BVP Jumps The Shark
I wish tonight wasn't Wednesday night
I wish it wasn't the thirteenth of July, yell help
And you're looking at the guy whose eyes can't deny
That he wishes he were somewhere else tonight
Elton John, 1975
Bob Vander Plaats no doubt wishes he were somewhere else tonight. Wednesday the thirteenth of July, 2011, is going to go down as the day he and the famIly leader jumped the shark. The day three leading Republicans decided the little emperor of Iowa's religious right had no clothes, and I'm so sorry I put that image in your head.
BVP took a one-two-three hit today as, in turn, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Herman Cain all announced they were not going to sign the "Marriage Vow." That follows Gary Johnson's hell, no early on. Who's left who might sign? Roy Moore?
The high profile refusals, polite though they may be, along with Rick Santorum's irrelevance (sorry, Kim Lehman, who drops a spectacularly poorly timed endorsement), devalues the eventual famIly leader endorsement of Michele Bachmann below that "top ten endorsements" level that Vander Plaats was reveling in. Now, I still think Bachmann wins the caucuses, but that's on her own "merits" without Bob's help.
The slavery line was just tone-deaf, although the national media that pounced on that as the big story has its own tone-deafness. In religious righty circles references to slavery, and particularly to Dred Scott, are often abortion dog whistles. Not saying that's what happened here for sure, but in context it helps explain. (But taking it out probably means David Duke won't sign.)
You know who else loses here? Back on Friday and Monday, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich hedged on signing, which seemed gutsy compared to Bachmann and Santorum battling over who could sign first. Now, compared to outright rejection, "studying it" and "reservations" seems cowardly.