Recent American political history is rife with officeholders who have lied to our faces. But Michelle Bachmann has set a new, completely shameless, standard for saying whatever the hell she needs to say to keep herself on TV, on the radio, and in print. You had Tarryl Clark, Minnesota, and you blew it.
“A recent analysis by the Pulitzer Prize-winning watchdog site PolitiFact shows that of the 13 times she’s been fact-checked, “seven of her claims [have been found] to be false and six have been found to be ridiculously false,” says PolitiFact Editor Bill Adair. “I don’t know anyone else that we have checked, more than a couple times, that has never earned anything above a false. She is unusual in that regard.” Among Bachmann’s greatest hits: saying that Obama will hike taxes on small businesses that make $250,000 (“pants on fire”); claiming that “the president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day” (“false”); and declaring that in the 1970s, “the swine flu broke out… under another Democrat, President Jimmy Carter” (“pants on fire”). Beyond all the easily disprovable falsehoods, Bachmann is famous for simply saying outrageous things: that homosexuality is a “dysfunction”; that Obama is turning America into a “nation of slaves”; that conservatives should “slit their wrists” and be “blood brothers” to defeat health-care reform.
“But while Bachmann is a genius at rallying the troops—and convincing them to give her their money—she’s never displayed the slightest skill at (or interest in) turning her small-government rhetoric into a reality by, say, proposing or passing significant legislation.”