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He’s Not Ready

I am officially OFF the Cain bandwagon. Alright, I was never really on it, but I did spend a lot of time in the showroom, kicking the tires, rubbing my hands on the upholstery, and ooggling the console, still in the consideration stage and wanting to be impressed. But major design flaws have just been revealed making any further support on my part just too risky.

I mentioned before in the earlier Cain post that although seemingly confident and intelligent, his colloquial (i.e. limited and rudimentary) knowledge of world affairs and world problems could be his undoing, and that with any luck nothing disastrous would occur until he had a chance to bone up and educate himself, at least to the point of not sounding dangerousstupid, too late:

This is worse then ,”I can see Russia from my house”, or stalling on questions like ,”what newspapers do you read?”, this shows not only a glaring lack of common sense, but his balls to walls approach at not tempering any answer with any reflection or circumspection, all in an attempt to show strength and not hedge, on anything.

In my earlier post on the prisoner exchange, I made it clear that although I thought this was not a good bargain, the Jews more then anyone know about living under the specter of terrorism, so if the spport was there, with the people, the military and the government, to make this deal, good on them, despite my misgivings. But I also believe that Americans would not support such a deal with the devil, so for me, this was an easy call.

To think for one second that releasing 245 (or so) of the most hardened, blood thirsty murders and terrorists on the planet (including KLM and band of cohorts) from Gitmo, all for the release of one incarcerated American, I don’t see this as a particularly tough call at all and think that his affection for everything Israeli, including the PM, clouded his judgement and caused a knee jerk default that was not well thought out.

To be fair, he did couch some of his answer with a need to “seek the council of others”, that is a great answer when involved in the nuances of diplomacy or foreign protocols, but this is a common sense answer that should not require special tools, special advice, or special training.

Cain has a history of gakking foreign policy questions, so far they have been mostly scratches, but this to me is serious. This incident, coupled with the electrified fence debacle, not a good week, but par for the course:

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign has been so beset by foreign policy gaffes that he’s constantly forced to defend his record. First, it was his assertion that he believed in the Palestinian right of return — which he subsequently walked back under pressure. Then he unilaterally recognized Taiwan. Then last week he displayed deep ignorance about Uzbekistan, an increasingly important ally in the Afghanistan war that Cain called “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan.” Cain again had to defend himself, and merely blamed liberal, African-American commentators for not “want(ing) black people to think for themselves.”

As I mentioned before, I found him way to zealous in perpetuating the Perry/racist rock scandal, and now his 9-9-9 plan is also coming under more scrutiny. The usually non partisan very thorough Tax Policy Center panned it as lowering taxes for the wealthy but raising them for everyone else (even Cain admitted as much but felt the ledger would balance out with the other aspects of his plan). The Americans for Tax Reform had a similar opinion.

UPDATE: Oh boy, just found out that he is now walking this whole mess back, check out the clip.

Obviously Herman, you misspoke, and when is this all too consistent pattern of you misspeaking going to end?

40 comments

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  1. sahrab says:

    You do know that ”I can see Russia from my house” was not uttered by Palin? It was Tina Fey on a Saturday Night Live Skit

    There’s enough to make fun of Palin for, no need to use fake shit.

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  2. Poosh says:

    Palin never said I can see Russia from my house….

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  3. sahrab says:

    that sounds familiar

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  4. CM says:

    Cain…..merely blamed liberal, African-American commentators for not “want(ing) black people to think for themselves.”

    That sounds like a sure sign of desperation.

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  5. richtaylor365 says:

    You do know that ”I can see Russia from my house” was not uttered by Palin? It was Tina Fey on a Saturday Night Live Skit

    Yes, I do.

    no need to use fake shit.

    But it was funny fake shit.

    We went all over this a few months ago on an earlier Palin post.

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  6. Poosh says:

    Cain would be better than Obama, of course he would. However, Cain in only good a handful of areas (which is better than Obama who is not good in ANY areas, obviously), but Cain just isn’t good enough. He has no world view outside his specific area. He is inspirational in a genuine way however.

    Mark Styen said the other day the Reagan, unlike everyone else it seems, had a consistent world view and philosophy and that once you had that everything else fell in place. He pointed out almost none of the current candidates had a world view. That’s probably the problem. If Cain had a consistent world view he could have answered this question (Palin, on the other hand does have a good, decent world view) acceptably. No one can have the answers and a workable knowledge of everything, but if you have a consistent world view and philosophy, everything falls into place. And I concur!

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  7. Poosh says:

    ha ha
    Poosh recently posted..DAVID MITCHELL IS ACTUALLY A COMPLETE MORONMy Profile

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  8. CM says:

    Interesting (well, the second paragraph anyway, obviously). Perhaps this lack of world view is in some ways a rebellion against the recent neo-con hold over the upper echelons of the party.

    I personally don’t hold much stock in holding a ‘world view’ (as I think you mean it). Like the neo-con’s found, when reality gets in the way it means you’re less likely to adapt like you must.

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  9. Poosh says:

    “adapt” = sell out your beliefs

    A world view is not too much to ask from someone who wants to be President. It’s about how the planet earth should be, how your nation should be, what it’s future is. What place do humans have in the world? What is the way we should treat eachother? What is “human nature”?

    These are basic things I’d expect someone who wants so to be a leader of a political party to have. If she or he has a world view, YOU KNOW where they stand, even if you don’t agree with them.

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  10. Kimpost says:

    You want them to be philosophers. Cool.

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  11. Kimpost says:

    I actually don’t have a problem with Cains first answer. Theoretically speaking, I could see a scenario where one could release hundreds or even thousands or tens of thousands of prisoners in exchange for one.

    Perhaps to save the human race, or the planet or even just the United States of America. I think that’s what Cain initially did. He went over board with theory. That’s something I see Ron Paul doing from time to time. Now, of course politicians shouldn’t do that in today’s political climate. In a 1 minute clip they need to say yes or no. That’s why all candidates in a previous debate said that they would say no to a economic plan with a 1:10 ratio on tax hikes vs. spending cuts. Can’t show nuance. Makes you look weak.

    Personally I’d like to see several hours worth of individual interviews with each candidate. Where they would be allowed to expand on philosophy, science, political history and whatever.

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  12. CM says:

    “adapt” = sell out your beliefs

    If your beliefs are shown by reality to be flawed or based on a faulty premise, then it’s time to alter them. Not doing so makes you a fundamentalist/idelologue. I.e. blindness, puts you in a straitjacket.

    The people I’m most suspicious of are the ones that reject doubt. It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal. The older I get the more a see a correlation between intelligence and the ability to doubt.

    Of course I might not be understanding exactly what you mean by “world view” (doubt!).

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  13. CM says:

    Each [ideology], in the oppressive air of conformity which ideologies create, will force public figures to conform or be ruined on the scaffold of ridicule. In a society of ideological believers, nothing is more ridiculous than the individual who doubts and does not conform.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Ralston_Saul

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  14. Seattle Outcast says:

    More of a dead-on assessment of reality….

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  15. CM says:

    Ah right, so the ‘Uncle Tom’ taunts from complete morons on the left are the height of distaste and insult, but the equivalent from the right is “dead-on”.
    Gotcha. Good to know.

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  16. Poosh says:

    The problem is Cain is EXACTLY what America needs right now, in terms of his life and what he has to say about being an American. His can-do-because-I-fucking-did-it attitude. His, you have to work to get somewhere. His economic experience. When he speaks about how he got to where he is is exactly what people who are kept on the Democrat plantation need to hear. Not Obama’s “omgz stupid racist policeman” BS.

    So sad that Cain is so weak in other areas. You can’t have a learning-on-the-job president, like the current one (who doesn’t even learn on the job it seems).

    You should never elect someone who has not been a Governor, this is what I find so strange about America. If you wish to be a PM in the UK you HAVE to be an MP first.

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  17. Hal_10000 says:

    Even I don’t think we should release the Gitmo prisoners. Cain has a tendency to say things without thinking about them, always a danger in politics. I like the guy, but I don’t think he’s ready.

    As for Poosh’s point about worldview. A worldview is not dogma. It’s an approach to issues. A consistent worldview does not preclude adapting to circumstance, changing position as facts change and taking a practical approach to politics — doing what’s doable instead of insisting on purity. Reagan was very much that way. He had his principles, but he realized that politics, almost by definition, involves compromise (but not selling out).

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  18. richtaylor365 says:

    That’s why all candidates in a previous debate said that they would say no to a economic plan with a 1:10 ratio on tax hikes vs. spending cuts. Can’t show nuance. Makes you look weak.

    That is an excellent point, but it was lost on your first sentence, I can’t see any possibility that could happen, and Cain blew it, plain and simple.

    Now if Cain put the horse before the cart and started from a premise of “We don’t negotiate with terrorists, ever”, then nuanced it a bit with other considerations, I would say that, yes, stridency (like the complete summary dismissal by all candidates of the 1:10 ratio) for the sake of not looking weak is getting in their way and is a detriment. But Cain started from preposterous and ended with ridiculous, nowhere in that mess was I sympathetic or thought at the very least that his heart was in the right place.

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  19. Poosh says:

    FACT

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  20. Poosh says:

    Isn’t this the problem for American conservatives though? With the left most of them don#t do a real job in their life, they go through higher education absorbing leftist dogma and philosophy, then come out with a world-view based on what their professors told them.

    But with conservatives, though they are immune to the negative impact higher education can have on you in terms of manipulation by professors and atmosphere , they go into the real world and build up a business etc, or work and so forth and simply have limited time to be acquainted with a wide range of issues and topics. That’s what I see here with these possible nominations, they have select workable knowledge in certain areas, and limited knowledge in other areas; as politicians they lack political skills as well.

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  21. CM says:

    As for Poosh’s point about worldview. A worldview is not dogma. It’s an approach to issues. A consistent worldview does not preclude adapting to circumstance, changing position as facts change and taking a practical approach to politics — doing what’s doable instead of insisting on purity. Reagan was very much that way. He had his principles, but he realized that politics, almost by definition, involves compromise (but not selling out).

    That makes perfect sense.

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  22. CM says:

    I’d love to hear him speak about the Democrat plantation. That would be something.

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  23. richtaylor365 says:

    For me, most of these foreign relations questions ,”What would you do if yahoo tin pot dictator A invaded yahoo tin pot dictator B’s country “, or ” How would you fix the European economy”, or even “What would you do if China invaded Taiwan”, are BS anyway. More so then ever, no country operates in a vacuum, or does much of anything without letting other nations (even getting their permission first) so the most antiseptic generic answers are pretty much fine with me, as long as they don’t go off the rails with ,”I’d nuke ‘em”, or “Sure, no problem, I would release all the Gitmo prisoners, I could make that decision easy”.

    The next election will start and end with the economy, I am more interested in that right now.

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  24. Poosh says:

    It’s ok, at least you’re not in Europe *cries*

    At least you didn’t have a leftist Chancellor SELL ALL YOUR GOLD
    Poosh recently posted..DAVID MITCHELL IS ACTUALLY A COMPLETE MORONMy Profile

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  25. CM says:

    With the left most of them don#t do a real job in their life

    But with conservatives ……they go into the real world and build up a business etc, or work and so forth and simply have limited time to be acquainted with a wide range of issues and topics

    That’s awesome. Black and white world much? Not even shades of grey anywhere?

    Kinda reminds me somewhat of Newt’s “I had an affair because I love my country too much” explanation.

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  26. Section8 says:

    I mentioned before in the earlier Cain post that although seemingly confident and intelligent, his colloquial (i.e. limited and rudimentary) knowledge of world affairs and world problems could be his undoing, and that with any luck nothing disastrous would occur until he had a chance to bone up and educate himself, at least to the point of not sounding dangerousstupid, too late:

    Foreign policy is going to take a huge back seat come this election. I don’t give a shit about Uzbekistan, or the fucking Krauts or any other foreign issue, and I doubt most Americans do either. Bottom line, we should stay out of it, and quit being the world’s defense provider. As far as perfection, there isn’t any, and to assume anyone is going to know everything is a joke. The only people who know everything are the ones the press is going to tell you knows everything. In fact, we voted one in. The perfect guy. All the voids (and there were many) of what we actually knew about him were filled in with rosy hopes and dreams by the press, and Americans suckered themselves into believing it.

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  27. Poosh says:

    For what it’s worth, from one Brit to all you Americans, I am thankful for the protection you have granted the world and the sacrifices made. A world without American policing it is a world falling into the abyss.

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  28. richtaylor365 says:

    A world without American policing it is a world falling into the abyss.

    Dang, another good topic, worthy of a post of it’s own. I’m getting farther and farther behind :(

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  29. Section8 says:

    I appreciate it Poosh. Anyhow, I’ve always seen Britain a little differently than the rest of Europe. In fact, if the shit hit the fan, I see Britain as really the only country out there we owe much to.

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  30. AlexInCT says:

    Can you point me to anyone on the right calling anyone an uncle Tom? That pejorative is a trademarked lable used by the left to denigrate any colored person that dares to leave the liberal plantation and rebel against their liberal masters. It’s about the whole “don’t you know we are the only ones that care for you and the other side is all racists” argument we had on the MLK post.

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  31. AlexInCT says:

    If your beliefs are shown by reality to be flawed or based on a faulty premise, then it’s time to alter them. Not doing so makes you a fundamentalist/idelologue. I.e. blindness, puts you in a straitjacket.

    LOL! Did you just say that CM? Coming from someone that still believe the AGW nonsense it is just too freaking funny man. Sorry to bring up this topic. Let’s just drop it. :)

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  32. AlexInCT says:

    I have tried this a couple of times.. It’s a hrad one to put together.

    My favorite however was an exchange I had with some Europeans that told me I was wrong about it. So I asked them to envision a world where either the USSR had won the Cold War, either China or India had become the predominant super power with nobody to check their ambitions, an Arab Caliphate led by whichever despot you wanted was now the global power center, one where another third world country like Mexico or Brazil rose to prominence, or even one where a resurgent nationalist European country took over.

    I saw the gears go round & round, and while they tried real hard to dance around the subject, they predominantly chose to focus on the most unrealistic and unlike scenario where Brazil or Mexico stepped up to power, instead of picking India which I think may have made their argument much easier, and tried to make the case they would absolutely adopt the same haughty rules the US has lived by and they are accustomed to, only whichever country stepped up would magically do a better job of it. As the debate progressed they had to escalate from one ridiculously unrealistic supposition to another to keep in it. In the end they had so twisted themselves into a pretzel that it ended the conversation because even they realized how ludicrous any defense they had or could continue to put up was. At least they weren’t dumb enough to try and argue that the USSR winning the Cold War, China stepping up unchecked, or a Caliphate would work out for the better, so give them credit for that.

    Unfortunately the wishful thinkers that so love to hate America have a hard time admitting that the world is not a far worse shithole today because of the very things that anger them(or is it jealousy?) about America.

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  33. Jim says:

    From personal experience, and the personal experience of the majority of people I know well, that is *exactly* the way it works. There are exceptions, as Poosh noted, but my own relatives fall into this mold so closely it’s disturbing.
    Several of my uncles are essentially life-time students and believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the government should pay for their education because “they are an asset to society.” I kid you not, *that* is their vocation. And as I said, this isn’t limited to my experience, many people I know bump into (get run over by) this same mentality.
    Meanwhile, the (vast) majority of people I know who run businesses, or know people who do, find that most of them just want to be left the hell alone to continue to improve their lot (and the lots of those they employ) and are routinely stymied by the government (and by the people they help employ.)

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  34. Seattle Outcast says:

    I’m off the Cain bus – he apparently claimed that being gay is “personal choice”, so he’s that far divorced from reality or really, really, REALLY ignoring all the evidence and common sense that says the exact opposite in favor of his religious views on the subject.

    Maybe he should go back to running businesses – he appears to be really good at that….

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  35. CM says:

    Can you point me to anyone on the right calling anyone an uncle Tom?

    I said “the equivalent”. Assuming that African-American commentators don’t want “black people to think for themselves” infers they want to help keep the black man down. I.e. they’re selling out the race. Which is the same argument idiots on the left make with their ‘Uncle Tom’ insults. It’s saying they’re unable (i.e. too stupid) to reach opinions of their own. Suggesting the Democratic Party is fundamentally racist is also similar because it infers that black people are too stupid to figure out that the Republican Party is much more on their side.
    Using terms like “liberal plantation” and “liberal masters” further enforces that. It’s not hard to see how that could be considered extremely arrogant and offensive. And racist.

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  36. CM says:

    That just means I’m not a conspiracy theorist / fantastist.

    Sorry to bring up this topic. Let’s just drop it. :)

    I bet you did that a lot as a kid. Got a weak little sucker punch in and then tried to make peace so you didn’t get thumped back. On the interwebs it’s defined as trolling.

    It’s good that we make each other laugh though. That’s gotta be a positive, right?!

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  37. Seattle Outcast says:

    I knew that you might figure out that one side lies a lot more than the other eventually….

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  38. CM says:

    As Kimpost pointed out the other day, most conspiracy theories are wrong. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/a-skeptical-physicist-ends-up-confirming-climate-data/2011/10/20/gIQA6viC1L_blog.html

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  39. richtaylor365 says:

    Herman now just gives me a headache.

    Watching him flail away at constructing the most basic of opinions on the issues, it is down right painful to watch. He wants to make all abortions illegal, yet, he does not want the illegality to influence those contemplating abortions……………………..what?????

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  40. Poosh says:

    I think Ann Coulter said that Cain would make a good VP and that seems fine to me. As I said before he’s just what America needs, in terms of his spirit and attitude to capitalism. But he isn’t suited to presidency. It would do wonders though, to wheel out and build people up, re-ignite the American spirit that has been dying lately.

    However it has always seemed to me that these minor (compared to war or ecconomics) social issues that candidates have, aren’t particularly relevant – but even so – I think I could happily sit down and show Cain that being ‘gay’ isn’t a choice. Same with various other issues.

    But there’s NO WAY IN HELL I could convince an Obama or such and such that Keynes was wrong. And that’s the key point, I think.

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