A 16-year-old high school student has challenged Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Mn.) to a public debate because the student, Amy Myers, thinks Rep. Bachmann doesn't know what she's talking about and is harming women.
"It's just been the general statements she's been making," says Ms. Myers, adding that she found large numbers of inaccuracies in Rep. Bachmann's statements about history, and "I know all the answers to the majority of the statements, and I'm sixteen."
"I feel that she's defaming herself," and by extension, all women, she adds. "When people look at politicians, they look at the worst-case scenario.""As a typical high school student, I have found quite a few of your statements regarding the Constitution of the United States, the quality of public school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted," Ms. Myers wrote to Rep. Bachmann in a letter dated April 29th. "The statements you make help to serve an injustice to not only the position of Congresswoman, but women everywhere."
Ms. Myers' letter reads as though it was written by a more mature person, but Ms. Myers' principal, John O'Breza, says Ms. Myers isn't the sort to pull pranks or otherwise play loose with the facts.
"She's a bona fide, high-profile sophomore in a highly competitive high school -- a bright kid," who will be op-ed editor of her high school newspaper next year, he says. Ms. Myers attends Cherry Hill High School East in Cherry Hill, NJ.
What will Ms. Myers do if Rep. Bachmann says yes? "I'm very familiar with American history," says Ms. Myers. "All I have to do is brush up from Polk to maybe Woodrow Wilson. If I do that, I'll have a generalization of American history in concrete." She's also studied the Constitution in her advanced placement classes, she adds.
Not that she expects Rep. Bachmann to accept the challenge. "I did at first, but since it's taken her over a week-and-a-half to respond... I would have expected her to respond by now, or at least make a statement, but I haven't seen anything at all," she says.
Ms. Myers put her challenge up on her website and by May 12th somebody -- Ms. Myers says she doesn't know who -- put up a page about it on Facebook, "Ask Rep. Bachmann to Debate Amy Myers". That page has attracted over 5,000 "likes" as of this writing. That in turn has prompted emails from as far away as India, she says.
The Facebook page also attracted a fair number of personal attacks on Ms. Myers on Right Wing message boards like Free Republic, but her father, Wayne Myers, says that hasn't impressed his daughter "They were calling her the C-name, they were calling her a lesbian, and she was actually laughing about it" he says.
What do her friends think? They routinely make fun of people like Rep. Bachmann, says Ms. Myers. When Christine O'Donnell famously said she wasn't a witch during her recent campaign for office, she says, her friends told her she should make her campaign slogan -- Ms. Myers is running for junior class president -- "I'm Amy Myers, and I'm not a witch'. "They all said 'Amy, you'll win now, because everybody thinks that's hilarious.'"
Rep. Bachmann's office didn't return four telephone calls seeking comment. According to Ms. Myers, she sent the Congresswoman a written challenge via United Parcel Service on April 29th -- the return receipt says it was received on May 4th -- but Rep. Bachmann hasn't responded.
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