U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s talk of fasting, praying and wrist-slitting to stop health care reform has provoked not only lefty pundits but a top Democratic colleague to question what’s going on between her ears. Jim Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, remarked Tuesday: “I don’t think God’s talking to her anymore. I think she’s hearing other voices.”
Bachmann said in 2006 that she was running for Congress on God’s recommendation (video), and last month said she would run for president she “felt that’s what the Lord was calling me to do.”
It wasn’t a one-off gag line for Oberstar, who earlier called Bachmann “a sweet woman” but had this advice for elderly health care reform advocates in Duluth who were planning to visit her: ”Tell her that there are voices other than God that are informing her.” [Via Tom Elko]
Oberstar’s comments are of the sort more commonly heard from cable TV yakkers like Ed Schultz, whose show featured her “psycho talk” two days in a row, and Dan Savage, who linked God-inspired politics to hate rhetoric of the worst sort:
When you have a party that claims to speak for God or says God is on its side, the rhetoric heats up and the anger heats up, because it’s not just a battle about ideas and positions and what’s good for the country and bad for the country. It’s a battle about what God wants and what God doesn’t want. And it’s easier to demagogue about your enemies and to despise them and to dehumanize them in this really personal and vicious way. And the religious right is fomenting this kind of hatred in this country at our peril. I really do think that the Michele Bachmanns of the world and the Glenn Becks of the world are actively and consciously, or subconsciously, trying to get — I’m just going to say it — trying to get the president killed. This kind of rhetoric — this paranoid style on the religious right, from Birchers to birthers — doesn’t usually end well. And somebody’s got to put the brakes on it. Unfortunately in the Republican Party, there’s no adults left in the room. There are only the Michele Bachmanns and the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs running the show.
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