What sparked this latest round of forehead-slapping? Behold!
At a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday, Bachmann declared illegitimate the potential route that House Democrats could take to pass the health care bill. She was specifically railing against a parliamentary tactic by which the House could skip voting on the Senate bill by declaring it passed as part of the reconciliation bill. Bachmann pronounced this to be taxation without representation. "They have just started a revolution -- and they did it," said Bachmann.
"But mark my words, the American people aren't gonna take this lying down," Bachmann later said. "We aren't gonna play their game, we're not gonna pay their taxes. They want us to pay for this? Because we don't have to. We don't have to. We don't have to follow a bill that isn't law. That's not the American way, and that's not what we're going to do."
Bachmann continued. "Because it's one-party rule now in Washington, D.C. Their Chicago tactics, their Chicago friends, twisting Democrats' arms, threatening their own team members with ethics charges and a submission. This handful of people thinks (sic) they can enforce their will on 300 million Americans? They're not gonna do that. This is dictatorial, what they are doing. We are not compelled to follow a non-law just because Obama and Pelosi tells us we have to.
"If they pass the bill legitimately, then yes, we have to follow the law -- until we repeal it. But if they pass it illegitimately, then the bill is illegitimate, and we don't have to lay down for this. It's not difficult to figure out. So if for some reason they're able to get their votes this week and pass this 2,700-page Senate bill -- if they get it, trillions of dollars is what it's gonna cost, when we didn't vote on it, we need to tell them a message: That if they get away with this, they will be able to get away with anything -- with anything. And you can't say you voted on a bill when you didn't, because it's fraud. But we are not helpless here. We are not helpless, there are things that we can do."
First of all, I think it is hilllllllllllllarious that Bachmann is still trotting out that "phony ethics violation" line about the Democrats and Eric Massa. Honey, when even Glenn Beck has backed away from the crazy, you're on a pretty shaky limb. But then, Michele Bachmann could no more do without crazy than she could do without oxygen.
But that's nothing compared to the heaping pile of crazy that makes up the bulk of her comments. There are two equally distressing possibilities here. One is that she sincerely does not think that having the House pass the Senate version of the health care reform bill then smoothing over budgetary differences in the reconciliation process is a legitimate process. Despite the fact that, not only is it perfectly legitimate, but it has been done plenty of times before. The other is that she knows the reconciliation process is totally legitimate, but she is telling people to break the law for the sake of being inflammatory. (I'm sure she will pony up the cash to spring people when they're arrested for tax evasion.)
On the one hand -- idiot. On the other hand -- liar. In either case -- depressing.
Update: Further details here, with this being the money quote:
"We're looking at a couple of different ways to get the bill to the floor and any path we take will obviously require a majority House vote," Slaughter spokesman Vincent Morris told me today. "And it's worth pointing out that whatever we do will be built upon the precedents of the house and familiar to Republicans from when they held the majority."
In any case, whatever the result, it will be the law, even if the voices in Michele Bachmann's head don't think so.