Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is still reaping the whirlwind from her comments on Hardball calling Obama’s view anti-American and calling for an investigation of members of Congress for anti-American views. After the comments were widely attacked as McCarthyism, Bachmann denied saying them but the damage appears to have been done in the sixth Minnesota district race. Challenger Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg has experienced an influx of donations after Backmann emergence on the national stage.
Backmann clearly went on Hardball to continue the highly negative attacks on Obama as not being “pro-American.” On the show, when asked directly if she share the view that Obama is anti-American, she stated: “Absolutely, I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views. That’s what the American people are concerned about.”
After the national outcry, Bachmann went on television to say “I’m not saying that he has anti-American views, that is a misreading of what I said.” The Daily Kos had a field day with the two interviews.
Bachmann also called for an investigation of members with “anti-American views” in the Hardball interview. However, in her later interview, she did not address that statement. Here is the interview.
Bachmann’s comments are unfortunately an example of how, once unleashed by a campaign, these attacks quickly de-evolve into a form of fascistic rhetoric. From Palin’s reference to “pro-American” parts of the country to Bachmann’s call for the investigation of anti-American views, the all citizens should be equally concerned. At best, Bachmann’s comments were irresponsible and worthy of condemnation. At worse, it is a reflection of how politicians have unleashed the scourge of McCarthyism again in this country.
In the meantime, the McCain camp is facing another potential defection of a “Joe-Six-Pack”: Family Guy has portrayed McCain supporters are neo-Nazis. This follows the loss of Homer Simpson. The McCain camp is going to have to close this cartoon gap before it swallows up the campaign. While this was a portrayal of a brown shirt supporting a McCain/Palin button, the possible loss of Stewie (who falls right in the demographic for the campaign) should be alarming. There remain uncommitted characters like Pinky and the Brain who need to be courted. Scrooge McDuck is already leaning toward the campaign but Futurama’s Hubert J. Farnsworth is remained independent.
It is interesting to see these popular shows have gone so openly in favor of Obama — and their impact. The portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign as a bunch of brownshirts should be no laughing matter for the campaign. Yet, if they object, they seem petty and fighting with cartoon characters.
These type of scenes reinforce a view by the opposing camp and are watched by tens of millions — much like the portray of Palin on Saturday Night Live. The images tend to stick. The result is that few people note Biden’s recent gaffes (as he is not portrayed as subintelligent) but every possible gaffe sticks on Palin.