There is a famous sketch known to all Python fans – the Spanish Inquisition. In this sketch ruthless Inquisitor Cardinal Ximinez wants desperately to put fear into the hearts of the populace but he can’t quite figure out what he’s trying to say.
Watch the Python sketch here:
This is what many Republican campaigns are turning into, including Rick Perry with his “oops” moment and Herman Cain with his “I have no idea what I think about Libya” moment and most recently, Michele Bachmann, answering questions for an audience in Storm Lake, Iowa last week.
In the Python sketch, the Inquisitors burst into a room:
Cardinal Ximinez : NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise! …Surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our three weapons are fear, and surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our four…no…
Amongst our weapons…. Hmf… Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surpr…. I’ll come in again.
In the Michele Bachmann sketch, the situation is similar. Bachmann apparently feels that President Obama is poking the Iranians with comfy cushions. She says she is made of sterner stuff and that the United States’ chief weapon is fear:
Bachmann/Ximinez: “That’s the problem today in foreign policy: You want the other nations to fear us. They don’t fear us today. They laugh at us. This is serious. The United States is being mocked at and laughed at. We’re the military super power of the world and we’re being mocked at and laughed at and being disrespected?”
“I will use absolutely everything in our arsenal against the Iranians. Because they need to know that they should fear the United States.”
As she spoke, a man in the crowd interrupted, asking whether the U.S. should be feared or respected.
Bachmann/Ximinez: “We want both. We want to be both feared and respected. No. 1 you want respect. But when you’re respected you’re also feared.”
One wonders if ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the church are the next necessary ingredients to a successful American foreign policy.
In the Python sketch, Cardinal Ximinez bumbles his attempt to sow fear and comes in to try again, with similar results:
Ximinez : NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! …Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms – Oh damn!
Sadly, a Bachmann presidency is unlikely to end with laughs, but with millions of unnecessary deaths and the destruction of what she claims she is trying to save. What people ought truly to be afraid of his Michele Bachmann and her fanatical devotion to Republican political theology.
Fear: It’s the Bachmann way.
Image: Hrafnkell Haraldsson