Bachmann sees ‘gangster government’

BACHMANN SEES ‘GANGSTER GOVERNMENT’…. The always-entertaining Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), picking up on a conspiracy theory touted on far-right blogs and talk radio, took to the floor of the House this week to lament the outbreak of “gangster government.” (via Blue Girl)

It’s an interesting story, actually. Bachmann explained that there’s a GM dealership in Minnesota, which was poised to be shut down, “that applied to their [sic] Democrat [sic] senator to appeal for help so that they could stay open.” She added, “There is [sic] no private corporations the way we used to think of GM.”

The problem, as Bachmann sees it, is that the car dealer, Paul Walser, reached out to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) for support. Klobuchar helped connect Walser to GM officials, Walser appealed the closing, and GM agreed to let the dealership stay open.

This is outrageous, apparently, because a Democratic senator intervened in support of a constituent. Bachmann sees a “gangster government” conspiracy involving a Democratic administration, a Democratic lawmaker, and a constituent seeking assistance.

There are a couple of problems with the argument. Most notably, Paul Walser isn’t a Democrat; he’s a generous Republican donor, who has contributed thousands of dollars to Michele Bachmann and tens of thousands to the Minnesota Republican Party.

Jed Lewison summarized:

Michele Bachmann is pushing a conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is using the GM situation to reward its political supporters.

Her primary piece of evidence is a dealership in her own state owned and operated by a Republican who hasn’t contributed to a Democrat on the federal level in at least 10 years. […]

That leaves us with two possibilities: either the Obama administration [officials] are the least competent conspirators ever, or Michele Bachmann is a paranoid and delusional freak.

There is no conspiracy.

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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.