How to tell John Wayne from John Wayne Gacy

A guide, for Michele Bachmann

Published June 27, 2011 8:30PM (EDT)

Michele Bachmann and John Wayne Gacy
Michele Bachmann and John Wayne Gacy

Whoops! Michele Bachmann accidentally praised serial killer clown John Wayne Gacy in Iowa today.

Mrs. Bachmann grew up in Waterloo, and used the town as the backdrop for her campaign announcement, 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."

And the video

John Wayne the actor was actually from Winterstet, Iowa, which is 150 miles southwest of Waterloo. Waterloo was the home, for a time, of John Wayne Gacy, the disturbed children's performer who killed 33 people. (Also John Wayne the actor was a drunk, racist draft-dodger and living in "his America" would basically mean the return of segregation.)

Maybe the evangelical wingnuts who've taught Bachmann that the Founding Fathers engineered the end of slavery despite dying some years before the Civil War also have some sort of oddball Christian history lesson about where John Wayne was really from, but it seems more likely that Bachmann just misremembered where John Wayne was born. (Her supporters will now begin reminding people of the time President Obama said "57 states" or whatever, and while that was kind of funny, it was not as funny as accidentally wishing to live in the world of a serial killing clown.)

Some helpful advice for Bachmann:

  • John Wayne wore a cowboy hat. John Wayne Gacy killed dozens of teenagers and young men.
  • John Wayne was in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" with Jimmy Stewart. John Wayne Gacy hid the bodies of most of his victims in his home's crawlspace
  • John Wayne supported Richard Nixon. John Wayne Gacy once made a painting of the Chicago Cubs playing against Disney's seven dwarfs.

What crazy thing will Michele Bachmann say next! (What she will say next is "thank you" to all the liberal blogs for publicizing this.)

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

MORE FROM Alex Pareene

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2012 Elections Michele Bachmann R-minn.