Political InQueery: Tier-Two Glitterbombs

Vander PlaatsLooks like Michele Bachmann is the frontrunner again for poor decision-making, having signed a pledge from The Family Leader, an arch-conservative Iowa group, that included lots of cockamamie and offensive statements like the following:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.

Yes, Bachmann signed this pledge to agree to all of the "vows" it listed—the above section is part of the marriage declaration—in order to get the group's endorsement in the election. This tiny exchange is so full of wrong, bloggers and reporters have been trying to unpack it since it happened last week. In addition to the many, many erroneous generalizations it makes about pornography, LGBTQ issues, slavery, and what marriage should look like, it codifies the most anti-intellectual attitudes in our election process and attaches political power to them. That active candidates (who receive millions of dollars in donations to be the individual who will govern the laws and policies of our land) should take such a rambling declaration of bigotry seriously is testament to the notion that not only have we shifted further right-ward, but that we're cleanly off the rails altogether.

I expect that Vander Plaats, the founder of The Family Leader, will be glitterbombed soon. If Newt Gingrich got a dose of party supplies for his anti-gay stance and writings, surely some of the pink stuff is coming Plaats' way, for his having written that being gay leads to increased mortality. I don't think he's referring to hate crimes when he brings that up, either.

Who else is risking a date with decoration? My list looks something like this:

Kurt Zellers—Speaker of the House in Minnesota, who continues to be paid during the government shutdown, while 22,000 state workers are now unemployed. Do not mess with Minnesota activists, Mr. Zellers. They've already struck twice. Other GOP officials have declined to receive their salaries while the budget is being negotiated. I think having a functioning government is better than abstaining from payment, but at least it's a gesture that makes sense.

Judson Phillips—The oft-named "head" of the Tea Party movement, he's an advocate for restricting voting rights to property owners, and has crafted much of the language around access to voting (read, check everyone's citizenship) that got picked up nationwide this year, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. Fully 27 states put something about restricting voting rights into their legislative process this spring. Taking away people's ballots? That seems to be high-risk behavior for getting a glitterbomb in one's lap.

Barack Obama—Well, thank goodness the President came out and said that Social Security isn't the source of the deficit. He must read Bitch. But it could be too late, he may already be on the glitter patrol list somewhere, for offering to put Social Security on the table in debt ceiling and budget negotitations. With some activists, like AARP members, he's on thin ice. It could be that a fistfull of glitter could remind him that he needs those voters in 2012.

Herman Cain—He could have some glitter coming his way for saying at an Iowa campaign stop that the US should protect its border with an alligator-filled moat and an electrified "Great Wall of China." Yes, he said this in early June, but it only recently got noticed. Hispanic groups have called on him to drop his candidacy. Running as far back as he is, Iowa's results may cause him to do just that, all on his own. And whom did he say this to, by the way? Vander Plaats and The Family Leader.

 

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Iowans

As an Iowan, I am always so disappointed to learn about what politicians are up to in my hometown (Ames). The actions of a few politicians and a few special interest groups serve to make the entire state look backwards. On the other hand, the country only tunes in to Iowa for a few months during the straw polls; Iowans have to deal with these candidates all year long--no matter how recently the last election was won.

I kind of feel that way about

I kind of feel that way about the whole country. I want a t-shirt that says, "I swear we're not all that stupid."

That Marriage Vow thing

Odd, odd, ODD, isn't it, that defense of marriage and family JUST HAPPENS to coincide with so many items on the Tea Party/GOP wishlist, innit? "Fidelity to the Constitution"? "Downsizing government"?

I also love how they bravely resist the anti-woman religious-based totalitarianism of Sharia Law... by advocating religious-based totalitarianism. Not much for introspection, are they?

And if you look at the most recent edition of The Vow, it appears that they've shoved the stuff about slavery down the memory hole. Can you retroactively edit something you've asked people to take a sacred vow to?