That Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has no idea what she’s talking about isn’t exactly new. But it’s hard not to appreciate just how extraordinarily confused she is about the basics of reality. Here’s a report from Dave Weigel, who was on hand for a Bachmann campaign appearance in Iowa:

When Bachmann arrived, she devoted half of her opening statement to the downgrade. The message: She could have stopped it.

“For the last two weeks, I led the fight against raising the debt limit,” Bachmann said. Increasing the limit “pushed the rating agency over the edge.” It was a “$2.4 trillion blank check that caused the downgrade.”

Make no mistake: The downgrade was Barack Obama’s fault. “We were somehow able to get through the Great Depression without a credit downgrade,” she said.

I suspect this message will resonate with some Iowa Republicans, but it’s astounding how an adult, worse yet a member of Congress, even worse still a leading candidate for the presidency, could be this foolish.

Bachmann, who apparently wasn’t kidding, believes raising the debt ceiling — i.e., authorizing the Treasury to pay our bills — caused the downgrade. She also doesn’t understand what a “blank check” is — how can it be blank and be worth $2.4 trillion? — or the effect it had on the process.

The fact is, nothing contributed more to the downgrade than the approach adopted by Michele Bachmann and people who share her truly ridiculous worldview.

She would know that, of course, if she read the S&P report and learned what actually happened, but what fun would that be? Why let facts get in the way of a perfectly nice right-wing fantasy?

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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.