Will the GOP ever pay a price for race-baiting politics?

OPINION - Bachmann may very well indeed say a lot of stupid things, but it's certainly not barring her success...

african kings

If idiocy needed a spokesperson, look no further than Minnesota congresswoman and GOP presidential hopeful, Michele Bachmann. While her popularity and the political muscle it has yielded are undeniable, Bachmann has a knack for saying some of the stupidest things imaginable. In fact, if I were ever “fortunate” enough to bask in her presence, my first gesture would be to offer her a mint to get the taste of her foot out of her mouth.

Those of you keeping score are well aware of her assertion that President Obama has “failed black America” as if a representative from a lily-white district who makes asinine claims about race relations in this country is in any position to make such a declaration. Now the Tea Party favorite has dug an even bigger hole for herself within the black community thanks to lending her name to another mind numbing falsehood.

The controversy stems on a socially conservative group based in Iowa called The Family Leader drafting a pledge called “The Marriage Vow” — which claims, “The Institution of Marriage in America is in great crisis.” The language used in the pledge is anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage, anti-divorce, and initially somewhat pro-slavery. Obviously ever eager to make inroads with Iowa primary voters, Bachmann was the first Republican candidate to sign the document.

A document that contains the claim: “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.”

There are no statistics to back up such rhetoric because they don’t exist.

[NBCVIDEO source=”UNIWIDGET” video=”http://widgets.nbcuni.com/singleclip/singleclip_v1.swf?CXNID=1000004.08052NXC&WID=4a784acd2b1a7e80&clipID=1340169″ w=”400″ h=”400″]

Do you hear that noise? It’s the sound of a middle school history teacher hurling expletives in disgust. Far be it from me from being a pedant, but someone should inform this group that considering American slaves were barred from marriage, sold at auction and subsequently separated from their family members their stab at revisionist history needs to cease.

To be fair, Bachmann was not the only person to sign the document.

The second was former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum. Speaking with CNN’s Candy Crowley, Santorum said he was comfortable signing the pledge but was “taken back” by its call for personal monogamy. He’s yet to make any mention of the slavery references included in the preamble. That’s not at all surprising given he once compared slavery to abortion.

The only sensible soul on the matter thus far has been former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. Johnson argued, “The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the ‘public’s pocket book.’”

With logical positions like that, Johnson will remain a relatively unknown candidate in the Republican race for presidential nomination.In response to the well-earned criticism, The Family Leader has retracted its claims, with a spokesperson writing the group agrees, “that the statement referencing children born into slavery can be misconstrued, and such misconstruction can detract from the core message of the Marriage Vow.”

Yeah, it can be misconstrued because it’s not true.

As for Bachmann, her campaign’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart stressed that she “stands behind the candidate vow – which makes absolutely no reference to slavery.”

With a campaign seemingly themed around not knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, Stewart proceeded to make another reference to slavery. Stewart said, “In no uncertain terms, Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible.”

A splinter hurts, but would any sensible person compare that to being stabbed in the neck?

If Bachmann were a candidate of Santorum’s league — i.e. a soon to be non-factor — the slavery references would be an obvious irritant but relatively insignificant. However, now that Bachmann has overtaken Mitt Romney in the latest Iowa poll,, boosting her credibility as a viable candidate this constant race baiting bears greater ramifications.

Bachmann’s constant invocation of racially insensitive language has so far failed to yield any real consequences. It’s hard to say whether or not such antics would work in a national campaign, but those hoping that the ambitious Congresswoman’s own gaffes will do her in should keep up with the polls.

Bachmann may very well indeed say a lot of stupid things, but it’s certainly not barring her success. It’s unfortunate that much of is coming at the black community’s expense.