BACHMANN SEES PATTERNS…. We should at least consider the possibility that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is a secret liberal activist, pretending to be a lunatic in order to make conservative Republicans appear ridiculous.

Rep. Michele Bachmann came up with another doozy during her interview Monday with Pajamas TV. […]

Here’s the quote: “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.”

An “interesting coincidence.” What’s interesting about it? I haven’t the foggiest idea, but Bachmann apparently sees some significance in the fact that the last flu epidemic occurred under a Democratic president.

Except, of course, it didn’t. Not only is Bachmann drawing some kind of bizarre connection that only she understands, she also doesn’t realize who was president in 1976. (It was Gerald Ford, a Republican.)

Bachmann’s latest example of madness got me thinking, however. The five biggest modern flu crises that scientists know the most about occurred in 1889, 1918, 1957, 1968, and 1976. Three of the five occurred under Republican presidents — Harrison in 1889, Eisenhower in 1957, and Ford in 1976. The other two — Wilson in 1918 and LBJ in 1968 — were Democrats.

You know what this means, don’t you? Isn’t the significance obvious?

Well, no, probably not.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.