Thursday, May 30

Michele Bachmann's legacy: Lies

Charles M. Blow writes in the New York Times:
"Bachmann built her celebrity on being acerbic and excessive, on throwing out accusations that she could not back up, on floating ideas that had no basis in fact. It worked for her, making her a household name and the butt of running jokes.
"There seemed to be nothing that she wouldn't say — and that her supporters wouldn't applaud her for saying — so long as it was mixed with nationalistic catchphrases like 'Constitution,' 'founders' and 'traditional,' and attacks on the president.
"The problem is that much of what she was saying — aside from not making sense — was simply false.
"According to PolitiFact, of the 59 statements by Bachmann that the site has checked since 2009, 44 (a whopping 75 percent) were mostly false or worse. A quarter met the criteria for the site’s worst rating: Pants on Fire. Ten percent were deemed half true, seven percent mostly true and only eight percent unambiguously true.
"According to The Washington Post fact checker:
"'Bachmann is not just fast and loose with the facts; she is consistently and unapologetically so. No other lawmaker earned as high a percentage of four-Pinocchio ratings as Bachmann — and she earned an average of more than three Pinocchios as a presidential candidate.'
"Four Pinocchios is The Post’s worst rating.
"The Associated Press has said that it had to put a quota on the number of statements by Bachmann that they would fact check during the presidential race, presumably to conserve resources."
Bachmann Bows Out (NYT)