This could just be a “silly Sodaheaders!” story, if not for the ending.
On April 1 of this year, I wrote an April Fools’ Day joke of a story in which Michele Bachmann was portrayed as having apologized for her support of 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.”
“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.”
There was indeed a Tea Party demonstration on Capitol Hill on March 31, 2011. Rep. Michele Bachmann did appear. She did speak. But she did not apologize for voting for the Patriot Act. That was the April Fools’ Joke, a satirical one designed to make the point that Bachmann isn’t walking her freedom-liberty-constitution-bad-big-government talk.
The “source” links I provided in that post actually link, for anybody who bothers to check sources, to a big April Fools’ Day bumper sticker with tacky multicolored fish all over it. Over at conservative website Hot Air, they apparently don’t check sources, because people there immediately started cheering about wonderful Michele Bachmann’s wonderful integrity and wonderful apology.
Just to make sure that people figured out it was an April Fools’ Joke and not the real thing, I posted an update right there in the article:
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.
You can’t get any clearer than that. But even so, the crowd over at Sodahead is linking to the April Fools Day article and waxing ecstatic about the great character of Michele Bachmann and how wonderful it is that she had the integrity to apologize and how they’ll be voting for her for President thanks to her sterling character.
Which she didn’t. And that’s the interesting bit, not the misinterpretation itself. People on all sides of the political dodecahedron make mistakes all the time; when I was a kid, I swallowed a story at school about jackalopes and went home to tell my parents all about it. The question is, when the people over at Sodahead finally get around to reading the post and get it through their heads that Michele Bachmann didn’t issue an apology for supporting the Patriot Act, what will they do? If one of the people at Sodahead decides to look up her record and notices that a month after the date of this open joke of an April-Fools article, Michele Bachmann and most of her Tea Party colleagues in Congress voted yet again to reauthorize the Patriot Act, what will he or she do?
These conservatives have just lauded the faux-Bachmann April apology and the faux-Bachmann April demand that people never, ever vote for her again if she continues to support the Patriot Act. In May, she did continue to support the Patriot Act. The consistent thing for these conservatives to do would be to turn in disgust and anger against Michele Bachmann and to vocally criticize her for her Big Government ways. The consistent thing for these Sodaheaders to do would be to follow the faux-Bachmann they took seriously and never, ever vote for her again.
When someone actually reads the article and they all figure out it’s been an April Fool’s Day joke, watch what they do.