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The Bachmann Effect: Michele, Her Husband, God, And Anti-Gay Bigotry

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Michele Bachmann is currently campaigning for the Republican 2012 nomination for President. With her Tea Party views espoused on a regular basis, Bachmann has received vast news attention for being far more right-leaning than the average general election voter would support. Socially, however, Bachmann has left the financially-focused Tea Party political stance and is focused on using her own Christian beliefs to magnetize the same voting base that swept the 2010 elections. The continuously outspoken and often erroneous Congresswoman remains steadfast in holding on to antiquated social values such as the anti-LGBT bigotry regularly expressed by her campaign and now by her husband.

Leader of the family’s “Christian” counseling center, Bachmann and Associates, Marcus Bachmann concentrates on marital and familial issues, beginning with children at the age of five years old. He holds a Master’s Degree in education/counseling from Pat Robertson’s Regents University and a PhD from the formerly bankrupt Union Graduate Institute in Clinical Psychology. During an interview picked up by the mainstream press early last week, Dr. Bachmann discussed his views on the LGBT community. Dr. Bachmann saw no issue in using his “qualifications” as a clinical psychologist and director of a “mental health services clinic” to add an extra weight to his direction on averting or abating homosexuality, going directly against the APA and AMA.

READ: Michele Bachmann’s Top Ten Anti-Gay Quotes

Dr. Bachmann has continued to make numerous statements as to God’s view which he claims his is in direct line with, on the gay community and the level of respect — or lack thereof — such “barbarians,” as he calls homosexuals, deserve. While many outlets have focused on the Bachmann comments regarding the need for Christians to educate the barbarians of our day “gay people”, there is much more within his comments and work that is troubling.

The Bachmann’s have had 23 foster children, in addition to their five children, come and go through their home between 1992 and 2000. All of the foster children have been girls and have needed the psychological support and services being made available due to Dr. Bachmann’s vocational background. Their home was legally labeled a treatment home dealing with short term (from a few months to over a year,) rehabilitations. In the aforementioned interview, he speaks of disciplining gay children. The obvious question is what kind of discipline is he endorsing? Has he ever used “discipline” on any of the foster children? Does he use or teach this discipline at his clinic?

 


“We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps…”

— Marcus Bachmann, 2010


 

Speaking to Point of View Radio Talk Show’s right-leaning Christian audience, Bachmann was talking with an authority backed by God and that of “Doctor” who was trying to help the “sinful” parts of the nation come into one with their Creator. As a former Jehovah’s Witness, I know the power of someone with that respect in and out of the congregation speaking about what “needs to be done.” Christians, especially those in evangelical or fundamentalist denominations, are taught to unquestionably follow these perceived authority figures, like Dr. Bachmann, who are placed in such positions of regard to, among other things, lead the way in teaching those on the outside.

This added layer to Michele Bachmann’s campaign raises a few troubling issues for progressives and the LGBT community, a few frightening nightmares that some aren’t considering.

With her unending rhetoric, staunch stance on social issues, and the now obvious choice to utilize the mental health “expertise” of her fundamentalist Christian husband, the Congresswoman has established an organized, vetted (at least on the surface) force among the Right. On a daily basis this growing a base of supporters is helping to create a far-right conversation on the campaign trail that that is already forcing other Republican primary candidates, as well as President Obama, to answer questions for which they are not prepared — and forcing them to move even farther Right.

READ: Bachmann Called Cops When “Terrorized” By Lesbians Trying To Talk To Her

Mitt Romney, and other “country club” Republicans who would just as soon steer clear of addressing increasingly marginalized, fringe social groups, will have to venture down that road in debates and campaign stops in order to keep the “Bachmann Effect” (yes we are coining the phrase) Tea Party and religious supported attack at bay. What does the Bachmann Effect mean when it comes Election Day?

Many have written off or scoffed at the idea of Michele Bachmann becoming a presidential nominee, let alone assuming the office of the President of the United States. However, ignoring or dismissing what seems like an impossibly crazy idea has time and again proven to be a disastrous eventuality for those refusing to acknowledge the potential of such an outcome. There is a reason that bookies will add the 100 to 1 horse to the betting board — sometimes that horse wins.

The fact is over the last four years no one has really been able to fully estimate the effect of politicians and their message. Republicans seriously underestimated the power of “Yes We Can” and the 2008 Obama for America machine. Democrats and Republicans underestimated the power of the Tea Party movement in the 2010 mid-term election. Now we have pundits and pollsters underestimating the power of a woman, backed by religious leaders, congregants and the Word of God, combined with moral fortitude, and her husband, making headway with a group of voters who have, and will yet again, vote as a bloc for “God’s choice.”

While I, too, cannot see a President Bachmann in our future, the effects of such a campaign further polarizing the right and the left of this country is already being realized and will undoubtedly create consequences for both civil activists and the LGBT equal rights movement in the U.S. We have grown ever closer to full federal equality, with many beginning to see the possibility of a time when organizations like HRC, the Task Force, GLAAD and GetEQUAL will be able to put down their mantles of “fighting for our rights” and pick up a mantle similar to that of the NAACP — one that is vigilant in maintaining our culture and combatting rogue elements, rather than mainstream ones.

We shall see over the coming months the manifestations and eventuality that the “Bachmann Effect” will have on the political scene. There is however, one thing we already know, the religious right has found its spokesperson and she isn’t as easily discredited in the eyes of the Iowa caucus voters as progressives on the coasts would like to believe.

Having been embraced by religious and conservative pundits, media and voters, the Bachmanns form a winning team. We haven’t even seen the full capacity of those who are backing her, or the base that appears to be growing, the average American. What will this team win? Let’s just say I won’t be betting on the 100 to 1 horse in this race.

Growing up in Northern Ontario as a Jehovah’s Witness, Michael Talon experienced firsthand the struggle for equality. Now living in the U.S. with his partner, they work with advocates for federal equality, including immigration. Working side by side, Michael and his partner Brad, head of Luna Media Group, help to deliver messages for equality to the nation.

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News

Questions Swirl Around Herschel Walker as New Report Shows His Georgia Residence Was Rented Out for Over a Decade

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Where Herschel Walker lives has been a question since before he officially announced his candidacy as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. Numerous reports have looked into claims he lives in Texas and not the Peach State, which some Georgia voters might find problematic, but new reporting exposes what could lead to tax or voting fraud investigations.

Walker’s Georgia home, according to reporting from The Daily Beast‘s Roger Sollenberger, is owned by his wife, who for years has rented it out.

When Walker announced his candidacy, after a strong push from Donald Trump, it “was widely known at the time that the Republican hopeful had been living in Texas for decades, though he has claimed to maintain a residence in Atlanta for ’17 years.’ Less widely known, however, was that Walker’s wife collected tens of thousands of dollars in rental income for that residence, according to his 2021 financial disclosure forms.”

READ MORE: ‘The Child Would Not Be Safe’: Woman Who Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her to Have Abortion Says She Felt ‘Threatened’

While it is unclear if the home was rented out when Walker officially launched his Senate run, the “house doubled as the Walker campaign’s first official address when he launched his bid in August 2021. Fulton County tax and property records show the home is solely owned by Walker’s wife, Julie Blanchard, who also collected rental income from 2020 and 2021 ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, according to the disclosure—defining the asset as ‘Georgia residence.'”

CNN last week reported that “Republican Herschel Walker is getting a tax break intended only for a primary residence this year on his home in the Dallas, Texas, area, despite running for Senate in Georgia.”

“In Texas, homeowner regulations say you can only take the exemption on your ‘principal residence,'” CNN’s K-File reported. “Walker is listed to get a homestead tax exemption in Texas in 2022, saving the Senate candidate approximately $1,500 and potentially running afoul of both Texas tax rules and some Georgia rules on establishing residency for the purpose of voting or running for office.”

READ MORE: Raphael Warnock Blasts Herschel Walker Over Kanye West Endorsement: ‘My Mama Told Me Birds of a Feather Flock Together’

Even after he launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate Walker still filed for the Texas tax exemption.

On Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on a nine-page complaint filed with the state’s Attorney General’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The complaint alleges “Herschel Walker appears to have committed a felony in August 2021 when he registered to vote in Georgia,” and “Herschel Walker appears to have committed a felony when he voted in the 2022 Georgia primary and general elections.” These are allegations and have not been investigated by authorities.

When he announced is candidacy, “Walker’s main GOP rival challenged him to ‘move here, pay taxes here, register and vote in some elections’ before running,” The Journal-Constitution notes. “Warnock’s allies have taken a similar line of attack, framing the Republican as an out-of-state charlatan.”

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Trumps Latest Tactic? Attacking Special Counsel’s Sister-in-Law

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Donald Trump is going all-in on attacks against the family of special counsel Jack Smith. Instead of mounting a defense for his actions, Trump deployed one of his top tactics: attacking anyone trying to hold him accountable.

One of Trump’s right-wing allies posted a claim that Smith’s sister-in-law, who is allegedly a psychologist and whose patients were “crying” and “sobbing” over Trump’s 2016 election.

“And I’m supposed to get a fair shake from this person, who’s under tremendous pressure from his family, but he is actually worse than they are?” Trump rambled on his personal social media site. “Can Republicans, and fair-minded people, generally, allow this to happen? Jack Smith is nothing less than a hit man for Obama, his Attorney General Eric Holder, and Andrew Weissmann. Weaponization. Our Country is in big trouble, a real mess!”

Smith was hired by Trump’s administration to serve as an acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee during Trump’s first year in office, his biography states. During this same time, the new Trump Justice Department was firing most of the U.S. Attorneys hired under President Barack Obama’s administration. One of those biggest names was Preet Bharara, who helped Trump with the transition while serving as the U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York. He was fired the same month that Trump hired Smith in 2017.

 

 

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ANALYSIS

Trump, Wanting to Change News Cycle, Appears to Confess to ‘Openly and Transparently’ Taking Classified Docs

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It’s been a tough month for Donald Trump.

After Republicans failed to produce the red wave he claimed he would have been responsible for if it happened, but could not be held responsible if it did not, then refused to take any responsibility, Trump has been held responsible by left and right wing pundits, and even some GOP politicians.

Trump then moved forward with his 2024 presidential campaign announcement, which was widely panned as “low energy” – so low that several guests trying to leave early appeared to be refused access to the exits.

Days later Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that because Trump announced he is running for President, a Special Counsel has been appointed to two of the DOJ’s investigations into Trump. (Some say that’s good news for Trump, some say bad.)

READ MORE: ‘Fraud’: Legal Expert Stunned After Trump Appears to Admit He Used DOJ to Interfere in Florida’s 2018 Election

And then a three-judge panel basically destroyed Trump’s attorney who was arguing the former president’s appeal in his case against the U.S. Government. Trump is arguing both that he declassified all the documents but also they are all his property.

That was all before last week.

Six days ago Donald Trump sat down with his invited guest, the antisemite and racist Kanye West, embattled after losing hundreds of millions in endorsements over his antisemitic remarks. That would have been bad enough, but West brought infamous white supremacist and antisemite Nick Fuentes, along with (reportedly) Milo Yiannopoulos and Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.

Since Wednesday the media has exploded with calls for Trump to denounce white supremacism and white supremacists. He has refused.

READ MORE: Republican Senator Denounces Trump’s Dinner With ‘Racist Antisemites’ – Critics Say His Claim ‘This Is Not the GOP’ Is False

Multiple advisers have urged Trump to denounce Fuentes, who has a long history of promoting white supremacism, but he has been “rejecting” their advice, The Guardian reports, “over fears he might alienate a section of his base, two people familiar with the situation said.”

Desperate to change the media narrative, late Monday afternoon Trump appeared to confess to stealing thousands of items (some counts say 13,000) including 300 documents with “Classified” and “Top Secret” headers.

“This fully weaponized monster, Jack Smith,” Trump said of the special counsel investigating him, “shouldn’t be let anywhere near the political persecution of ‘President Donald J. Trump.’ I did nothing wrong on January 6th, and nothing wrong with the Democrats’ fix on the Document Hoax, that is, unless the six previous Presidents did something wrong also,” Trump claimed on his Truth Social platform.

That’s when – in a departure from his previous suggestions that the classified documents, which he also claims to have declassified, may have been planted – Trump appeared to confess to the crime.

“When will you invade Bill and Hillary’s home in search of the 33,000 emails she deleted AFTER receiving a subpoena from the U.S. Congress? When will you invade the other Presidents’ homes in search of documents, which are voluminous, which they took with them, but not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?”

It’s the, “not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?” that has set off many.

The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, one of the first to notice Trump’s statement, wrote: “Imagine Trump’s lawyers may not love the final line of his latest Truth Social post. ‘When will you invade the other Presidents’ homes in search of documents, which are voluminous, which they took with them, but not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?'”

Some are suggesting the part, “not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?” appears akin to a confession.

Top national security attorney Brad Moss responded to Dawsey’s tweet, writing, “He has the right to remain silent. Anything he says can and will be used against him. He has the right to an attorney. If he can’t afford one, one will be appointed for him by the courts.”

Journalist Touré commented: “In which Trump admits to taking documents, charges other former POTUSs with also taking documents (without evidence), and says he took the documents in a way that’s somehow better than the way that those other stealing POTUSs did. Same ol Trump.”

 

Image: Shirley Preston / Shutterstock

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