If you find it necessary to declare on national television that "I am a serious person," you're probably not.
Meet Michele Bachmann. She's currently running for president, but she's also suffering a few credibility problems. One is that she keeps creating her own fanciful version of history.
For example, she recently bewildered Iowa voters by asserting that the Founding Fathers had magnanimously included every American in the nation's new government: "It didn't matter the color of [people's] skin," she marveled, "it didn't matter whether they were of a higher class or a lower class, it made no difference." Seriously.
Indeed, Bachmann plowed straight ahead into a fantasy about the Founders' glorious work to free the slaves. She insisted that these wealthy, white, slave-owning men "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."
No surprise, then, that the congresswoman also invents her own personal history. While she unsparingly attacks "Washington's spending addiction" — she apparently doesn't own a mirror.
It turns out that her husband's counseling clinic has received thousands of dollars in state and federal grants. Oh, she dodges, those tax dollars didn't come to us. Seriously? Yes, she explains, the money went to train our clinic's employees — as though that's not a subsidy for their business.
Then there is the $260,000 in subsidies for her family's farm. Oh, she dissembled, that went to my father-in-law, adding that, "I have never gotten a penny from the farm." Seriously? But she's listed as a partner in the farm, and her financial disclosure forms report that, in fact, she has received $105,000 in income from it.
Bachmann says she wants to take government back — and, in all seriousness, it looks like she's already clawing back her piece of it.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.