Eric Alterman wrote recently that Michele Bachmann should not be taken seriously as a national political force.
Alterman is correct that the public has a right to expect that a Member of Congress from Minnesota and putative Republican presidential aspirant like Bachmann has an obligation to possess a requisite amount of knowledge to fulfill any kind of positive role within the American political system.
To be taken seriously Bachmann needs to have at least some of that quality they refer to as gravitas. This stems from knowing certain important facts and taking sober and reasoned positions on basic issues.
What troubled Alterman and scores of other Americans is that recently Bachmann proclaimed that America's Founding Fathers detested slavery and eliminated it. As many respondents pointed out, any informed grade school youngster knows that slavery was not abolished until Abraham Lincoln waged a bloody civil war.
This conflict cost more American lives than any other the nation fought. It was not until Abraham Lincoln's Union forces defeated the Confederacy that the scourge of slavery was eliminated.
Bachmann then visited New Hampshire and delivered a speech in gives all evidence of a fledgling presidential run, a trial balloon. It was plausible to visit New Hampshire given its importance as the second key state in the 2012 primary sweepstakes following the also crucial Iowa caucuses.
The Minnesotan sought to please citizens in the "live free or die" state by proclaiming that New Hampshire played a vital role in the American revolutionary cause through the significance of Lexington and Concord.
While it is true that the first military engagements of the American Revolution were fought in those historic cities, the bad news for Bachmann is that she had the wrong state. Once again, an informed grade school student knows that the historically significant states of Lexington and Concord are located in Massachusetts and not New Hampshire.