Sunday, October 31, 2010

Michele Bachmann Wants To Hold Constitutional Classes For Congress

I had read an article by Marin Cogan for Politico that I found interesting - Minnesota lawmaker Michele Bachmann wants to start teaching the constitution to those elected to office, but here's the catch - she will organize the sessions but won't disclose who will be doing the teaching, and she won't allow the press to cover the material.
For the Tea Party soldiers worried that the young upstarts they’re poised to send to Congress will lose their constitutional druthers once they get to Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann has a message: Fear not, she’s going to set up constitutional classes.

Bachmann spokesman Sergio Gor says, “It was something she’s always wanted to do. There’s so many folks that come to Capitol Hill to discuss obscure and mundane topics, but no one coming regularly to discuss bill of rights or the role of government.”

Bachmann won’t be teaching the classes, Gor says, but will help organize sessions with constitutional scholars, experts, and judges likely to be held in one of the committee rooms on the Capitol Hill complex. The classes will be open to any members — not just freshman — looking to continue their study of America’s founding documents. They will not be open, however, to staff or members of the press, and the list of speakers won’t be made public.

“They’ll provide mechanism for any member to candidly ask questions and learn and explore together,” Gor says. “I think it came about because a lot of good people get elected, but a lot of them get co-opted into the establishment. Right now a lot [of candidates] are running as constitutional conservatives and we want to make sure there’s a support group for those members.”
I find it highly suspicious that a conservative candidate backed by the tea parties would want to hold secret constitutional classes for congressmen - it makes you wonder just what exactly they will be teaching.  Bachmann spokesman Sergio Gor stated that when legislators go to Washington, they "discuss obscure and mundane topics" - let's take a look at some of the topics Bachmann has discussed.

Earlier this year, Bachmann introduced a prayer amendment into the National Defense Authorization bill that would allow military chaplains to use Christian-specific prayers at official military events - the exact language of the bill appears to be more vague, allowing any chaplain to lead a prayer outside of a religious service and close it with a prayer any way the chaplain desires.  Considering the fact that an overwhelming majority of chaplains are Christian, Bachmann's amendment would constitute a law seemingly respecting one faith over another, which would be a violation of the establishment clause.  If you would like to argue that Bachmann was writing the bill to be religion-neutral, just ask yourself this question: "Why did Bachmann even feel the need to sponsor a bill that allowed for prayer in the armed forces?"

Then there was Bachmann's bill in early 2009 that would have prohibited the president from signing on to a global currency despite congressional testimony from the Obama administration that they had zero intentions to replace the dollar - Bachmann's bill was more of a political ploy to play off of fringe conservative fears that the economy was imploding at the hands of the Democrats.

Rebecca Sinderbrand wrote the following for CNN:
Bachmann's bill, introduced Wednesday, proposes a constitutional amendment "to prohibit the President from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States."

During Tuesday's hearing, Bachmann pointed to recent remarks from Russia and China as part of the basis for her concern - comments suggesting that countries which have used the dollar as their reserve currency might begin to consider other sources. But those decisions, which would be made by foreign governments, would be unaffected by any congressional legislation, and would have no impact on U.S. currency decisions.
Again, it would appear that Bachmann would be the one requiring constitutional classes - as we all know, the federal government is divided into three branches - executive, legislative, and judicial - and each one acts as a check to the other.  Bachmann's bill seeks to circumvent the courts and the executive branch by creating a constitutional amendment tying the executive branch's hands behind their back.  Besides, even if the president were to enter into negotiations with a foreign entity, any agreement would be non-binding without the approval from the legislature - Bachmann just wants to give all the power to one branch of the government.

Back in April of 2009, Bachmann issued a resolution in the House declaring September "National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month."  How exactly is that a matter relating to the bill of rights or the role of government, as Bachmann spokesman Gor said incoming legislators fail to address when they go to Capitol Hill?

There was also a resolution in December 2009 that Bachmann signed onto that was intended to honor Christmas.

Here is the full text of the bill:
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected for use by those who celebrate Christmas.

Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and

Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment of the Constitution, in prohibiting the establishment of religion, would not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;

(2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and

(3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
Again, how does this coincide with Gor's statements and how exactly does Bachmann exemplify the perfect legislator?

Bachmann had also introduced a bill when she was in the Minnesota Senate that would have required schools to permit teaching creationism, but one has to ask just what creation myth would she be willing to teach alongside the overwhelmingly accepted theory of evolution - would she want her children to learn about Zoroastrian or Shinto creation stories or would she just want the one found in the Old Testament?

And if you want that perfect vote for the attack ads, Bachmann had voted against a bill that aimed to reduce infant mortality.  Bachmann basically wants babies to die.

From what I can see, Bachmann has no intention in teaching the constitution - she really has no desire to teach anything but her propaganda to advance her agenda.  Bachmann is in the minority - she has said it herself: "I am in the deep minority in Congress and a fairly new freshman, so I don't have substantive bills that I have passed."  Essentially, Bachmann wants to create a secret club for her tea party friends to conspire and set their stories straight on just how exactly they should rewrite the Constitution.  Just think about the hypocrisy - Bachmann wants to teach constitutional law but she herself introduced a bill to amend the Constitution to increase the power of the legislative branch.  Does that sound like somebody who has a firm grasp of government by the people, for the people?


  1. Propaganda? You really need to get out more often for your views are truly the deep minority

  2. Which particular views would you consider are in the minority?


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