Last week, Michele Bachmann caused a ruckus in the black blogosphere after signing “The Marriage Vow” a uber-conservative manifesto to ensure candidates agree that they will oppose gay marriage measures once in office. The document is offensive enough on its own, but it got a little extra juice from this inclusion:
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.
This makes me wonder have these people read anything at all about slavery. Did they know that slaves were considered chattel? Property, not people? And under such considerations, not allowed to legally wed? Do they even know what jumping the broom is? (Historically, black slaves jumped the broom into the land of matrimony, since many slaves were denied traditional weddings since they were considered property.) Did they miss the fact that children and families were routinely sold away from each other, breaking the bonds of family? What kind of revisionist bullshit were they reading? That whole “blacks were better off during slavery” lie has a ridiculous hold on the GOP. But I suppose this is what happens when we start re-writing history books and sanitizing what happened.
To add insult to injury, the Marriage Vow follows that steaming pile up with a glowing reference to the Moynihan report, and quickly points out the white community has exceeded those crisis levels (and the black community is doomed). Oh, the humanity!
But Bachmann signed this thing, and so far, it’s rolling off her like Teflon. Many Black conservatives, pleased with the message Bachmann endorsed with her signature, believe she’s speaking some kind of truth to power.
So, of course, the first thing I’m wondering is if there’s any policy behind all of Bachmann’s posturing, and surprisingly there is. And to my horror, it’s gonna be really appealing to social conservatives.
Bachmann hasn’t yet dropped an official platform (her Presidency page has an issues section that leaves a lot to be desired), so we can only piece together policy points from what she’s done. Since she signed “The Marriage Vow,” she’s promised not to cheat on her spouse, to only appoint strict “Constitutionalists” to the Supreme Court, to protect “the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy,” rejection of “Sharia Islam” (yes, that’s what they wrote, Sharia ISLAM not LAW), and first amendment protection from those of us who would have the nerve to point out that we wouldn’t necessarily want to live under someone else’s religious doctrine.
Other bits are more interesting. The Free Republic reported on an April address given to the Americans for Prosperity Forum which outlined some of her other key beliefs:
Reinstate 1994 welfare reform act with 5 year lifetime cap (Latoya’s Note – They meant this 1996 act. The pilot programs started in 1994) Federal government would send letter to every state announcing it will not bail out any underfunded public employee union pension or healthcare plan No more federal ownership of private business – put Fannie and Freddie on the auction block; end future federally backed mortgage securities Sell government share in AIG, Chrysler, GM, Bank of America and Citibank Repeal Obamacare; allow Americans to purchase any healthcare policy they want from any state with no minimum mandates using tax free dollars and fully deductable on tax returns; tort reform Downsize EPA; no cap & trade; legalize all American energy production, all without federal subsidy Cut business tax rate to 9% No capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, no alternative minimum tax Pass a “mother of all repeal bills” to repeal the last 4 years of Obama/Pelosi/Reid
And it gets so much worse when you look at her decisions while she was in Congress:
Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. (Jan 2011)
Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment. (Jan 2007)
Report on Medicaid payments to abortion providers. (Apr 2009)
Declare preborn as persons under 14th amendment. (Feb 2009)
Voted NO on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures. (Mar 2009)
Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)
Authored constitutional amendment defining marriage. (Nov 2006)
Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)
Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)
Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets. (Sep 2008)
Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (May 2008)
Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008)
Voted NO on investing in homegrown biofuel. (Aug 2007)
Voted YES on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC. (May 2007)
Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007)
Bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. (Jan 2009)
Cap-and-trade has no impact on global temperatures. (Jul 2010)
Voted NO on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013. (Jun 2008)
Endorsed Targeted as “Dirty Dozen” for anti-environmentalism. (Aug 2010)
Voted YES on promoting free trade with Peru. (Nov 2007)
Voted NO on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization. (Oct 2007)
Voted NO on protecting whistleblowers from employer recrimination. (Mar 2007)
Voted NO on regulating tobacco as a drug. (Apr 2009)
Voted NO on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Jan 2009)
Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar 2007)
Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007)
Some things are somewhat in opposition. The Marriage Vow actually requests that candidates remove the marriage penalty from welfare law and policy, but she wants to push welfare policy to 1996 era reform, which had those policies that discouraged families from forming due to economic penalties written into the code. But that’s a small matter.
Bachmann, who might as well just write “Fuck all y’all” as her campaign platform, is a serious frontrunner for the GOP, and embraced by the party faithful. With Democratic unity in shambles, Bachmann may be a game changer in the next election. And that is extremely depressing commentary on the current state of American politics. Unabashed bigots may run for office, unimpeded by their horrific views or their terrible, anti-American policies, yet wrap themselves in the flag and claim to love this country.
Fellow Progressives, we need a plan.