Look, She’s Improving, Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 28 2011 @ 11:48am

A reader writes:

You spoke too soon. Check out this gem from this morning's episode of "Good Morning America":

[S]he defended her “pants on fire” statement that the “Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery” (they didn’t) by insisting that John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father (he wasn’t). After host George Stephanopoulos pointed out that John Quincy Adams — the son of John Adams — did fight against slavery “decades later,” Bachmann stood by her historical interpretation.

The thing about this that I would emphasize is that slavery remains a problem for originalists. If America was born pure, then it cannot have had slavery. So if your vision is to return the US to the 1770s, you have to find a way to argue that slavery was not inherent in the Founding. And this is the best Bachmann can do. At least it gives her some answer to the question.

For her, America was born in freedom for all and Fundamentalist Christianity. It was born instead in the Enlightenment, slavery, the subjugation of women, and rebellion against the Crown. That is far too complicated a thought for Bachmann to absorb. It would require her to ask questions, even to doubt the immaculate conception of America. And doubt is something these contemporary reactionaries do not do. Sticking to untruths is far preferable.