The Bachmann Farewell Speech

I had forgotten until today that the ranks of retiring or defeated solons who will be kissing Congress goodbye this week includes an all-time favorite for aficionados of The Crazy: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who established for all time that you don’t have to be southern to think and talk just like Paul Broun or Louie Gohmert. I will yield the floor to Charlie Pierce, who presented Bachmann’s farewell address to the House with the proper brief commentary:

Just behind me is our nation’s motto and it says, “In God We Trust.” What a fabulous motto. Could there any better motto be written for any nation? To declare, full voice, that it is in God that we as a nation put our trust — what other more trustworthy venue could there be, what other more trustworthy vehicle could there be than a holy God?

A sturdy pick-up truck?

You see it isn’t just today that we mouth these words. These words were mouthed by the founders of our country. Those who decided to leave the comforts of their home to come here to what was essentially an untested, untapped world where there were people — the Native Americans who populated this land — but where a brand new culture that was about to be born. One that would be, again, the fulcrum to bless the entire world.

Except for the Native Americans who populated this land, whom we bludgeoned with our godly fulcrum so we could birth our brand new culture atop their bleaching bones.

As I look about this chamber we are ringed with the silhouettes of lawgivers throughout history, Hammurabi, various lawgivers throughout all of time, lawgivers for whom veneration is required.And yet only one lawgiver has the distinction of not having a silhouette, but having the full face be revealed by the artist. That lawgiver is Moses. Moses is directly above the double doors that lead into the center-most part of this chamber, and in the face of Moses, his eyes look straight upon not only our nation’s motto — In God We Trust — but Moses’s face looks full on into the face of the speaker of the House. Daily the speaker of the House, as he stands up in his authority and in his podium recognizes that he is a man under authority, just as Moses was a man under authority. Because you see Mr. Speaker, Moses was given for full honor of the greatest lawmaker in this chamber, because he was chosen by the God that we trust, to be entrusted with the basis of all law.

I am required to venerate Hammurabi? Really? Do I have to build a ziggurat? Can I get materials for that at Home Depot? How about some slaves to help? My life is getting complicated.

I dunno, Charlie. I’m still stuck on the bit about the founders getting up out of their easy chairs to mouth words about God and create a fulcrum to bless the entire world.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.