Apparently the odious Michelle Bachmann made a major error at the kick off to her presidential campaign in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, where she told Fox News, “Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” The problem is that the John Wayne from Waterloo is the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The famous actor was from Iowa, just not that part of the state.
This is funny, and I applaud anything that helps make this woman look like the imbecile she is. However, what no one is talking about is that the spirit of John Wayne, the actor, is the perfect empty symbolism of today’s Republican Party. Wayne was nothing but a one-dimensional movie poster: all image and no substance. He dodged military service during World War II because he didn’t want to jeopardize his movie career, then vilified draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. He made movies that honored families, but was married three times and had numerous affairs. Basically, his image was a lie. The perfect roll-model for Michelle Bachman.
The other option, of course, is that she actually MEANT John Wayne Gacy. In which case, she may just have been giving us fair warning.
James Fallows has more on the Bachmann story here.
Just to keep the record straight: I like John Wayne the movie icon. I just don’t think much of the man. Or as my brother puts it, “John Wayne is great. Marion Morrison, however, was an asshole.”