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Monday, June 13, 2011

Raising Cain

June 13th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

Here they come. The Republican Presidential "contenders" will be duking it out tonight in front of the American people in the second debate of the season. 

We can expect most of the afternoon to consist of "expert predictions" and "reading the tea leaves" which is amusing considering that the lineup is, for the most part, an utterly unpredictable collection of irresponsible rabble-rousers who don't stand a chance.

Brian Beutler has a fun piece this morning over at TPM:
"Not since the first head-to-CPU contest between Gary Kasparov and Deep Blue has the world waited so breathlessly for the kind of battle of the minds we're likely to witness Monday evening."

It is very disappointing to see that Gary Johnson, the two term Governor of New Mexico has been excluded from tonight's show. Frankly, his answers in the previous FOX News "debate" regarding the role of the military, the size of Pentagon budgets and the responsibility of government to adhere to the basic protections guaranteed under the Bill of Rights made me sit up and take notice. 

I guess we can't have that sort of "sanity factor" potentially marring tonight's festivities.

Here's the line-up: Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and of course the new darling of FOX, Herman Cain.

Let's be honest. The real draw tonight is Cain. Not even Rep. Bachmann looks crazy or unqualified in comparison to the Pizza King's series of pronouncements over the last month. You find that too bold a statement?

Then you haven't been paying attention. Last week, Herman Cain made the most amazing proposal for security on the southern U.S. border I have heard in my adult lifetime.

From Mediaite:
"I just got back from China. Ever heard of the Great Wall of China? It looks pretty sturdy. And that sucker is real high. I think we can build one if we want to! We have put a man on the moon, we can build a fence! Now, my fence might be part Great Wall and part electrical technology. . . . Put me in charge of the fence and it will be a twenty foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top. And on this side of the fence, I’d have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat!"

Disregard for the moment that the "moat" President Obama was referring to was a joke meant to combat the oversimplification of the issue. Forget, for now, the irony that Mr. Cain was getting his supporters revved up by promoting the ancient architectural prowess of the American Right's economic bogeyman. The guy has essentially proposed that illegal entrants from the south should not only be potentially electrocuted but should also be subjected to the risk of being eaten alive.

How do you top that?

Well, Mr. Cain also has some interesteing caveats for those pesky legislators. "I am only going to allow small bills — three pages. You’ll have time to read that one over the dinner table. What does Herman Cain, President Cain talking about in this particular bill?"

Alex Pareene of Salon had a field day with this one:
"Herman Cain will only allow small bills, because America needs to make change. Herman Cain's America will not accept hundreds!

You'd think there'd be a happy medium between 2,700 and ... three, but I've never been sure at what point exactly legislation becomes too long. A three-page limit does basically mean that there will be no passing of any meaningful legislation in a Herman Cain administration, but that is probably what they want! (But how will they pass the tax cuts?)"

Though the limit wouldn't totally keep the federal government from passing major bills. As Jason Linkins points out, one of the very few pieces of recent legislation that meets the three-pages-or-less standard is the original draft of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, also known as the bailouts that all the Tea Partyers hates."

After a couple of swipes at the "alligators in that moat," Pareene wonders about possible Cain proposals to come:

"Future Cain promises will include replacement wasteful government employees with robots like in the Jetsons and only appointing Supreme Court justices with easy to spell names. Herman Cain is the 2012 campaign's TRUE idea man!"

I also think its worth revisiting a habit of Mr. Cain's I noted some weeks ago... you should never trust a man who refers to himself repeatedly in the third person.

All of this is fun to mock. But let's get serious now. Herman Cain wants us to believe that he is truly qualified to lead the most powerful nation on Earth as its principal Constitutional Defender and military Commander in Chief. After declaring that President Obama "threw Israel under the bus" for his "Cairo 2" speech, a speech in which Obama simply reiterated standing U.S. policy, Mr. Cain was lobbed a softball question by Chris Wallace on FOX.

Mr. Cain literally did not know what the hell the "right of return" issue is. This is the core Palestinian demand of the last 40 plus years. Mr. Cain has been planning this Presidential run for a long time and yet he is wholly ignorant of the most basic elements of the world's most divisive conflict. This is a big reveal. 

Mr. Cain's ignorance takes on a deeper meaning when viewed in the context of the extreme remarks he has already made about Muslims. One needs to question whether or not he actually regards the Palestinians as a specific "people" or just another part of the scary mob he sees all around us. He had previously stated that he would refuse to appoint a Muslim to his administration. That's changed with the clarification that he might but that they would be required to take a special loyalty oath. Only Muslims. In so doing, he has self righteously declared that he intends to violate the Constitution if elected President. This is a first from the 2012 field. 

Scott Keyes of ThinkProgress observes:
"Cain’s requirement that Muslim nominees take a loyalty oath while Catholics and Mormons would be exempted is not only bigoted, it’s also ironic considering that the same suspicion was once levied at Catholics. During the 1960 presidential election, anti-Catholic sentiment held that if then-Sen. John F. Kennedy were elected president, his Catholic faith would make him beholden to the Pope rather than the United States. Such views were abhorrent when directed at Catholics 50 years ago, and they are abhorrent when directed at Muslims today."

Even anti-Obama zealot Alan Keyes (no relation to Scott) tore into Cain for this one in Joseph Farah's World Net Daily. Keyes, who has devoted much of his once promising career to demonizing the Muslim world as well as President Obama's overtures to them, writes:
"Does this mean that we must simply ignore the fact that adherence to Islam is chief among the characteristics of those who pose a threat to U.S. security in today's world? It doesn't. It does require, however, that U.S. government officials take account of that fact by ways and means that do not treat adherence to Islam as prima facie evidence of disloyalty. Instead, each individual should have to submit to a thorough background investigation. Any questions about their loyalty should be based on the facts that investigation develops as to their words and actions as individuals."

So. Tonight we get to see Herman Cain, the only potential Republican nominee to draw the criticism of both the far left and the far right recently, continue his adventure in public speaking. It will be worth watching for the simple reason that it seems likely he will try and top himself. After all, he's managed to do so thus far. 

And that's crazy.

1 comment:

  1. "Bring in the clowns/There have to be clowns/Don't worry they're here/"