Michele Bachmann in New Orleans: Insanity!

This article is in London’s Daily Mail. It’s titled White hot Bachmann calls for schools to teach intelligent design as she electrifies GOP leadership conference.

The newspaper quotes Bachmann as saying the following:

‘I support intelligent design,’ she told reporters after the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans yesterday.

‘What I support is putting all science on the table and letting students decide.

‘I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of a scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides…. That’s why I believe the federal government should not be involved in local education to the most minimal process.’

The rest of the article is about other issues and other candidates. We’ll skip all that because we’re focusing here on Bachmann. Our last post about her was Hey Michele Bachmann: Show Us Your Laureates.

When there are so many other issues, why is Bachmann’s creationism important? During the 2008 Presidential election campaign we wrote our Open Letter to Sarah Palin. In the Palin letter we said:

Do you truly believe that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old? Do you reject the theory of evolution and all the evidence which supports it, in favor of the Genesis creation account?

This is important — not because a Vice President (and possibly President) needs to know anything about geology, biology, and astronomy, but because the person who occupies such a position needs to be rational. We must know if you understand the difference between science and faith. Do you accept the existence of objective reality, or do you deny it?

[…]

[C]an you keep your faith in Genesis apart from the way you evaluate evidence and make decisions in the secular world? If so, we can accept that. But you have to tell us.

There are bigger problems facing the country. In our most divisive post ever — Creationism or Socialism: Which is Dumber? — everyone disagreed with us, rather vigorously, but we reluctantly concluded:

In deciding between creationism and socialism, the latter is by far the worse alternative. That is our unhappy guide to figuring out the choices which the current US elections provide us. The creationist candidate — if opposed to socialism — is the lesser of the two evils.

But unlike Palin (who seems to be a private creationist with no compulsion to force that view upon others) Bachmann is a special case. She has always impressed us as being genuinely insane. It’s possible that she could surprise us and change our opinion, but that doesn’t seem likely. We could have tolerated Palin, but were Bachmann to be the GOP nominee, we’d have to stay home on election day.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “Michele Bachmann in New Orleans: Insanity!

  1. The problem with the “creationism vs. socialism” issue is that creationism requires an authoritarian or totalitarian government to get it into schools. Democratic socialism (think Sweden or Finland) or totalitarian conservatism with a wink to free markets (Francisco Franco)?

    Socialism wins, because it’s the rational choice.

  2. Creationism vs. Socialism is a mute point, since there are no socialists running in the upcoming election from either major party.

    With respect to Bachman, I think she is too weird and extreme to win a national election. At this point, Romney is the only republican who seems to have a serious shot at it – that is, he has economic cred and could appeal to independents. Of course, that’s not to say he will be nominated, given the peculiarities of the primary process.

    If the economy improves measurably before the election, Obama will win. If not, the republicans win (unless they nominate a truly awful candidate). So far the republican strategy has been to do everything in their power to prevent the economy from improving, in order to win in 2012.

  3. I agree with her… let’s put all the science on the table. In fact, let’s go a step further and put ONLY science on the table.

    Hey Michelle, ever cough up those names of the Nobel Laureates that support ID? Didn’t think so…

  4. The Republican Party of sane adults with solid knowledge and experience has been replaced by a Republican Party in which insanity and willful ignorance are requirements for office.

    It has basically morphed into a nursery for bigots, racists, and Xian fundies.

    Meh.

  5. Reporter to Bachmann, re: Nobelists who support ID:
    “I was wondering if you could name a few of them.”

    Bachmann:
    “[15 seconds of blah blah blah]”

    Nope, she couldn’t name any. Imagine that!

  6. sorry, that was from Zach’s link

  7. Please correct me if I missed something, I could barely hear the audio. But it sounds it sounds like she not only did not answer the question about Nobel Laureates, but didn’t even acknowledge the question, and changed the subject to boot.

    Either way, here’s an edited version of what I wrote on Talk.Origins (which is back online in case anyone’s interested):

    Will someone please tell these clowns that if they “support ID” they need to demand that ID and only ID be taught!!! Science class is for what has *earned the right* to be taught. If you think it’s ID, demand that. If you think it’s geocentrism, demand that. If you’re not sure, shut up and let the scientists decide!

    Anyone who settles for teaching “both sides,” or worse, strengths and “weaknesses” of evolution without mentioning ID, creationism. etc., is either in on the scam, or so clueless that they are not qualified for any public office. Please do not vote for these people, no matter how much you agree with them on other issues. There are plenty of other candidates out there who do not want to undermine science education. They know and accept that students are already free to learn all about ID, YEC, OEC, etc, and how they fail on their parent’s dime. Yet that’s not good enough for these scam artists and their clueless rubes. They demand that taxpayers pay for it, and that students learn it where the crucial “how they fail” part is certain to be censored.

    “Conservatives” demanding that students be taught “revisionist prehistory,” that Johnny get credit for wrong answers on the test, that concepts be taught that have not earned the right to be taught – all at taxpayer expense. Does anyone else get the mind-boggling irony?

  8. “Anonymous” is me, as most regulars here could figure out.

  9. She has the brains of a lichen, but at least she’s candid. She just said it loud and clear: She’s a 21st century candidate who isn’t even up to speed with 19th century science, and her administration, if elected, will interfere with the science education of your children. Can’t get any clearer than that, and she just signed her candidacy’s death warrant.

    Mr Obama denied his socialist agenda and was elected, but he can’t fool the same people twice. He has “one-term” written all over him, with only himself and his cabinet to blame. He’ll have a lot more time to golf after the election.

    So Bachmann won’t get the 2012 nod, and Obama won’t be reelected. All we can do is hope for a borderline intelligent Republican candidate. I haven’t seen one yet, but whoever it is, for better or worse, he (or she) will win by default. I hope just it’s not another liar or another moron.

  10. magpie61says:

    All we can do is hope for a borderline intelligent Republican candidate. I haven’t seen one yet …

    For the past two years I’ve been thinking that Daffy Duck would be a better President than what we’ve got now. But we have to face the realistic prospect that the Republicans may, in actuality, nominate Daffy Duck as their candidate.

  11. I heard that Romney’s in the lead, and that he had no problem with evolution. 16 months is an eternity in an election (Bush Sr., Gulf War?), though.

    I estimate that at least 90% candidates of the last few decades, as magpie61 said, aren’t even up to speed with 19th century science, and that another ~10% pretends to be because of a radical authoritarian agenda. Let’s not forget that even many Democrats have had the audacity to imply that ~99.9% of scientists have not earned the right to have their science taught without “affirmative action” for discredited ideas. And I have to wonder about Democrats who don’t say anything negative about evolution when they’re pandering for votes.

    BTW, this “let the locals decide” is the worst part of the scam. It enables the evil without taking responsibility for it. If they truly want to minimize government meddling with science education, they will say “Let the scientists decide.”

  12. Simply put, there are three concepts that make America great, and also make it more-or-less unique in the world. They are: Free speech, free enterprise, and the separation of church and state. I’ve long decided that I will never support a candidate who doesn’t display a favorable inclination toward all three vital “pillars”. In my lifetime, that distinction has crossed party lines and has varied from cycle to cycle. That’s why I’m an independent voter – and I’m hardly alone.

    Since the knee-jerk / Kool Aid crowd on either side of the aisle will (usually) cancel each other out, the next president will be decided by the wide swath of independents – which is probably just as it should be. You’d never know that from watching the news, because the far Left or the far Right usually dominates the headlines. But the truth is, we have just enough rational and impartial voters to insure that the system (mostly) works.

    Admittedly, it all breaks down when a slick and appealing liar like Mr Obama and his cronies pretend to be what they are not. But the important thing to remember is, these folks can only get away with it for 4 years. After that, all the media manipulation in the world can’t save a candidate the public is “on to”. This will be B.O.’s fate in 2012.

    (I know what you’re thinking. “How did Geo. W. Bush get away with pretending to be fiscally responsible for 8 years??” Good question! Well, it kind of helped that the Dems cut their collective throats by putting up a candidate with all the charisma of Lurch from The Addams Family, and a potential train wreck of a First Lady with even less appeal.)

    True story: I remember watching The Tonight Show sometime after the 1976 election. Burt Reynolds was on, talking about meeting the new president on the set of his 1974 movie, The Longest Yard, which was shot in a maximum security prison in Georgia. He asked then-Governor Jimmy Carter what was being done to ensure his safety from the real-life murderers and rapists. According to Reynolds, Carter assured him that, in the unlikely event he was taken hostage, Carter himself would volunteer to take his place.

    Said Reynolds: “I knew then that one of two things was true. Either A., he’s lying, or B., he’s an idiot. Either way, he’d have a damn good shot at becoming President!” All our commanders-in-chief have fallen into column A or column B ever since, but it’s still the best system out there. Which only goes to prove that nothing is idiot-proof…

  13. magpie61: “Since the knee-jerk / Kool Aid crowd on either side of the aisle will (usually) cancel each other out, the next president will be decided by the wide swath of independents – which is probably just as it should be.”

    Exactly! That’s why what most people consider a “minor issue” (the undermining of science education by anti-evolution activists) is to me the most crucial issue of all. Most people, including most who claim to accept evolution are both science-challenged and religious (if not fundamentalist). That makes them vulnerable to uncritically accept anti-evolution sound bites. Even I briefly bought into the “it’s fair to teach both sides” in the 90s. And I was a mid-career chemist who had accepted evolution for 30 years!

    Anti-evolution activists are targeting the “swing vote” with cool, misleading sound bites, and implying, if not stating outright, that ~99.9% of scientists in relevant fields are mistaken or worse. And we react by mostly acting like there is no “swing vote.” I.e. that its either us (the tiny minority that actually knows something about science and the tactics of pseudoscience peddlers) and “creationists,” lumping the honest, clueless believers with the scam artists. How crazy is that?

  14. @Frank J:

    Pretty crazy, but each successive generation gets more and more scientifically savvy. That’s been the trend. Don’t dismiss the capacity of swing voters to resist political charlatanism; they tend to be more skeptical by nature anyway. Any inroads the creationist crowd makes is temporary at best, in part due to blogs like this one. They MUST lose in the end. Their days are numbered, and I think they know it.

  15. SY says, “Ron Paul.”

    Oh, jeez. The swing vote in the middle will never elect him — even if Obama is the Dem. candidate and the Dow is at 785, we have 50% unemployment, and locusts have devoured all our crops.

    And Ed, you said that “Creationism vs. Socialism is a mute point…”
    It may indeed be a silent point, but you probably meant “moot”. (Sorry. I’m a retired teacher. Can’t help it.)

  16. Nonetheless, he’s the Republican candidate who will be guaranteed not to push Creationism AND advocate fiscal responsibility.

    As a practical matter, I will end up voting for whichever presidential candidate is of the opposite party than the one likely to be in control of congress. Gridlock is the second best choice if the best choice (a president who has actually read the constitution) is unavailable.

  17. @Curmudgeon:
    For the past two years I’ve been thinking that Daffy Duck…

    that’s what scares the bejeebers out of me, that we might actually get Daffy Duck in office if the Republics end up running him (her). The primaries are so unpredictable, we might actually get Bachmann in the hot seat. The only thing scarier than that would possibly be Hillary Clinton. Though I’m not totally sure she would be scarier than Bachmann, because I agree with the group here who feels socialism is less evil than creationism.