Messiah wannabe Michele Bachmann, so famous for the glaring inaccuracies of her statements that you’d think she was in some kind of competition with Sarah Palin (even Chris Wallace asked her if she was a flake), began her messianic campaign in Iowa on Monday. She didn’t do as well as Jesus although she tried; Jesus turned water into wine and Michele opted for turning lies into history. Put to the test, Bachmann remained true to form: as Sarah Jones reported here the other day, she began her campaign with lies.
Given a chance to recant her earlier faux pas a day later, she decided instead, in the words of one blogger, to “double down” on her false statements when she appeared on Good Morning America to be interviewed by George Stephanapoulos. And why not? In for a penny, in for a pound and all that, as noted Tory Paul Revere would have said before riding off to save the British Empire.
Already noted for such gaffe’s as 2011’s claim that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly” to end slavery (which George asks her about below) and 2005’s claim that ending minimum wage would end unemployment (George touches on this toward the end), she now claims that John Quincy Adams, eight years old at the time the Declaration of Independence was written, is a Founding Father.
But of course, we already know from her fellow Tea Partier that the Revolution began not in Massachusetts but New Hampshire and that Paul Revere went on his ride to warn the British, so why not retroactively promote the young John Quincy Adams to adult-hood?
Stephanopoulos: In your announcement you said ‘my voice is part of a movement to take back our country.’ From whom?
Bachmann: Well, from the people all across the nation. The voice that I learned growing up in Iowa was a very reasonable common sense voice and that is one that I’ve learned, that I’ve taken to – very successfully to the halls of Congress. And now I want to take that to the White House so that we can get the country back on the right track and get job creation going. That’s the message that’s resonating with people and that’s why so many people have been going to my new website that we launched, michelebachmann.com. They are joining up on Facebook and Twitter. It’s really a growing movement, we’re in New Hampshire today and we’re on our way down to South Carolina to start our bus tour so we are very excited with the response from people all across the country.
Stephanopoulos: You have been making a lot of progress, also getting a lot of scrutiny. I am not going to get too deep into the “flake” flap from Sunday. But as you make progress in this campaign everything you say is going to get more scrutiny. And the Pulitzer Prize winning website, Politifact, has found that you have the worst record of making false statements of any of the leading contenders. And I wondered if you wanted to take a chance to clear up some of your past statements. For example earlier this year you said that the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence worked tirelessly to end slavery. Now with respect Congresswoman, that’s just not true. Many of them including Jefferson and Washington were actually slave holders and slavery didn’t end until the Civil War.
Bachmann: Well you know what’s marvelous is that in this country and under our constitution, we have the ability when we recognize that something is wrong to change it. And that’s what we did in our country. We changed it. We no longer have slavery. That’s a good thing. And what our Constitution has done for our nation is to give us the basis of freedom unparalleled in the rest of the world.
Stephanopoulos: I agree with that…
Bachmann: That’s what people want…they realize our government is taking away our freedom.
Stephanopoulos: But that’s not what you said. You said that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery.
Bachmann: Well if you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that’s absolutely true. He was a very young boy when he was with his father serving essentially as his father’s secretary. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery….
Stephanopoulos: He wasn’t one of the Founding Fathers – he was a president, he was a Secretary of State, he was a member of Congress, you’re right he did work to end slavery decades later. But so you are standing by this comment that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery?
Bachmann: Well, John Quincy Adams most certainly was a part of the Revolutionary War era. He was a young boy but he was actively involved.
Actively involved. Let’s see….he learned of the Declaration of Independence by way of a letter from his father. He got to watch the siege of Boston with a lot of other onlookers. When he was 10 he went overseas with his father, who was made commissioner to negotiate piece with Great Britain. He came home briefly before returning with his father to Paris in 1780, then to Holland to begin studies at Leyden University. In 1781 he went with Francis Dana to Russia and returned to France in 1783. For the record, the Revolution ended in 1783. John Quincy Adams, whom Bachmann claims “was actively involved” missed damn near the entire thing, being overseas.
George kindly gave her the opportunity to push her Republican “low wage” narrative by asking her about her end-the-minimum-wage cure-all. And you have to love the slavish devotion to the idea of “job creation” from the party that has yet to create a single job. Do you think any Republicans have noticed yet?
Stephanopoulos: Well let me move on to another one of your statements on the issue of jobs which is so central to this campaign. You said back in 2005 that taking away the minimum wage could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment. Where is the evidence for that?
Bachmann: You know I think what we need to do is, again George, focus on job creation. I’m a former federal tax litigation attorney. I worked for years in the federal tax court system and watched how devastating high taxes are on business and individuals and farmers. And I’m also a job creator. My husband and I started from scratch a successful small business. That’s really the focus that I’m hearing today in New Hampshire. People are very upset that the president has us at 9.1 percent unemployment. That is not acceptable. He promised us that we wouldn’t see unemployment go above 8 percent. We’ve lost millions of jobs, people are suffering, they are hurting and I feel their pain and I want to make sure that what we do going forward is actually to address this and turn the economy around and get it on the right track because that’s really what people care about – that’s what they’re talking to me about all across the country.
Stephanopoulos: I think that’s what everyone wants to get this unemployment down but do you still believe that eliminating the minimum wage could virtually eliminate unemployment?
Bachmann: I think what we need to do is bring economists together, people who have been in this field to let us know what are the job killing regulations that could help us in turn put the economy on the right track. And so I think we need to across the board look at all of the regulations of various departments and do that. Unfortunately under President Obama we’ve seen a tremendous expansion of even more government regulations, that’s lead to even fewer jobs being created. So there’s several tactics we need to look at, one is the tax code, another is the regulatory burden that adds approximately 1.7 trillion of burden on job creators. If we could lift that then I think we’d see more people get higher wages, better benefits and more jobs because what we want is more job growth in America rather than to see jobs transferring overseas.
Stephanopoulos: Let me try one more time, so you are saying that the minimum wage is one of those regulations you’d take a look at, you’d try to eliminate it?
Bachmann: Well what I’m saying is that I think we need to look at all regulations, whatever–whatever ones are inhibiting job growth that’s what we need to —
Stephanopoulos: And the minimum wage is one of them?
Bachmann: All regulations George. I think every department. We have just too much expansion of government and so what we need to do is tamp that down so that the American people can keep more of what they make.
My own suspicion, since she likes to misquote John Adams (1735-1826) to build her case for an American “Israel First” foreign policy, is that she mistook John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) for his father. I mean, their names are close, right? She’d already kinda gone there, almost unnoticed, when she said,
“The very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States….Men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.”
But the John Quincy Adams reference got lost in the reaction to her claims about slavery. Apparently close enough for Michele Bachmann and her fellow Tea Partiers, who after all, can manage to wave “Don’t Tread on Me” flags while treading on the common people of this country.
And of course, her faithful totalitarian followers have been eagerly trying to “update” history by turning John Quincy Adams into a Founding Father on Wikipedia, just as earlier attempts were made by Palin’s fan’s to revise Paul Revere’s ride to bring it in line with the complete and abject ignorance of the speaker. The lesson seems to be, if you don’t like history, create one more amendable to you. It’s all good in the land of low-wage religio-corporate slavery.