Rep. Michelle Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican who’s planning to run for president under the Tea Party banner (trust me, it’s gonna happen), had this to say about the founding fathers and slavery, according to Talking Points Memo:
Speaking at an Iowans For Tax Relief event, Bachmann (R-MN) also noted how slavery was a “scourge” on American history, but added that “we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.”
“And,” she continued, “I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly — men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.”
Where do I begin?
The founding fathers wrote the Constitution. They put slavery in it. A black person counted as three-fifths of a white person. George Washington had slaves. Thomas Jefferson had slaves. Thomas Jefferson got his slaves pregnant. The founding fathers didn’t work “tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” The Civil War ended slavery. The founding fathers weren’t alive when slavery ended. (You remember any speeches by Washington and Jefferson in 1860? No, because they were dead.)
It’s true, John Quincy Adams worked tirelessly against slavery (I saw “Amistad,” too), but he wasn’t a founding father. He was the son of a founding father. If anything, that makes him a founding son. Does that count? And he died in 1848. He didn’t make any speeches during the Civil War either. He was dead. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. He wasn’t a founding father. I’m not a history expert, but I don’t think he ever met a founding father.
Back to Bachmann: This is the person that CNN is putting on the air tonight to give a speech rebutting President Obama’s State of the Union address. Her journeys into history represent a typical Tea Party tactic. Make crap up about how idyllic things were in the days of the founding fathers, when everyone was equal and there was no discrimination and everyone had “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And that isn’t in the Constitution. That’s in the Declaration of Independence, which was also written by the founding fathers. The same guys who put in slavery, left out the rights of non landowners and didn’t even bother with anything on women’s rights. The document that pseudo-patriotic Tea Party advocates say we should go back to and follow its original intentions.
Oh, and Bachmann also said this in her Tea Party speech in Iowa:
America’s first European settlers … “had different cultures, different backgrounds, different traditions.”
“How unique in all of the world, that one nation that was the resting point from people groups all across the world,” she said. “It didn’t matter the color of their skin, it didn’t matter their language, it didn’t matter their economic status.”
“Once you got here, we were all the same. Isn’t that remarkable?” she asked.
OK, class. Does anyone have anything to say about this?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
(That last part, I stole from reading Brad DeLong. But Ferris would say: Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the walrus.)