Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Amy Myers for President!

Quite often, politicians make mistakes when speaking off the cuff. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin went on a near-boycott of the media after Katie Couric interviewed her during the 2008 campaign and questioned her views and statements.

Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), often spoke of as a possible presidential candidate in 2012, has also made some gaffes. During a speech in Concord, NH, Bachmann told attendees that it was a privilege to be where the American Revolution first began, in the place where the "shot heard 'round the world" was fired. Unfortunately, this shot was fired in Concord, Massachusetts.

And then there was the time when Bachmann said that the Founding Fathers "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more," despite the fact that nearly all of them—Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe—owned slaves (although John Adams did not) and all died before slavery was officially abolished.

New Jersey high school student Amy Myers thinks that Bachmann's mistakes reflect poorly on women in politics. So Myers wrote her a letter, saying, "As one of a handful of women in Congress, you hold a distinct privilege and responsibility to better represent your gender nationally. The statements you make help to serve an injustice to not only the position of Congresswoman, but women everywhere. Though politically expedient, incorrect comments cast a shadow on your person and by unfortunate proxy, both your supporters and detractors alike often generalize this shadow to women as a whole."

But this isn't just your typical letter of criticism. Myers, who refers to herself as a "typical high school student" yet admits she has watched All The President's Men at least a few times, has a challenge for Bachmann:
"I, Amy Myers, do hereby challenge Representative Michele Bachmann to a Public Forum Debate and/or Fact Test on The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics."
Bachmann or her representatives have yet to respond, and some conservative blogs have even questioned whether this is a legitimate letter and not one written by an adult trying to ridicule Bachmann.

But for now, Myers stands by her guns, and waits to see how Bachmann will respond. And now, perhaps the media will be somewhat more attentive to fact-checking remarks made by our elected officials, and challenging them when they exaggerate or have their facts wrong.

Then again, probably not. Read the full text of Myers' letter here.

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