Monday, March 23, 2009

Politics & Our Crazies

I do my darndest to keep this a single-issue blog, but sometimes there are other issues that make other topics just so tempting. I could basically Twitter my reactions to the financial crisis ("OMG." "WTF??" "PLZ HELP" "MORE KRUGMAN") and my political quarterbacking hasn't paid off for anyone yet. But then there's Michele Bachmann. I have read so many hilarious posts about her today - they have really kept my spirits up. I read Blue Texan and laughed for a long time.

"I'm starting to believe Michelle Bachmann isn't actually a real politician at
all, but instead, an unusually gifted performance artist who's engaged in a
brilliant post-modern parody of an insane wingnut.
Over the weekend, she gave a radio interview to Assrocket, and here's how she describes her blogging and social media outreach as a member of Congress.
'I’m a foreign correspondent on enemy lines and I try to let everyone back here in Minnesota know exactly the nefarious activities that are taking place in Washington.'
This is beyond unhinged. It sounds like a press release from Stormfront."

The full chronicles of Minnesota's Rep can be found all over the blogosphere so I won't go into her amazing repertoire (see BarbinMD instead). I enjoy Ms. Bachmann as I would a talk radio personality. Except that after a moment you realize - oh my god, people actually elected her.

Now, why is this a big deal or at all relevant? Well, the Republicans have quite a crew of attention-grabbing crazies in their stable right now. They say outlandish, at times threatening, things that are not grounded in reality. I'm not sure if this is part of a political game, to basically be an actor and create your own drama around a given issue, or if the pols are truly stupid.

In any case, their ignorance is making it a lot tougher to dig out of the hole Bush made for us. You have Kansas' Senators fear-mongering about the possibility of Guantanamo detainees being transferred to their state. And Dick Cheney, fear-mongering, possibly because it's a hard habit to break. I'm not saying we need to run a glitzy PR campaign for all the innocents in Guantanamo but Good God, we really need to let the public know what the situation is there. These detainees received no fair trial that would exonerate them, and are little known otherwise to Americans. Not much has really changed since Guantanamo opened - "these guys are the worst of the worst!! Right?" There are plenty of people who will try to perpetuate that view (Bachmann, certainly). I think there is a lot of work to do between now and the time when the Obama DoJ finishes their reviews. Judging by their approach so far, I think the Obama DoJ will keep a low-profile on this stuff. I think it's essential that somebody explains who these people are in Guantanamo to the world (and of course, heroically enough, many people are...Andy Worthington, Glenn Greenwald, Digby, Valtin, The Talking Dog, Candace Gorman...these people are on my blogroll for a reason!). I would like to see the Obama Administration be a little more proactive on this front, but in any case, Guantanamo is closing. We need to make this as smooth (and just) as possible.

And Michele Bachmann, just yikes.

No comments: