The Republican establishment has long kept Michele Bachmann at arm's length and the exploitation of her simple inquiry into foreign policy matters (along with Louie Gohmert, Tom Rooney, Trent Franks, and Lynn Westmorland) is just another example. What's worse: they seem eager to work in tandem with the media to help push along the overdramatic and purposeful mischaracterization of the group's inquiry -- and set their sights specifically on Bachmann.
I find it particularly fascinating, the way the GOP establishment loves to join in the complaints about media bias while aiding it as it suits them and pretending no one will notice.
The best way to assuage the congressional members' questions about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration is, of course, to prove that they are irrevocably without merit, which isn't done by attacking Bachmann ad hominem and challenging her character. Unfortunately, that's not the route the DC establishment chose.
Andrew McCarthy in his excellent column laid out the officials' concerns and why there is precedent for the presentation of such an inquiry:
For pointing this out and merely asking the State Department’s inspector general to look into it and report back to Congress — which is part of the IG’s duties under the statute that created his position — McCain & Co. (i.e., his fans in the left-wing media and his admirers in the Republican establishment) are screaming “smear” and “McCarthyism.”
McCain blasted Representative Bachmann and the others, falsely accusing them of doing to his friend Huma what he had actually done to ElBaradei, namely, implicating her as “part of a nefarious conspiracy.”
To the contrary, the House members have drawn no such conclusions. Instead, they have pointed out the State Department’s dramatic, Brotherhood-friendly policy shifts during Ms. Abedin’s tenure as a top adviser to the State Department’s boss. They have asked — completely consistent with national-security guidelines, to which I’ll come shortly — that an investigation into those policy shifts be undertaken.
The shrieks aside, this is not remotely unreasonable, nor is it an inquisition into Ms. Abedin’s decency and rectitude.
Read the whole thing. Apparently so much as asking assurances from congress that individuals are vetted -- especially now that we're endorsing Egyptian candidates whose very party affiliation so appalled Senator John McCain just a year ago--is forbidden. I'll repeat: there are people within the Republican party who feel that asking questions of Congress and the administration is forbidden. Any declaration on the character of any individuals named was the supposition of the media and people like McCain.
All that is situationally excusable with the emergence of Bachmann as a target. It's convenient. She's long been the bane of certain Republicans because her record, while not as distinguished or completely demonstrative of Article 1 Section 8, is more conservative than most, and she's resented for it. Resented--and disliked because she can't be molded into submission.
I distinctly remember when the grassroots was under attack, when the military-authorized Gadsen flag was cited in a DHS report as a sign of "extremism"--the same report that named individuals as potential domestic terrorists because they dared dissent--only a few elected officials actually came to the movement's defense. Even fewer defended it without the expected return of favor for campaign help. It's odd how the same people blasting Bachmann now are the same people silent in those days--or worse, who called that same movement "hobbits" during a fight over the debt ceiling vote.
It's no shock now that those same individuals seized upon a simple congressional question as a way to justify their ostracism of those congressional members who don't play the beltway blues.