Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Politicians: It's not the gaffes, it's the lies

BachmannShould we be bothered that Michele Bachmann doesn't seem to know where the shot heard 'round the world was fired? A report in Politico says the firebrand Republican Minnesota representative and "tea party" favorite made an embarrassing gaffe Saturday while speaking in New Hampshire.

"You're the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord," she told the GOP crowd, apparently confusing Concord, N.H., with Concord, Mass., where the Revolutionary War began. Politico points out that this isn't the first historical blooper from Bachmann, who enjoys paying homage to the nation's Founding Fathers but sometimes seems confused about details. She told a crowd in Iowa that the founders worked tirelessly "until slavery was no more in the United States," for example, when of course that didn't happen until they were all long dead.

Bloggers are having a field day over Bachmann's latest blunder, and Politico points out that all this could hurt her with a few East Coast history buffs if she's serious about throwing her hat in the presidential ring. But I'd be happier if pundits made more of a fuss about Bachmann's outright falsehoods, which are plentiful, than a few mistakes, which are common for just about anybody who does much public speaking. Bachmann's whoppers during the heathcare debate are well documented (she helped lead the "death panels" charge and even went so far as to claim that the Democratic healthcare bill would end all private insurance coverage within five years), and she can be relied on to repeat whatever nonsensical claim is currently in vogue on conservative talk shows, such as the absurd notion that President Obama's trip to India last year cost taxpayers $200 million a day.

Bachmann can read a history book if people are concerned about her grasp of 18th century details. But I'm not sure she can conquer her addiction to lying.

-- Dan Turner

Michele Bachmann speaks Saturday at a GOP fundraiser in New Hampshire. Credit: Darren McCollester / Getty Images


Comments () | Archives (15)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Bachmann did not lie. She got her law degree from Oral Roberts University. The education there is not encumbered by reality.


Poor Michele Backmann...she wants to go back to 1776, however, the Founding Fathers don't want her to vote, own property or get a divorce. Glad to say it, the Constitution has changed for the better through the years, and so have we...yearning for the past is so unproductive and Republican Tea Party women are not so enlightened...Michele don't know much about history, etc.

Mike K

Lying ???

You know that the health care bill is full of Easter eggs, like the $105 billion slush fund for enforcement that wasn't explained.

Wow ! I don't plan to vote for Bachman but your boy has a lot of explaining to do.


Yes let us take Bachmann back to 1776, before womens suffrage. Funny thing about that slavery thing. They had a big fight over the new constitution as it allowed slavery to continue. Even Ben Franklin had a couple of slaves, Washington has a few hundred, and Jefferson also has slaves. All the southerners at the constitutional convention has slaves, most of the northerners did not. The constitution would not have been adopted if it had not been for Virginia and James Madison, a Virginian.

Patrick Henry (Give me liberty, or give me death) was opposed to the new constitution. He felt it would give too much power to the north.


Why do Michelle and Sarah need to learn history? Does it really matter. They wont get it right, even if pointed out it all becomes the liberal media war against these wannabes. The article is right- more than history mistakes, one should seek out plain white lies in their talk. They have the audacity to mislead and propagate and quote themselves as authentic information sources on social networks, in a conscious and orchestrated self fulfilling and self serving anecdotal misinformation. This is the 2012 campaign style in the making that knows no shame.


To Mike K.
This is another of her untruths. See how a fact check that this was hidden or secret in any way does not hold up and it is over 10 years - 10.5 Billion a year with almost all of it going towards provision for child health care.
see http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2011/03/bachmanns_bombshell_on_a_hidde.html


Dan, I'm glad you are not that concerned about her bloopers because I, and many others, do not accept your liberal defintion of her "lies". For one, "death panels" is just a term to describe the notion that medical decisions under Obamacare can be made based on age. I defy you to prove that is a lie! I mean really, you liberals are taking $500 Billion from Medicare for seniors to give to the more needy, and younger, poor. Money that I have put in for 45 years so that my medical bills in retirement are covered.


To David_U: perhaps you did not listen when indentured servitude was studied in history. Or perhaps you did not care that they, as white people, were just as much property as the black people at the time. Or perhaps you did not understand that there were more white slaves (indentured servants) in the north than there were black slaves in all of North America in the 18th century.


I don't see why the media loves to jump all over a politician when they make a Gaffe. When you consider probably one percent of the U.S could even point to those states on a map and about 1 tenth of one percent could correctly name the place where the first shot of the Revolutionary war was fired.

Terry Kappel

Conservatives like to inject some suspense into history, by creating it to meet their agenda's transient needs.


She probably doesn't even know how to spell "Eye Candy"


Really Bob? Indentured slaves were just like "black" slaves, no the constitution did not call them 3/5 of a person. Indentured slaves also had a time they had to serve not usually a life sentence.
And as for your death panels. look at the following:
About 25 to 30 percent of medicare monies is spent in the last year of life, is that what you want Bob? I'm over 60 and have put in for over 44+ years but I'd rather have it spent on a young child then on me at 80 years old.

“I guess what surprised me is the ferocity, it’s much stronger than I expected,” said John Rother, the executive vice president of AARP, which is supportive of the health care proposals and has repeatedly declared the “death panel” rumors false. “It’s people who are ideologically opposed to Mr. Obama, and this is the opportunity to weaken the president.” From NY Times August 13, 2009 “False ‘Death Panel’ Rumor Has some Familiar Roots”

also see

They are lies Bob.

Drew Fleming

How is that gaffe any worse than Obama saying there are 57 states? And the second so-called blunder shows the stupidity of most liberals (including Chris Olberman). Our founders deemed that slaves only counted as a fraction of a person for census purposes. Why? - b/c they knew if they were counted as a full person in terms of the census that the south would have a larger say in whether or not slavery was abolished via a vote. But you liberals are so smart so I'm sure you already knew that.

Joe Erb

Come on Dan. ..you can't really be surprised that a politician lies, can you?

I mean, isn't that required if you actually want to get elected?

Drew Carey

Obama's gaffe was simply saying 57 instead of 47. Bachmann was trying to endear herself to the crowd from NH. She got history wrong. Wrond Concord. But the article is right. It's not her geography knowledge that I care about. It's the spewing of venomous lies. It's like listening to FOX News when she speaks.



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...