After mostly disappearing from view following her disastrous run for the Republican nomination for President, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann has made her way back to the front page.
Of course in typical Bachmann fashion, it is for controversial comments regarding fellow Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner and their potential ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
As per CBS News:
Bachmann, from Minnesota, and the four other representatives sent letters to top intelligence and security officials last week warning that the Muslim Brotherhood, a global religious Islamic movement whose members have been linked to terrorist groups in the past, may have infiltrated the top levels of U.S. government.
They pointed the finger first at Abedin, who is deputy chief of staff to Secretary Clinton and has been one of her closest aides for nearly two decades. Abedin, who was born in the U.S. and is of Pakistani descent, has been described by both Hillary and former President Bill Clinton as a daughter.
But Bachmann and the others wrote, “Huma Abedin has three family members — her late father, her mother and her brother — connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.
Now her comments on Abedin warranted not only rebukes from Ellison (a Democrat who is the only elected official of Muslim faith in Congress) but from 2008 Republican presidential candidate and current Arizona senator John McCain. McCain stated:
“These attacks have no logic, no basis and no merit, and they need to stop,” after the five House Republicans questioned whether Abedin has ties to terrorism.
“When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it,” McCain continued.
Now Senator McCain was absolutely correct in his statement. Huma Abedin is the perfect embodiment of the oft-stated “American Dream”. She is the daughter of Pakistani parents and was born in the United States. Yet in a country in which Islamophobia clearly exists, even in the chambers of Congress, she worked hard and is one of the top aides to Hilary Clinton.
But that obviously wasn’t enough for Michele Bachmann, who continues to stand by what she said regarding Abedin. It doesn’t really worry her either that if Abedin did have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, I’m sure it would’ve came up somewhere in her vetting process.
Yet it’s no shock that Bachmann doesn’t care and she would continue on her McCarthy-esque baiting spree when talking about Keith Ellison.
As per the Minnesota StarTribune:
Unfazed by growing bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill, Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann is broadening her allegations of Islamic infiltration in the U.S. government, accusing Democrat Keith Ellison of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group she says is seeking “America’s demise.”
“He has a long record of being associated with [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] and with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann told conservative radio and TV show host Glenn Beck on Thursday night.
Of course, when you have a conspiracy theory that you want to spread; why not go on Glenn Beck?
This type of baiting and demonizing is what got Joseph McCarthy censured back in the 1950s. Granted, we have yet to see any hearings of Ellison or Abedin in Congressional chambers but nonetheless; isn’t this type of “Islam-baiting” perhaps one of the most dangerous things a Congressperson has done in recent times? Isn’t this behavior almost encouraging an anti-American sentiment amongst the Muslim community that they aren’t to be accepted as Americans?
These attacks on citizens are disgusting but it should lead to the question; should Michele Bachmann be censured for her words?
Now the list of censured or at least, reprimanded, Congressional officials are mostly ones who engaged in some sort of corruption or sex scandals. Bachmann’s comments do not fit in with either of those two categories.
But Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina did receive an official reprimand from Congress following his infamous “YOU LIE” outburst to President Obama in a speech to a joint session of Congress. While disrespecting the President isn’t all-too-similar with accusing a fellow Congressperson of terroristic ties, you would think that there is some precedent the House could use if they chose to do something about Mrs. Bachmann.
Nonetheless the fallout over Bachmann’s words has not just affected Senator McCain or Congressman Ellison. Speaker of the House John Boehner called the allegations against Huma Abedin as “pretty dangerous” though it doesn’t appear that reprimanding Bachmann is on top of his to-do list.
Still, Michele Bachmann is not going away; not by any stretch of the imagination. We will hear more from her again and it likely will be just as controversial as her most recent comments. Bachmann has been a pariah for the Republican Party since elected to represent Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District in November 2006.
This will not be the end of her nor will it likely result in any censure or reprimand. She is far too important to the far-right aisle of the Republican Party and alienating her would probably result in supreme backlash against party leadership. But it would be the right thing to do.
But when has the “right thing” ever made sense to the political right?