Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns



The New Yorker's John Cassidy sets out to sneer at Michelle Bachmann in the course of taking her seriously.  At one point, elucidating the similarities between her campaign and Nazi Germany, he writes, "Bachmann's America has its own values . . . and its own version of history--one light on facts and heavy on Apocalypticism. 'Americans agree that our country is in peril today and we must act with urgency to save it,' Bachmann said in Waterloo, Iowa, the town of her birth. And she went on: 'My voice is part of a movement to take back our country, and now I want to take that voice to the White House.' From National Socialism to Poujadism to the Tea Party, the suggestion that the motherland needs reclaiming from alien forces has been central to populist right-wing movements."

In arguing that the country is in peril, and requires a movement to reclaim it, Bachmann joins an impressive list of other apocalyptic neo-Nazis:

We meet at ... a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more...

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

We believe in the value of doing what's right for everyone in the American family.

And that is the choice in this election.

We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America. Not narrow appeals that divide us, but shared values that unite us. Family and faith. Hard work and responsibility. Opportunity for all - so that every child, every parent, every worker has an equal shot at living up to their God-given potential.

The thing that makes me angriest about what has gone wrong in the last 12 years is that our government has lost touch with our values, while our politicians continue to shout about them. I'm tired of it!

I was raised to believe the American Dream was built on rewarding hard work. But we have seen the folks of Washington turn the American ethic on its head....

Our people are pleading for change, but government is in the way. It has been hijacked by privileged private interests. It has forgotten who really pays the bills around here. It has taken more of your money and given you less in return.

We have been a nation adrift too long. We have been without leadership too long. We have had divided and deadlocked government too long. We have been governed by veto too long. We have suffered enough at the hands of a tired and worn-out administration without new ideas, without youth or vitality, without vision and without the confidence of the American people. There is a fear that our best years are behind us. But I say to you that our nation's best is still ahead.

Our country has lived through a time of torment. It is now a time for healing. We want to have faith again. We want to be proud again. We just want the truth again.

The destiny of America is always safer in the hands of the people then in the conference rooms of any elite.

So let us give our ... country the chance to elect a Government that will seek and speak the truth, for this is the time for the truth in the life of this country.

George McGovern 1972 acceptance speech

I encourage readers to find other examples of routine, us-and-them campaign rhetoric that, turned to the proper angle, reveal a seething hatred of the nation's enemies.

Categories > Progressivism

Discussions - 5 Comments

Ah, well done. Nice post. There's nothing like catching these kings of hypocrisy in their own tangled webs.

Of course the liberal mainstream media hates Michelle Bachman as they hate Sarah Palin. These are strong, intelligent, successful moms, but most important they are independent thinkers who don't buy the liberal, baby-slaughtering feminist. In other words, if she took a late-night drive with a drunken liberal politician and he drove that car off a bridge, she would save herself and him too. Why? Because they value life. Even the life of the drunken liberal politician who destroyed his family and everything he touched.

Michelle Bachmann is an excellent congresswoman, a genuine patriot and highly intelligent. But is she what we need in a president? We shall see. She's far better than Barack Obama but our country also needs someone with the ability to command the respect of foreign leaders no less than American citizens. She is like many decent, capable conservatives who revere their country but don't know as much about its foundations and its history as they ought. She is everywoman who is stepping up to the plate because so many men in politics have shown they lack the prudence and force of character that is needed. There is still plenty of time for her and others to show what they have to offer, and my mind is open to that demonstration. I deplore the picking on Michelle that the media are now engaging in, and Hannity is right to call attention to their resolute refusal to call out their favorttes, particularly Obama. The so-called mainstream media is leftist and we need more and more to counter that. But we must be governed by facts and we need neither to embrace Michelle nor reject her just because she's getting the "treatment" that every threatening conservative candidate gets. (Goldwater and Reagan were both savaged.) She's kept her cool, and that's to her credit. Time will tell.

Also for the record, here's a compendium of liberals, including Howard Dean, Katrina van den Heuvel, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, James Carville, and Paul Begala, who have used "take back America" rhetoric:

And let us not forget that Obama himself spoke twice (in '06 and '07) at a conference of leftists actually called "Take Back America":

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