Comedy Gold: Politifact examines Sheila Jackson Lee’s Vietnam speech

22 Jul

Yes, folks, our NATIONAL TREASURE has gotten the super-cereal Politifact examination for this speech:

Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working,” she said. “We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side.

Sayeth the scribes at Politifact:

The incident is already infamous on Jackson Lee’s entry on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, under a section titled “gaffes.” Also noted: in 1997, Jackson Lee asked a NASA scientist if the Mars Pathfinder had photographed the flag that Neil Armstrong had planted on the moon.

Quick history lesson, compliments of the CIA World Factbook:Under the 1954 Geneva Accords, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti-Communist South. The United States’ military presence in South Vietnam grew during the 1960s in an attempt to bolster that government, but armed forces withdrew in following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnam conquered the south, reuniting the two countries under Communist rule.

Today, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is home to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

And so Politifact, in its scoldy moldy way, gives Rep Sheila Jackson Lee a “False” for declaring that a) we won the Vietnam war, resulting in b) North and South Vietnam c) living in peace side by side.

In Politifact’s defense, their choices basically came down to rating SJL “False” or creating a whole new category along the lines of “Dazed and Confused.”

They did manage to get a quote from the Houston Rep regarding her Yale grad’s take on Vietnam:

“If there was any reason to raise a point of concern, it was probably because I misspoke and did not add the phrase, after my discussion of North and South Vietnam, that ‘the nation was united as one,'” she said in a statement issued the following day. “However, my point is still accurate, and that is that the war between North and South Vietnam is similar to Afghanistan, in that those fighting against each other were Vietnamese and now the country lives as one Vietnam. However, it is South Vietnam that was consumed by North Vietnam and governed by the policies of North Vietnam.”

Heh.  Shorter Sheila: “My point is still accurate even though I got every single fact about it entirely wrong.  Look at that shiny thing over there!”

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Posted by on July 22, 2010 in politics, Sheila Jackson Lee


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