Mayan Campaign Mashup 2012: Newt Wooderson?

20 01 2012

The second Mrs Gingrich recently gave an interview regarding her then-Congressman-hubby’s request to, ah, breathe some air into their stagnant marriage.

I don’t care one way or the other (although this man’s personal life really gives new meaning to the term “the audacity of hope” regarding his political ambitions) but I read the following tweetIf you think Marianne Gingrich is angry, just wait until you see Callista’s interview during Newt’s 2016 campaign—and couldn’t help but think of this:

 

Now, to be fair, Newt’s first wife, Jackie, was 7 years older than he was when they married (26 to his 19), Marianne was 28 or 29 when they married, and Callisto topped out at 34 when she met L. Newton at the altar.

Still, I’m sensing a pattern.

h/t for Tweet: MC, second comment at link





I will follow

10 07 2011

How can a political freak not have fun with a fellow political freak—oh she of the Goth eyeliner (which only serves to accentuate her cheerful bats-in-the-belfry look) and psycholbin-inflected understanding of American history, someone given to hiding behind bushes to spy on an open protest and screaming about lesbian bathroom-kidnap plots—like Michele Bachmann?

I’ve had a lot of fun with the Republican representative from the sixth district  of Minnesota, and, frankly, I expect to continue doing so. She may be an ideological menace who would make a terrible, terrible president, but she’s so manifestly unsuited to the job that I have no real worries about her delivering an inaugural address in January 2013.

So I feel free to mock her at will.

There is, however, one (semi-? sur-?) real issue that her candidacy brings to the political debate, that of the influence of her husband, Marcus. Ms. Bachmann, you see, proclaims adherence to the “wifely submission” model of marriage.

How she and her hub run their home is, in the main, not my business, and the practice of a spouse influencing a politician’s decisions is hardly new (if only John had listened to Abigail’s admonition to “remember the ladies”. . .).  But outside of Edith Wilson’s alleged takeover of the presidency during husband Woodrow’s stroke-induced decline, it’s generally conceded that whatever the influence, the president is still is charge.

If, however, that politician states outright that she is not in charge, then what are constituents and voters to decide?

Marcus Bachmann, after all, isn’t the one taking the oath of office. He makes no promises to “uphold and defend the Constitution”, nor does he hold any responsibility to his wife’s constituents. He is in charge without being accountable.

Now, given that Rep. Bachmann stated in 2006 that “The Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands” a month before she was elected for the first time to the House, and has been re-elected twice, it’s entirely possible that her constituents decided they were just fine with voting for someone who answered to her husband before she answered to them. Maybe that they both claimed to answer to God was sufficient assurance that even if this greater accountability to the Lord translated into a lesser accountability to the people, the greater was for the better.

The issue of authority in marriage is a big issue in conservative Christian circles. The “complementarian” versus “egalitarian” models of marriage each (apparently) finds support in scripture, and even those marriages which claim the husband as head can look awfully equal. And with or without any scripto-ideological positioning, marriage can be a bugger.

Given these complexities, it’s possible that those who hear “submissiveness” translate the term  into “agreement”, and are thus unbothered by any notion that Mr. Bachmann might tell Mrs. Bachmann what to do; they’re simply a married couple, like any other, trying to keep it together.

That’s one end of the interpretive spectrum, anyway. At the other end, however, is the possibility that the Mister is in charge, and that what he says, goes, period. No oaths of office, no promises to constituents, matters as much as the God-infused authority of the Man of the House.

I’ll take the cynical middle course: Rep. Bachmann may see no conflict in choosing amongst her various accountabilities—her God, her husband, the Constitution, the citizens in her district—because these constituencies all line up. That is, because she doesn’t recognize that there might be other legitimate interests, because she doesn’t acknowledge the existence of those who legitimately (i.e., are motivated by something other than hatred or ignorance or some sort of anti-American bias) oppose her, she doesn’t have to reckon with the mess of pluralism—which is to say, the mess of American and global politics today.

Nope, she’s just able serenely to float above it all, hand-in-hand with her hubby, utterly unable and unwilling to engage in the realities of life as Other people live it.

We’re not real to her, and thus not to be taken seriously.

Which I guess frees us not to take her seriously, either.

_____

h/t Jill Lawrence, The Daily Beast; Jason Horowitz, The Washington Post; Molly Worthen, New York Times Magazine





Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

8 07 2011

Y’all have heard about the FAMiLY LEADER Pledge, right? The one for which a signature is required before the FAMiLY (honestly, that’s how they write it) LEADER will endorse a candidate for president?

Imma gonna roll right past the truly offensive preamble (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, et cetera) to get to the, well, rather wan defense of man-on-woman marriage:

  • Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that the children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.

Really? That’s it?

Aren’t married people also taller, better looking, in better shape, and better able to savor the distinctions between Speyside and Island single malt whiskys? Aren’t married men more likely to have a full head of hair throughout their lives and the boobs of married women more likely to remain perky? Aren’t their homes cleaner, their cars shinier (and with bigger engines!), and aren’t they more likely to have a pool?

And what about those kids? Don’t they also experience more popularity and have a better chance at being the captain of the football team, head cheerleader? Don’t they get ponies?

I think these FAMiLY LEADER types are far too tepid in their DEFeNSE of MARRiAGE.

I, for one, would not sign.





No comment

11 11 2009

Gay Funeral Rights Bill Vetoed By Rhode Island Governor

AP – Gov. Don Carcieri vetoed legislation Tuesday that would give same-sex couples in Rhode Island the same right to plan the funerals of their late partners as married couples.

The socially conservative Republican said the proposed protection represents a “disturbing trend” of the incremental erosion of heterosexual marriage. Rhode Island does not recognize same-sex marriage.

“If the General Assembly believes it would like to address the issue of domestic partnership, it should place the issue on the ballot and let the people of Rhode Island decide,” Carcieri said in a letter to lawmakers.

(Filed by Elyse Siegel/at Huffington Post)





(Almost) No comment

24 05 2009

Why Gay Marriage is BadBadBad, from one of the (multi-married) geniuses at The Weekly Standard:

Consider four of the most profound effects of marriage within the kinship system.

The first is the most important: It is that marriage is concerned above all with female sexuality. The very existence of kinship depends on the protection of females from rape, degradation, and concubinage. This is why marriage between men and women has been necessary in virtually every society ever known. Marriage, whatever its particular manifestation in a particular culture or epoch, is essentially about who may and who may not have sexual access to a woman when she becomes an adult, and is also about how her adulthood–and sexual accessibility–is defined. Again, until quite recently, the woman herself had little or nothing to say about this, while her parents and the community to which they answered had total control. The guardians of a female child or young woman had a duty to protect her virginity until the time came when marriage was permitted or, more frequently, insisted upon. This may seem a grim thing for the young woman–if you think of how the teenaged Natalie Wood was not permitted to go too far with Warren Beatty in Splendor in the Grass. But the duty of virginity can seem like a privilege, even a luxury, if you contrast it with the fate of child-prostitutes in brothels around the world. No wonder that weddings tend to be regarded as religious ceremonies in almost every culture: They celebrate the completion of a difficult task for the community as a whole.

This most profound aspect of marriage–protecting and controlling the sexuality of the child-bearing sex–is its only true reason for being, and it has no equivalent in same-sex marriage. Virginity until marriage, arranged marriages, the special status of the sexuality of one partner but not the other (and her protection from the other sex)–these motivating forces for marriage do not apply to same-sex lovers.

Uh huh.

Two (more) words: Fucked. Up.

(Tip to Chris Bodenner’s Sullivan Bait, sub-posting for Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish.)








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