By Linda Tarrant-Reid
As you probably have read in press accounts and seen on TV, Michele Bachmann, the Republican Congressional Representative from Minnesota, has declared that she is running for president. Michele has stumbled several times out of the gate, on her road to the White House, but don’t tell her that. Bachmann’s “American Girl” dazzling looks and her status as the “darling of the Tea Party Movement” seems to be keeping her in good stead with her vocal constituency, and may be adding to her teflonness, similar to the Ronald Reagan phenomena. You remember the “Gipper”? The more he stumbled and bumbled; the more they loved him. All he had to do was hang his head sheepishly, give an aww shucks face and America forgave his missteps.
Bachmann, who announced her candidacy in Iowa at the end of June, according to Florida’s St. Petersburg Times’ fact-checking Web site, politifact.com, has not gotten it right at least 19 times in recent statements. The Congresswoman’s inaccuracy quotient includes a statement about how many barrels of oil President Obama released from oil reserves. Bachmann claimed the President released all of the oil reserve to abate escalating prices at the pump, when in reality the President approved a release of a mere 4% of the oil in storage. Bachmann also got it wrong when she told conservative Iowan conference attendees that Obama’s administration had only issued one drilling permit since he came into office. The fact is that before the Gulf oil spill, the Obama Administration had issued 217 drilling permits, after the spill and with new regulations in place; the Administration announced that they had granted more than 35 shallow-water permits, and since the moratorium on issuing deepwater well permits was lifted in October, 2010, 7 have been approved.
For me, Michele Bachmann’s most egregious gaffe was when she signed the The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family to get the support of Bob Vander Plaat’s group, THE FAMiLY LEADER, their spelling not mine. Did she read the preamble? Her people say that she only signed the “candidate vow” page, so does that mean she didn’t read the whole document? That’s a problem. But the bigger problem is surely the words on the first page of the marriage pact; that were subsequently deleted when the blogosphere went wild, which stated:
“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families,
yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised
by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an
African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first
Oh my goodness! In order to slam the first black President of the United States of America, this conservative Christian organization took slavery, the vilest institution that was ever propagated in the USA, and twisted the facts to make slavery a family-friendly experience for enslaved Africans. Not so for black Americans who are still struggling against the residual effects of slavery four hundred years later. Anyone with just a little bit of knowledge about slavery knows that the families of the enslaved were deliberately wrenched apart by slaveholders to erode family support and destroy the kinship networks that made black people strong. It was essential to the success of the British Mercantile Empire that slave families – men, women and children – be separated and distributed to far flung plantations throughout the colonies, in order to serve as the backbone of their well-developed economic system. Enslaved women were repeatedly raped and impregnated by the white slave owners creating a bastardized family unit, into which more enslaved children were born.
I don’t think Bachmann’s team did their homework or, maybe, it just doesn’t matter to her campaign what African American voters think of her and her views. After all, she’s not really going after the black vote anyway. And that’s why it’s important for voters to pay very close attention to each of the candidates in the Presidential race and in all of the races for those seeking political office, because what they are saying ultimately mirrors their beliefs.
Michele Bachmann’s fast and loose interpretation of facts, including her January gaffe in which she stated that the Founding Fathers “…worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States” speaks volumes about her study habits and her knowledge base. This of course is a ridiculous statement since George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had slaves and were dead by the time slavery ended in 1865, more than 75 years after the U.S. Constitution (1787) was adopted in which slaves were counted as 3/5ths of a person. That said, if she’s getting basic American history wrong, how will she, if elected, get the Briefing Books right – the debt ceiling, immigration, the economy, the crisis in the Middle East, and China’s stranglehold on American debt. Think about it.