Wednesday, April 29, 2009


It looks like Republican Representative from Minnesota, Michelle Bachmann, wants to establish the House Comedic Miss Piggy Award. Check this out ...

To make a long story short, the outbreak Bachmann is referring to started in early 1976, when Republican Gerald Ford was President!

However, Rep. Bachmann's "outbreak ignorance" pales in comparison to this lesson in historical stupidity ...

This is especially painful to watch because not only do I teach about the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in my International Political Economy class but I mark students down considerably if they get this basic history stuff wrong (in a few words, the Smoot-Hawley Trade Act slowed international trade and cost Americans jobs).

Here's what Airhead Bachmann also ignores, or gets wrong:

1. The representatives who sponsored the anti-trade bill, Reed Smoot and Willis C. Hawley (pictured above) were both Republicans.

2. The President who signed the anti-trade measure into law in 1930 was Republican President Hoover Hoover (how can you get this wrong?).

3. FDR's administration worked to reverse the effects of "Smoot-Hawley" with the Reciprocal Trade Act of 1934 (which set the stage for one of the institutional pillars in the post-war Bretton Woods trading order, which brought trade roaring back).
No wonder Alan Specter left the Republican Party. How do you defend this level of ignorance?

The people that Bachmann represents in Minnesota should be embarrassed. But, I'm sure, they're not. They watch FOX News ... and they're republicans.

- Mark

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