Secret Vows Controlling GOP Mindset
By James Donahue
It was a newsy report when Republican presidential contenders Michele Bachmann and Rich Santorum
revealed that they have signed something now dubbed the “Marriage Pledge,” a vow of opposition to gay marriage,
prostitution, and pornography.
And with Republican members of Congress in deadlock with President Barack Obama and the Democrats
over the issue of raising taxes on wealthy Americans to help stave off a looming budget crisis and raising the national debt
ceiling, reports of a secret “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” have begun to leak into the news.
So just what is in these pledges and how are they affecting . . . or threatening to affect the
decisions by our elected leadership?
The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a vow reportedly taken by 41 senators and 236 Congressional representatives
. . . all but three of them Republicans . . . that they will stand opposed to any tax increase. And if Congress eliminates
tax breaks for special interests, the pledge demands that they be “matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax
The taxpayer pledge is the brainchild of Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform,
a conservative group that has secretly risen to power within a shadow government that prevails in Washington.
That pledge, which Republicans appear to be so loyal to they are willing to let the nation go into
economic collapse rather than allow the Obama Administration to fulfill his election promise to eliminate the Bush era tax
cuts for Americans earning $250,000 a year or higher, appears to be the root of the financial deadlock occurring in Washington.
The scary point to this story is that Norquist is not an elected public official. He is a silent
power figure operating in the shadows, and wielding enough influence that Republicans believe they must take his demands for
a pledge against taxes or risk not being elected to office.
Now that a new presidential election looms in 2012, we learn of yet another pledge, already taken
by two ultra-conservative candidates, Bachmann and Santorum, that supports the thread-bare “sanctity of marriage”
between a man and woman, opposes marriage among homosexuals, and goes so far as to declare war against anything threatening
“normal” marriage such as prostitution and pornography.
This new “Marriage Vow” is a lengthy document put forth by Bob Vander Plaats, head
of Family Leader, an ultra conservative organization headquartered in Iowa. Signing the pledge is required before candidates
get an endorsement by Vander Plaats’ group.
While he once ran unsuccessfully for governor in Iowa, Vander Plaats is not an elected political
official. But like Norquist, he appears to be wielding a growing secret power within another wing of the shadow government
that is having an impact on the legislation occurring in Washington.
While the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a simple, two point document as described above, the Marriage
Vow is much more complex in its ramifications.
Those that take this vow pledge to “defend and to uphold the institution of marriage as only
between one man and one woman,” swear to “personal fidelity to my spouse,” and support “official fidelity
to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.”
The pledge supports “prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy,
tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended ‘second chance’ or ‘cooling-off’ periods for those
seeking a ‘quickie divorce.”
It declares “rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms
of totalitarian control.”
After these and numerous other declarations opposing gay marriage and supporting the Christian
concept of marriage and child rearing in the home, the Vander Plaats pledge tacks on these zingers for good measure:
“Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the
USA’s $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit and its
$3.5 trillion federal budget.
“Fierce defense of the First Amendment’s rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of
Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith
and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.”
While most Americans would not argue against some of the doctrines outlined in the Marriage Vow,
the document as a whole speaks out against the changing mores of American society, which are already beginning to be reflected
in laws protecting the rights of gay marriage, divorce and the protection of women and children following the breakdown of
The frightening aspect of the two organizations that appear to be gaining control of elected political
leadership through secret vows is that documents other than the Constitution appear to be now guiding the thoughts and actions
of the men and women in power.
We are witnessing the dangerous result of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge even now, as the Republican
controlled House stands firm against raising taxes against the very people who have stolen the wealth and now hold the keys
to the kingdom.
We have suspected the existence of a secret shadow government working behind the scenes in Washington
for a long time. Now that these two power figures have been revealed, we must wonder what other vows are our elected representatives
being goaded into taking? How many boots must our Senators and Congressmen kiss before they can gain those coveted offices
in our nation’s capital?
The biggest question of them all is: if not the people we think we elect, who really runs our country?