BY GILIA RETHMAN – I got my birthday present a day early this year – Wednesday I was one of the 200 people who filled the ballroom at the Ala Moana hotel to hear congresswoman Michele Bachmann speak.
She did not disappoint the audience, focusing on issues near and dear to the hearts of many Tea Party folks: Smaller government, decreasing the debt, a balanced budget and repealing Obamacare.
Calling this “The Way Forward,” Bachmann noted in a handout “Imagine a stable economic and political environment where a business person could go to bed at night assured that the rules of the game your business runs by will remain the same in the foreseeable future.”
Imagine, indeed! Bachmann spoke for about 40 minutes, drawing on personal experience, knowledge and a few hand-written notes (not a teleprompter in sight.) She then entertained questions, many asking about how to get Hawaii and the U.S. back on a track to fiscal health.
We also learned more about Michele Bachmann, the person. This is a woman who owned a business, has a farm, had five children of her own and has raised 23 foster children. She has a bachelor’s degree and two law degrees – one in tax law. She has five years’ experience as a tax attorney at the U.S. Treasury Department. And to show her genuine appreciation for all who were there, she made it a point to visit each table before giving her address, while forgoing her own lunch. Bachmann is no phony and firmly believes in her duty to preserve protect and defend the Constitution.
However, she has her detractors – what are they afraid of? I spent some time online last night and this morning, and I couldn’t believe some of the postings from those who claim to have the “aloha spirit.” These are in response to articles written about Bachmann’s visit and address. From the Honolulu Star Advertiser blog:
“Bachman is a good entertainer but she is really not relevant to anything. The rich use her to front for their interests.”
“Exactly. She is a paid entertainer for people of considerable wealth and influence. That’s why she is a looker, like Palin.”
“Bachmann and Palin are politics, incorporated. They don’t have a belief system (but that all forms of government are bad and that total free enterprise is a cure for all evils). What they have are groupies.”
“And our own backyard will be much cleaner once Bachmann’s plane leaves the tarmac, if it hasn’t already. “
“What is this clown doing in Hawaii? This is an example of “foreign” ideas that just don’t make sense for Hawaii. Get out Bachmann! You don’t belong here.”
From Hawaii News Now’s Facebook page:
“obama is not a racist.. but bachtard is.”
“Aloha walked out the door when the Tea Party walked in it…..”
“watch any of this lady’s speech on youtube a doorknob is smarter”
“We need better screeners at the airport. I thought we had no foreign pest law in this state.”
Ah yes….the half-bright arguments from the left who can’t debate the issues but resort to personal attacks. (These comments are written exactly as they were posted online –complete with bad grammar and misspellings.) Some even thought they’d take the opportunity to spread falsehoods about the sponsor of the luncheon, The Grassroot Institute:
“The only thinkin’ the gr(ass) roots institute does is stinkin’… they may well belong in an institution all right, but not in Hawaii.”
“the grassroots institute is the most racist bunch of bigots in Hawai’i.”
So there you have it – an inspirational speech by an elected official lambasted by those who don’t agree with her.
Do you see a pattern here from the left? (Note Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, Rule #13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.)
Frankly, all the vitriol and hateful comments make me realize that Bachmann is a rising star with a bright future.
As author and television pundit S.E. Cupp wrote about Bachmann in a recent editorial: “Her detractors seem to have been struck with a serious case of Bachmannitis, the kind of irrational apoplexy that resembles paranoia more than serious analysis. But it’s also a compliment, of course. If they weren’t afraid of her, they wouldn’t care enough to dismiss her.”
Ah, but I’m an eternal optimist. If Bachmann was once a Democrat who worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign (true story) then there’s hope for the left after all. Then again, I won’t hold my breath.
Kaneohe resident Gilia Rethman can be reached at email@example.com