The second issue of the Michele Bachmann comic book series, produced by some of our friends at the Dump Bachmann blog, is now in print, and like the previous issue it presents a chilling portrait of a right-wing lunatic who has risen up to the highest levels of American government.
However, the presentation of the facts in the second issue deviated from the first issue in a key respect — that this time around, not all speech balloons from Bachmann are necessarily direct quotes from the woman herself. Paraphrases or new punchlines come in — and unfortunately, this is not a decision for the better.Early on, the creators give a lesson on the nature of fiction and fantasy usually explored in comics — and how in this case, the absurd idea being explored is the real journey of a paranoid right-winger to Congress:
(Click images to enlarge.)
As before, the creators’ central complaint is that the mainstream Minnesota media ignored just how loony this person was, with her conspiratorial writings about a socialist agenda in public education, with an aim of opposing the free-enterprise system and instituting full state planning (and this was written when George W. Bush was president):
This page, detailing the absurd things that Bachmann said on the campaign trail in 2006, is a great demonstration of where the creators missed the mark:
Rather than paraphrase Bachmann’s various claims of the things that God told her, how about directly quoting her, as they did in the first issue? When it comes to the prophet Bachmann’s revelations, the details are the best bits — her narrative of how God called her to run for Congress, and how she and her husband fasted for three days to make sure God was telling them this. What sort of artistic license can ever improve on this:
“And then in the midst of that calling, God then called me to run for the United States Congress. And I thought, ‘what in the world would that be for?’ And my husband said, ‘You need to do this,’ and I wasn’t so sure. And we took three days and we fasted and we prayed, and we said, ‘Lord is this what You want? Is this Your will?’ And after the — along about the afternoon of day two, He made that calling sure. And it’s been now 22 months that I’ve been running for United States Congress. Who in their right mind would spend two years to run for a job that lasts for two years? You’d have to be absolutely a fool to do that. You are now looking at a fool for Christ. This is a fool for Christ.”
Thanks to media inaction and her Republican district, Michele Bachmann got to join the House of Representatives, the illustrious chamber once occupied by such individuals as John Quincy Adams, Davy Crockett and Abraham Lincoln:
The creators return to form later on, in a section that details the history of American right-wing conspiracy theorists, tracing Bachmann’s ideological lineage back to the John Birch Society and its modern offshoots such as the Council for National Policy:
Now observe how effective it is when the creators start directly quoting from the moment when Bachmann’s manias went fully public — her infamous interview on Hardball — and her subsequent public denials that she’d said the things she clearly did say on TV:
The next issue will focus on Bachmann’s history of gay-baiting for political gain. Here’s hoping the creators don’t deviate from the form that made a Bachmann comic so effective — after all, Bachmann’s anti-gay talk is comedy gold without editorial interference.