Bachmann’s Gaffes, Simple Mistakes?

As you all know, Michelle Bachmann’s latest gaffe was a riotous mistake of confusing the home town of conservative American icon John Wayne with the home town of notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy. And we all laughed and laughed … And now Michelle is currently wasting a lot of people’s time doing damage control on a network that isn’t going to be all mean and criticize her for saying crazy shit. But, Bachmann says a lot of crazy stuff. Does she just mis-speak? Often? Or is there a pattern to her notorious non-facts?

Unlike a lot of political gaffes, (like Obama saying 57 when he meant 50, or JFK calling himself a jelly donut when attempting to throw out a few words of German), Bachmann’s gaffes aren’t simple word substitution errors. She gets facts wrong.

What this type of error shows us, is that Bachmann has staff members feeding her information, like most politicians do, but that her staff are very uncritical and superficial in what they read. They quickly scan a articles or little scraps of paper they find on the ground, looking for tidbits that they can bring back to their master, who will then spew them out on national television for all the hear. And, all of them are just looking to back up some kind of an opinion they’ve already formed rather than critically reading the information first to see what it actually says, or if it’s even reliable. And that, is a recipe for disaster in a politician, especially in a party that is already full to the brim with self serving mythology. You must remember, that Bachmann was a tax attorney. She does have the ability to understand and memorize boring facts. If she chooses to. So she’s not stupid. She’s arrogant. As, possibly, willfully deceitful.

For instance, her statement that President Obama’s trip to India costs $200 million dollars a day. The story was eventually traced back to an anonymous source in an Indian newspaper, but Bachmann repeated it uncritically even though a cursory glance would have shown the figure to be in error. Since the trip lasted 10 days, that would add up to a total expenditure of 2 billion dollars. Any presidential trip is going to have some expense associated with it, but that figure is just plain ridiculous. Either the cost would have been the same for any president, or Obama was supposed to have been ordering thousand dollar bottles of Tiger Blood for the table.

The very concept of ‘truth’ appears to be completely subjective to Michelle Bachmann and her supporters. After news reports of her John Wayne mishap, a supporter was interviewed on television and commented that Bachmann’s factual mistakes didn’t really matter to her. Just as long as Bachmann felt the truth of the statement in her heart. So, it’s not true … but … it is. And, who’s really into ‘truth’, anyway?

As ridiculous as such an assertion sounds, this ’emotion as truth’ view of the world does seem to be a common theme among passionate conservatives, and may even be the driving force behind differing political and religious views. One side believes in and values objective truth, the other … is kinda whishy washy on the subject. Have you ever heard fundamentalist Christians make purely outrageous religious arguments that just do not make a lick of sense? truth (with a small ‘t’) is not as important, as long as it supports Truth with a capitol “T”. Subjective emotions trumps objective reality. The 3rd century Christian apologist Eusebius of Caesarea went so far as to recommend fudging the facts to win converts:

Ecclesiastical History Chapter 12.
XXXI. That it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment

Explore posts in the same categories: Confused Thinking

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