Saturday, June 25, 2011

A New World


Michelle Bachmann scares me.  She really does.  As Jack Paar used to say, “I kid you not.”

Look in her eyes.  Listen to her when she talks about her god and her religious legalism.  Michelle Bachmann is a true believer in the bullshit that she spews.  Most of these reichpublican politicians pay mouth service to the Tea Party and the fundamentalist Christians.  Bachmann really is a Tea Partyer; she really is a fundamentalist Christian.  I read an interview today—I can’t remember where, but somewhere online—with a woman who had been a member of an extreme fundamentalist sect called the Full Quiver Movement, or something like that.  This movement follows scriptural teachings on the family to the letter.  The husband is master of the house.  The wife’s job is to bear her husband and master lots of children, so that his “quiver” can be “full” of offspring.  Women shouldn’t drive and may not work outside the home.  There is no distinction between birth control and abortion.  Daughters assume adult responsibilities in their fathers’ homes at the age of 12, learning the skills to make them good wives and mothers.  Home schooling is mandatory.  College for women is not favored.  Marriages are arranged by the fathers.  The woman being interviewed pointed out—correctly, I believe—that this is fundamentalist teaching on the family carried out to its logical and literal fullness.  The woman also mentioned Bachmann as a Full Quiver sympathizer.  She isn’t a card–carrying member of the movement because (1) she works in the Congress, and so outside her home, and (2) she exercises authority over men, something the movement never allows.  Still, she agrees with most of the movement’s thinking.

So Michelle Bachmann scares me.

I am less afraid of her today than I was yesterday because of the enactment last night of the Marriage Equality Act in New York.  I watched the proceedings on the internet and, with tears flowing, was soothed by the rational thinking, the reasoned exchange of views. . . good old American politics at work.  Even Senator Diaz, the one Democrat who opposed the law, wasn’t threatening or mean in his ranting—he was just upset.  Those Senators convinced me that, at least in some places in this country, civility, respect, and rational balance still matter and still are practiced.  There was very little mention of god, of cardinals, of bishops, of pastors.  There was a good deal of talk about equal treatment, the American tradition of fairness, and the need for government to support all its citizens.

As long as there are good, solid politicians at work here and there in this country, I hold onto the hope that, in the end, all will be well.  The poor will be helped.  The sick will have the care they need.  Strangers will be welcomed in this country as valued additions to our common culture. Our kids will get good public educations that include accurate history and real science.  Women will win back their reproductive rights.  Labor unions will succeed in getting back some of their lost power and influence.  African Americans will continue their progress towards full equality under the law and in society.  Queer people will marry, have kids, adopt kids, get divorced, and otherwise live their lives just like everybody else.  Those are the things that fair–minded and reasonable politicians can provide for us IF we elect them and IF we stay on their case about the votes they make on our behalf,

Pat Robertson tried to be elected President and failed.  He was probably less attractive a candidate than Bachmann, but also, in my view at least, much less scary.  I don’t believe that Bachmann will be nominated and I certainly don’t believe that she ever can be elected President. 

I can tolerate Bachmann’s bullshit and the bullshit that the reichpublicans now are throwing at the President and at the Democratic half of the Congress as long as I keep in my mind’s eye the Senators in Albany and their common human decency.  Maybe, eventually, I’ll see Bachmann as the anachronism she really is and no longer be afraid of her.

Thank you, New York!

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