In a stunning turnabout unanticipated by all but her closest aides, Republican Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared before a small group of 20 Tea Party activists and 15 cameramen to apologize for her YES vote on the Patriot Act
“The Tea Party says it stands for limited government, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and I’m afraid I lost sight of that,” Rep. Bachmann declared shortly after taking the microphone from Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin at an event outside the U.S. Capitol on March 31. “When I voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act, I voted to let the government spy on innocent people without a warrant — and keep it a secret. That’s not constitutional. That’s not in the spirit of the Bill of Rights. That’s not limited government. I’m sorry. Let me say that again: I’m sorry.”
Most of those assembled in the crowd were sympathetic with Bachmann’s mea culpa. “It takes some guts to admit you made a mistake in this town,” said pawn broker Gina Mavis, 47. “Michele sucked it up and did the right thing,” agreed the bow-tied man to her right, Frank Lewdis, 66. The pair explained that they had traveled all the way from Alexandria to hear Bachmann speak, and they said they were not disappointed.
Before she handed the microphone back to Martin and left the stage, Rep. Bachmann steered her remarks to the future. With a tear visible at the corner of one eye, she explained, “We’re in this together. I want you to hold me accountable. Nobody who supports the Patriot Act should be heading up the Tea Party Caucus — and I like that job! If you see me defending big government again, if you see me defend warrantless surveillance again don’t let me get away with it. Call me on the carpet. Tell me to pull it together. And if I don’t change my ways, well, don’t vote for me ever, ever again.”
April 2 Update: April Fools! That is a real picture from a a real rally held March 31 at which Michele Bachmann… absolutely, positively did NOT apologize for supporting the Patriot Act. The “Tea Party” crowd, which the New York Times counted at about 300, clapped and cheered and didn’t hassle her at all for her Patriot Act vote.
Congrats to the lovely people at Hot Air for swallowing the joke. Sorry to everyone else that Michele Bachmann doesn’t have the sense to change her position or the class to apologize.