Three hypotheticals in which what Terry Branstad did could be uncool

Every 68 year-old man in Iowa, including Terry Branstad

Every 68 year-old man in Iowa, including Governor Terry Branstad

I applaud Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s decision to proclaim July 14, 2014 a day of prayer and repentance, solidifying Iowa as a Christian state and renewing God’s protection for another year. To his critics, who argue it is unseemly for the governor to instruct his citizens to pray according to the Bible, I say the governor has to do it or it doesn’t work. You didn’t grow up there, but I remember when the Lieutenant Governor declared a day of fasting and repentance in 1988, and 100,000 schoolchildren died of the flu. Don’t second-guess Iowa. They didn’t become the tall corn state by not managing the guy with the locusts.

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Close Readings: The Marriage Vow (2nd ed.)

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, standing up for something or other

Last week, when Michele Bachmann and other, less amusing Republican presidential candidates visited Iowa, they were approached by local busybody Bob Vander Plaats and asked to sign something called The Marriage Vow. You may remember Vander Plaats from his infuriatingly successful campaign to recall Iowa Supreme Court justices who said gay marriage was constitutional, or from when he offered to fellate you in a highway rest stop, although that second one is technically libel. Anyway, Bachmann and man-on-dog guy signed the heck out of that pledge, taking the politically risky position that families, children, not cheating on your wife and church are all good. Plus, by deduction: homosexuality is bad. Oh, and also black people had it better under slavery, because more of them were married then.

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