But not intentionally. Andrew Leonard at Salon caught Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s (R-MN) 5 minutes of questioning today, and it is hilarious. Leonard:
When Michelle Bachmann speaks, people don’t just listen, they gape. The Republican from Minnesota, famous for, among other things, bemoaning Barack Obama’s “final leap to socialism” and demanding McCarthy-esque witch hunts of “anti-American” politicians,” got her five minutes of time during Tuesday’s House Financial Services committee hearing on AIG, and she did not disappoint.
Bachmann first “grills” Geithner and Bernancke about what Constitutional authority the Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank have to do what they are doing, to which Geithner and Bernancke both remind Bachmann that Congress has the power to write the laws around here (7th grade social studies, I believe), and they duly have done so. The Treasury and Fed are doing what those laws allow them to do. Bachmann then asks about what the two gentlemen think about China, Russia, and Kazakhstan(!?) proposing an international currency not tied to the dollar. In Leonard’s words:
The look of disgust on Bernanke’s face? Priceless. You could practically hear him thinking: “I’ve got an economy on the edge of disaster to save, and I have to spend precious moments of my time answering questions from Michelle Bachmann?”
All of this is pretty hilarious. Then I looked at the video that Leonard embedded, and could not stop laughing. Hightlights:
- Pure bewilderment about how this lady became a member of the House of freakin’ Representatives is obvious on Geithner’s face at 0:42;
- Bachmann claiming that $10 trillion has been (will be? who knows?) spent, and Bernancke quickly shooting that down at 1:08
- Bernancke’s sigh of disgust at 2:18 (“I would also.”)
- Geithner starting to speak s l o w l y and c l e a r l y in response to Bachmann’s basic question about AIG, which she should have known the answer to if she had any idea what today’s hearing was about (namely “why AIG was put into conservatorship as opposed to receivership”) at 2:25
- More disgust and then a smackdown from Bernancke at 3:12
It is absolutely astounding how stupid and ill-informed this representative’s questions are. I could have answered any of those questions and I’m an unemployed dude trying to get a job in biomedical science. Sure, I read a good amount of news every day, but if it was actually my well-paying job to know about the United States’ Constitution, laws, and the threats facing it, I would damn well be a lot more informed about all that than I currently am. Again, this woman is one of only 435 representatives to the US House of Representatives. How is it that I know more about the US Congress than she does?
Without further ado, the video: