Michele Bachmann’s Vision of America

Reality-challenged Congressmember Michele Bachmann (R – Insane Asylum) said yesterday “we literally need to start banging garbage lids together” to fight against health care reform.

Where have I heard this before?

Oh, yes.  Here:

cacerolazo or cacerolada is a form of popular protest practised in certain Spanish-speaking countries – in particular Argentina – which consists in a group of people creating noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils in order to call for attention.

It is believed that the first cacerolazos took place in Chile between 1971 and 1973, led by middle and upper class women who were opposed to the socialist Allende government, primarily because of shortages of basic goods.

So what Bachmann’s real models are the people who brought us Augusto Pinochet.  If the shoe fits…


  1. Ken D. says

    More and more garbage cans these days have lids that are plastic and/or permanently attached by hinges. Probably a liberal plot to thwart righteous conservative protest.

  2. HG says

    Whoah….Jonathan, I urge you to take another try at this post.

    First, a cacerolazo is literally a banging of pots and pans, hence cacerola (pan); it's not banging of trash can lids. Second of all, this form of protest became popular in Argentina in the early 80s as a way for women to draw attention to the various "disappeared" at the hands of the authoritarian Argentine regime.

    Michelle Bachmann may be certifiably insane, but a cacerolazo was a form of protest from victims of Augusto Pinochet, not his cabinet.

    And I'm pretty disappointed that you would confuse protesters for the CIA and Kissinger as the responsible party for Pinochet. Please re-submit.

  3. James Wimberley says

    ¨R – Insane Asylum¨. The de-institutionalising of mental health care in the 70s or thereabouts closed most asylums. It was supposed to transfer the mentally ill to more civilised ¨community care¨ but in fact threw tens of thousands of men and women with really major problems on to the street – or in some cases apparently Congress. There´s a movement to bring back asylums in the original sense of the word: safe places for people who can´t cope in the world.

  4. says

    HG –

    The cacerolazo started in 1973 as a protest against Allende. In the early 80's, the mothers of the disappeared starting using it in a sort of ironic way. But it was originally a right-wing protest against the socialists.

    And you are right about the CIA and Kissinger's complicity, but let us not forget that Pinochet had and still has a social base in Chile. It didn't come from nowhere.

  5. says

    James, you're absolutely right. I worked for years serving this population, first delivering meals for people with AIDS (a large portion of which were "triple diagnosed" – AIDS, drug addiction & insanity) in San Francisco, then basically handing out meds in a temp home for the insane in Portland. There is a case to be made for ending the abusive nature of institutionalization and patients' rights, but from what I've seen the pendulum is has done a 180.

    So now instead of inhumane institutionalization, we have inhumane de-institutionalization. I can't tell you how many people I saw who were in no shape to manage their lives, let alone their meds. The Tenderloin of SF consists of block after block of slum single-occupancy rooms filled with this population. Nurse Ratchet is now an immigrant Bangladeshi family behind a padlocked office and everything else a patchwork of non-profits struggling to provide services.

    I'm sure this situation is repeated again and again in cities across the nation. And I fear in CA its gonna get real bad real soon. The Moral Midgets are finally coming to preside over a great failing state, and the shit rolling downhill will wipe many over the cliff. Starve the beast is literally being translated into "starve the beasts". And yet they have the nerve to paint horns on Obama.

  6. K says

    Zasloff's right. The most notorious "March of the Empty Pots" was held in Dec 1971; they were all part of the campaign that ended w/ Allende's death in the Moneda Palace.