WHAT BACHMANN’S LATEST GAFFE TELLS US…. There are different kinds of political gaffes, and most of them aren’t especially important. If someone says “South Korea” when he/she meant “North Korea,” it’s just an example of a verbal miscue, not necessarily evidence of ignorance.

But Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann’s latest error wasn’t just a slip-up; it’s a reminder that the bizarre lawmaker thinks she knows what she’s talking about, but doesn’t.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire got off to a rocky start on Saturday morning when she misstated a key fact about the American Revolution in a speech to a group of local conservative activists and students.

“What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty,” the potential GOP presidential candidate said. “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.” […]

In fact, the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord that marked the first military engagements of the American Revolution took place in Massachusetts. But Bachmann did not correct her error when she referenced the battles again later in her speech.

Bachmann didn’t just misspeak, saying one thing when she meant to say something else. On Friday night, she said Lexington and Concord are in New Hampshire, and on Saturday morning, she repeated the claim twice.

In other words, Bachmann was delivering speeches about the nation’s founding, repeatedly connecting her vision to that of the framers, and she actually believed her claim about Lexington and Concord. She knew she’d be talking to voters in New Hampshire, and included this talking point on purpose, assuming it was accurate.

I mention this, not to point and laugh, but to reinforce a point we talked about the other day: Bachmann is less a liar and more a politician who isn’t quite smart enough to realize how ridiculous she is.

These kinds of examples come up all the time. Putting aside her wild-eyed conspiracy theories — remember the time she suggested the Census might lead to internment camps? — Bachmann has a habit of making claims about history that she insists are true, but aren’t. She recently argued the Founding Fathers, for example, were committed to racial equality and the abolishment of slavery. Bachmann also thinks Jimmy Carter was president in 1976 (he took office in 1977).

And yet, as she toys with the idea of an absurd national campaign, Bachmann has been described as “very presidential” by GOP activists.

Update: It looks like smintheus at unbossed was the first one on this story, which was eventually picked up everywhere else.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.