Tea Party History 101: The revisionists strike again

Robert R. Livingston

No kids allowed

Back in January, Michele Bachmann, the Republican rep from Minnesota, went off on a tangent about slavery and the founding fathers. You might have read about that somewhere.

In her Fractured Fairy Tales version of American history, the founding fathers “worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States,” which was wrong, and John Quincy Adams (who really did work tirelessly against slavery) was a Founding Father, which was wrong.

When the Founding Fathers were busy founding the country, signing the Declaration of Independence, John Quincy Adams was eight-years-old. You can’t get around that. If you think you can get around that, you are not allowed to participate in any of the celebrations next Monday for you know what.

But Bachmann is trying to get around it. When George Stephanopoulos at ABC pointed out that she was wrong in saying John Q was a Founding Father, she said this:

Doesn’t admit she’s wrong. Doubles down on the crazy.

So what happens next? Her supporters feel if she’s not going to change her mind, the next thing to do is change history. So this happened:

Now it appears that her supporters have altered Wikipedia to make it appear that John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father, even though he was only a child when his father John Adams, America’s second President, signed the Declaration of Independence.

And here’s their handiwork (click for a bigger view):


Now, this shouldn’t bother me, because as some of my past posts have shown, I don’t take Bachmann seriously.

But then I see that others do. In recent polls, she’s now the number two choice for Republicans in the nomination for president and the favorite to win the Iowa caucuses. At this rate, the Republican ticket in 2012 will be Romney/Bachmann. And if the economic situation doesn’t get any better, that ticket will make the race a close one.

There used to be a time in this country when you demanded your leaders be smarter than you were. These days, all bets are off.

Lagarde gets the top IMF job

2011 G-20 Presser

Image by IMF via Flickr

Christine Lagarde of France was chosen as the new head of the International Monetary Fund today. It was a done deal when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the U.S. would endorse her over the other candidate for the job, Mexico’s central bank governor.

So the general rule of international finance prevails: Europe gets the IMF, the U.S. gets the World Bank. The developing world is put on hold.

So now that Lagarde, the soon-to-be former French finance minister, has the job. Here is one of the first things she’s going to have to deal with:

This is Athens on Tuesday, when Greek Unions called a general strike against the austerity measures being proposed to keep the country out of bankruptcy. The Greek Parliament is calling for wage cuts, tax hikes and selling public companies to the private sectors. If that doesn’t happen, foreign lenders, specifically the European Union and the IMF, won’t lend Greece the money it needs to avoid default.

As you can see, the people are not happy. It’s pretty much expected the measures will pass. And you can pretty much expect the demonstrations are going to be more violent. And even if Greece gets the money, chances are it still won’t get out of trouble.

And Greece isn’t the only western European country on the verge of collapse. Keep an eye on Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain when the Greek plan fails. So Lagarde is going to be extremely busy and will be under a lot of pressure to make things right. Given the situation, it’s doubtful anyone can succeed here.

(Oh, and here’s the obligatory “Lagarde is the first woman to head the IMF” line, which is kind of ironic since the previous IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is awaiting a rape trial in New York.)

A musical interlude

I didn’t know the theme for this …

… and the theme for this…

… were written by the same guy.

Fred Steiner, who wrote the theme songs for “Perry Mason” and “Rocky and Bullwinkle” died last week at the age of 88. According to Variety, if you watched television in the 1950s and ’60s, you heard his work in numerous shows, including episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” “Star Trek” and “The Wild Wild West,” but his most memorable music was for Perry and Rocky.

Now, you’ll have those tunes running through your head the rest of the day.