Michele Bachmann has the background

Michele Bachmann on CNN
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Michele Bachmann did not come by her conservative beliefs by accident. Her personal experiences have made her the conservative that she is.

Michele Bachmann the Democrat?

Michele Amble came from a Democratic family, not a Republican. The Ambles were of Scandinavian stock, and had always been of modest means. When she was about twelve, her family moved to Anoka, MN, where her father worked at Honeywell. Then disaster struck. Her parents divorced, and Mrs. Amble had to support the four children on her wages as a bank teller.

Michele’s mother told her to concentrate on her education, and she did. Then when Michele was 16 she made another decision:

I believe God is real. I believe he’s real, I believe he’s true, I believe that there is a heaven, and that’s where I want to go.

A year later, she graduated from high school, and then had the first of two experiences that shaped her outlook.

Michele Bachmann in Israel

Most high school graduates, if they go away for the summer, might go to a summer camp, or on a Caribbean vacation. Most Americans (at least, most American Gentiles) who go to Israel, stay for ten days, snap a few pictures, and then leave, as your editor did earlier this year. The future Michele Bachmann went to Israel and stayed a whole summer—on a kibbutz.

Kibbutz Be’eri stands not far from Beersheba (literally, House of Seven), where Abraham made a treaty with earlier inhabitants of the Gaza country. (Genesis 21:22-34.) In 1974, Michele Amble went there to work, pulling weeds out of a cotton field. (And how remarkable that a collective farm in the Western Negev had any weeds to pull!) Israel was a much different place then, barely eight months after the Yom Kippur War. Active-duty Tzahal guarded David Ben-Gurion Airport—with guns drawn. Israeli Customs was several officers sitting at card tables outdoors. Chickens fluttered everywhere, recalling a time when chickens were worth more than their weight in gold. And on Kibbutz Be’eri, armed soldiers searched for land mines in the very fields where Michele and the others worked.

Israel has changed since then, as your editor can attest. And Michele Bachmann knows it. She has been back to Israel three times since her first election to Congress in 2006. The Tzahal are still at Ben-Gurion—discharged veterans, dressed as civilians, clearing passengers for flights out on Israel’s national-flag carrier, El Al (literally, “Up, up, and away!”). But Israel is no longer the “grubby” place that young Michele Amble found.

If you consider what it was like in 1948, and literally watch flowers bloom in a desert over time—I don’t know if any nation has paralleled the rise of Israel since 1948.

Not everything is grand, of course. Four years ago, Palestinians fired rockets into the very kibbutz where Michele worked, along with several others, just to burn the crops.

Michele Bachmann becomes a Republican

Michele Amber came back to Minnesota. She went first to a local community college near Anoka, then went off to Alaska for more summer jobs. There someone advised her to apply to Winona State University, which she did. There she met her future husband, Marcus Bachmann. The two worked on Jimmy Carter’s campaign in 1976, and then traveled to Washington in a van pool for Carter’s inauguration.

Then disillusionment set in. As Michele Bachmann told The Weekly Standard, everything went downhill from the inauguration. Marcus Bachmann and Michele Amble found Carter’s economic, foreign, and domestic policies disastrous. But the defining moment for Michele came on the train from Minneapolis to Winona. She read a copy of Gore Vidal’s Burr, and found Vidal’s portrayals of the Founding Fathers insultingly libelous.

And at that moment, I became a Republican. I was done.

Michele Bachmann today

Michele Bachmann earlier official photo

Michele Bachmann poses before an American flag. Photo: United States House of Representatives

Marcus and Michele Bachmann married in 1978. They have never looked back on their decision. Twenty years later, Michele Bachmann got her first taste of activism: she fought to remove a curriculum that provided no education to speak of, but only indoctrination. The fight continued to April 2000, where she impressed enough delegates at the Republican State convention to win the nomination for a State Senate seat. The outraged incumbent tried to take his nomination back in the primary, but lost. And so her career in politics began.

She won her seat in Congress in 2006, one of a handful of Republican freshmen. She nearly lost the seat in 2008, after telling Hardball’s Chris Matthews, to his face, that Obama held anti-American views. (Chris Matthews has hated her guts ever since.) When the Tea Party movement began, Michele Bachmann became one of its earliest champions among elected officials. She won her seat handily in 2010.

A mixed reception

Jewish people have a mixed opinion of Michele Bachmann. She openly claims a Jewish heritage—intellectual only, to be sure, but no less real to her for that. The basis of her claim is the Jewish roots of Christianity.

Michele Bachmann gave another reason for her support of Israel to the Republican Jewish Coalition in February of 2010:

I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.

The leftish Israeli daily Ha’Aretz (The Land) is clearly afraid of her. Why else would they write a paragraph like this:

She managed to get the Jewish community angry at her after she compared the mushrooming national debt and the loss of economic freedom to the loss of human life in the Holocaust. The National Jewish Democratic Council quickly condemned her, also criticizing her attempt to make Israel a point of contention between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Of course, Ha’Aretz conveniently forgets that a Republican Jewish Coalition exists. But Ha’Aretz concludes with this:

Her former chief of staff Ron Carey has said she is “decidedly” not ready for the presidency. But that’s what they said about Obama.

That says it all.

Featured image: Michele Bachmann appearing on CNN. Photo courtesy Bachmann for President.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

8 Responses to Michele Bachmann has the background

  1. John says:

    Wait, she became a Republican because a piece of historical fiction did not fit into her delusional views of revolutionary America?

    She more or less proposed restarting McCarthyism, and this is supposed to be viewed as anything other than insane?

    Lastly, Barack Obama wasn’t criticized by his own staff as being inept and incompetent, while Michele Bachmann has. She has the highest staff turnover rate of anyone in Washington, and repeatedly people who have worked for her have said that she would be an absolute disaster as president. These are people that ostensibly agree with her on the issues, and they still think she’d be a terrible president.

    I don’t get what you see in this person. If she gets the Republican nomination, Barack Obama will have a second term. The more moderates and independents get to know of her, the quicker they will come to the conclusion that she has some severe mental illness and is unfit to lead.

  2. DinsdaleP says:

    Bachmann’s time in a Kibbutz as a teenager makes for a good human-interest story, but as a presiential candidate a better gauge of “does she have the background” is her recent record in Congress. Looking at her sponsored legislation for this session tells a lot:

    H.R. 86 – A bill to repeal or cap a broad set of taxes without any provision to compensate for the lost revenue’s impact on the deficit.
    STATUS – Buried in a Republican-led committee since January of 2011.

    H.R.87.IH – A bill to completely repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Not a single Wall Street reform element is considered worth leaving, so Mrs. Bachmann must believe that simply trusting in the entities that enginnered the crisis to change their behavior on their own is sufficient. Likewise, she must believe that there isn’t a single component of the Consumer Protection Act that was worth leaving intact. If sunshine is the best disinfecant, it makes one wonder how a trained accountant like Mrs. Bachmann believes that allowing things to be hidden is better for this country.
    STATUS – Buried in a Republican-led subcommittee since February of 2011.

    H.R.849 -The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which will prohibit any ban on the same of incandescent light bulbs unless certain criteria are met. One of her criteria is that there must be proof that switching to alternative light bulbs will reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent in the United States by the year 2025 – quite a requirement for someone who considers global warming to be a hoax. She’s also worried about mercury contamination, but her bill doesn’t require any of the targeted settings to eliminate the bulbs with mercury they are already using. 90% of the energy powering incandescent lights is wasted as heat, but if Bachmann has better idea that advances our energy independence interests with as good a bang-for-the-buck as the law she’s looking to repeal, she’s not sharing.
    STATUS – Buried in a Republican-led subcommittee since March 2011

    H.R.850 – “To facilitate a proposed project in the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River, and for other purposes.” This is just a $600 million earmark to build a highway bridge through a natural wetlands area in her home state. Hard to call yourself an anti-government deficit hawk when you hold out your hand for over half a billion taxpayer dollars to build a “bridge through nowhere”.
    STATUS – Lingering in a Republican-led subcommittee.

    H.R.1285 – Military Health Care Affordability Act. This is actually a very well-intentioned piece of legislation in that it prevents increases in military out-of-pocket medical expenses. There’s no provision for how it would be paid for, however, even as she’s looking to spend a half-billion taxpayer dollars building bridges in the middle of Minnesota swamps.
    STATUS – Lingering in a Republican-led subcommittee.

    H.R.1286 – Healthcare Fiscal Accountability Act of 2011, which make $105 billion in committed funds for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act subject to Congessional review and removal – in other works, if you can’t repeal it, defund it.
    STATUS – Buried in a Republican-led subcommittee since April 2011

    H.R.1450 – To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate any time limitation for granting equitable innocent spouse relief. This one makes sense, but she hasn’t been able to get it out of a Republican-led committee since it was parked there in April.

    So to recap, the actual legislative accomplishments of Rep. Bachmann in the current session of Congress consist of seven bills. One is worthwhile but has no plan for funding it, and another is sensible, but she hasn’t shown any ability to work with her own party to get it past the committee stage and move the process along. The rest would worsen the deficit, encourage financial misconduct, send a half-billion in pork to her state to build a bridge where the locals don’t want one, and take funding from a Health Care program most Americans actually want.

    So five of her seven bills are so ridiculous that they’re buried by the Republcans even as she touts them as accomplishments, and she’s unable to work with her own party to advance the two that are worthwhile. If she can’t actually deliver on any of her agenda items when her own party runs the House, how can people credibly believe that she’d achieve anything as a President who can deliver on her agenda against real opposition?

  3. […] deals .. Market sell off, homebuyer tax credit, inflation & rents | Personal Fin.. Michele Bachmann has the background – Conservative News and Views Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loan – Financial Experts Weigh In | Zing Blog by Q.. Zynga’s […]

  4. Camille says:

    This doesn’t look good for her:

    http://minnesotaindependent.com/83672/is-bradlee-dean-michele-bachmanns-rev-wright

    Though I’m sure she’ll dissociate herself should this come into the spotlight.

    This Dean fellow seems to think being gay is something you should be imprisoned for.

  5. DinsdaleP says:

    Dean seems to approve of fundamentalist nations that imprison and even execute homosexuals because they are, in his opinion, being consistent with his personal interpretation of what the Bible demands as just punishment for “abomination”.

    Bachmann is on record as not simply condoning Dean’s ministry, but openly leading public prayers for it to grow tenfold or more.

  6. DinsdaleP says:

    The other current indication of how Bachmann would actually govern comes from her immediate signature on the Family Leader’s pledge titled “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY”.

    Let’s take a look at what she’s pledging to fulfill if elected President:

    Start with her implicit endorsement of the preamble, which states among other things that “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President”.

    Wow. Just – wow. Setting aside that this “statistic” would also apply to presidencies of Reagan or either Bush, it’s not out of character for Bachmann to promote a distorted view of history like this. Of course these families stayed together in a “two-parent household” – they were SLAVES, and were held in place against their will. I guess to Bachmann and Bob Vander Plaats, who authored the pledge, there’s a need to harken back to “better times” when people didn’t divorce because they were forced to stay together.

    That’s not left-wing hyperbole, by the way – Pledge Item #6 calls for the government imposition of “waiting” and “Cooling off periods” before a divorce can be obtained. No consideration for cases of adultery, marital rape, substance abuse, or criminal behavior by a spouse – the government knows best, and you just need to cool off and try to keep it together with the guy who’s been beating you “for the sake of the kids”.

    As for the other Pledge Items ( http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/The-Family-Leader-Presidential-Pledge.pdf ):

    – What’s the implication of #2? Will she punish or dismiss members of her administration for infidelity, even if unrelated to their job performance?

    – How does someone who beleives in States Rights reconcile Item #4 with states that recognize gay marriage? Same for Item #7.

    – Item 8 is a non-starter given that it would take rights away from U.S. citizens who now have them in some states. Easy to pledge to try, though, and say you meant it.

    – Item 9 is telling on several levels. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t regard these items as a risk to young males (read the corresponding footnote), it’s a ridiculously vague item to pledge to uphold. I’d love to know how you go about preventing “seduction into promiscuity” in any practical sense, as well as “all forms of pornography”. The current, conservatve-majority Supreme Court has shown too much support for individual freedom and the First Amendment to make those clauses anything but lip-service, and the people signing this pledge know it even as they pen their names for the cameras.

    – Item 10 implies that the military does not already have a code of appropriate conduct it can hold its members accountable against regardless of gender. If Bachmann went ahead with this in the literal sense, would she strip current women combat pilots, regardless of their service records and the respect of their peers, of the positions they earned through years of hard work and sacrifice?
    — Ban woman from serving on naval vessels that may engage in combat? How does she explain away the double-standard that men are subject to torture if captured, too?

    — Explain how someone having such a deep familiarity and admiration for Israel can reconcile support for Pledge item # 10 with the fact that Israel allows not just men and women to serve in combat roles, but that it allows gays and lesbians to serve openly as well? I don’t see her accusing the Israeli military of being an ineffective or dysfunctional organization.

    –Explain how she’d apply Item 12 to her policy making. The related footnote implies that the nation would be better off if millions of aborted children were alive and contributing to the economy instead. By this line of reasoning, you’d be a hypocite for not making birth control illegal as well.

    — Explain what policy changes would come from Item 14 taht would not amount to the U.S. government legislating in favor of specific religions at the expense of people who disagree with those religious views.

  7. […] Tea Party freshmen (not to mention the head of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, Representative Michele Bachmann, R-MN-6). Their constituents won’t like a raise in the debt ceiling. House Republicans know it. […]

  8. Camille says:

    OOh, this is not looking good for her.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/10/life-lesson-michele-bachmann-slavery

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.