Jonathan Chait

Maybe Find A Better Defense Of Michele Bachmann

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A few days ago, Paul Krugman noted that famously unhinged member of Congress Michele Bachmann urged her constituents to be 'armed and dangerous." Wall Street Journal right-wing blogger James Taranto calls this a "lie," and insists the the context of Bachmann's full quote is very different. Here, per Taranto, is the context:

But you can get all the latest information on this event, this . . . a must-go-to event with this Chris Horner. People will learn . . . it will be fascinating. We met with Chris Horner last week, 20 members of Congress. It takes a lot to wow members of Congress after a while. This wowed them. And I am going to have materials for people when they leave. I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people--we the people--are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States and that's why I want everyone to come out and hear. So go to bachmann.house.gov and you can get all the information.

So wait -- your defense of Bachmann is that, in the context of urging her followers to be "armed and dangerous," she immediately proceeded to extol the benefits of armed revolution? This is supposed to be exculpatory? I think it's a perfect example of the right's hysteria directly legitimizing violence.

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