June 15th, 2011
I mean, not as in literally incapable of perceiving reality. She’s not actually mentally challenged.
I mean, surely it would be obvious. Surely someone in the Republican leadership would say, “hey, she’s not just opinionated, she’s actually certifiably nuts!”
But I just have no other way of explaining this story:
In April 2005, Pamela Arnold wanted to talk to her state senator, Michele Bachmann, who was then running for Congress. A 46-year-old who worked at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Arnold lived with her partner, the famed Arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, on a farm in Scandia, Minnesota. Bachmann was then leading the fight against gay marriage in the state. She’d recently been in the news for hiding in the bushes to observe a gay-rights rally at the Capitol. So when members of the Scandia gay community decided to attend one of Bachmann’s constituent forums, Arnold, wanting to make herself visible to her representative, joined them.
A few dozen people showed up at the town hall for the April 9 event, and Bachmann greeted them warmly. But when, during the question and answer session, the topic turned to same-sex marriage, Bachmann ended the meeting 20 minutes early and rushed to the bathroom. Hoping to speak to her, Arnold and another middle-aged woman, a former nun, followed her. As Bachmann washed her hands and Arnold looked on, the ex-nun tried to talk to her about theology. Suddenly, after less than a minute, Bachmann let out a shriek. “Help!” she screamed. “Help! I’m being held against my will!”
Arnold, who is just over 5 feet tall, was stunned, and hurried to open the door. Bachmann bolted out and fled, crying, to an SUV outside. Then she called the police, saying, according to the police report, that she was “absolutely terrified and has never been that terrorized before as she had no idea what those two women were going to do to her.” The Washington County attorney, however, declined to press charges, writing in a memo, “It seems clear from the statements given by both women that they simply wanted to discuss certain issues further with Ms. Bachmann.”
Ya know, you can be a little eccentric and still be elected to Congress. It might even help. And you can be, shall we say, less than fully informed about the minutia of American History (okay, you may not have the faintest clue about much of anything including where Russia is located and what Paul Revere’s ride was all about) and still have many Americans give you the benefit of the doubt.
But while we like Aww Shucks home folk and Good ‘ol People like us, Americans aren’t so fond of crazy. And we really don’t like it when you demonstrate irrational fears of little ol’ nuns (or killer rabbits). We want our presidents to have irrational bravery instead. We expect our presidents to take a bullet and walk to the hospital. We want them to stare into the cameras and demand that African presidents resign. We like them best when they take on the Challenges of The Day in a bigger, grander, and definitely braver way than we would. It’s gravitas.
So if Michele Bachmann hopes to win the Republican nomination for 2012 Loser to Obama, she’d best be reeling in the crazy, especially the paranoid fear of tiny women. It just doesn’t seem… presidential.
(Read the entire Daily Beast article here. Go on. Read it.)
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