Tea Party Hopeful Michele Bachmann Fails First Test by Ruthless MSM
posted at 1:57 pm on March 31, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
If Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is seriously considering a run for president in 2012, she is going to have to study Sarah Palin’s game film from 2008. It is her only way of sidestepping the inevitable sucker punches the mainstream media will throw at her, as Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric did so effectively against Palin.
Bachmann got an early—and relatively painless—glimpse of this process yesterday, when she appeared on the Today show. Host Matt Lauer, another Obama acolyte, asked her an easy question:
I want to take you back to March 17. It was a Thursday. It was the day that Muammar Gaddafi told the people of Libya and Benghazi that his troops were on the way, they would show no mercy, and they would find them in their closets. If you had been president of the United States on that day, what would you have done specifically?
The question would seemed less loaded if Lauer had couched it in straightforward language, rather than dripping with touchy-feely angst and sympathy for Obama’s quandary.
Before getting to Bachmann’s answer, that date, March 17, was the one on which the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. More importantly for history books yet to be written, it was the one on which the president unveiled what some are idiotically hailing as the “Obama Doctrine,” seeming to suggest that Barack Obama invented the notion of sending U.S. troops into a country ruled by a maniacal despot to avert a blood letting.
The liberals who author those histories will be more than happy to overlook the fact that committing troops to a country in the throes of a humanitarian crisis is precisely what George W. Bush did in Iraq in 2003, with one notable difference. Saddam Hussein had already gassed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and was threatening to do worse, while Muammar Gaddafi is just getting warmed up.
But back to Bachmann’s response. The presidential answer would have been, “I would have taken action weeks before March 17, when protests in Libya first erupted—a period during which the current president dithered.” In answer to the likely follow-up questions on the nature of the putative actions, replies might have included early and severe sanctions on Libya, efforts to freeze known Gaddafi bank accounts, and strong pronouncements from the Oval Office rallying protesters and denouncing actions by Gaddafi’s henchmen such as opening fire on mourners at the funeral of a protester.
Instead, Bachmann played into the question:
Well, I don’t think that at that point that we had seen the threat to the United States either from Gaddafi or have we seen a vital American national interest at risk. That really needs to be our first line of defense because unfortunately there are atrocities that do happen in different countries in the world. We just saw this weekend slaughter in Syria, so based upon that criteria of humanitarian intervention, which apparently is the new Obama Doctrine, that would be the basis for the United States to enter into one country after another. I don’t think that’s in the American interest for us to enter into one country after another.
This answer, which she enlarged upon as the interview progressed, paved the way for Lauer’s predictably cynical comeback, which was, “You would have done nothing?”
Bachmann even flubbed the following ridiculous and unserious question, which came late in the interview:
If there are flickers, as you say, of Al Qaeda among the rebels, would it not be a sign to them or showing them that the United States has compassion, and we’re willing to use our military might to help all people?
Rather than laugh in Lauer’s face at the suggestion that the concept of compassion even exists in the depraved terrorist mindset, she asked, “Compassion for Al Qaeda?”
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