Pornography is a multi-billion-dollar international industry. With the advent of the Internet, it has found easy access to every home with a computer or a cell phone. It can be purchased in the form of hard copy in magazines, graphic novels, books, CDs, and VHS videos. And GOP presidential contender and Tea Party Caucus leader Michele Bachmann has signed a pledge to ban it all.
According to the ABC News political tipsheet "The Note," Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) recently signed "The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family." The pledge is primarily a promise for candidates to work toward passing a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but the two-page document goes on to support the argument for traditional marriage (read: anti-same-sex marriage or union)by labeling homosexuality a "choice," not genetic in origin, and not supported by scientific, empirical data. The document also notes that the "debasement [of marriage] continues as a function of adultery," a factor of which is pornography.
The "Marriage Vow" calls for a ban on all pornography.
Bachmann, with the signing of the pledge, has again painted herself into a controversial corner, one in which she will undoubtedly find herself explaining and re-explaining her position and reasoning -- or simply dancing around the issues like she did with Bob Schneider on CBS' "Face The Nation" in June, only to dance her way into making statements that were false.
As the Tea Party Caucus leader in the House of Representatives, Bachmann's stance against pornography might be a Family Values-targeted approach, but it is a contradiction to basic Tea Party beliefs. Among the Tea Party's central themes are small federal government, more localized government control, and adherence to the original U. S. Constitution. Bachmann's signing of the pledge, given the modern nature of pornography and its ubiquitousness (especially via the Internet), she argues for bigger government in a constitutional amendment to ban all pornography. According to Miller v. California (1973), the "Miller Test" became a Supreme Court-sanctioned ruling that set up a three-part array in which "community standards" could be used to determine whether or not an item was pornographic, obscene, and of no redeeming value. This allowed communities and regions to set their own obscenity standards, which is in keeping with Tea Party standards (as a federal law banning pornography would not). And since an amendment to the U. S. Constitution would be getting further away from the original ratified version, an amendment appended to the end of the rest of the amendments would be superfluous.
Still, given the extensive prevalence of pornography, a federal ban via amendment would undoubtedly hit a few roadblocks. According to an article at Top 10 Reviews, pornography statistics indicate that there are 40 million regular porn site accessors in America, with 25 percent of all daily search engine requests having to do with sex or porn, and 35 percent of all monthly downloads are pornographic in nature. A federal ban against Internet pornography would make it all illegal, making all accessors criminals.
Taking a lesson from history, the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the pervasive and ubiquitous social vice alcohol, suffered the unintended effects of increased criminal activities associated with bootlegging and operating establishments that sold illegal spirits. That amendment was soon repealed by another amendment, the 21st Amendment.
An amendment banning pornography would most likely attract the same legislative fate.
And jails and prisons are overcrowded as it is...
Signing the pledge, which was produced by the conservative Iowa-based organization Family Leader, may have simply been Bachmann's attempt to pander to her base of evangelicals and Family Values voters. Iowa is one of six states where same-sex marriages are legal.
Iowa also will be Bachmann's first primary challenge. The Iowa Caucus is scheduled for February 6, 2012.