Michele Bachmann is a Toxic Joke

In Jamaica they have a saying, “what is joke to you is death to me.” And here in America, I wish the TV programmers would understand that. I don’t know who decided to invite Michele Bachmann (above, left) on the Chris Matthews show, but they did America a great disservice.

I suppose they figured Bachmann was so nutty that the audience would get a good laugh. But the gag backfired. The notoriety she derived from that appearance has launched a career that reminds me of Lucrezia Borgia (above, right).

Michele Bachmann uses toxic lies to attack President Obama the way Lucrezia Borgia used her poison ring to eliminate her enemies.

And in the process, Bachmann has become so notorious that she might even run for President.

It could have been her notoriety that made David Gregory invite her on “Meet the Press” yesterday. Or it could just be that some producer figured she would be “good television.”

Good for a laugh, that is.

According to Joan Walsh of Salon.com, here’s how the interview turned out:

From the moment Bachmann held up a pre-printed flash card to illustrate the supposed $105 billion she said had been hidden in the “Obamacare” bill, it was clear she would do what she always does: ignore the host’s questions and give a canned performance. Chris Matthews got a lot of crap from right-wingers for asking Bachmann on election night 2010 if she’d been “hypnotized,” because she stuck to her pre-programmed talking points so rigidly it seemed like she was auditioning for a remake of the “Manchurian Candidate.” She was exactly the same on Sunday, repeating “$105 billion” and “Obamacare” pretty much no matter what the question.

But Gregory did get her to answer him directly when he asked whether she had second thoughts about labeling the Obama administration “gangster government,” or claiming the president doesn’t love America. “I don’t take back my statement on gangster government,” she said. “I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt, thoroughly corrupt. I believe the actions of this government have been emblematic of ones that have not been based on true American values.” And when Gregory pressed her on whether she believes Obama has anti-American views,” she answered: “I said I had very serious concerns about the president’s views,” Bachmann replied. “And I think the president’s actions in the last two years speak for themselves.”

(You can read Joan’s column here.)

TV programmers like that kind of thing. They consider it provocative and entertaining.

And I imagine they think it can’t do much harm.

After all, who would believe such outlandish accusations?

The trouble is a lot of people do. They want to believe the worst of America’s first black president, and they can find nothing in his real life with which to reproach him. So they make stuff up.

That crazy notion that he was born in Kenya, for example. Even a wannabe presidential candidate like Mike Huckabee doesn’t mind inventing trash about Obama being some kind of Mau-Mau product.

Mainstream TV programmers are playing with fire when they give a soapbox to nuts like Bachmann.

It might be a joke to them, but to us ordinary folk, the government’s policies are a matter of life and death.