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Salon - Joe Conason
Stumping in Minnesota, he calls Michele Bachmann “the ultimate example of putting ideology over evidence”
Minneapolis — As Tea Party activists celebrated their upset triumph in Delaware, Bill Clinton showed up in Minneapolis to support the Democrat challenging the insurgent Republican movement’s favorite member of Congress: Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the founder of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus.
At a late-night fundraiser for state Sen. Tarryl Clark, Clinton described Bachmann as the epitome of a trend he regards as profoundly dangerous to the nation’s future. “Your opponent,” he told Clark, “is the ultimate example of putting ideology over evidence.”
“I respect people with a conservative philosophy,” he continued. “This country has been well-served by having two broad traditions within which people can operate. If you have a philosophy, it means you’re generally inclined one way or the other but you’re open to evidence. If you have an ideology, it means everything is determined by dogma and you’re impervious to evidence. Evidence is irrelevant.
“That’s how I see Rep. Bachmann. She’s very attractive in saying all these things she says, but it’s pretty stupid.”
Clinton lamented that “a distinguished former governor of Delaware was beaten tonight by the so-called tea party candidate” because enough primary voters had accepted a “new narrative” promoted by the extreme right. “They’re saying that Barack Obama represents the spearhead of this vast socialist conspiracy to have government swallow up the fabric of American life and he’s going to crush our individualism, and our freedom, and the vitality of small business … They tell us that they they represent America the way it used to be, self-reliant, virtuous individuals and small businesses. And the truth is, what they want to do is dismantle government so corporations, big corporations will control our destiny.”