To live in a country where a woman who has dedicated her life to public service and promotes international peace on a daily basis can be freely attacked by a fellow (I say this reluctantly) public servant, is not a country I want to live in.
My first instinct was to actually make fun of this entire situation; I figured it seemed only natural to write something satirical if it involved Michele Bachmann. But this situation is far too serious and disappointing to be amusing. It’s an attack on the integrity of our nation.
Former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and four other conservative Congress members have recently made some of the most ignorant accusations yet. Singling out longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, they made claims that Islamists have infiltrated our federal government and are slanting our policies towards extremist causes. On June 13, led by Rep. Bachmann (R-Minn.), Republican legislatures sent letters to five federal agencies, insisting on investigations of people who are ostensibly trying to shape our foreign policy to support the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Wednesday, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) took to the Senate floor to deliver a fervent defense of Abedin, saying the calls for an investigation of the conspiracy are “specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans.”
McCain’s description of Abedin is everything I could ever ask for in a member of my federal government, saying she is “an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working and loyal servant of our country and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to advancing the ideals of the nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests. That she has done so while maintaining her characteristic decency, warmth and good humor is a testament to her ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence.”
I would go so far as to say that Bachmann is simply benighted, but that would be untrue because she lives in a developed country where we all have access to information that makes us know better than to make baseless claims on one ethnic group. Even her former campaign chief, Edward Rollins, wrote an op-ed saying “shame on you, Michele!”
There is a concrete lesson of bipartisanship to be learned here. It doesn’t matter what political party Huma Abedin belongs to, which one Michele Bachmann belongs to, nor does it matter which side John McCain leans towards. What matters is which side of human decency one leans toward. Are you sensitive and sympathetic to the discriminations that people like Abedin have faced? Are you grateful and honored to have the most intelligent people serving at the highest levels of your government? Or are you sinister and ungracious? This debate is less about political lines and more about the content of one’s character.
Frankly, as another woman in government, one would think Bachmann would have more admiration that admonishment for Abedin. McCain put it best in saying, “our reputations, our character, are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth, and unjust attacks that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wrong; it is contrary to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
To quote Bachmann herself, it is clear that her and the four other GOP members who launched these vitriolic charges have character akin to that of “Satan…that’s why this is so dangerous.”