When Bachman has the mic

WHEN BACHMAN HAS THE MIC…. Watching Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) speak has a certain car-wreck quality. It’s painful and disturbing, but it’s just so difficult to look away.

Take Bachman’s questioning today of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Research Chairman Ben Bernanke. (via Karen Tumulty, who noted that Bachman seems confused about how a bill becomes a law)

It’s a five-minute clip, but it’s worth watching. Bachmann starts by asking Geithner if the United States is “jettisoning free-market capitalism.”

From there, the Minnesotan asks where the Treasury Department received the legal authority to intervene in the financial markets. When Geithner explains that Congress gave the Treasury the authority, she pressed on, asking “where in the Constitution” Geithner is given the authority to act. (Apparently, she was making some kind of constitutional argument. It didn’t make any sense.)

And finally, Bachmann insisted that China, Russia, and Kazakhstan (she really doesn’t know how to pronounce Kazakhstan) are moving towards a “global currency.” She wanted to hear Geithner and Bernanke “categorically” rule out the United States giving up on the U.S. dollar. Both did, though Bernanke’s body language suggested he couldn’t believe how silly the question was.

Granted, this isn’t exactly new, and Bachmann’s difficulties are well documented. But that doesn’t make today’s performance any less entertaining.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.