Rep. Michele Bachmann took us all on another ride aboard the crazy train this year, questioning the president's patriotism, defending BP, proclaiming herself the queen tea partier -- and winning re-election in the 6th congressional district.
Here's a look back.[jump]
Bachmann started 2010 right by earning CNN's "Wingnut of the Year" title for all the inane things she said in 2009, especially this Sean Hannity-enabled quote: "Where tyranny is enforced upon the people, as Barack Obama is doing, the people suffer and mourn."
Bachmann gets a free pass from Sean Hannity again when she claims, wrongly, that there was a nefarious Democratic "trick" to ram health care reform down the throats of Republicans using the reconciliation process.
To show just how hard it is to juggle careers in Congress and on the Fox News set, she admitted to she's sponsored no significant legislation of her own. And Bachmann also called Obama the "first post-American president," whatever that means.
All that righteous indignation about the dishonest, breathtakingly unconstitutional, never-been-used-before reconciliation process being used to pass health care legislation? Bachmann admitted she had it all wrong, blaming the fumble on a "constitutional law guy that I know who also does research."
That triumph of fact over fiction was drowned out by the din of the impending Bachmann-Palin love fest and fundraiser scheduled for April in Minneapolis. The bald-faced money grubbing included an offer to charge donors $10,000 a pop for a photo op.
Michele Bachmann represents the 6th congressional district, but she had to come down to the big bad blue 5th in Minneapolis to raise a mountain of cash with Sarah Palin -- who doesn't actually represent anyone since she walked away from her job as Alaska's governor. Along with Sean Hannity -- there he was again! -- they packed the convention center. He thought they'd make a swell White House team. Fair and balanced, as always he later gave Bachmann $5,000.
Red meat flowed. But paranoia runs deep. Gangster government is afoot, and Bachmann also raised cash by claiming that Bill Clinton was trying to take her out.
Demonstrating that up is down and black is white, she also called Net Neutrality, the principle of freedom from government and corporate interference on the Internet, an evil Obama censorship plot.
The theocrats never quit. One pet project: Turning the U.S. military into God's army, because God's on our side. Bachmann tried to insert language -- without debate -- into a military spending bill that would allow military chaplains to proselytize. House leaders caught wind of the gambit and the amendment never made it into the final bill. God bless 'em.
Also in May: Newsweek's Andrew Romano is assigned to follow Bachmann around as she campaigns for re-election. He wasn't impressed: "I'd initially believed that Bachmann, love her or hate her, was emblematic of a new, niche-media breed of politician," he wrote. "But it turns out that she's just a louder-mouthed version of the old model."
Every question asked of #Bachmann today was submitted via notecard. This is unusual. When a voter in Monticello spoke out, MB stiffed him.
British Petroleum's oil rig blows up and turns the Gulf of Mexico into the world's biggest toxic waste dump, and Michele Bachmann worries that BP, not the American people, is getting screwed: "If I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there -- 'We're not going to be chumps, and we're not going to be fleeced.' And they shouldn't be."
When you read quotes like that, it hardly comes as a surprise to learn that fliers are going up around town that say, "F*ck Michele Bachmann."
Bachmann declared herself queen and "receptacle" of the Tea Party. Then she found herself in a smackdown with Missouri teabaggers, and Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher, over her lack of support for their prefered candidate for U.S. Senate. She boosted a run-of-the-mill conservative Republican congressman instead. Bad call. Our Tale of the Tape:
"We're not going to let anyone get away with saying there were less than a million here today," Bachmann hollered after Glenn Beck's rally in Washington, D.C. But that's a fraction of reality, according to AirPhotosLive.com. It pegged the numbers at less than 100,000.
August also brought the State Fair, and a target-rich environment for Bachmann's trademark paranoia. In fact, she got so carried away with trying to scare the bejesus out of voters about her Democratic opponent, Tarryl Clark, she forgot to notice that she'd committed copyright infringement on the State Fair's own trademark.
Bachmann hit every friendly microphone at the State Fair, but ran away from CNN. Then she threw George W. Bush under the bus. And "Jim the election guy," hired to pitch her wares, turned out to be an obscure Hollywood actor named Beau Peregino, and a punchline.
It's not every day that a candidate for Congress intentionally drops a bleeped-out line into a campaign ad. But Tarryl Clark did.
"She stood up for BP when no one else would. She has a 100 percent voting record supporting Wall Street. She even stood with the big insurance companies and voted against reform," the announcer said in the ad. "Michele Bachmann, not doing @#%! For the people of the 6th District."
Also in October: Bachmann got her own comic book:
Bachmann won re-election, wondered if the news gave Chris Matthews that tingly feeling in his leg, then quickly learned that she wasn't Republican Party leadership material.
Maybe John Boehner's boys were worried about episodes like this: Bachmann told the BBC she didn't care whether it was nonsense that Barack Obama spent more per day on his official visit to India -- $200 million -- than America spends a day on the war in Afghanistan. She just liked saying it over and over because it sounded so good.
She did say one thing we can all get behind, however: Bachmann doesn't want the TSA groping your junk.
The 94,000 black farmers who lost out on federal financing because of discrimination don't deserve a penny from a new settlement, Bachmann said, because there are only 18,000 black farmers in America. There would be a lot more of course, but the reason they're not farming is because they couldn't get financing. "Simple math" turns out to be simple nonsense.
And finally, as a Christmas present to America, and headline writers everywhere, Boehner proves that he has a great sense of humor. He announces that Michele Bachmann will guard our intelligence.