Sean Hannity and Michele Bachmann slag Bill Clinton and Betty McCollum
It was open mic night again for Michele Bachmann last night on the Hannity show. The theme: How dare Betty McCollum and Bill Clinton fight back when we tar them and their party as anti-American socialists doing the bidding of a Chicago gangster running the White House?
McCollum, you remember, said on the House floor last week that it might be a good idea for the chest-thumpers to tone down their anti-government tirades ahead of Monday's anniversary of Timothy McVeigh's anti-government terrorist attack in Oklahoma City:
"When members of Congress compare health care legislation to government tyranny, socialism or totalitarianism in the hopes of scoring political points it's like pouring gas on the fire of extremism. I don't want another Oklahoma City to ever take place again. And just as we would not give aid and comfort to al Qaeda let us not allow the words of elected leaders to give comfort and -- comfortable excuses to extremists bent on violence."
McVeigh's attack took place on former President Bill Clinton's watch. In a speech last week, he linked hate speech -- not all political speech -- with violent acts:
"But what we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold, but that the words we use really do matter because there are -- there's this vast echo chamber. And they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious, alike; they fall on the connected and the unhinged, alike. And I am not trying to muzzle anybody."
Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance W. Gainer said last week that serious threats to members of Congress had nearly tripled, from 15 in the last three months of 2009 to 42 in the first quarter of 2010, with most of them coming in March during the height of the health-care debate. Some of the calls and e-mails were "very vicious" and included threats to members' homes and families. "You had people saying, 'I'm going to get your kids, I'm going to get your wife,' " says Gainer. "It was very disturbing to members."
Hannity, predictably, is outraged at all this:
"All right, so are the Democrats just asked the Republicans to shut up? Joining me now with reaction is one of those pesky, wascally (ph) Republican, Congresswoman McCollum was probably talking, this is Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. So I guess you can't be critical. You can't say socialism it exists. You can't be critical of government. I thought this was the highest form of patriotism when the criticism was aimed at George W. Bush."
And so was the perpetually paranoid Bachmann: "Well, one word that we've heard a lot just in this last week is the word "violence." And that when people on the right are disagreeing with the Obama administration that we're fomenting violence. Well, I think violence is when the Democrat-controlled base, whether it's President Obama, Harry Reid or Speaker Pelosi -- when they feel like their political position of power is being attacked, that's what they equate violence with."
Click here for the full transcript. And, here's the clip: