The rest of the country is starting to learn something about Michele Bachmann that those of us in her home state (and district) have known for some time: The woman is not only ultraconservative and of questionable judgment, but she also has a very weak grip on reality and truth. Her grip on reality was questioned some five or six years ago with Bathroomgate. I find it interesting that very few people talk about Bathroomgate these days … I think the national press and wider blogosphere is simply unaware of it. And more recently, a speech she gave in Iowa was loaded with untruths about her family history. This has been uncovered and described by Chris Rodda on Ed Brayton’s blog in a piece on Scienceblogs.com
Bathroomgate was reported in a number of places including the now inactive Dump Bachmann blog (Michele’s Shifting Accounts of Bathroomgate). However, many of the original on-line documents and reports of this event have been scrubbed, but you can’t really erase things from the Internet. Here’s a brief summary:
In 2005, Bachmann, then a State Senator, attended a town meeting in the small hamlet of Scandia, Minnesota. After the public part of the meeting, she went to the bathroom, where she ran into two women who, the story goes, were lesbians, one or both of whom had asked her questions at the meeting. Soon after entering the bathroom, Bachmann ran out into the lobby area in tears, and proclaimed “I was being held against my will!”
A report, which has since been scrubbed from the Internet, was filed with the County Sheriff. In that report, Bachmann states that the women are “believed to be part of a LGBT group.” She claimed that they detained her for some time in the bathroom, and this caused her to fear for her life. The woman have a different version of the story. According to them, they ran into Bachmann in the bathroom, and attempted to chat civilly but within seconds, Bachmann ran from the bathroom screaming. One of the two women held the door for her as she exited. In fact, the event happened so quickly that the woman was actually holding the door from her own act of entering the bathroom.
A lot of people made up stuff about it at the time. For example, one Bachmann supporter claimed (in a blog post that has been scrubbed from the Internet) that the women pushed their way into a single stall bathroom, but the public bathroom at this facility is said to be quite roomy, and to have over a dozen stalls.
>One eyewitness account of the event runs like this:
State Sen. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Ray Vandeveer were in Scandia Saturday morning for a town meeting with their constituents. Usually the senator and representative expect a half dozen folks to show up for a comfortable chat. Not so on April 9th, when 36 area residents seated themselves firmly before their elected officials and demanded
accountability on issues ranging from educational funding to the controversial “defense of marriage” amendment.
This was one of Bachamnn’s last, if not her very last, open meetings. She is locally famous for having closed “town meetings” and ignoring anyone who is not cleared as a supporter from her district. Anyway, back to the account …
Saturday’s meeting was stiffly cordial until the room erupted in applause at the suggestion that higher taxes were acceptable, if such taxes were valid expenditures used to keep Minnesota’s quality of education at a premium level. …
… and so on and so forth, with Bachmann growing increasingly agitated during he meeting, and showing open disdain in the form of smirks, sidelong glances, and so on, for their constituents.
…Ms. Bachmann was asked to cite an actual study which showed that children were harmed by exposure to couples with alternative life styles. She responded by referring vaguely to conclusions that children are best raised in a household with a mother and a father, to which the audience suggested making divorce illegal….
Eventually, Vandeveer terminated the meeting early over the objections of the audience.
Senator Bachmann retired to the restroom and residents began moving toward the exit. Less than a moment later, piercing screams were heard from the ladies’ washroom. “Help!!!! HEEEELLLLLLPPPPPP!!!!!” With everyone’s attention riveted on the door, Senator Bachmann emerged in a crouching run, crying, “I was being held against my will!” Two women were seen standing behind her, one tall and elderly, the other young and petite, both unassuming and bewildered.
The women reported afterward they had followed the senator into the restroom to continue to question her about education. One had her hand on the door handle, ready to
open it, which she immediately did when Senator Bachmann became frightened and began screaming.
Yes, there is a connection between this lady and our state bird. I’ll just leve it at that.