After Charlie Sheen injected tiger blood and seven-gram rocks into the national discourse this week, you may be numb to subtly absurd political gaffes. But let's take a few minutes to look at the congresswoman currently visiting Florida, who is known for purporting falsities and misinformation.
Later today, Rep. Michele Bachmann will speak to the Palm Beach County chapter of the South Florida Tea Party at Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter. The invitation says that the Minnesota Republican will speak about spending and constitutional issues. But a quick scan of
Bachmann's file on Pulitzer Prize-winning website PolitiFact.com shows various statements that cast serious doubt on her judgment and knowledge of these subjects.
The figure had sparked outrage among many conservatives before Bachmann blasted it as an example of massive overspending. However much it outraged, the figure wasn't large enough to inspire any fact-checking efforts. It had originated from an anonymous source quoted in a report from an Indian news agency.
Regarding the Constitution, Bachmann said that it requires her to tell the census only how many people live in her home.
"And I know for my family, the only question we'll be answering is how many people are in our home. We won't be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that."
The folks at PolitiFact found this to be not only inaccurate and misleading but that it encourages others to break the law.
Bachmann, you may remember, jumped into the national spotlight in January, when she delivered the Tea Party response to President Obama's State of the Union address. That's when she claimed that government efficiency standards infringed upon our liberty to purchase certain light bulbs. The Sarah Palin comparisons soon followed.
Considered a GOP hopeful in the 2012 presidential primary, some see her trip to Florida and other early-voting states as posturing for the nomination. But Bachmann hasn't decided whether she'll run. And she's also remained silent on the Florida Legislature's decision to bump the primary date up to January 29, in violation of rules set by both parties. Given her willingness to accept dubious assertions as facts and construct her own version of the truth, maybe we can learn more from her silence.