Michele Bachmann came out of the recent debate in New Hampshire with favorable publicity. While one debate hardly determines the shape of a primary race, she placed herself in a good position to possibly become the major anti-Romney candidate. Whether she has a shot at winning the nomination may depend upon whether the primaries are dominated by far right-wing Republicans or whether more independents vote in the GOP primaries in the absence of a competitive Democratic race.
Bachmann has provided more examples this week as to why she should not be considered a viable presidential candidate–not that this will have an bearing on Republicans. First, as CNN reports, she has demonstrated her ignorance of science by calling for the teaching of intelligent design:
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann explained her skepticism of evolution on Friday and said students should be taught the theory of intelligent design.
Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, also proposed a major overhaul of the nation’s education system and said state administrators should be able to decide how they spend money allocated to them by the federal government.
“I support intelligent design,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”
Bachmann also showed her ignorance about of health care policy in promoting this bizarre conspiracy theory about Barack Obama and Medicare:
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the latest candidate to join the Republican presidential campaign, suggested Friday that President Obama secretly wanted Medicare to go bankrupt so retirees would be forced to enroll in the new national health care law.
“This hasn’t been talked about very much – the president’s plan for senior citizens is Obamacare,” Ms. Bachmann told party activists here. She added, “I think very likely what the president intends is that Medicare will go broke and ultimately that answer will be Obamacare for senior citizens.”
Even looking at this from the perspective of opposing government programs, this one just makes no sense. Medicare is a single-payer system where (with some exceptions) the government essentially acts as the only insurance company. Obama’s health care plan would have people covered by multiple competing private insurance plans, with increased regulation of the insurance industry to attempt to eliminate the abuses currently present. If Obama is a big-government Democrat, or perhaps a socialist as many right-wingers claim, he would prefer a government program such as Medicare as opposed to “Obamacare.”
It makes no sense that Obama would want to move Medicare beneficiaries into the types of private plans which would dominate his health care plan. However, there is one group which does support this idea–the Republican Party. This is essentially what Paul Ryan’s plan would do with Medicare.
Did Michele Bachmann really intend to say that Barack Obama supports the Ryan plan, or is she just confused about all these government policies? As with her Tea Party supporters, I’ll go with confusion and ignorance on their part.