The Washington Post

Michele Bachmann’s birthday snafu — this could explain a lot


When Michele Bachmann wishes you a happy birthday, your number’s up! (© ELVIS PRESLEY ENTERPRISES, INC.)

I’m off to put my affairs in order.

In case you haven’t heard, Bachmann on Aug. 16, the anniversary of Elvis’s death, wished a happy birthday to the King.

“He died today!” someone in the crowd shouted.

Birth, death? What’s the difference, really? Maybe Bachmann is just taking the cosmic perspective.

Or maybe she has the two confused.

“Birth of a Salesman is my favorite Arthur Miller play,” she tells people. “Birth Be Not Proud is my favorite John Donne sonnet, and I just loved ‘Birth at a Funeral’ — what a hoot!

“Nothing’s certain, except birth and taxes!” she adds. “Let’s listen to some Birth Cab For Cutie songs.”

No wonder John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy seemed so interchangeable in that Waterloo speech. “One of them brought lasting joy to many, many people! The other was John Wayne.”

Yes, this is cheap and silly — it’s an easy gaffe to make, and probably all it tells us is that the staff member who mixed up John Wayne Gacy and John Wayne is still, miraculously, on board. But what if it means more?

No wonder she’s promising a new birth of freedom for the economy. “Opposing raising the debt ceiling will make America live long and prosper! Gay families aren’t real families! DADT was a great policy!”

When does the topsy-turvydom stop?

“War is peace! Freedom is slavery! Ignorance is strength! Happy Birthday, Elvis!”

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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