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Michele Bachmann vs. Rick Perry: Who's the Bigger Right-Wing Extremist?

Who really deserves a reputation as too much of a right-wing extremist for the Beltway media to take seriously?

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Science. Both Perry and Bachmann object to the theory of evolution, even though evolution has a similar scientific consensus to the theory that mammals need to breathe oxygen to survive. Perry put his anti-science views into action, appointing creationists to the Texas School Board  in hopes they can deceive Texas schoolchildren  about reality.  

Perry and Bachmann also object to global warming, even though it also enjoys scientific consensus. Bachmann’s objections to science  won her a space  on the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, which is dedicated to killing off any actual solutions to American energy problems. Perry went beyond vague insinuations that he somehow knows better than scientists about climate into the territory of  promoting the theory  that climate change is a global hoax involving thousands---millions?---of scientists and leaders, in order to get the sweet cash from imaginary funders who have some non-disclosed interest in cutting into oil profits. Instead of listening to scientists on the subject of climate, Perry prefers a more 12th-century approach,  asking people instead to pray for rain.   

Wingnut points:  Three to Bachmann, two for denying evolution and global warming, and one for putting her global warming denialism into action. Five to Perry, two for denying evolution and global warming, two for putting those beliefs into action, and one for promoting a far-right conspiracy theory.   

Hypocrisy on the stimulus. One of the great pastimes of hard-line right-wingers these past two years has been loudly denouncing the economic stimulus as a waste of money that won’t create jobs, and then turning around to ask for stimulus funds on the grounds that they want the job creation in their own districts. When it comes to denouncing Obama, they believe that stimulus is ineffective, but when it comes to actual governance, they believe stimulus is effective. Perry and Bachmann are both aggressive offenders. On the very same day Perry started an online petition denouncing the stimulus,  he requested stimulus funds for Texas , an amount that plugged up nearly 97 percent of the state’s budget shortfall. Bachmann also railed against the stimulus  while firing off letter after letter to the White House  requesting funds for her district, an effort that failed.   

Wingnut points: One for Bachmann for asking, and two for Perry for succeeding.

Women’s submission. Bachmann’s gotten a lot attention for  her belief in Biblical submission , which teaches that women are to obey their husbands as if they were God. She tried to recast this belief as a semantic issue where “submit” suddenly means “respect,” but the belief became clear when she specifically referenced how her husband chose a career for her that she hated, but was powerless to refuse. Perry  thinks it's natural to assume that women  do all their husbands’ ironing, but hasn’t suggested that a woman who demurs is on the path to hell.  

Wingnut points:  One to Perry for regular ol’ sexism. Three to Bachmann for sexism, Bible-thumping, and the hypocrisy of offering herself as a leader when her faith requires her to have no real will of her own at home. 

Conversion story. An impossibly high number of right-wing nuts claim they  used to be Democrats , but were somehow driven from the fold by the evilness of liberals.  Most of these supposed converts are making it all up, but both Bachmann and Perry have real-world evidence of previous time spent backing Democratic candidates.  Bachmann’s story is a little fishier, as  she claims she worked for Jimmy Carter  and then somehow was run off liberalism because Gore Vidal’s writing hurt her feelings.   

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