Michele Bachmann's False Version of the Constitution

Michele Bachmann has proven to social conservatives that she is a viable contender for the 2012 Republican Primary. But to attract the strictly fiscal conservative base, she should tone down her Tea Party version of the Constitution. There is no mention or any hint at all of family values, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, free-market capitalism, God or other Tea Party articles of faith she claims to have been included in the original Constitution. Nor is the “Creator” she refers to in the Declaration of Independence the same deity as her Evangelical “Lord.” Like most Founding Fathers, the writer of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, and its main editor and proofreader, Benjamin Franklin were Deists and skeptics, not devout Christians. And the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” clearly was not referring to the rights of unborn children, as Ms. Bachmann claims. The Declaration, besides, is not a legally binding. And as to the motto “In God We Trust,” it first appeared on U.S. coins after the Civil War and was not adopted until 1956 by an act of Congress signed into law by President Eisenhower.

Michele Bachmann’s version of the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and other iconic American documents will no doubt score points with social conservatives not familiar with them. She legitimizes in their minds what they want to hear. But to folks who have taken the trouble to read these documents through and know a little American history, Michele Bachmann might come across as a demagogue, if not an ignoramus, unfit to serve as President of the United States.

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