In response to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s announcement that she will not seek reelection to Congress, People For the American Way president Michael Keegan issued the following statement:
“Congress certainly won’t be the same without Michele Bachmann. Although plenty of her GOP colleagues are just as extreme, none of them could match her ability to concoct conspiracies and pursue them aggressively, without even a shred of evidence.
“Bachmann has a knack for making headlines, usually for all the wrong reasons. Just earlier this month, she blamed America for the 9/11 and Benghazi terrorist attacks, saying they were God’s judgment. This was a fitting capstone to her years of outrageous and offensive remarks as a member of Congress.
“In her relatively short time in Congress, Bachmann called for investigations into ‘anti-American’ elements within Congress and the ‘deep penetration’ of the US government by the Muslim Brotherhood. She personally led a witch hunt against committed civil servants like Huma Abedin on the basis of their religion. And she recklessly warned that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation, that AmeriCorps is a Communist-style ‘re-education camp’ for the young and that Census forms would be used to gather dissenting Americans into concentration camps. To be honest, that’s just scratching the surface.
“Despite Bachmann’s effort to put a positive spin on her retirement from Congress, that’s clearly not the case. Her ill-fated presidential campaign has come under scrutiny for ethical and financial lapses, and she faced likely defeat at the hands of Democrat Jim Graves. He nearly defeated her last time, and that was before her latest troubles and outbursts.
“I don’t imagine we’ve heard the last of Bachmann, I’m sorry to say. But I hope her retirement from Congress will leave slightly more room for rational debate and turn down the volume of the conspiracy caucus.”