Michele Bachmann’s family ties to deep blue Connecticut
Tea Party heroine and GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann seems allergic to reporters from certain newspapers, particularly the New York Times. But a son and brother, physicians with ties to UConn and Yale, have no trouble talking to the Gray Lady on the candidate’s behalf.
Her son, Dr. Lucas Bachmann, talked to the Times for a story yesterday that explores whether the Minnesota congresswoman’s migraines might be disabling. “She would not in any respect meet the definition for not having capacity in one of these episodes,” said Dr. Bachmann, a medical resident at UConn and one of the candidate’s five biological children. (She also is a foster mom.)
The Times was following a story published by the Daily Caller.
Her brother is Dr. Paul Amble, who teaches part-time at Yale and is the chief forensic psychiatrist for the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Earlier this month, Amble was quoted by The Times defending his sister’s strong rhetoric in opposition to gay marriage, despite having a gay stepsister who calls Bachmann’s comments hurtful.
In a speech in 2004 speech, when Bachmann was leading a campaign to ban same-sex marriage in her home state, she referred to her stepsister.
“I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgendered. We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders. This is a very real issue. It’s not funny, it’s sad,” Bachmann said. “Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle-we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay. “
Amble defended his sister’s comments and opposition to gay marriage as as doing “what she thought was right.” With his sister’s permission, Amble also was quoted in a Times profile last month. It was unclear if both quotes came from the same interview.
The notoriety of their mother and sister, particularly her views on homosexuality, is drawing unwelcome attention for the two docs, who live in a blue state where gay marriage is legal, housing and employment discrimination against gays was outlawed two decades ago, and the governor recently signed into law a bill outlawing discrimination against transgendered persons.
One blogger has tried without success to press Amble and Yale on whether he shares his sister’s views of homosexuality. And Alex Pareene wrote a snarky piece in Salon on the candidate’s son, based on her politics and his admiration of the late William F. Buckley, a Connecticut establishment figure whom Pareene says would have dismissed the mother as “a dimwit nutter.”
Dr. Bachmann, who is pursuing a career in psychiatry like his uncle, never has been shy about tweaking reporters, as he showed five years ago. More recently, he was invited to pose for Playgirl, according to The Caller. Unlike the father of Sarah Palin’s grandchild, the doctor declined.
“As you can certainly understand,” he wrote to the magazine, “One must have a certain degree of anonymity when treating patients in the mental health community.”
Good luck with that.
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