Chris Matthews points out the ignorance of Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), a Tea Party favorite, regarding the history of slavery in America, the founding fathers and the Constitution. Tea Party Express leader Sal Russo tries to cover up for Bachmann, but Matthews has no patience for his evasions. Joan Walsh of Salon also responds to Bachmann's whitewashing of American history:
Walsh comments further in Salon:
Now, [Bachmann] didn't leave out the history of slavery; she just prettied it up: Slavery was a "scourge," she admitted, but "we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."
No, actually, they didn't. We know many of the founders, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, owned slaves; the founders only worked tirelessly to make sure slave states and non-slave states could get along in a union. For the next 80 years, time and again even anti-slavery American leaders had opportunities to choose between abolishing slavery and keeping the slave-holding states part of the Union -- and they chose the Union. It took the bloody Civil War to end slavery, three to four generations after the founders had left the national scene (six to eight by Bachmann's count), and we're still living with its legacy.