Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) creativity is unrivaled in contemporary politics. Consider her remarks yesterday to a gathering of the Republican Leadership Conference.
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the latest candidate to join the Republican presidential campaign, suggested Friday that President Obama secretly wanted Medicare to go bankrupt so retirees would be forced to enroll in the new national health care law.
“This hasn’t been talked about very much — the president’s plan for senior citizens is Obamacare,” Ms. Bachmann told party activists here. She added, “I think very likely what the president intends is that Medicare will go broke and ultimately that answer will be Obamacare for senior citizens.”
Bachmann’s principal problem is that she combines the worst of two important traits: she’s strikingly ignorant about public policy and she’s paranoid to the point of delusion.
It’s these qualities that lead Bachmann to come up with such odd theories. In this case, the unhinged Minnesotan believes President Obama is secretly trying to eliminate Medicare, forcing seniors into the Affordable Care Act. Is there any evidence at all to support this? Of course not, but that’s not important right now.
In practical terms, Bachmann apparently thinks the president is secretly right-wing — she believes Obama wants to end the existing system of socialized medicine for seniors, and force these millions of seniors into the private insurance market.
Of course, there is a group of people who actually support such an approach. They’re called “House Republicans.” Indeed, the House GOP budget plan — written by Paul Ryan and endorsed by none other than Michele Bachmann — seeks to end Medicare and convert the program into an ACA-style system. Bachmann’s conspiracy theory is that Obama secretly agrees with her far-right colleagues.
This isn’t just wrong; it’s mad-as-a-hatter crazy.
Bachmann’s ability to come up with remarkable conspiracy theories has always impressed me. Remember the time the right-wing presidential candidate argued that the U.S. Census may lead to “internment camps“? How about when she warned of a “one-world currency” because she got confused about what a global reserve currency is? Or maybe the time she thought the “Lion King” was secretly gay propaganda? How about the time she said a bipartisan national service bill could lead to “re-education camps“?
This new one, though, is probably my favorite to date. Anytime a right-wing lawmaker talks to a right-wing audience and thinks it’s wise to attack President Obama as secretly on their side, it deserves some kind of award.