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Michele Bachmann makes another list, and it’s not Santa’s

Minnesota’s 6th District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann was one of nine named as 2008’s Most Embarrassing Re-Elected Members of Congress.

Minnesota’s 6th District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann was one of nine named as 2008’s Most Embarrassing Re-Elected Members of Congress.

“The list incorporates those elected officials who have misused their position through illegal, unethical or just plain outrageous conduct,” says the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Click on the right of the page for a longer take on each of the “honored” members. (I first noticed a reference to this story in MPR’s Polinaut.)

“From Rep. Bachmann’s smearing of President-elect Barack Obama to [Florida Republican] Rep. [Vern] Buchanan’s serious FEC violations — these members of Congress stand out for their inability to conduct themselves in a manner that respects the office they hold,” says Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW.

Earlier, Bachmann made Esquire magazine’s list of 10 worst congresspeople.

The CREW list includes seven Republicans and two Democrats. The group has drawn criticism from some quarters, including the Norm Coleman campaign, which called it “an attack dog” for the Democratic Party. CREW at the time denied that charge, noting that it recently had asked the Senate ethics panel to investigate mortgage deals that went to two Democratic senators, Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.

Here’s CREW’s take on Bachmann:

“Rep. Michele Bachmann is a first-term member of Congress representing Minnesota’s 6th district. She was re-elected by a margin of 46% to 43% of the vote. Rep. Bachmann gained notoriety for claiming God had told her to run for Congress, and for grabbing President Bush’s shoulder after the 2007 State of the Union and holding him there until he kissed her, as well as calling for investigation into the anti-American views of fellow members of Congress.
 
“Joe McCarthy Politics
 
“On October 17, 2008, Rep. Bachmann appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball With Chris Mathews,’ where she repeatedly accused Sen. Barack Obama of harboring anti-American views and associating with a terrorist.
 
“At one point in the interview, Rep. Bachmann seemed to equate liberalism with anti- Americanism, and invoked Sen. Joe McCarthy by calling on the media to conduct a ‘penetrating expose’ to discover which members of Congress held anti-American views.
 
“A few days later, Rep. Bachmann partially recanted her remarks, claiming she had ‘made a big mistake’ going on a show she had never seen, and conceded she ‘should not have used’ the phrase ‘anti-American.’ Rep. Bachmann also denied making disparaging remarks about Sen. Obama, and calling for a media-led inquisition into Congress’ alleged ‘anti-American’ views.
 The spectacle prompted both editorial boards and political observers to condemn Rep.
Bachmann and her comments. The five Democratic incumbents in Minnesota’s eight-member House delegation issued a joint statement claiming the congresswoman’s comments were ‘embarrassing,’ and called into question her judgment and ‘ability to work in a bi-partisan way.’ 
 
“Steve Benen of Washington Monthly’s Political Animal called Rep. Bachmann, ‘the single most ridiculous member of Congress.’ The Los Angeles Times denounced the ‘smear’ as ‘specious’ and ‘a return to an era most of us hoped was consigned to history.’ 
 
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called the congresswoman’s comments ‘nonsense’ and said they were part of the reason he decided to endorse Sen. Obama over Republican Sen. John McCain for president.
 
The Minneapolis Star Tribune added the congresswoman’s comments to the ‘list of bizarre incidents and statements that undercut her credibility as a political leader,’ and the St. Cloud Times said, ‘Rep. Michele Bachmann has simply made too many serious errors in judgment to deserve a second term.’

Here’s the entire CREW list, in alphabetical order:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.)
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)