Here’s how a mini-media cycle gets started: On the radio program “Faith & Liberty Talk Show,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) trotted out her customized views on gays and American culture. It all began with a rather loaded question: After gay rights advocates gain civic victories, don’t they exhibit intolerance toward those who disagree with them?
Yes! replied Bachmann. “That’s where we are now,” she said to host Dave Garrison. “As a matter of fact, we see that in legislation being pushed all across the United States, to punish people who don’t agree with that viewpoint. And I think that’s very reflective of where we are at in the culture and why we see the rise of tyranny. It’s the basis for hate-speech laws across the United States. It is an attempt to have government coerce and force speech and behavior. Let me say that again: This is an effort to have government coerce, force speech and behavior. And it’s being pushed and advocated by the gay community. This is their ultimate goal. It’s to not allow for diversity of opinion on this issue, because they don’t want to be celebrated, they want to force everyone to not only agree with them but also have to finance their agenda. And they also believe that they have the right . . . to determine on a near daily basis what their agenda is. Today, the big push is on transgender, and so they’re continuing to push us down this the road. I believe that we’re going to see coming an effort for multiples in marriage. Not just two, but multiples in marriage. I think they want to legalize that. I think also they want to abolish age-of-consent laws, which means . . . we would do away with statutory-rape laws so that adults would be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.” (For the audio, please check Mediaite).
In her 2012 run for president, Bachmann was a boon to the fact-checking industry, especially with her shoot-from-the-hip comments at debates. “We had to have a self-imposed Michele Bachmann quota in some of those debates,” said an Associated Press editor about the wire service’s fact-checking operation. The riff above on the alleged perniciousness of the gay agenda steers clear of outright factual representations in favor of pure paranoia. That said, her characterization of the legislative agenda of gay advocacy groups might merit a bit of an adjustment. When asked whether GLAAD had worked to weaken age-of-consent laws, for example, spokesman Rich Ferraro responded, “Not GLAAD. . . . I have not heard of anything like that and there is nothing I know of presently either.”
On that same question, Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign notes: “The answer to your question is absolutely not. Sheer fantasy on the part of an irresponsible individual prone toward the false and bombastic.”
Perhaps in a bid to keep herself in the news before she leaves her position as congresswoman from Minnesota at year’s end, Bachmann has teased at another presidential run in 2016. “Like with anything else, practice makes perfect,” Bachmann told Real Clear Politics. “I think if a person has gone through the process — for instance, I had gone through 15 presidential debates — it’s easy to see a person’s improvement going through that.”
The mere possibility of a Bachmann candidacy guarantees that we’ll hear these words being tossed back at her, likely from a less-sympathetic interviewer than she found on “Faith and Liberty.” This boomerang effect has produced some fine television, including the time that CNN’s Piers Morgan attempted to coax the representative to share her views on gay America. “I’ve had enough,” said the congresswoman in that tete-a-tete.