Gaffe-prone presidential candidate Michele Bachmann‘s supporters are changing history to support her claim that John Quincy Adams was one of our nation’s Founding Fathers.
Defending her erroneous comments that the Founding Fathers tried to end slavery, Bachmann told ‘Good Morning America’ host George Stephanopoulos today, “If you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that’s absolutely true…. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery.”
Stephanopoulos rightly points out that Adams, a nine-year old when the Revolutionary War began, does not qualify as a Founding Father, to which Bachmann replied, “John Quincy Adams most certainly was a part of the Revolutionary War era. He was a young boy but he was actively involved.” So, Bachmann’s basically saying that since Adams was alive and his family was part of revolution, he was, too. That’s like saying that because my father fled Apartheid, I was a South African liberation fighter.
As the media attention about Bachmann’s Adams claim grows, her supporters are editing Wikipedia to make sure the Adams entry reflects the candidate’s anachronistic perspective.
Tanya Somanader reports: “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.’”
She also points out another, more amusing annotation, “But even as an embryo, John Quincy Adams could feel pain and was a Founding Father.”
The John Quincy Adams alterations have already spawned an irritated note from the page’s administrator, “Please don’t edit an historical article based on current events.”
This case is identical to when Sarah Palin’s fans rewrote Paul Revere’s entry to match her convoluted and equally untrue claim that the revolutionary “warned the British” of the colonial unrest, and further illuminates how revisionist history, especially in the digital age, can be used for political gain. It also reveals the lengths some people, in this case Bachmann’s backers, will go to save their candidate’s hide.
Just imagine what would happen if we had time machines.
Image via Gage Skidmore’s Flickr.