Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stay Bachmann!

It is quite possible that we are witnessing the complete meltdown of a politician, first hand, as it happens:

Rep. Michele Bachmann defended her attempt to root out “deep penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood into the U.S. government Friday, writing a 16-page letter explaining and expanding on her initial charges against Huma Abedin and others of being terrorist sympathizers. Bachmann’s letter came in response to a challenge from a fellow Minnesota lawmaker, Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat who was the first Muslim elected to Congress. Ellison last week asked Bachmann for evidence to support a series of letters the Republican sent to five national security agencies demanding investigations into alleged Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in their ranks.

In the new letter, Bachmann questions why Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, was able to receive a security clearance despite having family members that Bachmann believes are connected to the Brotherhood. “I am particularly interested in exactly how, given what we know from the international media about Ms. Abedin’s documented family connections with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, she was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance,” the congresswoman wrote.

As evidence, she pointed to Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin, and a 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review article about his work. Bachmann points to a passage saying Abedin founded an organization that received the “quiet but active support” of the the former director of the Muslim World League, an international NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe in the 1970s through 1990s. So, to connect Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood, you have to go through her dead father, to the organization he founded, to a man who allegedly supported it, to the organization that man used to lead, to Europe in the 1970s and 1990s, and finally to the Brotherhood.

The charge, called "preposterous" by the State Department, is one of the more outrageous things Michele Bachmann has said this year, but far from the most outrageous. It did, however, extract a spirited defense of Abedin from none other than John McCain, whose lawn Michele has apparently trod upon.

Normally, when a Representative gets a dressing down from a senior party official, a Senator no less, she shuts up and moves on, but not Bachmann. 

Indeed, I see this as a sign of great danger for her and people around her. I think she's headed for a psychotic break. Not from reality, but a break TO reality.

Let me explain: Bachmann lives in a psychological bubble. It's not that she can't hear "no," it's that she will with all her might not hear it. 

Her fortunes rose on the tide of the Teabagger movement, much like Sarah Palin only without the whole "quitty-leavey" problem. She became a figurehead for that movement and in so doing revelled in the attention and more important campaign-dollar-love. She amassed more campaign contributions in the last election cycle (2009-2010) than any other Congresscritter, Senators included.

Inside her warped little mental cocoon, this made her a deity. To her, it seemed like nothing could go wrong, that she held ultimate power to use as she pleased.

Nevermind that the facade, the shell, was cracking even as she inflated her ego further to press against the facade. 

The pinnacle of her ego-stroking was when she won a meaningless straw poll weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Iowans quickly put paid to the notion that she was a serious contender in the actual caucuses, and soon, Bachmann melded into the background the way John Huntsman, Rick Perry and so many others had.

This had to hurt. Starved for the attention that she had been getting on the capaign trail, Bachmann began to lash out left and right. Her party tolerated it for the sake of the caucus she leads in Congress, but it really only was a matter of time before her id would take command and drive her off a cliff. I think it started when she dropped a hint that she'd apply for Swiss citizenship and leave America.

Sadly, I think the time has come where she's lost all control of herself: while she holds a fairly commanding lead in the polls for her re-election and has a war chest the envy of many Senate candidates, the toll her antics are taking has to be weighing on the minds of her constituents, no matter how obtuse they might be.

She's been spanked back into her little corner of Minnesota and she's not licking her wounds quietly like a mature adult would. Each time she gets rebuked and ridiculed like this sees her car come a little closer to the cliff. Far be it from me to suggest someone should remove the guard rail and grease the highway, of course, but I can see how some would be tempted to do that.

My prediction? There's a major October surprise waiting for her, and that this will send her over the edge.