WE KEEP THE TAPES…. About a year ago, Olbermann did a segment about John McCain claiming that he knew all along that the war in Iraq would “long and hard and tough.” Olbermann featured a series of quotes from McCain showing the exact opposite to be true, concluding, “Senator, we keep all the tapes of these interviews. C’mon!”

It’s a lesson far-right members of Congress keep forgetting.

As everyone now knows, Rep. Michelle Bachmann questioned Barack Obama for having “anti-American” views on Friday, adding that she wants a new round of McCarthyism for all members of Congress. Faced with intense pushback, Bachmann told a reporter on Sunday, “I’m not saying that [Obama’s] views are anti-American. That was a misreading of what I said.” The video showed she was lying. (“Congresswoman, we keep all the tapes of these interviews. C’mon!”

Similarly, Rep. Robin Hayes, a right-wing Republican from North Carolina, was warming up a crowd on Saturday in advance of a McCain speech. Hayes told voters, “[L]iberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God.”

Questioned about his disgusting and divisive attack, Hayes’ office denied everything.

Then the audio clip emerged, proving that Hayes had clearly said what he’d been quoted saying. The exact quote: “Folks, there’s a real America, and liberals hate real Americans that work, and accomplish, and achieve, and believe in God.”

Ideally, Republican officials would stop saying insane things. But barring that, they may want to keep in mind that reporters keep tapes, and their denials end up looking pretty ridiculous later.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.