It's no secret that Republicans have an extremely difficult time connecting with African-American voters. Probably this has to do with the fact that starting with Nixon's "Southern Strategy" in the late 1960's, continuing through George Bush I's infamous Willie Horton ad until today with Fox News suggesting that President Obama has a problem with white women, the Republicans have made a habit out of sowing racial division to scoop up more white votes.
But they want you to know that they're decent people and, as this tea partier puts it, "[T]he worst thing you can call a decent person is a racist."
That's true, and so you have to understand that if there's two things that Conservatives really, really hate it's being called a racist, and black people.
Sorry, but -- seriously -- the Republicans and the interest groups to which they kowtow certainly seem to go out of their way to make jokes like that easier.
For example, there is an evangelical group out of Iowa called Family Leader that has put together yet another pledge it is demanding all the GOP Presidential aspirants sign. The pledge largely consists of your run-of-the-mill "pro-family" language -- stay faithful to your spouse, don't divorce, affirm that sexual orientation is a choice and not genetically determined -- but there is one aspect of it that seems batshit insane: acknowledge that black people were better off being kept as slaves.
Well, okay . . . that might be a slight exaggeration. So I'll let the National Journal describe it:
In arguing that the institution of marriage is under assault, Family Leader contends that by one measure African-American families were in better shape during slavery than now: African-American children were more likely to be raised in a two-parent household in 1860 than if they were born today, as the group put it, "after the election of USA's first African-American president."
Just . . . Wow. The mind boggles. Family Leader is insisting that all Republican presidential candidates sign a pledge acknowledging that African-American children were better off being raised in two-parent households as slaves.
Needless to say, Michele Bachmann signed it immediately.
UPDATE: Well that didn't take along. Amid all the furor about this "misconstrued lanugage," Family Leader has dropped the pro-slavery language from its pledge. Michele Bachmann claims -- and this is not a joke -- that she signed the pledge without reading it. So, y'know . . . vote for her.