Well, at least that's the picture I get from where I live Down Under after reading Ryan Lizza's well-researched piece in a recent issue of The New Yorker (admittedly a pretty liberal Big City, blue state magazine) about Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Such notions would probably be denied by Bachmann and her coterie because of worries about alienating Middle America (at least those parts of it which are likely to vote on the Right next year) but it's pretty clear that this born-again Christian does, indeed, believe that the Scriptures ought to be implemented in a literal sense within the jurisdiction of the United States of America. As Lizza points out, a lot of the literature that Bachmann has, at one point in time or another, endorsed lies well outside the bounds of sanity. A Christian Caliphate? You bet.
And we thought that Tony Abbott was a worry here, in Australia. The Opposition Leader is of course a Catholic and has supported policies that work against abortion, in the past, but he's at least not someone who believes that he has a secure phone line to the Almighty.
The Tea Party voters that Bachmann is trying to win over are sympathetic to such rhetoric, of course, but by using such terms as "liberty" Bachmann is trying to win over other parts of the Right in US society.
[T]he Pew Research Center, in its recent quadrennial study of the American electorate, noted that “the most visible shift in the political landscape” since 2005 “is the emergence of a single bloc of across-the-board conservatives. The long-standing divide between economic, pro-business conservatives and social conservatives has blurred.”Ouch. Bachmann is not the only option, certainly, but on the other side of the ring stands Mitt Romney, a Massachussetts Mormon (if that can be given any sort of credence). So it looks as though the US is set for an entertaining year of pollie-schtick as the Republican Party moves toward actually making Barack Obama a "one term president" (the cry is Bachmann's signature, popping up at almost every public appearance). Lizza suspects that the electorate will cotton onto Bachmann's true wierdness before the election, however. We can only hope.