Rep. Michele Bachmann, who in the latest Iowa poll is in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney, used her first TV ad the other day to promise that she will under no circumstances vote to raise the debt ceiling, thus setting the ideological bar that much higher for the rest of the presidential field.
Now she's done it again. Bachmann just became the first candidate to sign "The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family," a four-page pledge put out by prominent Iowa social conservative Bob Vander Plaats.
The pledge (which comprises two pages of pledge, two pages of endnotes) covers a lot more than just marriage.
There is, for example, this gratuitous reference to slavery in the preface to the pledge:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born in to 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.
A signator must promise a strong stand against polyandry:
Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.
Then there's this reference to "Sharia Islam" (which is not, for the record, an actual thing):
Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.
Lest you may think a guy like Vander Plaats might be hostile to gay people and feminists, a footnote on this item elaborates that "Over the long run, Sharia polygamy, multi-partner childbearing, demographic jihad and the persecution of Jews, Christians, blacks, artists, feminists, gays, freethinkers and other non-conformists poses a threat to Western human rights in general, and to American liberty in particular."
The pledge, which is really worth reading in full, also includes a reference to protecting children from "all forms of pornography" that could arguably be read as an endorsement of a porn ban. The whole thing is here (.pdf).