The Fine Art of Batshittery

From Andrew Romano at THE DAILY BEAST:

Michele Bachmann has certainly been keeping busy.

Within hours of winning her third congressional term in November, the colorful Minnesota Republican began campaigning for conference chair, the No. 4 position in the House GOP leadership. Why? Because “constitutional conservatives”—like her and, presumably, unlike the rest of John Boehner’s team—”deserve a loud and clear voice!” A few weeks later, news leaked that Bachmann would be traveling to Iowa for a fundraiser—and that “nothing,” according to her spokesman, “is off the table.” Asked whether she was considering a presidential run, Bachmann told ABC News “I’m going to Iowa—there’s your answer.”

Then on Friday Bachmann announced that even though Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is slated to deliver the official Republican response to President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address, she would be giving her own online rebuttal on behalf of the Tea Party Express “shortly after” Ryan’s speech concludes.

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Bachmann’s post-election maneuvering isn’t particularly surprising; the ultraconservative Minnesotan, who by one estimate appears on national cable once every nine days, is always looking for new ways to get attention. But the response her scheming has received in top GOP circles—a response that would best be described as arctic—suggests that the battle between disgruntled, absolutist Tea Party activists (who want to blow the system up) and their more realistic representatives in Washington (who plan to work within it) is only beginning.

Consider how rank-and-file Republicans have reacted to Bachmann’s recent displays of ambition. As soon as the congresswoman launched her conference-chair campaign, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence [one of the first members of Batshit Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus]—the Indiana pol she would be succeeding in the position—endorsed her rival, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling.


But the most revealing moment will undoubtedly come on January 25, when Bachmann faces off against Ryan. […] Boehner and Co. are less interested in political grandstanding and knee-jerk opposition than in translating their campaign slogans about fiscal responsibility into actual legislation (or, at the very least, creating the impression that’s what they’re interested in). As Boehner told The New Yorker late last year, 2011 “is going to be probably the first really big adult moment [for Republicans]. You can underline ‘adult.'” Ryan reinforces the “hey, we’re grownups” message.

Bachmann, however, does not. A recent analysis by the Pulitzer Prize-winning watchdog site PolitiFact shows that of the 13 times she’s been fact-checked, “seven of her claims [have been found] to be false and six have been found to be ridiculously false” […]


But while Bachmann is a genius at rallying the troops—and convincing them to give her their money—she’s never displayed the slightest skill at (or interest in) turning her small-government rhetoric into a reality by, say, proposing or passing significant legislation. In many ways, that makes her the emblematic politician for our niche-media age. When success is measured by the intensity of your following as opposed to its size—and when Twitter, Facebook, and Fox News let politicians easily reach their most intense audiences with incendiary soundbites—it’s no wonder so many of them wind up serving less as actual legislators than as conduits for a message.


The story of the next two years will be the story of whether the Republican Party can shush its big-talking “Bachmann side” long enough for its more practical “Ryan side” to negotiate with Democrats and get stuff done, or whether the Tea Party types who lap up Bachmann’s erroneous rhetoric will torpedo the GOP’s efforts to enact its agenda. Tune in January 25, and let the games begin.


Filed under Congress, Fox News, humor, Iowa, John Boehner, Media, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

39 responses to “The Fine Art of Batshittery

  1. jean-philippe

    It’s going to cost me a lot of pop corn if Bachmann goes in for the Presidential race, but I’m going to enjoy every penny.

    Another outstanding job, Nonnie. 😆

    • i thought it was time for a bit more culture (pronounce that cul-cha) around here, so i might do a whole week of fine art. whaddya think? i hope you kids will make some suggestions as to which paintings you’d like to see reworked.

      • Friend of the court

        let me think…..ok that’s enough. Degas did some wonderful horses’ asses and graham always looks lovely in a tutu. boner’s orange screams for a Warhol poster treatment and mama bear would fit right into a Rockwell or any well, for that matter. Dali and Bosh did some work that might be addapted also. “The persistance of crime” ?

      • jean-philippe

        HURRAY! Art week!!! 😀

        Some humble suggestions…


        A famous Delacroix:

        And maybe you could manage to add Jan Brewer’s face on that cat:

        And because there’s some painters outside of France, a Botero:

        • thanks, j-p! we’ll have to see what’s in the news this week to see which paintings will be suitable. i have a whole set of books of individual artists that i should dust off and look through. i’ve had them since i was a kid.

  2. jeb

    Moaning Michele, it’s a classic.

    I’m cheering for her. She’s doing a great job and I wish her all of the success in the world. How long before Boo-Hoo has a tearful encounter with her?

  3. This is a masterpiece! 😀

    I had to contain my shaking-all-over laughter long enough to type these words …

    • jaliya!!! 😀

      i’m so happy to see you, and i’m so happy that i could make you laugh.

      • nonnie, I’ve been sick, and so have my cats. Haven’t been online a whole lot … and my writerly mind has been, um … stuck … but last night I visited your site and had a ball … your Mona Batshit had me doubled over … One glance and I was howling! Thanks so much … I’ve long loved your creations … and this one’s in a class of its own!

        • i hope you and the kitties are all feeling better. laughter really is the best medicine, so keep coming over. we’ll get you all better.

          • I had a hoot tonight reading all the sass and wit on Twitter about the SOTU address … and what — whom! — spoke after the president … What a perfect contrast between sanity and batshittery … !!

            nonnie, may I swipe that image to share? I can’t get over it … Every time I see it, I roar … 😀

            Feeling better, yes … One kittone is still sick, poor baby …

            • of course, you can share the pic, jaliya. enjoy! 😀

              i was laughing my ass off at batshit bachmann tonight. i didn’t even listen to what she said. the visual was just so hilarious. her looking off to the side combined with the makeup applied with a caulking gun had me rolling on the floor.

              hope the kittie is better soon. 😦

    • It is a masterpiece. I like it better than the original.

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  5. Well it IS SOTU address week so Edvard Munch’s The Scream comes to mind.
    Bachmann’s post STOU yammer fest might be well suited to distorted abstract
    art, maybe Picasso?

    Toulouse Lautrec might be fun.

    I’ll let you know if I think of any more.

    Funny Bachmann thinks people want to hear her 2nd tier rebuttal.

    Of course now we do just for the comedic hell of it!

    Taken seriously??????? Bwaaa haaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa!

    • i honestly wonder if batshit bachmann thinks there are a lot of people who actually take her seriously. i think she started out as a narcissistic performance artist who would do or say anything for attention. since then, she’s become drunk on her own celebrity and it’s made her more and more irrational as time went on.

  6. Trouble at the mill! Let the internecine fight begin. And now BB must bear the standard since Moosilini got super marginalized last week with “what’s the differnce between a hockey mom and a pit bull—eventually the pit bull stops whining” remark. My choice for artwork is that one from the Sistine Chapel and you could modify it to show god giving tax cuts to man. Have seen this treatment before in the Dallas Notes underground paper (back about 40 years ago) where it showed the big guy handing over a joint.

    • Friend of the court

      i had a poster of mona holding a roach clip from that same time. 🙂

    • i bet princess sarah is really pissed that batshit bachmann is getting more attention than she is lately. good thing toddy is being accused of having an affair with a “massage therapist” (whose last name, interestingly enough is tripp!), so princess will still be mentioned now and then. 😆

  7. Snoring Dog Studio

    “Conduits for the message” — That’s the truth. Thinking is not a requirement of being elected. They watch their shows on Fox, TIVO them, and, voila! Their entire platform summed up in nonsensical, vitriolic soundbites. My suggestion: require regular publicized debates between senators and representatives from both sides, with experienced, rational facilitators offering analysis. It’s true that the moronic won’t watch, but I count them in the noisy minority. You shine a bright light on stupidity and there it is — for all to see.

    • i would love to see a real townhall meeting every week on tv. no pre-picked audiences. just some everyday people plucked off the streets from all over america, face to face with elected representatives who have to answer their questions. fact checkers will be present and can buzz the politicians as well as the citizens every time they say something that’s blatantly false.

      • Snoring Dog Studio

        Sounds good to me. And if a politician starts to blather sound bites, he’s tasered.

        • tasering is a bit harsh. i think kids should be encouraged to watch shows like that, so let’s make it fun for them. for some segments, they can be in dunk tanks, and in others, they can get slimed.

  8. usnthem

    If it wasn’t you Nonnie, I’d call this sacrilegious.

    But as usual, it was done in fine taste and is certainly an improvement over the actual model being satirized.