Archive - Jul 11, 2011

Pledge Of Allegiance

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Memo to Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum: GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.

Politics is all about pledges these days. And not the kind of pledges where you feel guilty and tell public TV you'll send them twenty bucks, and they thank you, and then it comes time to send them the twenty bucks and you can't be bothered. No, I'm talking iron-clad pinky-swear pledges. Grover Norquist is the grandaddy of this, and has made so many politicians take blood oaths not to vote to raise taxes that we're facing economic armageddon in the debt ceiling talks.

But I'll have to cut Grover a little slack, because compared to The Marriage Vow, Norquist seems reasonable. And that's a man who told Stephen Colbert that he wouldn't raise taxes to save America's grandmothers from being devoured by fire ants.

So far, only Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have signed The Marriage Vow, which is the product of the usual yahoos, now going under the name of FAMiLY LEADER. The punctuation is deliberate, and symbolic of submission of the individual or some damn thing. There is no "I" in team, but since there is an I in Family, I guess they decided to humiliate it and make it feel insignificant.

So what's in The Marriage Vow? Four pages of dense text, that's what. I'd love to go through the whole thing, except for one minor problem. I wouldn't love to go through the whole thing. And you wouldn't love me to go through the whole thing. Most of it isn't anything we haven't seen before - the only family that matters is one man and one woman fucking in Biblically-approved matrimony for the purposes of squeezing out more white people that the woman raises without either working or daring to leave if the man hits her. But let's look at some highlights and see what Batshit and The Prick have agreed to do, should they somehow manage to become President.

"Personal fidelity to my spouse"; "Respect for the marital bonds of others"

So I guess they didn't even APPROACH Gingrich on this one. I don't have a problem with this - if candidates want to sign a "no fuckin' around" pledge, that's a personal issue. I will only point out that I bet respecting the marital bonds of others doesn't mean respecting the marital bonds of certain couples in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, or, very soon, New York.

"Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc."

Now, there's a shitload of stuff about gay marriage in here. Defense of DOMA, national constitutional amendment, entire paragraphs designed to let the candidate tick a checkbox next to "MARRIED STRAIGHTS RULE, YOU DROOL." But I love the way this is phrased.

First, the opposition must be vigorous! No half-assing your opposition, candidates! Second, the short-form definition of marriage as "faithful monogamy between one man and one woman", reducing the entire institution to enforced strictures on boinking. But the best is how they just drop "same-sex" in at the end, before the "etc.", and after all the varieties of plural marriage that are usually placed -down- the slippery slope from gay marriage. See what they did there?

"Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence."

This paragraph is like a TARDIS-brand suitcase. I could spend all week unpacking it and still not find my socks.

I mean, yes, I'm troubled by the human trafficking of children. Who wouldn't be? But I'm almost as troubled by anyone who would describe children as "the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy". That is FUCKING CREEPY.

I mean, seriously, just imagine the process that must have led to that addition. They've got a list of a bunch of horrible things (and some dubious items we'll get to in a second), and not only can they happen to women, but even worse, they can happen to CHILDREN. And you know how strongly people react when something bad happens to a child. Just ask any of the millions of amateur jurors who watched the Casey Anthony trial.

But the people at FAMiLY LEADER didn't think we'd react strongly enough to the word "children". They didn't think we would be sufficiently sympathetic unless they reminded us that babies grow like pomegranates after people bump uglies. Children? They're on their own, the little bastards. The innocent fruit of conjugal union? Holy shit, we have to save them! I never realized!

And then there are the couple of serious eyebrow raisers in that list. I'm not entirely sure what "seduction into promiscuity" is, but it sounds a lot like what Bristol Palin said Levi did to her on a camping trip. And since she gets paid money to tell wingnuts how to live their lives, how bad can it be?

And "all forms of pornography"? Many media outlets have interpreted this as a ban on porn, which isn't strictly true. I mean, it's what the FAMiLY LEADER people think they've said - while they've walked it back after criticism, other public statements have proven they're in favor of an Ashcroftian level of enforcement of obscenity laws - a war on porn, if you will.

But what they've SAID, grammatically, is that they want to protect women and children from all forms of pornography. Now, since they're fanatics, I can only assume they mean both production and consumption. Which means that what they're truly striving for is a world where men watch only gay porn. Which, as we know from Jesus-freak sociology, TURNS MEN GAY.

Let's see, what else is on here? Make babies. Don't be Muslim. Keep women out of combat and gays out of military showers. Lower taxes on the rich. No, I don't know what that has to do with the family, but that's what you get when you re-brand the Moral Majority as the "Tea Party". Oh, and the old "we have the First Amendment right to hate gay people all we want" canard.

And then there's two pages of endnotes, because if anyone's gonna do the research before signing a pledge to make all American men watch nothing but gay porno, it's Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.

And seriously, how do you wage a war on porn in the year 2011? First, the Internet has ensured that existing porn stockpiles will be made available to future generations, even if FAMiLY LEADER could somehow ensure that no new porn were made, ever. Not that they could do that, since we live in an age where a significant percentage of Americans, by age 15, are in possession of a device that can produce AND DISTRIBUTE pornography. And if these people think they're gonna confiscate teenager's cell phones, they're more delusional than they sound.