How can you tell that Rachel Maddow considers GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann a mortal threat to the Obama presidency?
Because the MSNBC propagandist can't bear to let her viewers see or hear what Bachmann has to say. Instead, Maddow acts as censorious middleman, twisting Bachmann's remarks beyond recognition to all but Maddow's fellow denizens of the fringe left.
Here's an example of Maddow doing this on her show July 7, trotting out three hoary falsehoods about Bachmann in the span of a minute (video clip after page break) --
Polling second behind Mitt Romney in the latest Iowa and New Hampshire and national polls is this person, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who frankly, I have to say it and I don't mean it as an insult, I mean it as a true observation. Ms. Bachmann has frankly been a fringe figure in Congress for years now. Her career has been the kind where nobody batted an eye when she proposed amending the United States Constitution to stop our country from adopting the yen as our currency instead of the dollar because she thought that was a threat.
Michele Bachmann has tried to argue that the census -- the census! -- is unconstitutional. Want to see where the census is in the Constitution? It's right there. They didn't have highlighters then, but if they had, that's the part.
Michele Bachmann is the kind of member of Congress who warns us about secret concentration camps being set up by the government. Michele Bachmann has been, frankly, the most telegenic member of the Louie Gohmert-Steve King-Phil Gingrey late-night AM radio conspiracy theory fringe of the Republican Party in Congress.
Notice how when Maddow makes these claims, she doesn't quote Bachmann or provide any clips of Bachmann making them. The reason is simple -- if Maddow does this, her own claims fall apart.
The closest Maddow comes to attribution is in the first of her three assertions, of Bachmann's alleged fear of the United States adopting the yen as its currency. To bolster this claim, Maddow showed a March 2009 press release from Bachmann's website, titled "Bachmann Demands Truth: Will Obama Administration Abandon Dollar for a Multi-National Currency?". Here are its first two paragraphs; the full statement can be read here --
In response to suggestions by China, Russia, and other countries around the world calling on the International Monetary Fund to explore a multi-national currency, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) has introduced a resolution that would bar the dollar from being replaced by any foreign currency.
"Yesterday, during a Financial Services Committee hearing, I asked Secretary Geithner if he would denounce efforts to move towards a global currency and he answered unequivocally that he would," said Bachmann. "And President Obama gave the nation the same assurances. But just a day later, Secretary Geithner has left the option on the table. The American people deserve to know."
Bachmann wasn't concerned with the dollar being replaced by the yen, as Maddow suggests. Bachmann wants to prevent the dollar from being replaced by a multi-national currency -- as proposed by other nations. And clearly not a problem for Maddow as well.
As for Bachmann's purported fear of "secret concentration camps" set up by Obama, Maddow doesn't even bother citing a source, confident in the knowledge that most of her audience isn't inclined to challenge her perceived wisdom. What Maddow alludes to here is a Democrat-led massive expansion of AmeriCorps in April 2009. In a Minnesota radio station interview that month, Bachmann said the original language of the legislation called for "mandatory service" (starting at 5:42 in 18-minute audio clip at this link) --
It's under the guise of, quote, volunteerism, but it's not volunteers at all. It's paying people to do work on behalf of government. We had about 75,000 people involved in AmeriCorps before. This adds another 250,000 people, so more government employees. But what's even more concerning about it is his focus is on young people. The original language of the bill was mandatory service for government. Right now the language is voluntary. But just this last week, a Democrat colleague introduced a bill to make this mandatory.
I believe when it's all said and done, this service that, I believe that there's a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go and work in some of these politically correct forums.
Maddow again avoids specifics, the better to malign Bachmann as a wild-eyed conspiratorialist. But it is Maddow's claim about Bachmann's remarks on the census that is most laughable --
Michele Bachmann has tried to argue that the census -- the census!-- is unconstitutional. Want to see where the census is in the Constitution. It's right there. (Document shown with section citing census highlighted) They didn't have highlighters then, but if they had that's the part.
Bachmann didn't say the census was unconstitutional, she complained that the census bureau collects far more information than the "actual enumeration" -- also known as a head count -- mandated by the Constitution. Bachmann also said that she and her family would respond to the 2010 census by citing only the number of people living in her home.
Whereas the source for Maddow's claim about Bachmann and "secret concentration camps" is non-existent, the source for Bachmann's remarks on the census is deliberately vague -- an undated clip from Fox News. Here is a link to the interview in question, Bachmann appearing on Fox in June 2009 and pointing out -- accurately -- that the Roosevelt administration used census data to round up and imprison thousands of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor.
Liberals usually dismiss Bachmann's remarks on the census as outright flakery, then quickly change the subject. Maddow doesn't dare elaborate on this because to do so would prove ideologically awkward to say the least.
In his 2001 book "IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation," Edwin Black described how the Nazis weren't alone in using census data to imprison undesirables --
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Within forty-eight hours, the Bureau of the Census published its first report on Japanese Americans titled Japanese Population of the United States, Its Territories and Possessions. The next day it published Japanese Population by Nativity and Citizenship in Selected Cities of the United States. On December 10, it released a third report, Japanese Population in the Pacific Coast States by Sex, Nativity and Citizenship, by Counties. Using IBM applications, the Census Bureau had tracked the racial ancestry of Japanese Americans based on their responses to the 1940 census.
Census Director J.C. Capt confirmed, "we didn't wait for the [American] declaration of war [which was proclaimed Monday afternoon, December 8]. On Monday morning, we put our people to work on the Japanese thing." Since only 135,430 Japanese Americans lived in the United States, the results were tabulated quickly. A single sort was necessary: race.
Divulging specific addresses was illegal. So the Census Bureau provided information that located Japanese-American concentration within specific census tracts. Census tracts were geographic areas generally yielding 4,000 to 8,000 citizens. When necessary, the Census Bureau could provide even finer detail: so-called "enumeration districts," and in some cities "census blocks." With this information, the American government could focus its search in select communities along the West Coast -- even if it did not have the exact names and addresses. ...
If locating the Japanese by census block was insufficient, the Census Bureau was willing to take the next step to deliver actual names and addresses. "We're by law required to keep confidential information by individuals," Census Director Capt declared at the time. He added, "But in the end, [i]f the defense authorities found 200 Japs missing and they wanted the names of the Japs in that area, I would give them further means of checking individuals.
By February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt could confidently sign Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast. On March 22, 1942, the evacuations began in Los Angeles. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld the legality of such a measure based on ancestral grounds alone.
Not a subject you'll hear much about on MSNBC -- if ever.
To paraphrase Maddow's own remarks as previously stated here-- Rachel Maddow, frankly I have to say, and I don't mean it as an insult, I mean it as a true observation, Ms. Maddow has frankly been a fringe figure in the media for years now.
Rachel Maddow has tried to argue that the Constitution -- the Constitution! -- doesn't have a preamble. Want to see where the preamble is in the Constitution? (Right up top!) The Framers weren't able to link on the Internets, as Obama would say, quoting Bush, but if they had they might have gone here to see how their handiwork is still admired.
Rachel Maddow is the kind of member of MSNBC who once claimed that a Republican in Congress "received advance notice" of the Oklahoma City bombing and did nothing to prevent the carnage.
Rachel Maddow has been, frankly, the most telegenic member of the Ed Schultz-Chris Matthews-Lawrence O'Donnell left-wing echo chamber in cable.