Bachmann’s supporters join the rewriting history bandwagon

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 13:07 EDT
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I'm somewhat reluctant to feed the beast on this. Every story based around "Michele Bachmann doesn't know her history/the meaning of words/how to work door knobs!" is a story where we're not talking about how Michele Bachmann is a fire-breathing Bible thumper who can't wait for her husband to have a handmaid of his own so they can keep having babies.  While I think folks like Matt Taibbi overrate the damage of making fun of Bachmann for being stupid—yes, it makes stupid people like her more, but it does help her lose support amongst those who still have functioning brain cells, which was why Sarah Palin so dramatically damaged John McCain's campaign—-mixing some other narratives (Iranian-style theocracy supporter comes to mind) into the mix will help hurt her chances even more.  

Anyway, despite all this, I want to point out that Bachmann is pulling a Palin, i.e. when she got history wrong, her supporters (with her blessing) decided to rewrite history rather than let Dear Leader be wrong.  "We've always been at war with Eurasia" is no longer hyperbole!  Her supporters changed John Wayne's birthplace on Wikipedia in order to bring it in line with her erroneous statements, which I found especially amusing, because I'd bet a large sum of money that whoever did that believes that Obama faked his birth certificate to become President. And now her supporters are claiming that John Quincy Adams was a "Founding Father", even though he was a small child when the Declaration of Independence was signed.  

The reason they're doing this goes back to—as it often does with this crew—this nation's ugly history of racism and their inability to deal with it that stems from their role as people who are continuing it.  Bachmann was trying to find a way to justify her ridiculous claim that the Founding Fathers "fought tirelessly" to end slavery, and what she happened upon was to put all that statement on one guy who wasn't actually a Founding Father, though he was the son of one.  

By this line of argument, I'm going to say that the citizens of West Texas in the 1970s work tirelessly to keep my cats' water bowl full in the summer. Hey, if your parents and all the people around them get to take credit for the work you do, then the possibilities are endless.  As are the Wikipedia rewrites. 

I think at this point it's worth pre-locking certain Wikipedia pages every time a Republican says something blatantly wrong on the topic.  Clearly, shame isn't going to prevent the volunteer propagandists from rewriting history, but access could stop them. 

Also, with regards to the manufactured flap over the word "flake", I will say this: probably in the future it would be wise, when using accurate descriptors for Michele Bachmann, stick to ones that tend to be used mostly or only to describe men.  "Flake" is applied to men and women, which is enough for the wingnuts to round that up to "sexist", since they don't actually give a flying fuck about real sexism.  I recommend "lunkhead" and "asshole" for future use. 

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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