All Articles Tagged "michelle bachmann"
The Roots took a shot at Michelle Bachmann with an interesting music choice for her appearance on the Jimmy Falon show Monday night. When the GOP presidential hopeful walked on stage, the band played the 1985 Fishbone song “Lyin’ A** B****.”
Questlove, the band’s drummer, apologized saying, “The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur of moment decision. The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention.” But before the show aired, he tweeted, “aight late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake. ask around cause i aint tweeting title.”
Jimmy Falon also took to Twitter to apologize to the politician who said she accepts the gesture. But NBC’s delayed apology, she said, is a form of bias on the part of the Hollywood elite. “If that had been Michelle Obama who had come out on the stage and if that song had been played for Michelle Obama I have no doubt that NBC would have apologized to her and likely they could have fired the drummer or at least suspended him,” Bachmann told CBS News.
NBC has since apologized to Bachmann for the not-so-subliminal shots that were thrown at her. Not many people have sympathy for the tea party champion, but she does have a point. If this was Michelle Obama, there would be rallys, protests, and boycotts underway by now. But then again, Bachmann isn’t the first lady.
What do you think about The Root’s choice of music? Typical snark or did they take it too far?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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It’s fairly easy these days to dismiss Michelle Bachmann as a serious Presidential contender. After all, folks who run for President should, at the least, have their facts straight on basic U.S. history. She should know the fundamental contours of the slavery debate; getting caught signing on to a conservative group pledge which praised it shows a certain ignorance on detail.
Sure, it’s amusing to watch the House Tea Party Caucus chair and self-appointed queen of the Conservative movement occasionally fumble on some key policy facts. We’re all a bit amazed that she’s leading the manic charge of partisan Republicans who believe it’ll be all good if the federal government defaults on its loans next week. We clown her and stare in pure befuddlement at her notion of Obama Administration “scare tactics” on debt-ceiling default, especially when regular folks get harassed, FICA scores plummet and phones blow up just for avoiding a small credit card bill. And, right now, we’re pointing at reports of intense Bachmann migraines on the campaign trail and staff turnover on Capitol Hill as proof of a sociopath.
But, we keep poking fun and joining in the Bachmann diatribes at our own peril.
Dismissing highly successful Republican career politicians like Congresswoman Bachmann and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as “wing nuts” and purveyors of conservative insanity defeats the need to seriously examine why they ended up here in the first place. Black political commentators and so-called bloggers who think they know politics, footnoting for a moment here, are especially bad with this. There is incessant drinking of the Democratic talking point Kool Aid spiked with doses of Daily Show and Keith Olbermann nostalgia. While it’s all good to every now and then poke a funny bone or two in the pursuit of a laugh to cure moments of depression, it can’t be done at the expense of a solid analysis on the person in question.
Despite knee-slapping gaffes and bouts with incoherence, Bachmann is a pure political genius. Sure, maybe in a megalomaniacal way, but we shouldn’t discount her. It would be wise to make a distinction between went-to-college or have-a-PhD smart and being political mastermind smart. One need only look at her very fast-track political trajectory that spans the past decade – from State Senator to Congresswoman to now fundraising GOP superstar and de facto national head of the party’s extreme wing in less than 5 years.
We need to pay attention to that so we’re not ambushed when she puts plans in motion. Bachmann’s run for President may appear quixotic by conventional standards, but she’s raising mounds of cheddar in the process, testament to a vigorous field operation and many followers at her feet. But, she’s not stupid: even she understands the practical calculus and the long shot nature of her Presidential bid. Still, she forges ahead because it serves a larger purpose.
Ever since candidate Barack Obama in 2008, keen and wily political animals on both sides of the aisle realize the power of an unorthodox campaign and where that can take you. While she might not end up as the GOP nominee, there is the off-chance she can leverage primary trail power into becoming a running mate.
But, even if that doesn’t work, there is a more realistic route that Bachman is taking at the moment: capturing full power in the House of Representatives. Still smarting from the rank-and-file establishment Republican diss of her leadership aspirations, Bachmann has been playing the Tea Party Caucus card rather well, coordinating her small contingent of fanatics into a powerful voting bloc that has repeatedly derailed any chance at compromise over the debt ceiling debate.
It’s a clever move worth watching more closely. Bachmann has set herself up for a win-win with eyes on taking the House Speakership away from current occupant John Boehner (R-OH). Either she appoints her own man or she takes it for herself. In the end, she’ll still be where she likes it: in charge and talked about.
Charles D. Ellison is Chief Political Correspondent for The Philadelphia Tribune, author of the critically-acclaimed urban political thriller TANTRUM and a nationally recognized, frequently featured expert on politics.
If you overheard the following criticism of President Obama, that “no administration in modern times has failed younger blacks more than the Obama administration”, who would you suspect made that charge? Cornel West maybe?
And if you overheard a political pundit question whether the black community is souring on Barack Obama, who would believe was making that claim? Tavis Smiley maybe?
If you guessed West and Smiley, you’d be wrong on both counts. The criticisms above were made by Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan, respectively.
I don’t know about you, but hearing right wingers like Gingrich and Buchanan admonish the President so explicitly and the black community so implicitly makes me cringe. It’s not that I believe the men are factually inaccurate or otherwise off the mark. I don’t. But hearing right wingers deride Obama for the sparse attention being paid tothe issues that most impact black America is a bit like hearing a woman’s abusive ex-husband called to offer his two cents on her new boyfriend. He, of all people, shouldn’t have an opinion on anything since he tried to do her harm on more than a few occasions.
My other problem with this line of thought is that it assumes that black people are the only people who are manipulated by the political class. To that point, where are the right wingers who’ve asked whether or not the current crop of Tea Partiers were manipulated to go to battle against their own interests by a well financed propaganda campaign?
The underlying assumption is that blacks are aloof to such a degree that they don’t realize when they’ve been duped by the first black President. Again, I don’t disagree. However, this is an American issue, not a black issue. Our inclination to agree or disagree with our nation’s leaders based purely on tribalism, not facts, has a long history in this country.
We’re not far removed from the Civil Rights era and the tumultuous 1960s. Because of our history, birtherism and calls for Obama’s SAT scores and college transcripts triggered a ferociously protectionist strand of tribalism amongst black Americans. By the same token, a misinformation campaign that overtly painted Obama as a socialist triggered a xenophobic reaction amongst a subset of white Americans who had always believed people of color to be something “other”, regardless of where they were born. The meme goes a little something like this; “You see, I told you they weren’t like us. They believe in socialism. We believe in capitalism. It’s time for us to take our country back. Patriots unite.”
Race and racism, class and classism, are in the air in America. So whenever we attempt to have a productive national dialogue on debt, deficit, jobs, or unemployment, someone along the lines of Gingrich on the right or Sharpton on the left throws a bit of red meat in the ring, the point of which is to make us forget what we’re discussing and instead focus our attention on who we are culturally or racially.
But the reverse is also true. If you’d mentioned blackness to Gingrich pre-Obama, he would’ve told you something along the lines of we’re all Americans and should rise according to our merit. Additionally, if you’d presented Al Sharpton with the litany of charges that many now make against Obama during the tenure of one of Obama’s white predecessors, Sharpton would’ve been marching outside the White House months ago.
To those of us who truly care about the direction of this country and the people who are aspiring to build a life within it, this more nuanced brand of race baiting is particularly caustic. Not because it is just as vile now as it was during the 60s, but because it has grown into an even more efficient mechanism of manipulation.
It all boils down to the fact that 21st century politics is now a battle to defend “our” guy or gal against “their” guy or gal. But the question is, what defines ownership? If ownership is based on whether or not a candidate mirrors our own ideological beliefs, fine. But if it’s based on race or class affiliations, then we haven’t evolved very far since the 1960’s. And if that’s true, we certainly deserve no better than to have the Buchanans, Gingriches, and Obamas of the world as our leaders. Back to the political Darwinist chalk board.
Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill Staffer turned political blogger. She currently publishes two blogs, Spatterblog.com and BreakingBrown.com.
In the latest conservative fumble, Politico reports that an Iowa based group is now retracting a line in its marriage vow which suggested that black children born into slavery had a better family life than black children born today.
The marriage vow, created by Family Leader, came out last week and was signed by Michelle Bachmann. The original preamble read “slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”
The group’s officials said that “after careful consideration and wise insight and input from valued colleagues,” they decided to remove the offensive language from their preamble. They still maintain that all must work to strengthen marriages between one man and one woman.
Bachmann’s spokeswoman said that she signed the candidate vow, which made no reference to slavery, and relayed the congresswoman’s belief that “slavery was horrible.” It’s unclear whether or not Bachmann actually read the preamble.
Of course, as with any other outrageously offensive comment, the group claims it wasn’t meant to be racist, “just a fact that back in the days of slavery there was usually a husband and a wife.”
At the Republican Leadership Conference held recently in New Orleans, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann called out President Obama, claiming that he has failed the black community. Citing the recently released jobless rate for blacks, which rests at 16.2%, observers note that these depression era levels of unemployment have not been seen since 1929.
The portrait for black unemployment is worse if specific segments of the community are considered. Joblessness for black males has risen to 17.5% since Obama was elected, while black teen unemployment has also increased from 36.3 to 41%. Bachmann used these statistics to attack the president in the area that many consider his greatest weakness — jobs — while appealing to African-Americans. She also played the race card in an attempt to dissuade Latino voters from supporting Obama in 2012. The Daily Mail reports:
‘The status quo certainly isn’t working for the African-American community, with 16 percent unemployment, or the Hispanic community, with nearly 12 percent unemployment,’ Ms Bachmann added, according to CNS.
‘It’s even worse for the youth: For Hispanic youth right now, 26 percent unemployment; for African-American youth, 40 percent unemployment.
‘This president has failed the Hispanic community. He has failed the African-American community. He has failed us all when it comes to jobs.’
The worrying figures emerged as leaders of a national Hispanic organization slammed Obama for skipping their annual conference for the third consecutive year.
Michele Bachmann might not have her statistics quite right, inflating numbers dramatically to promote herself, but overall she is correct. African-Americans have fared the worst during the recession, but President Obama has done very little to address our needs directly. Obama’s failure to create lasting prosperity for blacks does not prove that Bachmann is capable of doing any better. But her speech reminds us that his refusal to address our needs is worthy of deep consideration.
President Obama has shown more interest in luring Latino voters for the 2012 election, and seems eager to make up for the anger he caused by being a no-show. He recently made a historic visit to Puerto Rico, many theorize because 850,000 Puerto Ricans reside in Florida, a key state needed to win. The president also made a key move by naming a Latina, Katherine Archuleta, as the political director of the Obama re-election campaign. As the census has shown that Latino voters are becoming a larger urban voting block in areas that have been traditionally black, plans to woo this group make perfect sense.
Latino votes can make a difference, and they are up for grabs: equally available to Democrats or Republicans. So Obama is putting in the work to secure them.
By contrast, blacks are being taken for granted — again. Aside from President Obama’s recent attendance at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference, he has not made significant investments to show African-Americans that our votes matter. It is safe to guess that Obama assumes most blacks will vote for him because he’s one of us — regardless of the worsening unemployment rate for our community.
Many black leaders, ranging from Cornell West to Tavis Smiley, have called out President Obama, too, regarding this type of failure. It’s ironic that a white, female, ultra-conservative presidential candidate could have something in common with the loudest pro-black voices in the country. But they are unified in the observation that, to put it in an old fashioned way, President Obama has not done right by us.
If a member of the GOP can make that observation confidently, black people should be able to consider it, and act on it. We might support President Obama in 2012 because there is no other viable option, but we can and should remain vocally aware of his shortcomings. Latino voters count more than blacks now, because they are seen as having voting options. Would the needs of blacks be taken more seriously if we did, too?
First Lady Michelle Obama supports a tax break on breast pumps but Minnesota congresswoman and tea partier, Michelle Bachmann says although she strongly supports breastfeeding, she believes Mrs. Obama is trying to create a nanny-state. “To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. You wanna talk to about the nanny state? I think we just got the new definition of a nanny.”
Bachmann says a government tax break on breast pumps is a form of social engineering.
Under the plan Mrs. Obama supports, breast pumps would be considered medical expenses and could be deducted on tax returns. The IRS found that children who are breastfeed are less likely to become overweight, an issue that’s central to the First Lady’s tenure in the White House.
Do you think a tax break on breast pumps would encourage more women to breast feed?