It wasn’t until late Thursday that I got around to reading Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s op-ed in the Strib. Three points:
This is the standard Bachmann double down. The “evidence” in her op-ed is the same few half-truths she and her fellow travelers have been peddling for weeks. She has nothing new. So she just repeats her talking points.
She is utterly lacking in humility, which is curious since she is so public about her Christianity and I – a non-Christian, — was under the impression that her religion attached great importance to humility. I’ve been covering Bachmann since her first race for Congress. She has made 20 ridiculous factual blunders or exaggerations for every one she has ever found the decency to retract. But in the op-ed, she can find nothing she has said in the most recent matter to retract or for which to apologize.
Please understand, if Rep. Bachmann thinks she has a point about Muslim extremist penetration of U.S. government, she shouldn’t back down just because she has been criticized. But there is an element missing from her personality, and from her Christianity, if she can find nothing to retract or ask for forgiveness.
I’m in my 60s now and been covering politics since I was 22. She is the most intellectually dishonest politician I have ever covered. You can’t get her to acknowledge, let alone deal honestly with, inconvenient facts. She has been criticized, denounced or repudiated by her own speaker, her party’s most recent presidential nominee, her own former top campaign aide, the chairman of the intelligence committee on which she sits and by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This goes unmentioned by herself as she refocuses her attack on President Obama and drops the former focus on Huma Abedin. She just moves on. It’s my belief that the standards of intellectual honesty we demand from our public figures has fallen precipitously during my lifetime, but that’s classic old fogeyism, isn’t it? Still, Bachmann keeps finding new lows.
This morning’s Strib contains a response by Eric Schwartz, dean of the U of M’s Humphrey School, to Bachmann’s recent use of innuendo in this matter.