At a speech to Michigan Republicans on Tuesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) -- the darling of the Tea Party right -- told an amazing story about how she shed her youthful Democratic roots and became a Republican. As she told the tale, her political conversion was because of her disgust at a "snotty" Gore Vidal novel that satirized the Founding Fathers.Well, if deciding that a historical novel is the apotheosis of Democratic thought isn't "fair-minded," I just don't know what is. All right-thinking Americans know that our Founding Fathers were second only to Christ Almighty in the inerrancy department, and any suggestion otherwise is roughly equivalent to signing up with the Taliban. (Even Founding Fathers that apparently had views of their own about Christ's inerrancy.)
"Until I was reading this snotty novel called 'Burr,' by Gore Vidal, and read how he mocked our Founding Fathers," Bachmann told the crowd. "And as a reasonable, decent, fair-minded person who happened to be a Democrat, I thought, 'You know what? What he's writing about, this mocking of people that I revere, and the country that I love, and that I would lay my life down to defend -- just like every one of you in this room would, and as many of you in this room have when you wore the uniform of this great country -- I knew that that was not representative of my country."
"And at that point I put the book down and I laughed. I was riding a train. I looked out the window and I said, 'You know what? I think I must be a Republican. I don't think I'm a Democrat.'"
I, of course, became a Democrat when I flipped through a Tom Clancy novel and found his prose pedestrian. "Insufficiently elitist," thought I, and went off to campaign for Bill Clinton.