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This Just In: Michele Bachmann Is A Complete Nutbar

I was doing what all sane people who faced the choice between watching yet another GOP debate or Monday Night Football were doing last night: Watching football. So I apparently missed not only the highly-informative discussion of the plight of a hypothetical sick man but the biggest breaking news of the campaign: Michele Bachmann is totally deranged.

Shocking news, I know.

Look, this comes down, basically, to fringy anti-vax panic, plus the idea we shouldn’t inoculate against STDs. People get weird about this.

But we’re not vaccinating against STDs. If this were just HPV, no vaccine would have been developed, let alone put on the list of “mandatory” (with opt-out) list.

HPV is something that half the population has had. Most don’t even know they’ve had it– you get it, most people don’t even know they’ve gotten it, then it goes away.

It’s a fairly trivial “STD,” except for one thing: It causes 70% of all cervical cancer.

That’s why a vaccine was developed — not to protect against a minor (and incredibly widespread) STD whose direct symptoms are fairly trivial, but to protect against the deadly cancer it causes late in life.

This is being demagogued as some “Pro-Sex” STD vaccination. But no one would have bothered to make a vaccine for it all — it’s pretty minor, as far as primary effects — except for that “deadly cervical cancer” part.

It’s an anti-cancer vaccine. Period.

And apparently, in some quarters, this is now a riotously controversial initiative.

RTWT. Ace recounts the unethical, dishonest roots of the autism/vaccine hoax. And then proceeds to open up with both barrels on Bachmann, who apparently decided last night to up the ante on her already well-established loopiness by declaring herself a member of the certifiably-insane fringe.

There’s room in the population for a small number of unvaccinated free riders. A small percentage of people who don’t get their children vaccinated because of religious objections or simple ignorance won’t have an especially deleterious affect on the rest of us. But the rise, since The Lancet‘s execrable autism lie, of the anti-vaccine crusaders has already begun to push us past that point. Chief anti-vaccine loony toon Jenny McCarthy actually says she’s fine with some diseases coming back if it means we’ll start making “safe” vaccines. Despite the total and complete lack of any causal connection ever having been established between vaccines and autism–except in her own delusions.

McCarthy’s just a celebrity best known (before her anti-vaccination activism) for peeling off her clothes. But now we have a woman who thinks she should be President of the United States who subscribes to this criminal stupidity. I realize that she’s getting desperate now that her boomlet is collapsing. It was always obvious that it eventually would, so I’ve mostly ignored her up to now. Even so, and despite my usual preference for avoiding the so-and-so-said-something-silly cycle of blog posting, this is simply beyond the pale.

The last of the air can’t finish leaking out of that balloon soon enough. How is it even possible she’s still getting invited to debates while guys like Gary Johnson and Thad McCotter aren’t?!?

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About Dodd
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He can kill a mime using only his thumb. He joined the staff at OTB in May 2007. Follow Dodd on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Hey Norm says:

    Just in? Where you been?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  2. Dodd says:

    Just in? Where you been?

    That was what we call sarcasm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  3. anjin-san says:

    News flash: this is now mainstream thinking in the GOP. The real question is why anyone with any intelligence/education would touch Republican politics with a ten foot pole.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

  4. Boyd says:

    In defense of the hot blonde: at least she was lied to, and quite deftly, until the fraud was exposed a few years back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Fiona says:

    I suspect it’s only a matter of time before Bachman will be eased out of the debates. Perry sucked the air right out of her balloon. While he’s pretty much of a whack job as well, his macho version of crazy plays better to the Republican base than her more histrionic version.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. steve says:

    “News flash: this is now mainstream thinking in the GOP”

    There is a fringe left group that is also opposed to vaccines. I dont know which group is larger. I do know the literature on this fairly well, my son is an Aspie, and the anti-vaccers do not have any real science to back up their claims. This is one area where the media tendency to make sure they show “both sides of the controversy” is a public disservice.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  7. PD Shaw says:

    As I pointed out in Doug’s earlier post, the Vaccine Court has adjudicated several claims of injuries caused by the HPV vaccine. I can’t tell from the website what claims were accepted and which were dismissed, but the most common claim is neurological injury.

    The chances of me voting for Bachmann is zero.
    I do not believe there is any established link between autism and vaccination.
    I do not believe the risk of taking the HPV vaccine introduced just a few years ago can be stated as zero.
    I do not know, one way or the other, whether a vaccine caused a neurological injury.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Vast Variety says:

    Bachman’s campaign platform sums up to be…

    “Vaccines are the devil.”
    “Everything Democrats want to do is unconstitutional”
    “Obama is a Muslim loving traitor”
    “Long live McCarthyism”
    “The constitution is a sacred document… lets edit it to prevent Democrats from doing anything”
    “FEMA Hearts Concentration Camps”
    “Gays can be cured, we just need to round them up and put them in treatment facilities… maybe call them Reorientation Camps.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  9. michael reynolds says:

    I’ll add a rare bi-partisan note: it ain’t just the right-wing crazies.

    I currently live in Marin County — not exactly Bachmann-Perry country. Upon meeting with my new GP up here she urged me to get a whooping cough vaccine. Why? Because we’re having an epidemic. And why would one of America’s most well-heeled counties be having an epidemic?

    Because, as she explained, “There are many people up here in alternative lifestyles who don’t believe in vaccinations.”

    By “alternative lifestyle” she didn’t mean gay, she meant crazy. As an alternative to sane.

    Give me six more months up here I’ll be hating liberals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  10. @michael reynolds:

    Give me six more months up here I’ll be hating liberals.

    A conservative is a liberal whos been mugged
    A libertarian is a liberal whos been audited

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    A conservative is a liberal whos been mugged by another liberal.
    A libertarian is a liberal whos been audited by another liberal.

    Or more….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  12. That Guy says:

    What are these crazies going to do next?

    Support a ban on DDT and cause millions of people around the globe to die of malaria??!!…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    I thought it was that a liberal is either a libertarian who grew up or a conservative who grew a heart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  14. WR says:

    @That Guy: Yes, because DDT would have wiped out the entire scourge of malaria. Except for those mosquitos that developed immunity. Which was already happening when the stuff was banned.

    Hey, try reading something other than right wing nut sites some day. You might learn something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  15. mickeywhite says:

    Bachmann supported the Economic Stimulus 2008 (bail out), COPS funding, Real ID Act, Head Start, Warrantless Searches, Patriot Act.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. How is it even possible she’s still getting invited to debates while guys like Gary Johnson and Thad McCotter aren’t?!?

    This x1,000,000

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. That Guy says:

    @WR:

    “@That Guy: Yes, because DDT would have wiped out the entire scourge of malaria. Except for those mosquitos that developed immunity. Which was already happening when the stuff was banned.

    Hey there, Mr. Reading Comprehension Skills!! Where did I say the “entire scourge” would’ve been wiped out?

    From a science blog:

    “Even where mosquito populations have developed resistance to DDT, it is more effective (and less problematic) than alternative chemicals. The reason is that mosquitoes are repelled by the DDT on house walls and do not stay around to bite and infect the inhabitants. This effect is known as “excito-repellency,” and has been shown to be a dominant way that DDT controls malaria-bearing mosquitoes, in addition to killing them on contact.1 Studies have demonstrated this for all major species of malaria-bearing mosquitoes…”

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/summ02/DDT.html

    Hey, try reading something other than right wing nut sites some day. You might learn something.”

    Right back at ya, lefty!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: And a liberal ia a conservative talking about his own situation, rather than someone else’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Rick Almeida says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ll add a rare bi-partisan note: it ain’t just the right-wing crazies.

    This. I have family in Western Massachusetts (the Happy Valley), and vaccinations are very controversial in granola country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. samwide says:

    @That Guy:

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/summ02/DDT.html

    “Hey, try reading something other than right wing nut sites some day. You might learn something.”

    Right back at ya, lefty!

    I thought Lyndon LaRouche was left-wing. No?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @That Guy: Ah yes, the DDT thing: the perfect conservative BS nugget. DDT was banned in countries such as the US that don’t have a significant
    Malaria problem. I could buy a ‘generic’ DDT for next to nothing in West Africa decades after the ban. I don’t know if it was because Mosquitos had developed immunity, but it wasn’t very effective against mosquitoes and that wasn’t what it was used for.

    But the people promoting this nonsense aren’t interested in reality. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if “That Guy” continues to use it. It may not be true, but it is so deliciously truthy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  22. Pete says:

    @michael reynolds: Say hi to Anjin san and Tano. You’ll probably find them out trying to hug a Redwood.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. That Guy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I could buy a ‘generic’ DDT for next to nothing in West Africa decades after the ban. I don’t know if it was because Mosquitos had developed immunity, but it wasn’t very effective against mosquitoes and that wasn’t what it was used for.”

    And I’m sure the “generic” DDT that you bought for “next to nothing” was the real deal; quality stuff. Kinda like those “pills” you can buy on various Internet sites…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  24. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I’ve known a lot of nutbars and calling Bachmann a nutbar really is an insult to nutbars.

    Nutbars generally can be fixed with basic psychotropic medications. Bachmann, on the other hand, would need a team of forensic psychiatrists working 24/7 merely to be a garden variety of crazy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. That Guy says:

    @samwide:

    Ok, ok… and apparently a “very electable” one, too (cough).

    But the book cites were from elsewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Scott O. says:

    Only a matter of time till Bachmann is bragging about her ability to kill mimes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. anjin-san says:

    @Pete

    This one is for you, a favorite of mine for almost 40 years. It has a strong environmental message, and it is by Cat Stevens, who later became a Muslim, so you will have two reasons to hate it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_fHyk9wwDc

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @Pete:
    Anjin and I had dinner just the other day. Italian food. Haven’t met Tano in real life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @That Guy: You’re right about one thing which is that I had no way of knowing whether the DDT I saw was really following the decades old formula. Which is why I said “generic version”. It wasn’t used for mosquitoes, it was used for crop pests. I was told it worked OK for that.

    BTW, there are lots of very effective mosquito repellents for spraying walls, or more importantly, the mosquito nets suspended over beds. In fact, these bed nets are considered the single most effective method of malaria prevention in tropical climates.

    But the central point still remains. There was no ban on DDT in the countries most affected by malaria.

    You seem to be saying that because the DDT I saw over there might not have been the original formula, that you have “got me” and you can discount the fact that the talking point is really so much BS. And that’s why there is no point in arguing. It’s not truth you are looking for, it’s talking points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. Neill Fendly says:

    I have a feeling several years down the road much of this radical lunacy out there is going to be compared to McCarthyism of the early 50’s. As a conservative member of the GOP it has become obvious my party has left me at the station.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  31. Phillip says:

    I think her religious fundamentalism, while extreme, is not dangerous. She is not for creating a law that says your kids can’t be vaccinated. If you want them vaccinated, get them vaccinated. She is, for religious reasons, against mass vaccinations. I agree that the state done vaccination programs would save lives, but I understand the Libertarian view of, each man decides what he injects, than goes an buys it.

    What is really dangerous is the Zionism of the Chuck Schumer, Eric Cantor, etc… they want us embroiled in Wars till the end of time to protect their dear Israel, which for most Americans, is of no importance. Whose “craziness” is really dangerous? This article Michelle Bachmann’s Religion argues her type is not as dangerous as the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  32. ponce says:

    The last of the air can’t finish leaking out of that balloon soon enough.

    Bachmann isn’t going anywhere.

    Her nutty routine is her application for Palin’s $1,000,000+ a year job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. jan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ll add a rare bi-partisan note: it ain’t just the right-wing crazies.

    I’ve heard about Marin County’s aversion to vaccines. I’m not sure this is a left/right issue as much as a mainstream/alternative medicine one. Being that liberals, though, seem to adhere to alternative medicine/natural products practices more than conventional ones, they often get the bad rap when it comes to vaccines.

    However, I wouldn’t be too hard on those parents, Michael, as they’re just being more untrusting of injectable unknowns for their children than of railing against the government, like teas and conservatives do dealing with politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  34. Ron Beasley says:

    @ponce:

    Her nutty routine is her application for Palin’s $1,000,000+ a year job.

    You know I don’t think so – she really believes all the nutty things she says and that’s what makes her so scary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  35. Ron Beasley says:

    @jan: I think that’s a first Jan – I just gave you a like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. jan says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Thank you, Ron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. ponce says:

    You know I don’t think so – she really believes all the nutty things she says and that’s what makes her so scary.

    Maybe so, but she’s not so far gone that she doesn’t want Glenn Beck’s old job and income (Beck has an estimated net worth north of $50 million).

    The funny thing is…she’s only just begun to bring the serious crazy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. HankP says:

    @That Guy: DDT was never banned for vector control applications (mosquitos, fleas, etc.). It was banned for widespread agricultural application.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  39. Ron Beasley says:

    @jan: As an aging hippie I too am not a big fan of many aspects of modern medicine. I do get vaccines and if I had a daughter I would want her to have the HPV vaccine. I do treat my high cholesterol with garlic and fish oil not statin drugs. I take a full strength aspirin morning and night – and yes it’s natural, people have been chewing on willow bark for centuries to get aspirin. With a few exceptions I would refuse chemo-therapy – if it doesn’t kill you before the cancer would have it makes your last few months a hell on earth. My brother has non Hodgkin lymphoma. A few years ago they would have been filling him with chemicals but they discovered that the people they didn’t treat at all lived longer than the ones they did and many went into remission without any treatment at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. anjin-san says:

    Ron,

    Take a look at this, we just picked up a copy yesterday for my mother who is fighting cancer. It looks pretty interesting, the author has a compelling story to tell.

    http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Sexy-Diet-Veggies-Ignite/dp/1599218011

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Hey Norm says:

    “…Just in? Where you been?
    That was what we call sarcasm…”

    I guess a sarcastic reply to a sarcastic headline cancels out…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. samwide says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    With a few exceptions I would refuse chemo-therapy – if it doesn’t kill you before the cancer would have it makes your last few months a hell on earth

    Ron, for some things really extraordinary and hopeful, see

    An Immune System Trained to Kill Cancer

    and

    New drug could cure nearly any viral infection

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Ben Wolf says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your brother, Ron. Lymphoma is one of those really scary diseases which can hit people even in the prime of physical health. Andy Whitfield of Spartacus just died from the disease: he was only 39 and apparently his doctor had previously declared him “cured”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Hey Norm says:

    @ Ben…If you ever watched Spartacus you can hardly even imagine Whitfield being sick. Catastrophic illness can strike anyone…pointing out the utter ridiculoousness of positions like those held by Polaris.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  45. Rob in CT says:

    Obviously Bachmann is nuts. My worry is that her nuttery allows people to look at, for instance, Perry and say “well, he’s sane” – which, compared to her, maybe he is. Except he’s nuts too (or simply playing a nut on TV – you never can be sure whether they believe or they’re doing an act).

    edit: I’ll agree with those who have pointed out that the anti-vax stuff is a problem on the Left as well. However, I am pleased to see that lots of lefties with platforms routinely call it out. In fact, the reason I’m even aware of nutty anti-vax stuff on the left is because I’ve read lefty blog posts railing against it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. @Ben Wolf:

    “cured”: http://xkcd.com/931/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. WR says:

    @MarkedMan: Every time I go back to Northern California and see pelicans flying over the Bay, I get a thrill. They’re among the most beautiful things in creation. And they would be extinct if we hadn’t banned DDT in this country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  48. That Guy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But the central point still remains. There was no ban on DDT in the countries most affected by malaria.”

    Are you serious?!

    You seem to be saying that because the DDT I saw over there might not have been the original formula, that you have “got me” and you can discount the fact that the talking point is really so much BS. And that’s why there is no point in arguing. It’s not truth you are looking for, it’s talking points.”

    So because I raise doubts about the veracity of your claim, I’m like against the “truth”, or something. I suppose I should simply accept whatever you state as fact- because you uttered it…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. jan says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    With a few exceptions I would refuse chemo-therapy – if it doesn’t kill you before the cancer would have it makes your last few months a hell on earth.

    Well, Ron, we may not agree on many things politically, but our views regarding traditional medicine are similar.

    I’ve already posted I’m an RN, active, but not practicing. When I first started working as a nurse, my POV on health, and what kind of interventions worked and did not work, started to evolve. I found that magical ‘pills’ which medicine pushed were not always the answer. There is so much more involved in health and healing than instant remedies, many of which only resulted in short pauses, for instance in masking pain, rather than addressing underlying problems of the pain.

    Chemo-therapy has long been an issue with me as well. When my husband’s mom had late stage terminal cancer, but was given the option of chemo to extend her life, we asked her Dr. what he would do if it was his mom. His entire professional manner changed, he became reflective, and said he wouldn’t do anything, as the chemo would make life more miserable, even if it gave her a little more time.

    I think you are wise to stay away from statin drugs too, even though they are being handed out by the medical field like candy to control cholesterol. There are severe cumulative side effects, which are mostly ignored, including crippling muscle problems that can occur after prolonged usage. Your natural approach of garlic and fish oil is commendable.

    Because of my changing view of medicine, most of my Continuing Education courses, taken for license renewal, involved alternative medicine classes, including one called “Touch for Health.” There have been studies done showing that even blood work numbers are beneficially altered after a massage. That now ancient ritual of a nurse giving a brief back rub, instead of a sleeping pill, to a patient is unfortunate, as the former is often a sufficient substitute. My credo when working on pre-post operative floors was formulated around educating, personalizing and not over-medicating a patient. And, when I was Head Nurse, my whole team was trained to focus their care in this fashion as well.

    Anyway, I wish your brother the best in his cancer treatments. There are so many options to be explored now, many of which are non-evasive and don’t attack one’s immune system in the process of either staving off or ‘curing’ the disease itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Steve Verdon says:

    @Hey Norm:

    Norm, is sarcasm just a word in the dictionary between sack and shit to you? Just curious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. @jan:

    Chemo-therapy has long been an issue with me as well. When my husband’s mom had late stage terminal cancer, but was given the option of chemo to extend her life, we asked her Dr. what he would do if it was his mom. His entire professional manner changed, he became reflective, and said he wouldn’t do anything, as the chemo would make life more miserable, even if it gave her a little more time.

    My brother got a non-hodgkins lymphoma when he was 12.

    He’s 32 now, thanks to chemotherapy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  52. jan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    He’s 32 now, thanks to chemotherapy.

    Again, it’s a matter of one size not fitting all.

    Age seems to be a factor in having chemo be a positive form of medical intervention — younger ones seem to do better than older people. Also the type of cancers being treated give weight as to what is more appropriate.

    After all, there are side effects to anything you expose the body to, whether it’s considered a treatment or not. And, the invasiveness and harshness of these treatments, as to whether they will be more helpful or harmful, depends on assessing the patient as to whether or not a treatment is being done as a “Hail Mary,” or there is reasonable hope it will be of benefit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    We saw quite a few pelicans the other day when we were on 37 coming home from Mendocino. Don’t know if I have ever seen that many at one time. A great many egrets as well. Check out today’s sf chron for a good story on south bay wetlands restoration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. @jan:

    Again, it’s a matter of one size not fitting all.

    No it’s not. But “Chemo-therapy has long been an issue with me as well” is pretty one size fits all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  55. jan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    But “Chemo-therapy has long been an issue with me as well” is pretty one size fits all.

    Then I guess more clarification is needed. Most of the time chemo is the default treatment recommended for cancer. My ‘issue’ is that greater patient assessment is needed, along with more options given, before a course of chemotherapy is routinely prescribed and taken on by the patient. Lay people oftentimes will do what their doctor tells them to do, without any hesitation or questions. IMO, more knowledge gives a person more power to make educated choices in their own treatment. And, what I’ve found is when a person becomes personally engaged in their own treatment, the outcome usually has a better chance of success.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0