As Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann sees it, the key to turning around her collapsing campaign is talking up a military confrontation with Iran.

The Minnesota lawmaker, who is courting conservative voters in Tuesday’s caucuses, said she would put U.S. missiles “on alert” and consider a blockade against the oil-rich nation in an effort to express disapproval of Iran’s apparent intent to obtain a nuclear weapon.

“What we need to do is take a very aggressive posture toward letting Iran know that we mean business, that we don’t want them to seek a nuclear weapon,” Bachmann said on CBS’ “The Early Show,” adding that her administration “will do whatever it takes” to send a “strong signal that the United States is on high alert.”

She said that includes deploying Patriot missiles, ballistic missiles and other weapon systems in the U.S. and the Middle East.

Maybe Bachmann has a poll showing Iowa Republicans support yet another war in the Middle East?

Given that Bachmann will never be the president of the United States, it’s tempting to just marvel at her saber rattling and move on with the comfort that comes with her dwindling poll numbers. But I’d note just one detail that sometimes goes overlooked: even after Bachmann leaves the presidential campaign trail, she’ll return to Capitol Hill, where House Republican leaders a year ago made her a member of the House Intelligence Committee, giving her access to some of the world’s most sensitive and important secrets.

That, in and of itself, is scary enough.

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.