Forget her husband's ex-gay therapy clinics, her cutesy gaffes about John Wayne Gacy, and all the other nutty little stories about Michele Bachmann. You only need one reason to determine that Michele Bachmann's campaign is a sick joke: The way she brags about how she would never raise the debt ceiling, and her claim that S&P only downgraded U.S. debt because the debt ceiling was eventually raised.

If we had anything even resembling a responsible mainstream media that accurately explained the debt ceiling — which isn't that hard if you try! — and stopped playing the bullshit "one side says this, the other side says that" game, Michele Bachmann would be out of the race by now over this single policy stance that she's taken. It is the exact opposite of what the correct policy stance is, and on an extremely delicate issue to boot. Here's how she put it in the debate last night:

"I think we just heard from Standard & Poor's. When they dropped - when they dropped our credit rating, what they said is, we don't have an ability to repay our debt. That's what the final word was from them.

"I was proved right in my position: We should not have raised the debt ceiling. And instead, we should have cut government spending, which was not done. And then we needed to get - get our spending priorities in order."

Interestingly, right around when Bachmann was saying this — the most illogical thing a top-tier presidential candidate has ever said, to be honest — the folks at S&P were sharing more information on their decision to downgrade. It sounds like they saw Michele Bachmann and a few other House Republicans on television during the debt ceiling debate and were like, "What country are they from? We should downgrade whatever country that is." From Politico:

A Standard & Poor's director said for the first time Thursday that one reason the United States lost its triple-A credit rating was that several lawmakers expressed skepticism about the serious consequences of a credit default - a position put forth by some Republicans.

Without specifically mentioning Republicans, S&P senior director Joydeep Mukherji said the stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that "people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default," Mukherji said.

"That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable," he added. "This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns."

This proves two things:

  • S&P is a silly company that doesn't understand American politics, because the votes of Michele Bachmann and other dead-enders like this were never needed to raise the debt ceiling. Are they really making sovereign credit ratings based on the dumb rhetoric of a few, even though the ceiling was raised on time? This is one more reason that the U.S. should be like every other country and not have a debt ceiling, just to keep things simple for the ratings agencies.
  • Michele Bachmann, the one who's made "being right" about the debt downgrade her chief campaign selling point, was the one who caused the downgrade!

On the other hand, Michele Bachmann is nice in person, so let's forget everything else.

[WaPo, images via Getty, AP]