Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has kept a relatively low profile in recent months, following the end of her strange presidential campaign in January. But Molly Ball reports today that Bachmann is not only back, she's up to her old tricks.
Remember when Michele Bachmann was the crazy right-wing congresswoman liberals loved to hate? The one who could be counted on to make inflammatory, nutty-sounding accusations on a regular basis, like when she said the media should investigate and expose the "anti-American views" of congressional liberals? Well, good old Michele Bachmann is back. [...][S]he appears to be back at her trademark paranoid alarmism. In a speech last week, Bachmann devoted her remarks to raising the alarm about an upcoming "suicide-bomber conference" in Chicago. She called on the president to stop it on the grounds that it was "subversive." She warned the audience, "We could wake up some morning wondering, 'How in the world did America come under sharia law?'"
This appears to have all the elements Bachmann loves to talk about, but as is often the case, her fear-mongering doesn't stand up well to scrutiny.
There is a kernel of truth to the story: there is a fringe Muslim group that planned a gathering near Chicago, but (a) the group opposes violence and suicide bombings; (b) the conference was canceled two weeks ago; and (c) the president doesn't have the legal authority to stop Americans from peaceably assembling.
Ball added, "But none of this stopped Bachmann from making the conference the centerpiece of her argument that the president has failed to deal adequately with the threat from terrorism."
No, of course not.
Bachmann proudly embraces bizarre conspiracy theories; she routinely says ridiculous things on national television; she pretends to grasp public policies she doesn't understand; and her worldview is detached from reality. Even as the Republican Party leaps off a right-wing cliff, Bachmann stands out for her unique brand of madness. And thanks to redistricting in Minnesota, she'll probably remain in Congress as long as she wants, warning about "suicide-bomber conferences" that exist only in her imagination.