The 2012 GOP presidential nomination is all about pledges. There's the grandaddy of them all, Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge; there's the Susan B. Anthony List anti-abortion pledge; Sen. Jim DeMint, Tea Party-S.C., has the "Cut, Cap and Balance" pledge. And now Iowa conservative heavyweaight Bob Vander Plaats (shown above: photo by John Schultz of the Quad City Times) is getting into the act with a marriage pledge.The Huffingtonpost has more on Plaats' pledge:
The pledge is titled "The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY" (emphasis in the original), and what follows is pretty standard-issue Christian conservative rhetoric on the definition of marriage and the sanctity of same, but it comes with a fiscal twist that basically makes it clear that Vander Plaats does not cotton to the notion that social issues can be divorced from economic concerns.Politico has a copy of the pledge.
Remember, this pledge will be something all the GOP candidates will have to address in order to be consecrated, sanctified, or otherwise blessed by Iowa's social conservatives prior to the Iowa caucuses next year. Each candidate must pledge:
--Personal fidelity to my spouse.These are the hoops the GOP candidates will have to jump through.
--Respect for the marital bonds of others.
--Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.
--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.
--Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.
--Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended "second chance" or "cooling-off" periods for those seeking a "quickie divorce."
--Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.
--Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.
--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.
--Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.
--Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.
--Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.
--Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA's $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.
--Fierce defense of the First Amendment's rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.
Michelle Bachmann already has.
But there's something left out of the coverage. The pledge is not only for the GOP candidates. This is tacked onto the bottom of the pledge:
The Vow of Civic, Religious, Lay, Business, and Social Leaders:Some litmus test.
We the undersigned do hereby solemnly vow* that no U.S. Presidential primary candidate – nor any primary candidate for the U. S. House, Senate, Governor, state or municipal office – will, in his or her public capacity, benefit from any substantial form of aid, support, endorsement, contribution, independent expenditure, or affirmation from any of us without first affirming this Marriage Vow. Furthermore, to uphold and advance the natural Institution of Marriage, we ourselves also hereby vow* our own fidelity to this Declaration and especially, to our spouses.
It should be interesting to see who pledges.
And who doesn't.