By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN
There are certain politicians who never disappoint. Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is one.
Bachmann, currently serving her second term in Congress after spending six years in the Minnesota state Senate, is known as the “second most hated Republican woman in the country,” following former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
She won the title by touting a hard-right conservative line while issuing outrageous statements and displaying a fiery disposition. In 2008, Bachmann called for the media to investigate Democratic members of Congress to determine if they were “anti-American,” a statement that led many to compare her to the late Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose fear-mongering set off the “Red Scare” of the 1950s. She has become a regular guest on conservative talk radio shows and Fox News, where she openly compares President Barack Obama to a tyrant.
Bachmann lived up to her billing last week during a speech at the Denver Athletic Club hosted by the Independence Institute, a right-leaning think tank based in Golden — throwing out enough criticism of the Obama administration and other Democrats to get a roomful of diehard conservatives all pumped up.
“Right now, we are looking at reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom,” Bachmann said of the Democrats’ push to pass health care insurance reform and climate control legislation. “And we may never be able to restore it if we don’t man up and take this one on.”
Bachmann noted that the Democrats have spent huge sums of borrowed money to fund proposed legislation on health care reform and the economic stimulus package passed in February.
She then asserted that the nation’s current path toward socialism will lead to the end of freedom for all Americans.
“This is not inevitable (though). This doesn’t have to happen,” Bachmann said — before invoking a declaration of divine right bestowed upon Republicans in Congress.
“We are being given a gift on a silver platter like we haven’t had,” Bachmann said.
“This is a seminal moment,” she continued. “It may be the moment that we were born for. It may be the moment that those of us in Congress were put there for. This is the moment to make the case for what started America, for what made us great, for what has given us the opportunity to be the best country that has ever existed in 5,000 years of recorded history.”
Bachmann predicted that Democrats would pass the current health reform package when lawmakers return to Washington, D.C., after August’s summer break, saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will pound the legislation through with force.
“I think she will break the arms on her Blue Dog Democrats and bring them to their knees,” she said. “I think she is going to slam this through.”
Unlike fellow Republican Sen. John McCain, who warned against climate change in a recent visit to Estes Park, Bachmann discredited those who believe that the globe is warming, then lashed out at members of the Republican Party in the House who voted for the Cap and Trade bill that passed in July.
“I talked to some of those Republicans who took that bad vote. And they had given their word early, and they had drunk the Kool-Aid early, so to speak, on the global climate change philosophy,” Bachmann said. “They just weren’t going to change, despite new evidence.”
Bachmann did not cite the source of the new evidence she said indicates that climate change philosophy is incorrect.
Although her speech focused primarily on national issues and legislation, Bachmann took a few seconds at the end of her speech to attack Colorado freshman Democratic 4th District U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey for failing to take a strong position on the health care reform package moving through Congress.
“Don’t you let any of your congressional delegation — Senate or House — get away with supporting this measure,” she commanded. “And I will give you one example — your congresswoman, Betsy Markey.”
Bachmann alleged that Markey’s recent round of town hall meetings were attended primarily by paid Democratic operatives sent there to surround her in a “cocoon.”
“But, you know, regular old Americans were allowed in there, too,” she continued.
“(Markey) sat on the fence. She didn’t say if she would support Obamacare or not. That is her Achilles heel. That is where you go after her. Because this is so clear, you are either for this or against this. Go after her on this issue. Get your candidate to (face) her on this issue. Make it your business. You can win these seats back.”