John Quincy Adams

20 Historical Facts That Republicans Distort Or Just Get Plain Wrong

Here are the first ten:

Addicting Info

1. Did Paul Revere Ride To Warn The British?) Sarah Palin made the dubious claim that Paul Revere actually warned the British instead of the American colonists. Her supporters even made attempts to edit the Paul Revere Wikipedia entry to make her claims sound correct. If she had taken the time to read Longfellow’s poem, Paul Revere’s Ride, she would not have made this error, as the great majority of school children know that Revere made his midnight ride to warn Americans, not the enemy.

2. Was The Shot Heard ‘Round The World Fired In New Hampshire?) Did you know that Lexington and Concord are located in New Hampshire? I didn’t. And the people in New Hampshire and Massachusetts didn’t either. When Michele Bachmann exclaimed to a New Hampshire crowd that “the shot heard ’round the world” occurred in their state, I’m sure that Massachusetts let out a roar of laughter. The sad but hilarious thing is that most American children know that the first shot of the American Revolution occurred in the state of Massachusetts.

3. Was John Quincy Adams A Founding Father?) Michele Bachmann must have failed American History in school. Because she has absolutely no knowledge of early American history. She once claimed that John Quincy Adams is a Founding Father of America when in fact, JQA was just a child when the Revolution began. He was born in 1767 and was just 14 when the war ended. And like Palin’s supporters, Bachmann fans proceeded to edit the Wikipedia page of John Quincy Adams in an attempt to make her claim viable.

4. Did The Founding Fathers End Slavery?) Michelle Bachmann isn’t through yet. During a speaking event she once claimed that the Founding Fathers were the ones who ended slavery. That’s a surprise to me since George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe all owned slaves. In fact, 12 of the first 16 American Presidents owned slaves. But Bachmann’s attempt to paint the Founding Fathers as saints is also a denial of past Republican Party history since early Republicans rose to prominence by fighting against slavery and the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, ended slavery altogether.

5. Was America Founded As A Christian State?) Ever heard of David Barton? He’s the guy that Glenn Beck goes to when he wants to distort history. David Barton claims that the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be a Christian state. Many Republicans have since picked up on this claim and have been shamelessly using it to court the Christian right-wing, and as a reason to end the separation of church and state that has been part of this country since its founding. His claim can be trounced with one question. If the Founding Fathers wanted America to be a Christian state why did they not say so in the Constitution? Instead, the Founders placed this in the document.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
~First Amendment, Bill of Rights of the Constitution

In other words, there is to be absolutely NO state religion.

6. Did Benjamin Franklin Reject Evolution?) We continue with the lack of knowledge of the Founding Fathers among the right-wing. Many Republicans have been making the claim that Benjamin Franklin rejected evolution. There are two problems with this claim. First, the theory of evolution wasn’t around until Charles Darwin published the theory in 1859, nearly 70 years AFTER Franklin died in 1790. And secondly, Franklin was a man of science above all else. It is unlikely that he would have rejected a scientific theory in favor of creationism. Franklin in fact, rejected the dogma and divinity of Christianity.

7. Was The American Revolution Fought To End Slavery?) Yet another claim that David Barton makes in an attempt to present the founding generation as perfect, is that the American Revolution was waged to end slavery. Once again, Barton makes a claim that is completely false. The American Revolution was fought to win American independence from Great Britain. And as I recall, the slaves were certainly not freed before, during, or after the war. They remained as slaves and would be slaves until the Civil War.

8. Was The Civil War Fought Over State’s Rights?) Republicans claim that it was all about state’s rights and not about slavery. The truth is, state’s rights only played a small role. The South feared that President Lincoln would end slavery, so they took preemptive measures by seceding from the Union and attacked Fort Sumter without any provocation. Slavery was, without a doubt, the main cause of the war between the states. Without slavery, white plantation owners would have to pick their own cotton, or, pay people to do it for them. They also believed Africans to be inferior and would not tolerate their freedom. We should all keep that in mind as the South/Republican home base continues to make claims that they aren’t racist.

9. Do States Have The Right To Secede?) After President Obama took office, many Republican legislators and governors, particularly in the South, began threatening secession. They say secession is a right but is it really? The answer is absolutely not. Not only did the Civil War settle this dispute, James Madison and Andrew Jackson (both Southerners) also rejected this claim. Nowhere in the Constitution will you find the right to secede. The Constitution was created by the people “in order to form a more perfect union” and by seceding, a state breaks up the nation, thus breaking a legally binding contract. And Andrew Jackson once threatened to march an army to South Carolina after that state threatened to secede. In fact, Jackson felt that secession was treason. The Supreme Court has also weighed in on this issue. In Texas v White, the court held that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were “absolutely null”.

10. Was D-Day All About Health Care?) Republicans have been very vocal about the Affordable Care Act and Rick Santorum is no exception. He has made the claim that Americans stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day because they opposed Obamacare. He said, “Almost 60,000 average Americans had the courage to go out and charge those beaches on Normandy, to drop out of airplanes who knows where, and take on the battle for freedom … Those Americans risked everything so they could make [their own] decision on their health care plan.”

This is absurd. The men that stormed the Omaha and Utah beaches were fighting to liberate Europe from Nazi rule. They weren’t thinking about health care 67 years into the future. They were thinking of their families and whether they’d ever see them again. Santorum also fails to realize that military personnel and their dependents have government-run health care. And the soldiers aren’t complaining about it either. And as a matter of fact, many World War II veterans and their families also have Medicare which is also run by the federal government. That blows Santorum’s claim out of the water.

Continue reading this really good article here…

Rewrite, Sugarcoat, Ignore: 8 Ways Conservatives Misremember American History—for Partisan Gain

I can’t believe that the current crop of GOP presidential candidates actually think their followers are that stupid…uh, strike that…

The Nation

The mortgage crisis began in 2006 and it’s all President Obama’s fault—at least according to Fox News host Sean Hannity. Hannity recently blamed Obama—“his policies, his economic plan, his fault”—for the mortgage crisis, ignoring who was actually president (that would be George W. Bush) as the housing market slipped.

Hannity’s is just one example of the selective memory and historical revision frequently on display in the conservative movement. Right-wing pundits, politicians and pseudo-historians are nibbling away at objective historical truths to rewrite history for present-day purposes, and hardly any topic is off-limits: glorifying the “Reagan Revolution” to children, sugar-coating the Jim Crow South and revising textbooks to offer a favorable view on Phyllis Schlafly—among many others.

Below, read about eight ways in which conservatives try to rewrite, sugarcoat or ignore aspects of American history.

1. Michele Bachmann on the founding fathers and slavery. Propelled to the front of the Republican field after her victory in the Iowa straw poll, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann’s historical views are notoriously error-prone. In one her infamous gaffes, she said the founding fathers “work[ed] tirelessly to end slavery” (in fact, George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves) and that John Quincy Adamswas a founding father—he was born in 1767.

Bachmann was a research assistant to John Eidsmoe for his 1987 book Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of our Founding Fathers, in which Eidsmoe wrote, “The church and the state have separate spheres of authority, but both derive authority from God. In that sense America, like [Old Testament] Israel, is a theocracy.” And at a conference, Eidsmoe outlined his belief in church/state separation: “The church’s responsibility is to teach biblical principles of government and to drive sinners to the cross…. The function of the state is to follow those godly principles and preserve a system of order.” Bachmann  has praisedEidsmoe as “absolutely brilliant. He taught me about so many aspects about our godly heritage.”

2. Secession was fine, dandy and legal. Texas Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is fond ofpro-secession comments; in 2009, he joked that “we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.”

In his dreams. In fact, these attempts at humor sidestep what secession actually leads to: a nullification crisis, a Civil War, hundreds of thousands of casualties and the federal government as the victor anyway. And secession is illegal. In 1866 the Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White that Texas’s ordinance of secession was “absolutely null.”

Perry isn’t the only Republican to make such comments. Congressman Zach Wamp alluded to secession and Georgia’s Senate passed a secession-related bill in 2009.

3. Forgetting September 11? Conservatives have an uncanny ability to misremember when the September 11 attacks occurred. In July, Fox News host Eric Bolling said “we were certainly safe between 2000 and 2008 — I don’t remember any terrorist attacks on American soil during that period of time.” (In his “apology,” he accepted no blame: “Yesterday, I misspoke when saying that there were no US terror attacks during the Bush years. Obviously, I meant in the aftermath of 9/11, but that is when the radical liberal left pounced on us…. thank you liberals for reminding me how petty you can be.”)

A surprising slip came from ex–New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In January 2010 he claimed that “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.” In December 2009 Mary Matalin made the outrageous claim that Bush inherited the attacks from Bill Clinton. In November 2009 Bush’s ex–Press Secretary Dana Perino said “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.”

4. Mike Huckabee’s “Learn Our History.” Mike Huckabee’s cartoon history series is whitewashing American history. While claiming to engage children in an easy-to-digest format without “misrepresentations…historical inaccuracies, personal biases and political correctness,” personal biases somehow make an appearance. Each video is produced with consultation from Learn Our History’s “Council of Masters;” one “Master,” Larry Schweikart, is the author of 48 Liberal Lies About American History, including “Lie #45: LBJ’s Great Society Had a Positive Impact on the Poor.”

In  a DVD on the “Reagan Revolution,” viewers are invited to “journey to a time when America suffered from financial, international and moral crisis:” Washington, DC, 1977. A knife-wielding African-American man demands “gimme yo’ money!” Ronald Reagan’s arrival—against triumphant music playing and a caption reading “one man transformed the nation…and the world”—changed all that for the better, the DVD suggests.

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Bachmann’s Views On Slavery Are Worse Than You Thought

The American Prospect

Months ago, there was a small controversy over Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann signing a pledge put forth by social conservatives in Iowa that stated “black child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African American President.”

However well intended, many people were understandably offended by the implication that black people were better off as property. But this isn’t the first time Bachmann has put forth a perspective on slavery that is at odds with the historical record — previously she “suggested that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly” to end slavery, before citing John Quincy Adams as an example (he was a child at the time of America’s founding).

Ryan Lizza’s profile of Bachmann reveals that Bachmann’s odd perspective on slavery isn’t a series of gaffes, but rather “a world view.” Lizza explains that Bachmann is a believer in a kind of Christian conservative reimagining of slavery, where “many Christians opposed slavery” but owned them anyway and didn’t free them because ““it might be very difficult for a freed slave to make a living in that economy; under such circumstances setting slaves free was both inhumane and irresponsible.” How charitable of them!

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John Quincy Adams Wikipedia Page Edited To Describe Him As A ‘Founding Father’

What can one say about desperate Bachmann and Palin fans adjusting Wikipedia entries to make their heroines look “smart”.  Yikes!  When is this idiocracy phase of our election process going to end? 

In the words of Forest Gump’s mom: Stupid as stupid does.

Think Progress

GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann is now getting the Sarah Palin treatment on Wikipedia. In light of Bachmann’s latest historical hiccup, people are trying to edit John Quincy Adam’s Wikipedia page to reflect her recent gaffe. One edit, for example, changes his description from “John Adams was the sixth President of the United States” to “John Adams, a founding father, was the sixth President of the United States.”

Another more satirical edit added, “But even as an embryo, John Quincy Adams could feel pain and was a Founding Father.” In striking the revisions, the page administrator included the statement, “Please don’t edit an historical article based on current events.” Incidentally, the Founding Fathers Wikipedia page still does not list John Quincy Adams as a member.

 

What Is Michele Bachmann’s Problem?

The woman is clearly out of touch with reality. 

In fact, her robotic like answers to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good morning America must scare even her own supporters.

Think Progress

Straight out of the gate in the 2012 presidential race, self-described “scholarly” candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has tripped over basic facts.

Yesterday, she accidentally heralded a serial killer.

Today, on ABC’s Good Morning America, she defended her “pants on fire” statement that the “Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery” (they didn’t) by insisting that John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father (he wasn’t). After host George Stephanopoulos pointed out that John Quincy Adams — the son of John Adams — did fight against slavery “decades later,” Bachmann stood by her historical interpretation.

Watch it:

Bachmann: America’s Founders ‘Worked Tirelessly Until Slavery Was No More’

 That woman is a space cadet!

  Mediaite

The bad news is that Michele Bachmann seems to have a slightly skewed vision of how America was founded. The good news? Her version is much nicer. Sure, it’s not 100% true that America’s founders “had different cultures, different backgrounds, different traditions” and that they all fought until slavery was abolished. But, hey, it sure sounds nice so why don’t we go with it?

The comments were made at Bachmann’s speech at an Iowan’s for Tax Relief Event which, unsurprisingly because of the name but importantly because of the statement it makes about her 2012 plans, took place in Iowa. There she began to talk about the great legacies the Founders imparted for us but got a few details off, especially when she began talking about slavery. Talking Points Memo has the details:

“Bachmann (R-MN) also noted how slavery was a ’scourge’ on American history, but added that ‘we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.’

‘And,’ she continued, ‘I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly — men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.’

It’s true — Adams became a vocal opponent of slavery, especially during his time in the House of Representatives. But Adams was not one of the founders, nor did he live to see the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863 (he died in 1848).”

Her speech was well delivered (no zombie-ism here) and inspirational but these are some pretty bad mistakes to make. Especially when the Tea Party is so adamant that their political enemies have forgotten the lessons of the Founding Fathers. Let’s just say Bill Maher could have a lot of fun with this clip.