Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bachmann Now Supports Obama? Do These People Ever Listen to Themselves?

During the final weeks of the election, I wrote several times about Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann and her vile suggestions that some Americans, some members of Congress, Barack Obama, and those with whom he associated, might be "anti-American". She even called for an investigation to determine which members of Congress were "anti-American". Following those statements, her race, which should have been an easy Republican win, became one of the closely watched and heavily funded races. In the end, Rep. Bachmann won reelection, but by a narrow margin.

So now that she will be calling Barack Obama "Mr. President" from her position in a smaller Republican caucus in the House of Representatives, what does Rep. Bachmann think about the election? According to The New York Times, Bachmann said that she was "extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year". She also referred to Obama's victory as "a tremendous signal we sent" (emphasis added).

Now I've previously written favorably about President-elect Obama's desire to work with Republicans and to be the President of everyone, including those who opposed him. And I've written about how important I believe it is that we get beyond some of the vitriol and rhetoric -- such as that employed by Rep. Bachmann -- to move our country forward. And, I continue to believe in those ideals.

But why do I have such a hard time accepting Rep. Bachmann's claim to be part of the "we" that sent a tremendous signal in electing Barack Obama? I guess that means that she doesn't plan to ask for investigations into which members of Congress or the Obama administration are "anti-American". I'm glad that she's "seen the light" and views Obama's election as a "tremendous signal". But I'd still like to hear her (and others like her ... Gov. Palin, Sen. Dole, are you listening?) stop blaming others for trapping her or "misreading" her statements, and simply say, "I'm sorry" or "I was wrong" and recognize that the type of rhetoric that she used has no place in our democratic process. Feel free to challenge someone on the issues, but leave claims that the opponent is unpatriotic out of the discussion.

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