Minnesota: Bachmann Trapped In Scandia Bathroom?
Who do you believe? What happened at State Senator Michele Bachmann’s notorious appearance at that Scandia town meeting? The way most of the citizen-attendees tell it, Bachmann ended the meeting early and went into the ladies room, where two women asked her questions about education issues. Bachmann’s version of the same incident, on the other hand, might be titled “I WAS TRAPPED IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM BY PRO-LESBIAN ACTIVISTS!!!’
Both sides seem to acknowledge that Bachmann burst out of the ladies room screaming for help—but was there ever any real threat to Bachmann from the two other women present in the restroom? Or was it just another cheesy piece of cheap political theater from Stillwater’s pseudo-Christian drama queen?
Was the Senator really falsely imprisoned, or held against her will, or threatened, or what? What’s up with that? Bachmann filed a police report, but Sheriff Jim Frank’s take on the whole thing was: "I don't think there's a crime for us to investigate.”
Well, I certainly wasn’t hanging out in the ladies’ room when the whole thing went down. So I suppose it all depends on who you believe.
So who do you believe?
Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I’d take the word of just about anybody over that of Michele Bachmann. Her track record indicates that she has a problem telling the truth to the public. There are plenty of examples. Here’s just three:
1) First, let’s take the Scandia incident itself. Shortly after the event, Bachmann tried to convince us that she was not interested in publicizing it. She was quoted in the Strib: "I don't want to fuel anything. I'd rather not talk about it." She told the Gazette that she was trying to ramp it down in the media. She was quoted in the St. Croix Valley Press: “My goal has been to de-escalate everything.” “I didn’t go to the media,” she said. “I didn’t go to the media,” she said again.
But she DID go to the media! I was listening and taking notes when Bachmann broadcast her “scary” account of the Scandia bathroom incident on radio station KKMS 980-AM. She narrated the details of her supposed ordeal at length, and her version was unchallenged—because no one else who attended the meeting appeared on the radio with her. I suppose she was broadcasting her lurid version in order to frighten, anger, and “stir up” her supporters in advance of her latest anti-gay marriage rally.
So contrary to what she told reporters, Bachmann wasn’t trying to “de-escalate” or ramp down the affair at all. In fact, she herself was ramping it up!
2) In 2003, Bachmann was telling inquiring citizens that the Gazette had retracted a story that reported her position on the issue of teaching creationism in public schools. She wrote: “The Stillwater Gazette has retracted the story in which they wrongly attributed my position on this issue.”
The Gazette never retracted that story. In fact, the Gazette is still publishing it--you can still read it online in our archives. Bachmann was probably embarrassed because the story quotes her commenting favorably on the work of Michael Behe, proponent of Intelligent Design Theory. And Intelligent Design Theory is in fact a form of creationism; it asserts that life must have been the product of intelligent design. The story was never retracted, despite what Bachmann told you.
3) Bachmann told television viewers that judges do not make law.
During a televised interview with “Spirit of America Hour” host Randy Baar (March 22, 2002), Bachmann said : “We need to let them know--you are judges, you don’t make law, you take the facts and apply it to the law. We need to tell judges to get back in line with their job description, or else they’re out.”
It may come as a surprise to some of you, but making law is a proper part of the purpose and function of the courts. Statutes made by elected legislators are not the only kind of law. The opinions written by judges of federal and state courts are officially recorded so that they can be consulted by other judges and public officials—and such opinions are indeed law. Case law, made by judges (for example Brown v. The Board of Education or Roe v. Wade), is law.
Of course, Bachmann knew that judges make law when she told her audience that they don’t. Bachmann’s a lawyer and claims to have litigated cases; she’s presumably familiar with the concept of case law.
Devout Christians are required to confess their sins daily to God. If Bachmann is as devout as she pretends to be, I would guess that she’s kept pretty busy. And I’ll bet the sin she confesses most to during these little talks with the Lord is “lying to her constituents and to the public.”
And don’t even get me started on that “no new taxes” pledge she took.
William Prendergast is the author of the crime thriller “Forbidden Hollywood” and he actually had to do some research for this column, for a change.