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 Reviving McCarthyism: Rep. Bachmann, Palin, and the New Republican Strategy? 

200823Oct
Submitted by Caterina Rost on Thu, 10/23/2008 - 03:23

In an interview on MSNBC's Hardball on October 17th, the Republican Representative Michele Bachmann (Minnesota) called on the media to investigate, which members of Congress are anti-American. Bachmann's attempt to revitalize the 1950s McCarthyism triggered uproar among progressives and helped her opponent, Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg, who raised a million dollars in the days following Bachmann's interview with Chris Matthews. As a consequence of her remarks, the Republican National Committee withdrew funds that it had planned to spend on ads for Bachmann.

Extract from the controversial interview:

Sarah Palin followed Bachmann's attack strategy in a slightly less obvious way. On the campaign trail she said: 

"We believe that the best of America is in the small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call real America, being here with all of you hard-working, patriot, very pro America areas of this great nation."  

McCain surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer, a former Hillary Clinton supporter, also referred to the idea that there is a "real" America, when she divided Virginia into a "real" and a "fake" Virginia. "Real" Virginia and "real" America being the part that is responsive to McCain's message. Consequently, regions that overwhelmingly vote Democrat must be somehow "unreal," maybe even "anti-American"? Seriously?   

Jon Stewart's (The Daily Show) reaction to the remarks by Rep. Bachmann and to similar remarks made by the Republican Vice Presidential Pick Sarah Palin, as well as other McCain surrogates, like Nancy Pfotenhauer, was telling. In a segment on Monday's show entitled "Pfriend or Pfoe," Stewart gets personal calling Pfotenhauer, Palin, and Bachmann the three crazy ladies: 

"I guess if you're from New York City and you signed up to fight in Iraq and died, it doesn't count." (to see the whole clip, click here)

On November 4th, make sure to check if Bachmann defends her congressional seat...

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