Michele Bachman seems to provoke discussion among the Inkwell bloggers.
So I am going to toss out something that will undoubtedly annoy some of my colleagues: it really, really worries me that Bachmann is trying to claim that John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father. He was the son of a Founding Father-yes-but Bachmann’s lamely pointing out that JQA served as secretary to John Adams on foreign missions doesn’t quite make the lad an FF.
Bachmann got into Adams family trouble in connection with her remark that some of the Founding Fathers had fought hard to end slavery. I don’t doubt that this is true, and I know slavery was an issue at the Constitutional Convention. The Adams family was always opposed to slavery. None of this, however, makes JQA a Founding Father by any stretch of the imagination.
I don’t know why this bothers me so. It didn’t bother me that candidate George W. Bush could only come up with “General” when asked who the leader of Pakistan was. He later dealt more effectively with “General” than his successor would deal with Pakistan. I think the Adams thing bothers me because it betrays some very basic confusion about how our country started and matured.
The unfairness is that if Joe Biden or Barack Obama had said this it would have been no big deal-the press would have treated it as a slip of the tongue. President Obama could say he had visited 58 states and get a pass from the media. I was aghast at George Stephanopoulos’ recent savaging of Bachman. He says that the media will investigate all 23 of Bachmann’s foster children!
Well, go ahead. I’m willing to bet this investigation will be every bit as scintillating as the viciously-awaited Palin emails (“Mommie Michele sent me to bed without dessert the night she made her famous apple fritters!”). The ferocious industry required to track down the foster children will come from a press that has looked the other way when the public wanted to know more about President Obama’s associations.
Ms. Bachmann is a bright woman. She has a law degree from William and Mary and I would certainly think she could create more jobs than another pol I won’t mention.
But the John Quincy Adams thing still worries, though I know that, if Barack Obama had said it, the media would have hailed him for offering an audacious new interpretation of time.