Saturday, July 9, 2011

Crazies, Breadcrumbs, A Delete Button & A Hat Tip

I saw a tweet or two on Twitter from Margo and Roger Ebert which intrigued me. They were about Congresswoman Michele Bachmann signing a pledge called "The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY". But the tweets referred to slavery. Curious, I followed a link which led me to an article by Jason Linkins on the Huffington Post entitled: “Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Social Conservative Kingmaker, Unveils A New Pledge For 2012ers”. I read it and was duly appalled by the entire outrageous “Vow” and in particular by the language quoted in Mr. Linkins article: 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.

I wanted to send out a tweet about all this, but first I wanted to check out the “Vow” for myself. I went to the website of “The Family Leader” who wrote the “Vow” and clicked on the link which took me to the PDF. As I read it I couldn’t find the slavery reference. I did note that the URL had the date “7.9.11” in the address and yet the Huffington Post article was published two days earlier. So I copied all four pages into a Pages document and searched it for the key phrases. Nothing. Then I downloaded it as a PDF and did the same search in Reader. Again, nothing. So I logged onto Huffington Post and left a comment: “Has "The Family Leader" edited the pledge? I cannot find the 1860 slavery reference in the current pdf of the vow or the notes” I also put in the link to the PDF of the “Vow”.

Then I went back to Twitter and tweeted my query to Margo and to Ebert. Finally I tweeted it to Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post. In less than an hour Mr. Linkins tweeted back to me: “Thanks for the heads up!”. By 9:00 p.m. Mr. Linkins had posted a new article on the Huffington Post: “The Family Leader Drops Controversial Section Concerning Slavery From 'Marriage Vow' Pledge”. And there at the very bottom of the article he wrote: Hat Tip @pinkgranite The @pinkgranite was a link which opened to the relevant tweets I had sent out earlier.

Fortunately, the original version of the “Vow” - the one signed by Michele Bachmann - has not been lost to the ether. And the extant revised “Vow” still provides useful insight into the thinking of the right-wing. The 2012 presidential election is just 16 months away. Things won’t get prettier nor will they get easier as the calendar pages flip by. As I wrote to George Geder, who posted about the slavery version on his blog this afternoon: “We'll all have to stay vigilant!”

This post was edited and updated throughout the evening.


Roo said...

Keep vigilant, as that way with fresh eyes, things such as the Vow won't get by.

One thing I need to ask, what is a "hat tip", it's an expression I have never come across?

Anonymous said...

You go girl!!!!!!!!!!


Pink Granite said...

Hi Roo -
Yes eternal vigilance!

"Hat tip" is an abbreviated form of "a tip o' the hat" which is a way of thanking or acknowledging someone. In baseball, if a player gets a big ovation, they will often tip their cap or take it off to wave it briefly to let the crowd know their cheers are appreciated.

Hi Gail -
Thanks very much!

Kate said...

There are a million different rants I could spew about this "vow" but ultimately I only have one comment:

"What the #$%$ is wrong with people?"