For a reality check, try to see this through the eyes of most educated Europeans. They're incredulous that one of our two major political parties can sink to such craziness as we've seen demonstrated in these Republican debates or in the daily news.
Michele Bachmann occupies a place on the looney spectrum all her own, although Rick Santorum can say some really nutty things when his homophobia gets stirred up. Michele's latest in the paper a couple of days ago just left me totally baffled.
Here is the news item in total from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Michele Bachmann is blaming President Barack Obama's stand on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for the uprisings against governments across the Arab world. Bachmann traced the protests that sometimes turned deadly to Obama's call for Israel to pull back to the territory it held prior to the 1967 war with Egypt. The Minnesota Republican said the president "has laid the table for the Arab Spring by demonstrating weakness from the United States of America."Of course, if a responsible journalist tried to get her to explain what she meant, we would just get some more gibberish that blames Obama for anything at hand. It's raining? Must be Obama's attempt to blame the weather changes on good, hard-working, patriotic Americans. Greece's economy is on the verge of collapse? Obama's bailing out U.S. banks set it all in motion. (Of course, the bank bailout happened when George W. Bush was president, but that's a triviality that doesn't concern Ms. B.)
Even given such stretched bias, it's hard to see this one. The Arab Spring uprisings are the people revolting against their tyrranical governments, whose despots are all Arabs. It's true the U.S. has backed some of these despots for its own strategic purposes.
But -- she seems to be saying that these Arab people are mad at us because of Obama's taking what I would call a tough stance against Israel (pull back to the 1967 lines) -- but she says he's demonstrating weakness. Wouldn't it be exactly the opposite? Actually I think a lot of the Muslim world is very very mad at the U.S. for its tilt toward Israel.
Is Michele just confused? No, that gives her too much credit. She doesn't even think about what she says, as to whether it is true or whether it is historically accurate or whether it makes sense. She just strings together any thought the floats through her mind -- and adds "Obama's fault."
And that is the person who Iowa Republican voters picked as their #1 choice to answer the red phone at 3 AM? That is terrifying. And it shames us all in the eyes of the world.