Michele Bachmann’s problem with gays

Given last night’s momentous victory in New York, I’d like to re-visit Matt Taibbi’s piece on Michele Bachmann, just to highlight one element — her obsession with gay issues (our first visit was here). This is from near the middle (my emphasis):

Bachmann’s anti-gay crusade in Minnesota was born of similar stuff. Right from the start, she made sure that everyone knew the awesome importance of the task she was taking on, trying to outlaw an already outlawed practice. “This is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in, at least, the last 30 years,” she said. She called gay marriage an “earthquake issue,” insisting that failure to pass her proposal would mean that “sex curriculum would essentially be taught by the gay community” and that “little K-12 children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural, and perhaps they should try it.” Much as Sarah Palin’s actual speeches sometimes melt indistinguishably into Tina Fey’s SNL parodies, Bachmann’s anti-gay rhetoric at times features a campy, over-the-top quality that makes it hard to tell her apart from a tranny cabaret act. She described the gay lifestyle as “bondage” and “personal enslavement,” even claiming that suicide among gay teens is due not to discrimination but to “the fact of what they’re doing.”

Bachmann’s obsession with gay culture led her to bizarre behavioral extremes. In April 2005, after the State Senate refused to even vote on her constitutional amendment, she hid in the bushes outside the State Capitol during a gay-rights rally. A photo shows Bachmann, only the top of her Stepford head visible, crouched alone in an extreme catcher’s squat behind the Capitol shrubbery. She later insisted she wasn’t hiding at all, but resting because her heels hurt.

Or something. (Here’s one shot, from the Minnesota Post. Another here. The google gets you a few more.) Later he retells her story of being “‘held against her will’ [in a restroom] by what may or may not have been a pair of angry lesbians.”

Now from near the beginning of Taibbi’s piece:

Bachmann was born Michele Amble in Waterloo, Iowa, to a pair of lifelong Democrats, but grew up in tiny Anoka, Minnesota. By her teen years, her parents had divorced; her mother remarried and brought step-siblings into the home, creating a Brady Bunchian group of nine kids. One of Bachmann’s step-siblings, Helen LaFave, would later come out as a lesbian, a fact that Michele, who became famous opposing gay marriage, never mentions on the campaign trail. For the most part, though, Bachmann’s upbringing seems like pure Americana, a typical Midwestern girl who was “in a couple of beauty pageants” and “not overtly political,” according to her stepbrother Michael LaFave.

Something to keep in mind as her sad star rises. Bachmann’s story is nuanced, as the full Taibbi article shows; but a telling detail nonetheless.

GP


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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