Thursday, April 30, 2009

Public Ridicule Required

It's one thing to occasionally mispronounce something or to get a date wrong. You apologize and move on...hopefully making a mental note to yourself to not make the same mistake again.

Then there's Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Train Wreck, and her latest rant on the House floor from some other universe.

"We were led to believe that we would see great change, immediate change, and all we're seeing is a prolonged effort, because just what happened in the 1930s with FDR.

"The more the government spent, the more the government regulated, the more the government put up tariff barriers -- trade barriers -- the more government intervened, the longer the recession occurred. And as a matter of fact, the recession that FDR had to deal with wasn't as bad as the recession Coolidge had to deal with in the early '20s. Yet, the prescription that Coolidge put on that, from history, is lower taxes, lower regulatory burden, and we saw the roaring '20s where we saw markets and growth in the economy like we never seen before in the history of the country.

"FDR applied just the opposite formula -- the Hoot-Smalley Act, which was a tremendous burden on tariff restrictions, and then, of course, trade barriers and the regulatory burden and tax barriers. That's what we saw happen under FDR. That took a recession and blew it into a full-scale depression. The American people suffered for almost 10 years under that kind of thinking."

The twisted idea that FDR was responsible for the Great Depression is standard right-wing nonsense,so we can just ignore it. However, Bachmann's latest specious rant is weirder than most of the stuff she usually delivers. It confirms, once again, that the Minnesota Republican is living in some kind of separate universe or at least one that is rapidly diverging from the one the rest of us are experiencing. This might explain Bachmann's belief that Jimmy Carter was president in 1976, but that is just a minor symptom.

It's hard to even know where to start with the latest screed. First, she posits that the economy under Coolidge was worse than the Great Depression. I guess the name "Great Depression" should be "Second Great Depression" if we are playing by her rules and far be it from me to argue against the idea that The New Deal created the Great Depression. I'd have to be crazy!

What really caught my attention is Bachmann's belief that FDR passed "the Hoot-Smalley Act" and that act "took a recession and blew it into a full-scale depression." First, I could have sworn that the name of the law was actually "Smoot-Hawley" but I've been wrong before. Second, I must have been absent the day they taught that it was responsible for the Great Depression because I am sure I would have remembered something that important. Lastly, the Smoot-Hawley bill was championed by Republicans and signed by President Herbert Hoover who, I am pretty sure, was Roosevelts's Republican predecessor.

Bachmann is blaming FDR for a law sponsored by Republicans, which was implemented three years before he took office.

There really ought to be an independent monitoring group that verifies what Congresscritters utter on the floor of the House and there ought to be penalties for every provable untruth uttered. Here are my suggestions for punishment but feel free to offer your own.

For the first lie the lying Congressperson should have to wear a jester's cap for the whole know the pointed ones with the bell on the end.
For the second lie the lying Congressperson should have to have to wear a clown costume with red nose and full clown make-up for the balance of the session.
For greater than two lies the Congressperson should have to wear a full "chicken suit" like the one worn by the baseball team mascots for the balance of the session. This includes the head piece, of course.

Hey Michele, take your pick....Rhode Island Red or Long Island White.

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