Cities without landmarks
Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada
Tea Party Rep. Michele Bachmann has been laying low since last November’s election when she came dangerously close to losing her House seat, possibly in preparation for a bid against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken in 2014.
But Bachmann, being Bachmann, couldn’t stay quiet forever — or even very long. And yesterday, she participated in a “newsmaker interview” at Patrick Henry College, a conservative evangelical school in Virginia (the man who introduced her said he wished the Tea Party movement had been “a little more conservative”). She addressed everything from her favorite contemporary singer (Beyoncé) to gay marriage (bad) to her mistakes (none).
When asked about the “inevitability” of gay marriage, Bachmann stood up from her chair to say that heterosexual marriage is “immutable” and “the basis of our society — between men and women.” “I won’t be deviating,” she said, explaining that no matter what humans think, God created marriage and that is unquestionable.
Asked if any good came from feminism, Bachmann said that realizing that “women are valuable and that women should be listened to is very important.” However, she continued, “But in my opinion, that wasn’t feminism, that was Jesus Christ who did that. Because Jesus Christ did more to lift up women … We didn’t need the 1960s to tell us that, all you have to do is read Proverbs 31.”
She dwelled on her faith at length, saying she couldn’t think of a time when evangelical Christianity has been at odds with political conservatism, because when it comes to politics, “my guide has been scripture.”
“Voting has not been tough for me, for the most part,” she continued, “because there’s guideposts about what will bring about the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people.” (A philosophical aside: That’s almost a direct quote of Jeremy Bentham, a Utilitarian philosopher who has been decried by some Christian thinkers for promoting moral relativism.)
Not so for other faiths, however, as she warned about a concerted campaign to create a global Islamic Caliphate, explaining that even here, “We’re seeing a movement now in the United States where there is an effort to push Shariah law compliance and that takes away rights for individuals.”
But perhaps her most revealing answers came when she spoke about her failed presidential bid. “I was very proud of the fact that I didn’t get anything wrong that I said during the course of the debates. I didn’t get anything wrong and that’s a huge arena,” she said.
“You have to be a virtual Wikipedia,” she said of preparing for the debates, because, “You can be asked anything. You could be asked, who’s your favorite contemporary singer?” Later a student asked that very question and Bachmann replied that it was Beyoncé, whose Super Bowl show she enjoyed, though she also thought Michael Bublé is “pretty cool.”
Asked if there were any questions she would have answered differently if given a chance to do over again, Bachmann said she wished she had gotten John Wayne’s birthplace and Elvis Presley’s birthday correct.
In June of 2011, Bachmann noted that she was from Waterloo, Iowa, “just like John Wayne.” As it turns out, it was John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer, who lived in Waterloo. The actor was born in a different part of the state.
As for Elvis, she wished him a happy birthday on the day he died.
But those were the only questions she wants to do over, “because I was right about all the others.”
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.More Alex Seitz-Wald.
Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada
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Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
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Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France
Lost City of Petra, Jordan