Michelle Bachmann and John Eidsmoe

Important, from this piece on Democracy Now:

MICHELLE GOLDBERG: Well, one of the—I don’t know why this hasn’t gotten more attention. So when she was at Oral Roberts University, which is, you know, kind of a charismatic Pentecostal school in Oklahoma, she was a research assistant to a guy named John Eidsmoe, who she still cites as a major influence on her. John Eidsmoe is—often people on the Christian right are kind of called theocratic. But he is unquestionably a theocrat. He wrote a book that she worked on called Christianity and the Constitution, which argued that the United States was founded to be a Christian theocracy and that it should become one again. He, John Eidsmoe, is an interesting figure. He’s someone who has been asked not to speak at Tea Party—who has been—has had invitations to speak at Tea Party rallies rescinded because of his ties to white supremacist groups and history of advocating for Southern secession.

Tea Party drops speaker for alleged ties to white supremacists

Bachmann: “One of the professors who had a great influence on me.”

To repeat something: “Freedom” from the mouth of someone like Michelle Bachmann is code for “freedom to believe anything” and the freedom to impose that belief on other people. This belief is ordained by God, so really this should be no imposition at all. The “Constitution” and the Bible are inseparable – the fetishization of the Constitution is a way to talk about the Bible without mentioning it directly. She believes the constitution is a religious document, and so long as we’re not a Christian nation, we are being “unconstitutional.” So when she says, “I want judges who follow the constitution” she’s actually advocating theocracy. What’s crazy is that interpretation of Bachmann is not that crazy.

Anyone who wants to see Bachmann get the nomination because she’d be entertaining or easy to beat should really think again. Mainstreaming this kind of crazy is dangerous because people quickly build up a tolerance. See: the rise of Michelle Bachmann because she’s “smarter” than Sarah Palin. She’s not, she’s identical: and arguably worse because she’s better able to articulate her ideas, which people mistake for intelligence. Once Bachmann is accepted as a mainstream politician, it opens the door for a rabid theocrat in the future who maybe doesn’t make as many gaffes as Bachmann and who appeals to people across party lines. Imagine a candidate with the zealotry of Bachmann and the speech-making chops of Obama. Now think about making her brand of lunacy a normal part of mainstream politics.

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