I’m still wrestling with a blog post that I may or may not finish about my grandpa’s memorial party, and how I’m still feeling wobbly and seasick without him, but it’s quite difficult from both a technical and emotional standpoint. I’m not too good at conveying grief and insecurity without going completely over the top, which I don’t want to do with that piece, and when I sit down and mine my soul, so to speak, it takes me at least half a day to recover, and then I fail to clean out the cat box or mail my tuition check for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts’ summer Shakespeare intensive. And since this has been a leitmotif throughout my thirty-two years, I’m not too keen to dig deep at the moment. Thankfully, my friend The Pirate sent me this distraction from the Huffington Post:
Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, following Rush Limbaugh’s cue, suggested on Tuesday that President Obama was to blame for the swine flu crisis. She went even farther than the talk show host, implying that swine flu epidemics are a Democratic phenomenon that dates back to President Carter.
“I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”
Unfortunately, Bachmann’s facts are a little off. As Glenn Thrush notes, Republican President Gerald Ford, not Carter, led the country during the last outbreak of the virus.
You know, if you’re going to posit such a ludicrous hypothesis, you might should oughta make some use of the intertubes and brush up on your history. Even sci-fi/speculative/magical realist fiction has some basis in reality, and a whole bunch of those authors didn’t have Google at their immediate, fact-checking disposal.
Also, if you’re going to attempt to curry suspicion among the unwashed masses, might I suggest employing a phrase a wee tad bit more inventive and less blatantly underhanded than “I find it interesting”? Do you really think most of us haven’t been on the ass end of many thinly disguised insults involving that word or we haven’t employed it ourselves?
I have to cop to some sexism here, because I read the article before I watched the MSNBC video clip, and I was expecting Bachmann to give a stereotypical performance of the disingenuous alpha female, complete with the wide eyes and overblown emphasis. (That’s been my experience with women, and men, who run the “I find it interesting” racket – lots of raised eyebrows and amateurish feigned innocence.) But nope, there she is, and pretty damn deadpan to boot, although I did get the impression that she doesn’t entirely believe in this particular kernel of bullshit. But as we learned from Ronald Reagan and the Case of the Nonexistent Welfare Queen, if it’s a good story, and it makes the point, what’s the big deal? (Actually, Al Franken solidified that concept for me – make that SENATOR Al Franken, dawgz! – in Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations. Thanks and mazol tov, Senator!)
As for what Michele Bachmann thinks…gah. Unnnggghhh. I’ve been picking my brain literally all goddamn day, which is more painful than mining my soul, and guess what? I still failed to clean up after the cats and mail my tuition check. I can’t even come up with a decent armchair shrink diagnosis for her, but since I can’t quite bring myself to file her under “batshit crazy” and be done with her, I will posit my own ludicrous hypothesis. (Hey, at least I’m honest.) Based on my, ahem, exhaustive study of “The Bachmann Blast: The DCCC is After Me Again,” I submit to you, dear reader, that Michele Bachmann is a joint creative robot effort between Comedy Central and the SciFi Channel, because I’m constitutionally incapable of believing that a human being can be that blatant about his or her insanity and hold public office. Christ, even Nixon took the time to stash his tapes. There. Now, if someone would like to whip up a sci-fi/speculative/magical realist scenario involving The Washington Times’ recent claim that Obama’s approval ratings are “in the cellar,” then whip it, and whip it good, because I need a drink. Hey, I’m only human. Leave the Michele “Robot” Bachmann plot for me, though.