Michele Bachmann has found her niche in the U.S. House of Representatives.

To conservative Republicans, she is one of the last true believers, a gladiator (gladiatrix?) against the creeping socialism offered by the Obama administration.

To liberal Democrats, she is a fundraising dream, a 24-hour gaffe machine who is the face of the real GOP.

And March has been a bonanza for her fans and her critics alike.

• She claimed to have never taken an earmark, when, in fact, she had requested nearly $4 million in 2008.

• In talking about her opposition to President Obama’s cap-and-trade plan to combat global warming, she called for citizens to become “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.”

• During her questioning of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Bachmann insisted that the two officials show her where in the Constitution they got the authority to take the steps they have in addressing the struggling economy and whether they supported a single global currency.

One of the bloggers who believes Bachmann is a true American hero is Donald Douglas at American Power.

As far as I’m concerned, the Obamacrats are indeed the enemy, out to destroy this country, and Michelle Bachmann know it: “Michele Bachmann isn’t afraid to stand up to the Democrats and say what she believes.” Naturally, the lefties don’t like it. The closer she hits to home, the harder the nihilists hit back. … God bless Representative Michelle Bachmann. She speaks for me!

Jeff Rosenberg at MnPublius was particularly outraged by Bachmann’s “armed and dangerous” comments.

Can you imagine how ballistic conservatives would have gone if a Democrat had said something like that? Suppose Keith Ellison said that Minnesotans need to be “armed and dangerous” over exorbitant bonuses for corporate executives. He would have been called a communist, a traitor, and far worse. Bachmann, though, consistently gets away with saying some terrible things. I suppose that’s because she’s standing up for good old American virtues, like pollution, greed, and bigotry.

Rather than get upset, Wonkette decided to have a little fun at the lawmaker’s expense.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has sump’m to say, she does! She wants everyone to get a gun and go kill the Democrats and establish a new government, because of some tax: “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.” How very inappropriate!

But First Ringer at Truth vs. the Machine said Bachmann’s critics are missing the point.

Patrick Henry, it ain’t. Nor is it Bachmann’s sic semper tyrannis to the Administration. … [H]er comments are hardly provocative — even by her standards. “Armed and dangerous” on the energy tax issue isn’t exactly a call to the ramparts or for the storming of the Climateologists’ Bastille. It’s a fairly tame — and lame — metaphor for pushing back against global warming “science.” … Bachmann dug this hole with her “anti-American” comments about Barack Obama last fall, meaning that every press outlet and left-of-center opponent will assume the worst when she opens her mouth.

After watching her performance at Tuesday’s House Financial Services Committee hearing, Andrew Leonard at Salon thought Bachmann’s staff should have given her a primer on constitutional law.

When Michelle Bachmann speaks, people don’t just listen, they gape. The Republican from Minnesota, famous for, among other things, bemoaning Barack Obama’s “final leap to socialism” and demanding McCarthy-esque witch hunts of “anti-American” politicians,” got her five minutes of time during Tuesday’s House Financial Services committee hearing on AIG, and she did not disappoint. Glowering at Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as if she was Thulsa Doom preparing to behead Conan the Barbarian, Bachmann posed her question. … Perhaps this is unkind, but Bachmann didn’t seem to appreciate that Congress’ power to legislate is in the Constitution.

tobrien@startribune.com