Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Historical Rewrite

Michelle Bauchmann, former Presidential candidate and member of the House, took to the floor the other day to announce how awful the Sequestration is because it "breaks everyone's heart" to see services like Head Start and Meals on Wheels cut.   She announced, “There were numerous Republicans that voted against the sequestration because we knew all of these calamities were in the future. And so it reminds me of the Shakespeare line: ‘Thou protestest too much.’ Didn’t you know this was going to happen? We knew it. That’s why we voted against this bill.” Besides clearly demonstrating her lack of knowledge of Shakespeare by not only misusing but butchering a quote from Hamlet, which is about someone who is guilty denying that guilt by declaring their innocence too loudly, Ms. Bauchmann is also lying.  There is no other way to put it.  She is ignoring the truth. She does, in fact, protest too much.

It is true that she voted against the Sequestration. Not, however, for the above reason.  It is pretty well documented that she voted against the sequestration not because of the impact it would have on children in Headstart or the numbers of elderly going hungry as Meals on Wheels is cut back. She voted no because it didn't cut enough. In fact after the passage of the Budget Control Act she said “We needed real cuts and a fundamental restructuring in the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars to solve the spending crisis we are in. Someone has to say NO to more spending. I will." There is not a single statement she made at the time that she felt for those that coming "calamities."

The problem is not just Bauchmann ignoring what she actually did.  The problem there seems to be a movement afoot to not just ignore history but to rewrite it.  It is common enough among many a politician both Democrat and Republican to try an rewrite their own history, but it is also becoming common where it shouldn't be.

Take for example the new history of Texas Board of Education.  As one of the largest textbook purchasers in the USA, the new history could literally alter history taught in the nation.  Want some examples? Try these. Thomas Jefferson's role is down played as a founding father removing him from history standard.  The change questions the idea of the separation of church and state as being a belief of the founders and the Constitution. The change would also state the US government was, in fact, infiltrated by Communists during the Cold War making Joe McCarthy a hero instead of a zealot who saw Communists everywhere.  The new history would also include emphasis on the rise of the Conservative movement but have little to no discussion on Liberal movements.

Another example is in the new Bush Library which glosses over the Iraq war and the reasons we were given by ignoring the original statements that there was a link to Iraq and AlQueda or the search for non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Iraq war is in fact handled under the general title of the War on Terror.

Once upon a time there as a writer who warned us of historical rewrites.  His name was George Orwell and the folks who created unpersons worked at the Ministry of Truth.  In the spirit of the new history rather than the warning Orwell gives us, I offer this. Orwell would be so proud.