Monday, July 11, 2011

Gingrich's Infidility Saves His Bacon

Newt Gingrich refrained from signing a conservative Iowa group's "Marriage Vow" pledge, probably because he recognized that -- as a prominent serial adulterer -- he'd be a national laughingstock if he did (well, more so). Gingrich instead gingerly offered to help "sharpen" the language so he could sign.

But fortunately for Gingrich, the delay probably evaded a serious gaffe. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum -- who already signed the pledge, are now scrambling after folks pointed out the pledge implied that family dynamics for Black children were better under slavery than they are today (Robert George: "Black unemployment? Also low then, too!"). The specific claim -- that "a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household" than a Black child today -- is, in addition to being offensive on face (as the "two-parent household" here typically involved a slave woman and the master who raped her), also wrong on the facts.

Bachmann's damage control included a claim she didn't endorse the slavery portion of the four-page document (which was part of the preamble), wrongly explaining that in the antebellum south marriage was common and recognized amongst slaves, as well as a campaign release telling us that Rep. Bachmann "believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible". That's definitely going to extinguish the fire alright.

So yeah: Lucky Gingrich.

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