As the tea-party movement has gathered steam nationwide, the Republican party has been busy adapting their views and language to appeal to the typically more Conservative viewpoints that are expressed by these tea-party members. It is one of the hopes of the Republican Party to be able to turn this Conservative outrage into votes for Republican candidates in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
As the Republican Party embraces certain aspects of this movement, it is not without controversy. As was widely reported nationally during this past summer's health care town hall meetings, many tea-party organizations were not only backed by corporate money, but were circulating misleading and false information.
One of the politicians that has embraced the tea-party movement and who is held up as a leader of this movement, is Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Bachmann first gained national attention in the Fall of 2008 when she went on MSNBC's Hardball and exclaimed:
"If we look at the collection of friends that Barack Obama has had in his life it calls into question what Barack Obama's true beliefs and values and thoughts are. His attitudes, values, and beliefs with Jeremiah Wright on his view of the United States...is negative; Bill Ayers, his negative view of the United States. We have seen one friend after another call into question his judgment -- but also, what it is that Barack Obama really believes?"
"What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America."
Ever since that appearance, Bachmann has continued to make controversial statements and appear on television making faulty and misleading claims. Here are just a few:
- Back in November Bachmann inflated the attendance numbers of a tea-party rally that she held in Washington D.C.
- During the Health Care debate Bachmann appeared on the House floor and claimed that the health care legislation was going to create "sex clinics" that would allow for students to have an abortion and be back in school in time to catch the bus home:
- In April of 2009, Bachmann appeared on the Conservative media website PajamasTV where she floated an odd (and inaccurate) conspiracy theory that the last Swine Flu outbreak also happened under a Democratic President and that she "finds that interesting".
- In August, 2009, while speaking at an event in Colorado, Bachmann said the following about health care reform:
“This cannot pass. What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass.”
- In November of 2009, Bachmann went on Glenn Beck's radio show and labeled Republican activists as "freedom fighters":
"The number one thing people can do is come [to tomorrow's 'house call' gathering], see their member of Congress, look at them in the eyes, especially with other freedom fighters in tow, and let them know that the lessons of August, they should not forget, at their peril."
In lieu of all of this misleading, false, conspiratorial, and even violent rhetoric from a United States Representative, how do you think the local Hamilton County Republican Party would respond? How about by inviting Bachmann to address their annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner in February?
Not only are they asking her to address the attendees of this fundraiser, but Chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party Alex Triantafilou says that she represents "the future of the Republican Party". Here is his statement:
"We are very pleased that Congresswoman Bachmann has agreed to visit Hamilton County for our annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. She is an outstanding conservative member of the United States House of Representatives and I look forward to hearing her remarks in February.
My vision for the GOP is grounded in the basic conservative tenet of fiscal responsibility and Michele Bachmann is a national leader for fiscal sanity in government. She is leading our party back to its roots and back to success at the polls with her principled conservatism.
Rep. Bachmann represents the future of the Republican Party. I know that her presence here will inspire us to look to a brighter and better future for our party and for our nation.
I urge everyone to come and support the local GOP and hear the inspiring remarks of a great conservative leader."
It is interesting that the Hamilton County Republican Party is lining up behind the type of Conservatism that Rep. Bachmann stands for and is embracing her as an important role model for the evolution of the party. One can only wonder if this also means that the local Republican Party is embracing the radical claims that Bachmann has made and how the Republican members of City Council feel about this.
If circulating false information and floating conspiracy theories are traits that make you a friend of the Hamilton County GOP, then I wonder what traits they find problematic?
This is cross posted here.