If you know anything about Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi it's that he totally despises conservatives.
In the soon-to-be-released issue of the magazine that actually employs him, Taibbi relentlessly attacked Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann as a "bats--t crazy" "political psychopath" with a "gigantic set of burnished titanium Terminator-testicles swinging under her skirt" (illustration by Victor Juhasz):
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann, do one more thing. Don't laugh.
So began "Michele Bachmann's Holy War," Taibbi's 5,200-word hit piece on Bachmann.
And that was just the opening salvo:
Michele Bachmann is almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics. [...]
Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions.
Get the picture? Whenever possible, Taibbi eviscerated Bachmann's sanity as well as her religious beliefs:
Michele Bachmann, when she turns her head toward the cameras and brandishes her pearls and her ageless, unblemished neckline and her perfect suburban orthodontics in an attempt to reassure the unbeliever of her non-threateningness, is one of the scariest sights in the entire American cultural tableau. She's trying to look like June Cleaver, but she actually looks like the T2 skeleton posing for a passport photo.
And, since Rolling Stone readers love vulgarity, Taibbi is always willing to provide it:
Bachmann is exactly the right kind of completely batshit crazy. Not medically crazy, not talking-to-herself-on-the-subway crazy, but grandiose crazy, late-stage Kim Jong-Il crazy — crazy in the sense that she's living completely inside her own mind, frenetically pacing the hallways of a vast sand castle she's built in there, unable to meaningfully communicate with the human beings on the other side of the moat, who are all presumed to be enemies.
Imagine that. To Taibbi, this presidential candidate is as crazy as one of America's mortal enemies, North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. And he was just getting warmed up:
[T]his hard-charging challenger for the GOP nomination is a rare breed of political psychopath, equal parts crazed Divine Wind kamikaze-for-Jesus and calculating, six-faced Machiavellian prevaricator. [...]
Bachmann's entire political career has followed this exact same pattern of God-speaks-directly-to-me fundamentalism mixed with pathological, relentless, conscienceless lying. She's not a liar in the traditional way of politicians, who tend to lie dully, usefully and (they hope) believably, often with the aim of courting competing demographics at the same time. That's not what Bachmann's thing is. Bachmann lies because she can't help it, because it's a built-in component of both her genetics and her ideology. She is at once the most entertaining and the most dangerous kind of liar, a turbocharged cross between a born bullshit artist and a religious fanatic, for whom lying to the infidel is a kind of holy duty.
So, Taibbi isn't bothered by politicians lying if they know they're misrepresenting the truth to get votes. He's just offended - or so he claims - if religious people do it.
Of course, that's not what Bachmann is doing, but it is a strange distinction, wouldn't you agree?
Getting past this oddity, Taibbi added his version of vitriolic biographical analysis in a sorry attempt to legitimize his hit piece:
In October 2006, she stepped before a packed house at the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and told her life story. All of history's great madmen have had that one gorgeous moment where the cackling hairy hunchback that has been gestating within for years finally comes out and shows itself, strutting up and down the catwalk for the world to see. This was Michele's catwalk moment.
In almost every paragraph, there was something present to remind readers just how much the author despised Bachmann, and how much they should as well:
The public has become acquainted with some of Bachmann's other excellent qualities as a politician — her TV-ready looks, her easy confidence in public speaking, her quick command of a mountainous database of (frequently bogus) facts — but often overlooked is her greatest quality, the gigantic set of burnished titanium Terminator-testicles swinging under her skirt.
After attacking his subject for well over 5,000 words, Taibbi offered a surprising conclusion:
Even other Republicans, it seems, are making the mistake of laughing at Bachmann. But consider this possibility: She wins Iowa, then swallows the Tea Party and Christian vote whole for the next 30 or 40 primaries while Romney and Pawlenty battle fiercely over who is the more "viable" boring-white-guy candidate. Then Wall Street blows up again — and it's Barack Obama and a soaring unemployment rate versus a white, God-fearing mother of 28 from the heartland.
It could happen. Michele Bachmann has found the flaw in the American Death Star. She is a television camera's dream, a threat to do or say something insane at any time, the ultimate reality-show protagonist. She has brilliantly piloted a media system that is incapable of averting its eyes from a story, riding that attention to an easy conquest of an overeducated cultural elite from both parties that is far too full of itself to understand the price of its contemptuous laughter. All of those people out there aren't voting for Michele Bachmann. They're voting against us. And to them, it turns out, we suck enough to make anyone a contender.
So Bachmann is a bats--t crazy, psychopathic, lying, religious zealot who just might become president because people like Taibbi suck.
I may not agree with his opinion of the Minnesota Congresswoman, but I most certainly have no problem with his self-analysis or his depiction of people that share his views.