Olbermann on Fire

Keith Olbermann delivered a nice smackdown of empty-headed Minnesota representative Michelle Bachmann on last night’s Countdown:

The bronze to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. We’re all laughing at her historical gaffe yesterday about Jimmy Carter and swine flu. It turned out she topped herself on the floor of the House.

The Carter gaffe first, “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under a Democrat President Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama. I just think it is an interesting coincidence.”

Yes, the swine outbreak was in February 1976 when Republican Gerald Ford was president 11 months before Carter was inaugurated. But on the same day, she pulled this whopper, “FDR applied the opposite formula, the Hoot-Smawley Act, which was a tremendous burden on tariff restrictions and then, of course, trade barriers and the regulatory burden and taxpayers. That’s what we saw happen under FDR. The American people suffered for almost 10 years under that kind of thinking.”

Seriously, congresswoman, you are a buffoon. Smoot-Hawley, not Hoot-Smawley. It was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. And not only was it passed in 1930, three years before Franklin Roosevelt became president, but it was written by two Republicans, Sen. Reed Smoot and Congressman Willis Hawley. It was signed into law by a Republican President Herbert Hoover over the pleading of all the economists and big bankers, even the head of J.P. Morgan, and it was repealed under FDR in 1934.

I know, I know, congresswoman. You weren’t paying attention in history class in high school. You were too busy going to the movies. But it was in the movies, in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Ben Stein, the economics teacher, asked his class, “Anyone? Anyone?” where anyone raise or lowered. He was asking about the Smoot-Hawley Act. Hoot-Smawley. Hoot-Smawley.

We let this woman vote on actual pieces of legislation. But it’s worse that that. We let her drive a car. Hoot-Smawley.

The transcript, of course, does not do justice to Olbermann’s appropriately mocking tone.


  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    April 30, 2009

    I’ve already watched the video of that three times (and I might have to watch it again). I’m tempted to download it and make a director’s cut that just loops Keith saying “Seriously, congresswoman, you are a buffoon.” That was beautiful!

  2. #2 SLC
    April 30, 2009

    Ah, but the Robert O’Brien trophy for stupidity was awarded to Congressman Joe Barton who thought he could pull a fast one on Nobel Prize winning Energy Secretary Steven Chu.


  3. #3 wrpd
    May 1, 2009

    Bachman was evidently thinking about Stuart Smalley and was blaming Al Franken for something that happened over ten years before he was born.

  4. #4 Jim Harrison
    May 1, 2009

    It’s corrupting to have idiotic enemies. Olberman has been shooting fish in a barrel for too long now.

  5. #5 386sx
    May 1, 2009


    She’s like a mindless partisan robot or something. Everything the Democrats ever have done is the epitome of evil, everything the Republicans have ever dome is just freakin fantastic.

  6. #6 Pineyman
    May 1, 2009

    C’mon Ed –

    She’s referring to when Hootie and the Blowfish played at Smalley’s Caribbean BBQ & Pirate Bar in Minnesota. Thus, the Hoot-Smalley Act. Wait…FDR is in there…ah – Free Drinks for Regulars. There, fixed it.

    Sarcasm off now.

  7. #7 Pineyman
    May 1, 2009

    Yikes! Meant Jason. Sorry.

  8. #8 Jason Rosenhouse
    May 1, 2009

    Jim Harrison –

    Sadly, those fish have a distressing amount of influence over American culture. Someone has to shoot them (metaphorically speaking, of course).

    Pineyman –

    You are forgiven. Go in peace.

  9. #9 Boomer
    May 1, 2009

    Cue the “The Stupid, it burns!” graphic.

  10. thanks.that’s good.

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