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Macus Bachmann Can’t Handle Looking Gay

Jim Burroway

August 8th, 2011

The duck quacks:

Marcus Bachmann plopped down on the seat next to me, in the back of the plane. He pointed at my laptop and asked if he could take a look. “All I want to know is what they’re saying about me,” he said. “Newsweek came up with the word ‘silver fox.’ Tell me what ‘silver fox’ means.”

“Do you want me to tell you honestly?” I asked.

“Oh, don’t tell me it’s something gay!” he said. “Because I’ve been called that before.” …

I explained that “silver fox” probably had more to do with the color of his hair.

“O.K., I can handle that,” he said. Tera, the assistant, assured him that it was a positive term.

“It’s better than Porky Pig,” Marcus said, with a laugh.

Marcus announced that he would now analyze everyone around him. He asked for three characteristics that a close friend might use to describe me. I demurred. He kept pushing: “So reporters are not that vulnerable?” “Maybe it’s a man thing.”

Also, reporters are prohibited from photographing Michele Bachmann unless she is in full makeup, fake eyelashes, and a full dress — often delivered from Nordstrom’s:

After we landed in Des Moines, an aide handed Bachmann a copy of that morning’s Des Moines Register. She swung around to face the press, displaying the front-page headline: “ROMNEY, BACHMANN LEAD REPUBLICAN PACK.” It was a perfect shot. The members of the press looked at her cargo pants and then at one another. Nobody took a picture.


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tim
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

And I find I still don’t care.

TampaZeke
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

Since when is it the media’s job to PROMOTE a politician’s false image?

This is why the media in this country has completely lost all credibility. They’re not about exposing and informing but rather promoting things that they have no business promoting and hiding the very things that they should be exposing. That’s how we got Bush as a President and how we got hoodwinked into marching off to war in Iraq.

Ryan
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

The most offensive part of that is that someone apparently called Bachmann a “silver fox”. If every man with gray hair is a silver fox, then we’ve redefined the term so that it has no meaning and next they’ll be teaching our children in schools that any random man with gray hair is a “fox”.

BlackDog
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

Okay, first of all “Does this make me look gay” is usually a sign that a dude is very insecure about his sexuality.

“Marcus announced that he would now analyze everyone around him. He asked for three characteristics that a close friend might use to describe me. I demurred. He kept pushing: “So reporters are not that vulnerable?” “Maybe it’s a man thing.””

Second of all, with talk like that, if this guy is a real psychologist I’m a VIRGIN. He sounds more like an astrologer or a palm reader than an actual shrink. My mom is a social worker with her MSW and I know damn well how legitimate mental health workers talk, I had to edit a paper my mom had to do for a weeklong conference she just went to. They do NOT do stuff like that. This guy’s a quack.

Matt
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t support Bachmann at all and hope she loses by a wide margin.

I’ve been reading Joan Didion’s The White Album. It’s a lovely book, and some of the essays touch on politics, including “Many Mansions,” about the multiple governor’s residences in California. The essay is ostensibly about the mansion Ronald and Nancy Reagan had built, but which Jerry Brown refused to live in, and the earlier governor’s mansion which the Reagans had rejected in favor of their very expensive, middle-class, “open-floor-plan” monstrosity.

But because it’s Joan Didion, the essay is not really about the politicians, it’s about America itself, and our country’s own internal contradictions. It’s ultimately about the country and the culture.

This article seems motivated more by a desire to separate Bachmann, set her apart, exclude her: “[she]
belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians. Her campaign is going to be a conversation about a set of beliefs more extreme than those of any American politician of her stature…”

There’s no real interest in exploring how, in fact, she’s gotten where she is, or why people respond to her — the article simply takes it for granted, assumes it’s self-evident, that she/they are evil or crazy. That’s not an attitude toward one’s subject that one looks for in a writer.

Didion wrote about truly horrifying topics, which were of course regularly in the news in the 60s and 70s: the Manson murders, for example. Yet she was not out to expose, but to understand. I guess some would claim that Bachmann, or what she represents, is so dangerous that this approach is foolish. Still, I read this New Yorker essay and I see only a list of gossip items. There is nothing added — no reflection — no attempt to make sense of any of it. I don’t care that it paints Bachmann in a bad light, but this kind of writing does all of us a disservice. We need more Didions — the human race is constantly calling out for them.

Regan DuCasse
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

Let’s face it, during the ’08 Presidential campaign, there wasn’t a single viable candidate with Palin’s looks. She’s got the sort of telegenics that McCain needed, and the RNC never can attract the hottest and most popular celebrities the way the DNC can.

The Republican party and now the Tea Party, are the parties of fuddy duddys. Old men with long political careers, such as McCain has, whose helmet headed much younger looking wives, still can’t create the kinds of appeal the party needs for younger or more moderate voters.
Michelle Bachman is a similar kind of horse. She’s basically good looking, although her husband isn’t as handsome as Todd Palin, but SHE is ambitious and he’s rolling with it.

He’s never been so visible or in the public eye before in his life.
Now the right suit, manners, turn of phrase and ability to balance his appeal with that of his wife is all important.
But, he’s UNAPPEALING. He’s got a sort of “Animal Farm’ thing going and he has no way of redeeming his image, nor can he figure out what to do about it. Except ask such questions of strangers on a plane.
Bachman is more advancing her religious beliefs and anti gay platform than Palin is, but she’s no less ignorant of serious world affairs or how that might play in her looks becoming a distraction.
It’s inevitable with women in the public eye. Her outfits, her hair are going to be scrutinized, even more than her ability to multitask national and international affairs.

Sarah Palin didn’t have the brains, just the ambitions and ability for self promotion. Eventually she didn’t even fulfill her obligation as governor and has gone full throttle into courting media, with her family more on display then any ability to discuss or be well informed about what matters.

These women are empty designer dresses. And their spouses may or may not be foreshadowed by image and hypocrisy.

The Republicans or Tea Party and their image has a tough road to hoe if this is how they promote their runners. Perhaps the good looks of Romney and Perry will help dispel that fogey image, but they too are hypocrites setting the bar of concern to a level of religious war.
Foreign politics and global security figure into such a war. Here at home, a lot of their political energy is being put into war on women (abortion and contraception) and gays.
A shallow agenda, but one that gets them attention, even so.

Timothy Kincaid
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

Zeke,

Since when is it the media’s job to PROMOTE a politician’s false image?

Oddly, that is a long tradition.

Perhaps the best example of this would be Roosevelt’s paralysis which, while the public knew he had some disability, the subject was deliberately taboo and the voters had no idea exactly how bad it was or that he couldn’t even stand on his own. Obviously FDR was not impeded in his ability to make his mark on the country, so perhaps the press (even the opposition cartoonists) were not entirely wrong to keep this an off-limits topic.

Now it is such a different press, that it seems odd to adhere to Bachmann’s demands. But yet even today, while some assumptions about what is proper from the media has shifted (it’s now acceptable to run “this is what the movie star looks like without makeup” pictures with no story at all to justify them*), reporting on politicians tends to respect some boundaries.

Maybe it’s the knowledge that politicians can pass laws which can curtail some of their more obnoxious and aggressive behavior (the paparazzi stuff is really out of hand), but more likely its the fact that without access, you have no career.

But in this case, it appears that Bachmann is both misunderstanding the press relationship and abusing it. As usual, she sees herself as God’s Chosen and therefor entitled to deference.

Nevertheless, I’m not sure that Michele Bachmann in cargo pants is “what they should be exposing” or that they should shift focus from her statements to her image. And considering the excoriation that Tim Gunn – a maker of women’s clothes – got for criticizing Hillary Clinton’s clothes, it’s probably not fair to hold Bachmann’s clothes to a different standard.

* (and ohmigod, Cher, your makeup artist is a genius)

Timothy Kincaid
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

“In a speech in Minneapolis in 2006, Bachmann spoke of growing up with “the emotional struggles of not having a strong father in my life.”

Gosh, well according to the reparative therapy theories that Marcus teaches, that should have turned her into a lesbian.

Timothy Kincaid
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

“There is only one real solution, and that’s right back where the early church was,” Schaeffer tells his audience. “The early church believed that only the Bible was the final authority. What these people really believed and what gave them their whole strength was in the truth of the Bible as the absolute infallible word of God.”

Well I see where Bachmann got her respect for history.

Should I just state the obvious?

The “early church”, while defined vaguely, in this context refers to the church in its formation and during its persecution. The period of “Christians thrown to lions” is the romantic history that inspired evangelicals, not the history of official recognition or of Papal influence.

But for most of this period, there was no “Bible”. There was basically the Torah, the Gospels, the Epistles, the Apocrypha, and the Gnostic Writings, all of which received varying levels of respect, but probably not literally “the absolute infallible word of God.”

And there was no agreement over which books and letters were authoritative and which were heresy. There was even debate over when they were written and by whom.

It was almost 400 years before the various church factions got together and stitched together a collection of approved texts that became the “Bible”. And the criteria used (e.g. letters from the apostles themselves or from Paul) appears, based on modern language testing methods, to have fallen victim – in at least a few instances – to “misattribution”.

Besides, this view of “founding fathers”, be it of the nation or of the church, requires a suspension of disbelief that is both foolish and disrespectful. The early church was comprised of humans, not caricatures, and views which don’t recognize that fact are childish.

Do they really believe that when the church in Rome received a letter from Paul that they said, “Oh look. God himself has written us an absolute infallible letter. How kind of Paul to transcribe it for us”? Was there some date at which it became evident that Paul hadn’t written on his own behalf but that he was jotting down infallible info from God himself for the benefit of man for all time?

And is there any explanation of just why God thought that for the next 2000 years, humans needed to infallibly know that “Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus.”? Is there some edification of the saints that I’m just too worldly to understand?

Or have they never thought about it at all?

Timothy Kincaid
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

This New Yorker article truly is informative.

For example, I didn’t realize that Bachmann shares the “never worked in the private sector” status of Obama. But unlike the President, who at least was in the non-profit world, held administrative roles, and had to be aware on some level of budgets, Bachmann worked as a staff member for the friggin IRS.

(Ask an accountant, any accountant, about the hiring practices of the IRS. Those who got offers from what was then The Big Eight felt a bit bad for their classmates who didn’t get a second interview and had to go with a second tier firm. But real pity was saved for the poor performers who had to go to the employer of last resort, the IRS.

I’m not saying that all IRS agents have more in common with postal workers than your accountant. And there is of course the possibility that attorneys are different and that Bachmann turned down prestigious lawfirms to sue folks on the behalf of the IRS due to a vision from God. But, well, just something to take into consideration.)

gar
August 8th, 2011 | LINK

One word review of the photo of Mr. Bachmann: Dayum.

David Waite
November 15th, 2011 | LINK

@ Tim Kincaid:
Your cogent description of the early Christian church was delightful but I wonder why you left out the information that the early church performed religious rites for same sex unions, continued to do so until the Rennaisance, and has been lying about those facts ever since.
After all, those facts certainly help make your excellent point about the ahistorical arguments being put forward about the early church following the Bible-as-Word-of-God. It would be a real treat to see a post from one of the editors discussing this historical set of facts in detail.

David Waite
November 15th, 2011 | LINK

Never mind. I’ve apparently lost mine. I just realized, after posting, that I was commenting on a 4 month old entry.

Timothy Kincaid
November 15th, 2011 | LINK

David,

A bit late… but you are welcome to the conversation anyway.

And, actually, I think you may be mistaken. If I recall Boswell’s Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe correctly, it wasn’t until the middle ages that the church church performed religious rites for same sex unions. (Though it’s been a while and I may not be accurate on my Boswell).

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