The blogosphere is all a-buzz with some fresh nonsense from Republican politicians who wish to purge their ranks of embarrassing monkey business. They got the smackdown from the state GOP, but for a little while there, the GOP in Laurens County, SC was going to ask all Republican candidates to sign a pledge in which they would promise such things as:
–”A compassionate and moral approach to Teen Pregnancy”
–”A high regard for Unites States Sovereignty”
–Opposition to abortion under any circumstance
–Faithfulness to one’s spouse, who cannot be of the candidate’s gender
–Support of a balanced state and federal budget
–Candidates must have or currently abide by abstinence before marriage
–Candidates must not look at pornography
They also decided that candidates should be vetted by a committee to make sure they were properly adherent to the Code of Preoccupation with Private Parts. The committee never got a chance to assemble, as the state GOP told them it wasn’t happening, so the purity pledge isn’t going any further. It kind of leaves us to wonder how they were going to enforce a lot of it, either way. Things like balanced budgets and “support for U.S. sovereignty” (read: keep on blowing stuff up in Islamic countries) are policy matters, and the candidates’ adherence to those doctrines can be observed in the decisions they make while in office, but how do they know if any of their politicians are looking at porn?
In all seriousness, I actually kind of sympathize with the reasoning behind the pledge:
Smith got into a public fight with one of the county’s chief Republicans last summer, when Sheriff Ricky Chastain admitted to having a two-and-a-half year affair with a subordinate at the sheriff’s office. The woman sued him for sexual harassment, accusing the sheriff of driving her to get an abortion in a county-owned car. That lawsuit is still pending.
Smith called for Chastain to resign. He refused, and the issue appeared to have died down until the pledge was passed Feb. 28.
They’re trying to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and given their party’s platform, I think that makes sense. I don’t see how banning porn is going to help—if nothing else, every hour an official spends consuming porn is an hour that he’s not fucking his mistress and potentially getting her pregnant!—but I can see where they’re coming from in trying to weed out guys like Chastain.
Now that I’ve said that, I have a request to make of Lauren County:
Show us the full text of the pledge.
Yeah, you heard me. I read the fricking FAMiLY Leader Pledge, now I want to see your Orwellian word salad. I say Orwellian because I really want to hear you say, in so many words, what you think a “compassionate and moral approach to teen pregnancy” would look like. Please understand that my idea of “compassionate” tends not to match up very well with a social conservative’s idea of “moral.” Since we have to hear about this thing in the news, I would like to see it written out, and Google isn’t turning up anything that would answer my questions. Show us a PDF. We’re counting on you.