Politics of fear: Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood “list”

Politics of fear: Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood "list"

Rep. Bachmann’s allegation that several federal agencies are being infiltrated with Muslim extremists aiming to bring down the government has been met with bipartisan criticism.

Storified by Minnesota Today · Fri, Jul 20 2012 13:05:36

Michele Bachmann’s Muslim Witch Hunt http://mys.tc/2abmysticpolitics
Rep. Ellison is not seeking a personal apology from Rep. Bachmann regarding comments she made Thursday alleging the Minneapolis congressman has long had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, he told The Daily Circuit Friday morning. He did request, however, that the congresswoman admit that her claims were incorrect. 
“Instead of doubling down and claiming to be distorted, just admit that you’re wrong.” — Rep. Keith Ellison 
Jim Graves, Bachmann’s DFL opponent in the 6th Congressional District, was also on the Daily Circuit. Graves repeated his view that the comments were reprehensible and are a sign that she is too extreme for the 6th District.
DFLer Jim Graves: "This is just out of bounds" re: Bachmann’s statements.tomscheck
Bachmann’s only comments on the matter have been a statement posted to her website and the interview Thursday on Glenn Beck’s radio program where she defended her previous allegations and also made the claim about Ellison.
Per @brettneely, GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen declined to comment on GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s comments re: DFL Rep. Keith Ellison.tomscheck
Capitol View: “Representatives Kline and Cravaack, the two other Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation, could not be reached for comment.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann is facing criticism from her colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, in response to letters she sent to several federal agencies in June asking that they investiage whether federal workers and advisers to federal agencies are working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that, Bachmann claims, seeks to destroy the United States and implement a radical Islamic theocracy. 

McCain denounces Bachmann’s Muslim Brotherhood statementby Brett Neely, Minnesota Public Radio LISTEN WASHINGTON – Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona took to the Senate floor today to …
Bachmann has a track record of making false and misleading statements that tend to grab headlines. The Muslim Brotherhood claims have reached a tipping point. The attention can be seen on Google Trends, where she once again has eclipsed fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty who is being touted as a potential vice presidential candidate on the Mitt Romney ticket. 
Next stop: Meme St
How far has this political dust up spread? Her recent claims have earned recognition by the character Will McAvoy from HBO’s Newsroom.
Michele Bachmann sits on the House Intelligence Committee. Let that one sink in.Will McAvoy
And another from a spoof account from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
I remember Dad used to say, "People may think I’m crazy, but I’m no Michele Bachmann."KimJongNumberUn
Michele Bachmann uncovers evidence of Muslim extremists! (Dave Granlund) http://mys.tc/ http://twitpic.com/a9shzg #Bachmann #MuslimEverett Tucker
No surprise that Jon Stewart also had his say.
Daily Show: Smear and LoathingThe Daily Show
Meanwhile, reaction from the non-fictional world continues to arrive on screens large and small. 
St. Cloud Times editorial board’s opinion on Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has received bipartisan condemnation for views. http://ow.ly/cnRGKFrank Lee
The largest newspaper in her district, The St. Cloud Times, editorialized, “Bachmann faces a simple fact: Immediately either substantiate her accusations or retract them and apologize. To choose any other route, especially silence, is to lose even more of her credibility.”

In the letters–sent to the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and CIA–Bachmann, and five of her House Republican colleagues, outline specific actions each agency has take to abet the Muslim Brotherhood. In several of the letters, Bachmann names specific individuals that each agency should investigate because of ties to the organizations. The congresswoman requests in each letter that the respective agency’s inspector general “conduct a formal investigation or evaluation” of the individuals cited in the letter and to investigate the actions that the agency has taken to support the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Politico: “Senators in her own party, congressional candidates, a lawmaker in her state’s delegation and leaders of the House Republican Conference are all lambasting the Minnesota Republican for saying the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Many critics, and some members of the news media, are drawing parallels to the unsubstantiated accusations of communism level against lawmakers in the 1950s by Sen. Joseph MacCarthy. 

Despite the letters being sent over a month ago, Sen. John McCain reignited the issue Wednesday when he gave a speech on the Senate condemning the accusations.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) defends Huma Abedincspan
thank you John McCain for speaking outDawn Mitchell

The condemnation against Bachmann’s claims continued Wednesday night when Ed Rollins, a former top-adviser to Bachmann’s presidential campaign, penned a scathing commentary on FoxNews.com. Rollins joined the chorus of those equating Bachmann’s allegations to Mccarthyism and he called on her to apologize. In a particularly scathing bit of the piece, Rollins draws on his on personal experience working with Bachmann and called the congresswoman’s record on accuracy into question.

“Having worked for Congressman Bachman’s campaign for president, I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy  level.” — Ed Rollins

Amidst the torrent of rebukes and admonishment, Rep. Bachmann stood by the letters and her allegations. “I will not be silent as this administration appeases our enemies instead of telling the truth about the threats our country

faces,” Bachmann said in a statement posted to her website Wednesday night. In the statement she also accused the media of distorting the letters and encouraged everyone to read them in their entirety. 

“At a time when our leaders should be focusing on the economic hardships facing Minnesota families, Rep. Bachmann is only interested in using fear to gain publicity for herself.”  — Jim Graves, Bachmann’s 2012 DFL opponent (release).

House Majority Leader John Boehner publicly condemned the the congresswoman Thursday. “I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous,” Boehner said.

Boehner on Bachmann8gxWfcyLNIlyt8BD7p2BUg

Rep. Ellison, one of two Muslim-Americans serving in the House, had asked Rep. Bachmann for further information about the allegations when she first sent the letters over a month ago. 

Video: Rep. Keith Ellison Slams Michele Bachmann’s Anti-Muslim McCarthyism on CNN’s AC360cairtv

On Thursday Bachmann added another name to the list of people she believes has a ties to the Muslim Brotherhood-Rep. Keith Elllison. The very man who has been one of the leading critics of Bachmann’s recent accusations and requests that federal officials be investigated. 

The new claim was made during an interview on Glenn Beck’s radio program Thursday. Ellison “has a long record of being associated with CARE and with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann told Beck. 

Bachmann digs in on Muslim Brotherhood, tells Glenn Beck Rep. Keith Ellison can’t be trusted. He "is trying to shut these questions down.”Susan Davis
Bachmann actually accused a US Congressman (Keith Ellison) of being part of a terrorist organizationEzra Amacher
Michele Bachmann, my lunatic rep, names Keith Ellison in her crazy M.B. ranting: http://tinyurl.com/7joj3eb Sorry everyone. She has issues.William Souder
Appearing again on Anderson Cooper’s CNN program Thursday night, 

Ellison explicitly denied having any connection with the organization. Ellison said doesn’t know very much about the Muslim Brotherhood. When asked why Bachmann was making the allegations, Ellison said this move by Bachmann is “about marginalizing and alienating a certain group of Americans who she does not view as all-American enough.” 

Does anyone recognize the form of Keith Ellison’s response to Bachmann? 1954 all over again.Ray Hoff
"I knew that eventually she would accuse me," Rep. Keith Ellison on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s accusation he has ties to Muslim Brotherhood.The Daily Circuit
Michele Bachmann… bringing the left and right together.Seth Kaplan
Rep. Bachmann’s recent display of religious intolerance is an embarrassment to MN. She should apologize. #mnleg #stribpolRon Latz
Michele Bachmann = Sen. Joe McCarthyLikeHell

Although the overwhelming sentiment on Twitter was negative, there were some individuals who applauded the congresswoman’s actions. 

I stand by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s remarks. We need more American patriots like her.Jacob Schneider

Comments on MPR News’s Facebook page echoed the sentiment being expressed on Twitter. 

I did not support McCain but admire his ethics and willingness to stand up for what is right.Angela Christy
She has a total lack of dignity and more often than not shows total bigotry to fan the flames of racism and create a bigger divide between people of color and those who live outsde the Christian faith. I am not only embarrassed as a Minnesotan but also as a U.S. citizen, a women, a Christian, and as a human being. Shameful…Heather Matheson-Rivera
Many thanks to John McCain! To hear a Republican call out another Republican is heartening. And it has to be a real wake-up call for Michelle Bachmann.Spencer Jay Reppe
What’s next?

Politico: “She’s a goner in November, right? Not necessarily. The traditional laws of political gravity don’t apply to Bachmann, who’s lived her political career on the edge.”

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