As Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann toys with a presidential bid, it’s a fitting time to remember her rich history of extremist and incendiary statements. In 2008, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Bachmann called on the American press to seek out members of Congress who are “anti-American"—supporting, in essence, a modern-day McCarthy-esque witch-hunt. The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared on Hardball right after Bachmann, speaking forcefully against Bachmann’s divisive comments.
The premise for Bachmann’s rant was to call out then-presidential candidate Barack Obama for associating with, in her words, “un-American” personalities. These "radical leftists," as she calls them, include Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky and city real estate developer Tony Resko.
“I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that,” she adds.
Bachmann’s venomous, divisive language is an attempt to pit Americans against one another, says Katrina.
Bachmann’s statements, glazing over any real political issues, reveal the rhetoric of an individual with no sense of the historical struggle that brought about civilizing advancements in the United States, Katrina adds. “There is an extremism unleashed in this nation, which you just heard on this program, which could lead to violence, hatred and toxicity. It could lead, and I don’t use this word lightly, to a kind of American fascism which is against the great values of this nation and which people like that are fomenting.”