Music, Sports, Religion, Politics
and Other Stuff but Mostly MSRP
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
This week, Michelle Bachmann kicked off her campaign for the Presidency in Iowa, and with her typical flair, created a media firestorm with a single statement to Fox News:
“John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too.”
As any competent campaign researcher would have told Ms. Bachmann in advance, there is only one famous John Wayne from Waterloo, Iowa. It is John Wayne Gacy, notorious rapist and murderer of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978, who is from Ms. Bachmann’s hometown of Waterloo. John Wayne the movie actor, the John Wayne that she was attempting to embrace, is from a different town. The family of John Wayne Gacy is understandably upset by all of this unwanted attention, and they have released this letter to the Bachmann campaign for publication by MSRP:
TO: Bachmann for America 2012
FROM: Legal Representatives of the John Wayne Gacy Family
As the authorized representative for the John Wayne Gacy family, I must write today to request that the Bachmann campaign cease and desist from referring to Mr. Gacy in their campaign speeches and during campaign appearances. The use of Mr. Gacy’s name has not been approved, and frankly, your callous use of his name to promote your own political cause gives the false impression that Mr. Gacy would have supported your candidacy. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is our belief that Mr. Gacy would have rejected your serial disregard for facts and your proclivity for wild, unsubstantiated accusations.
The John Wayne Gacy we knew had the occasional delusion, but he would never claim that $105 billion in spending was "hidden" in the federal health care law and that this was done "secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress", since it is a matter of public record that this expenditure was debated in Congress for 2 years prior to enactment.
The John Wayne Gacy we knew may have made some errors in judgment by accidently misleading the police while he committed his crimes of passion, but he should never be compared to someone who stated that the Obama administration had only issued one new oil drilling permit since the president took office. The real number was 276, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s online database, as of the day of Bachmann's speech (it's now 296).
As Pogo the Clown, one of Mr. Gacy’s favorite characters, he loved making people laugh before luring them into his home. There is nothing funny or entertaining, however, about Ms. Bachmann making the greatly exaggerated claim that "now we have the federal government … taking over ownership or control of 51 percent of the American economy." As any teenage boy could tell you, total government expenditures were 20.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. You have to go back to 1944 to find a time when government spending was close to 50 percent of GDP. The candidate is trying to lure voters to her tent with her falsehoods, but that does not mean that she may compare her spirit to that of the late Mr. Gacy.
It is common knowledge that Mr. Gacy buried some of his victims in a crawlspace in his home, but this should not be compared to Ms. Bachmann’s burying of the truth, a far more heinous crime. Her baseless claims are ‘shovel ready’. In her Tea Party response to this year’s State of the Union address, she said the bailout, or Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), signed into law by President George W. Bush, had cost taxpayers $700 billion. Actually, the net cost at the time was $25 billion. The Congressional Budget Office has since updated its estimate to $19 billion.
Gacy became known as the "Killer Clown", but no one is laughing at Ms. Bachmann’s spreading of false Internet-fueled rumors, like the off-base claim that Rep. Nancy Pelosi ran up a $100,000 "bar tab for alcohol" on congressional trips, and the easily debunked assertion that Obama's trip to India last year cost $200 million per day. It can safely be said that both you and Mr. Gacy were entertainers, but nothing more.
John Wayne Gacy’s spirit should not be co-opted by the Bachmann campaign in a lame effort to make her look good. His criminal history has been written, and cannot be changed. Therefore, your attempts to rewrite history, such as your false claim that “the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence worked tirelessly to end slavery”, should not be overlooked or excused. Mr. Gacy stood trial for his transgressions; your media trial and trial in public opinion has just begun. Invoking Mr. Gacy’s legacy so that you can gain a stranglehold on the Republican nomination cannot be allowed. It is insulting to Mr. Gacy, and painful for his family and the voters you are victimizing.
It is a fact that Mr. Gacy took advantage of others with an evil purpose. It cannot be said, however, that he ever stooped so low as to tell people that the U.S. Census was a “government plot”, or that the President was planning “re-education camps” or that all those who disagreed with her were “anti-American”. His reach was limited, while Ms. Bachmann’s designs are much larger, and therefore scarier.
“Respect for facts just doesn't mean a whole lot anymore," Norman J. Ornstein said. "You don't get punished. You don't get shamed if you say things that are patently false. Let's face it: for many, repeating them over and over again -- even after you've been told and it's been made clear that what you say is false -- just doesn't have any impact at all." Mr. Ornstein was not talking about convicted killer, John Wayne Gacy. His comments are best applied to you and you alone.
We knew John Wayne Gacy. John Wayne Gacy was a friend of ours. Michelle Bachmann, you are no John Wayne Gacy.
We suggest you try comparing yourself to someone else in the future, maybe a Hollywood movie star, like Ronald Reagan (hometown was Dixon, Illinois, in case you’d like to claim that you were also born and raised there, too).