26 July 2013
by Mark Horne
Yesterday, I searched for Michele Bachmann on Google News. Only Salon and the UK’s Guardian had a story emphasizing her role on the floor of the House, praising the Obama Administration’s spy program. Only Salon made a headline out of it. A couple of others mentioned her.
Why didn’t we see headlines on all major news sources about “Michele Bachmann, Obama defender”? If that wouldn’t attract readership, what would?
Bachmann claimed that Tea Party Republican Justin Amash’s amendment, which limited the NSA to constitutional searches of American citizens, was unnecessary because the records were owned by the telephone companies, not by the people themselves who were being tracked. As Amash has said, that is like claiming the NSA can read all your emails because they are “owned” by Google.
Additionally, when the author of the Patriot Act votes to defund an NSA program as unconstitutional, it is pretty hard to give Bachmann more credit. As the Guardian editorial reflects on the House floor debate:
“Perhaps the most amazing moment came when GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner - the prime author of the Patriot Act back in 2001 and a long-time defender of War on Terror policies under both Bush and Obama - stood up to say that the NSA's domestic bulk spying far exceeds the bounds of the law he wrote as well as his belief in the proper limits of domestic surveillance, and announced his support for Amash/Conyers.”
Bachmann also recited her creed: “I believe that we need to win the War on Terror.” With all due respect to people like Sensenbrenner, whose integrity I have come to admire even as I disagree with him, the War on Terror is not meant to be won, but eternally waged. That way it can be an unending source of legitimacy for massive transfers of wealth from American producers to contractors, lobbyists, and politicians both in office and all the more when they “retire” to the “private” sector. The Forever War also justifies ever new unconstitutional powers to the central government.
The War on Terror is the everlasting food supply and steroidal enhancement for Big Government. Iraq—now full of Shiite Islamic theocrats, Sunni Al Qaeda terrorists, Secret torture chambers, and secret police—is as dangerous and unstable as it was before we sent thousands of American troops to their deaths and thousands more to their permanent maimings. The only victors are the Pentagon and the Executive Branch with their high-rolling recipients of taxed or publicly borrowed largesse.
How can someone who posed as the Tea Party Presidendial candidate in the GOP primaries for 2012 defend the Obama Administrations usurpation of power? Yet this has happened with very little media scrutiny.
I believe the media is silent because it is obvious from the voting pattern that the media’s story of Republicans who always obstruct the Obama Administration is shown to be a lie. The GOP constantly supports and defends the Obama Administration’s policies—especially his foreign ones. The Republicans benefit from being constantly attacked as obstructionist by the Administration and the media because it gives them cover with conservative voters. But it was never true.
So to emphasize Michele Bachmann’s role would be to really emphasize to readers that the media and the political establishment has been given—to use Bachmann’s words in a different context—a false narrative.