? I think I understand what conservatives like Bachmann are saying, but it’s pure gobbla-dee-gook here. The Affordable Care Act is largely an insurance exchange set-up. Alleging that the ACA interferes with and meddles with the choices between a patient and a driver is like arguing that Flo will be your legally-appointed new backseat driver when you sign up through Progressive. It’s a scary thought, for sure, but not in the most remote sense true.

But you know what else is a scary thought? Nobody in the audience got up and said, “Hey, you know… we’re not intellectuals. We pride ourselves on being anti-intellectual. But thanks for trying.”


When he’s not riding both his city’s public transit system and evil mayor, Jasdye teaches at a community college and writes about the intersection of equality and faith - with an occasional focus on Chicago - at the Left Cheek blog and on the Left Cheek: the Blog Facebook page. Check out more from Jasdye in his archives as well!


Facebook comments

  • Batshit inanity.

  • Joe

    Bumper-sticker politics. One thing I’ll give to the tea party/republicans is they’ve done a great job reducing their arguments into bumper-sticker sized talking points that sound great and their base can understand and rally them up. But you look past them and see the POS car they’re stuck on. Their base doesn’t have the attention span to listen to more than it so it’s near impossible to point it out as democrats positions take more than a sentence to get out. You try for more, their head starts hurting and they start yelling random things in anger without really understanding the meaning, but they read it on a bumper sticker or heard it on fox so it must be true.

    • SluttyMary

      Benghazi… socialism… death panels!

  • Veritas vos Liberabit

    It appears to me that Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are nothing more than obsequious gender tokenisms of the Tea Party ‘patriarchs”. Only they don’t know it. How’s that for intellectualism, Michele?

    • shutdafrtdoor

      Now THAT’S a lot of em-fah-sis on the right sy-la-la-bles! LOL! =D

  • tina rowling

    separation of church and state aside, i can’t fathom how someone can believe that the law of god should be the law of the land when those who worship cannot even decide amongst themselves which laws are the right ones.

    • Gary Menten

      Therein lies the whole contradiction in the TP and “conservatives” in general. It never really occurs to any of them that religion is one of the most powerful tools for those in authority to impose their will on the population by simply ascribing policy to the will of God. The Founding Fathers, whatever their flaws may have been caught onto this very quickly and wrote the separation of Church and State into the Constitution whereas the Teabillies seem to have deluded themselves into believing that a government justifying policy through religion would never force policies upon them they don’t like.

  • Estproph

    The Tea Party is a stupid person’s idea of an intellectual movement, nothing more.

    • It’s not about lack of intelligence…

  • Gary Menten

    The Tea Party is to intellectual movements what Justin Bieber is to good music.

  • Robert W Crowley

    Bachman and Palin will self destruct in the not to distanced future, Just a matter of time.

  • Arik Bjorn

    “It is the mark of an educated person to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” –Aristotle.

    Michele Bachmann ain’t no Aristotle.

    • Pipercat

      Let’s see, three’s an a, s, o, l, e; anybody have an h? We can double up on the s!

  • shutdafrtdoor

    These “people” are so fuqued up I don’t think they could make ice!

  • strayaway

    “The Constitution had no mechanism to end slavery.”

    Wrong. The Constitution has mechanisms that allow amendments. The Constitution could be and was amended to end slavery.

    The “General Welfare” as opposed to “parochial interests”. Parochial interests such as those of mega-bankers or insurance corporations do not necessarily constitute the general welfare. Modern federal government welfare, the charity meaning of that word, came into vogue under FDR not under George Washington.

    • That’s a stretch… The amendments themselves ended slavery. Because the constitution made slavery legal. It had no mechanism within itself to end slavery. The concept of amendments were not created for the abolition of slavery.

      • strayaway

        I think I already covered that. It doesn’t make any difference though whether, “The concept of amendments were not created for the abolition of slavery.” Just having an amendment process built into the Constitution allowed the Constitution to be changed to end slavery. The fact that the amendment process existed made your statement, “”The Constitution had no mechanism to end slavery” incorrect.

    • PoppaDavid

      General welfare would include the quality of our common air, water, and soil. It would include the general health of the citizens. It would include the ability to share in the political and social life of our nation.

      • strayaway

        “General Welfare” could mean any of those things as could “form a more perfect Union” which is also found in the preface of the Constitution. Such things make more sense than claiming it means post-FDR social welfare. A key point though is that the words “general welfare” occur in the preface rather than in Article 1, Section 7 which lays out the delegated powers of Congress or Article 2, Section 2 laying out the powers given to the President. The preface lays out the general goals of the framers. How the executive and legislature exercise their powers is supposed to be consistent with the preface. “General” is the opposite of “specific” or “parochial”. Some people ignore this adjective. The 10th Amendment puts a lid on federal powers enabling the vision found in the preface although the amendment process allows the expansion of powers.

      • PoppaDavid

        Actually “welfare” appears twice. And both times it is next to “defense”, so it is equally important. Read Article 1, Section 8. “The Congress shall have Power To … collect taxes … to … provide for the common Defence and general Welfare …” The Constitution expects that general welfare will require taxation and spending, that’s why it is in the “tax and spend” paragraph.

        If Congress may fund foreign aid and overseas military actions in the name of “common Defence”, then they may lay and collect taxes to pay for all that I described and more in the name of “general Welfare”. BTW, in the federal archive copy both Defence and Welfare are capitalized indicating the relative importance. Our Founding Fathers expected that our government would spend money on programs that would promote the general Welfare of our nation. A strong, healthy, educated, diverse, working population is good for the general welfare.

      • strayaway

        Every noun in that paragraph is capitalized as nouns still are in German. This is wikipedia’s take on the “general Welfare”: “The United States Constitution contains two references to “the General Welfare”, one occurring in the Preamble and the other in the Taxing and Spending Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court has held the mention of the clause in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution “has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments.”

        Moreover, the Supreme Court held the understanding of the General Welfare Clause contained in the Taxing and Spending Clause adheres to the construction given it by Associate Justice Joseph Story in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Justice Story concluded that the General Welfare Clause is not a grant of general legislative power, but a qualification on the taxing power which includes within it a federal power to spend federal revenues on matters of general interest to the federal government.

        As such, these clauses in the U.S. Constitution are an atypical use of a general welfare clause, and are not considered grants of a general legislative power to the federal government.”

      • PoppaDavid

        Then I suppose the Constitution doesn’t grant Congress the authority to provide for the common defense either. Right.

      • strayaway

        The adjectives “general” and “common” have similar meanings. They are the opposite of specific and uncommon. I suppose that our military is not supposed to be used for parochial purposes either like maybe fighting wars for oil company profits instead of defending this country. “Defense” should be looked at too. Defense is the opposite of offensive actions such as bombing Libya for little or no reason.

        In addition, Article 1, Section 8 has seven paragraphs specifying the delegated powers of Congress with regard to the military. Perhaps you can point out similar powers specifically delegated to “the quality of our common air, water, and soil. It would include the general health of the citizens. It would include the ability to share in the political and social life of our nation.” I’m not saying they aren’t there. Perhaps something could be stretched a little. I’ll try to help out. Maybe something damaging the quality of our common air, water, and soil, for instance could be considered an “Invasion”, an invasion of Asian Carp or lampreys or the AIDS virus for instance.

      • PoppaDavid

        The words “common” and “general” may well refer to “defense of all” and “welfare of all”. And Congress may spend money to defend all of our welfare from attack by special, parochial interests.

        The right to file suit for trespass predates the Constitution and was part of English Common Law. The right of a person to be secure in their persons from attack by violence or subterfuge was not ended by the Constitution and you could extend “common defense” to protectionof water supplies from the poisoning by terrorists. That is not different from protection of the Elk River, West Virginia water supply from poisoning by capitalists. Both are an assault that require a common defense.

        I wonder if Florida would allow a “Stand Your Ground” defense y those who would use guns against corporate officers who run polluting corporations?

      • strayaway

        Trespass and personal security can be handled at the state level according to the Tenth Amendment.

      • PoppaDavid

        Yes they may be handled there. If pollution crosses state lines or is created by an agent doing business across state lines it is “interstate commerce” which is handled by federal action in the manner described by federal laws. Also Amendment XIV Section 1 guarantees equal protection directly to the citizens of a state if a state fails to act to protect their rights or passes laws that restrict their rights.

  • R RS

    Bachmann hates government “charity” but has happily taken farm subsidies in excess of $200K per year. Typical Tea Bagger hypocrisy.