Herman Cain’s “truth problem”

posted at 6:15 pm on October 23, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

gaffe also gaff n. an occurrence of someone telling the truth by accident.

One of the big topics of discussion around here over the weekend was whether or not Herman Cain has a “truth problem.” Generally, when we talk about politicians having such an issue, it’s because we catch them lying. (“BREAKING: Our top story tonight, a politician is caught telling a lie! That story coming up right after our investigative report revealing that many children like candy.”) Not so with the former Godfathers Pizza CEO. In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of an instance thus far where I could even say he’s been “bending the truth” apart from expressing opinions you may disagree with.

No, the discussion I was dragged into centered on a different sort of problem. It seems to me that there is a growing body of evidence which indicates that Herman Cain has a propensity to take pretty much any question from any reporter and just shoot from the hip with a truthful answer. It is only after the fallout from his answers begins that he seems to notice the potential damage he’s doing to his campaign and he embarks on a series of “clarifications” to make the answer more palatable to primary voters. This, in turn, provides red meat for his opponents to begin swinging at him and rather weak tea talking points for his supporters to try to defend his statements.

One of the most recent – and certainly most toxic – examples has been his series of puzzling answers on the abortion question. And let’s be honest here… who could possibly consider running for the Republican presidential nomination and not know that one was coming? I’ve heard the defenses being put forward, but frankly none of them make as much sense as the conclusion that Cain simply wasn’t ready for the question. Let’s go back once again and look at the precise answer he originally gave to Piers Morgan. (Emphasis mine for this particular question.)

No, it comes down to is, it’s not the government’s role — or anybody else’s role — to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision.

I’m sorry, but it doesn’t get much more clear than that. It’s a choice. It’s not the government’s business. But the excrement hit the fan, so to speak, and he wound up putting the campaign car in reverse and flooring the gas. First he tried to claim he didn’t fully understand the question, implying that he was only saying that he wouldn’t try to directly prevent abortions by executive fiat as president. (A silly argument, requiring us to believe the thought it was possible to do so or that the reporter and the voting public might have thought so.) Then he said that it should be illegal, but some families might choose to break the law anyway. (How it becomes illegal without the government being involved is something of a puzzler.) And now he’s saying that he would push for a constitutional amendment to make it illegal and would use the POTUS bully pulpit to push legislation to ban it. Sure sounds like the government being involved to me.

Related: Cain even went so far this weekend as to say, regarding such an amendment to the constitution, “… if it comes to my desk, I’ll sign it.” (Well. OK, then.)

This isn’t the only example, of course. He did the same thing on the electric fence, which was absolutely just a joke and not a policy position. Unless, a few hours later, you’d like it to be a policy position, in which case it might be. Because, you know… he doesn’t want to offend anyone.

That’s what led me to the conclusion yesterday that Herman Cain doesn’t have a problem with not knowing the issues or with lying. What he does have is an unfortunate propensity to just blurt out the truth without seeming to realize what it will do to his political fortunes. If there’s a flaw here, it’s that he can’t just stick by his original assertion and defend it boldly. He backpedals and tries to please everyone. If Cain honestly thinks that abortion is wrong but that it’s not the federal government’s place to get involved, he should make that case and stick by it.

This led one of my friends – a newly minted Cain supporter – to drop me a line after she’d had time to consider my argument. It included the following:

Maybe you don’t realize in your analytical little brain how offensive it sounds when you say that. Here’s what I hear you saying: Herman Cain shouldn’t be elected because he wasn’t smart enough to figure out what to lie about ahead of time.

Kind of harsh, but I had to admit that maybe that’s what I was saying. Cain wants to be president, but before you can hold that office you have to be a politician first. (And a darn good one at that.) Perhaps Cain would excel at the job as leader of the free world. But he’s not shining at the necessary task of being a good enough politician to get there. Assuming that many of these initial bits of truth telling are how he really feels about these issues, either Herman Cain has to figure out how to win the nomination while espousing positions which are unpopular with the base, or … (deep breath) .. he should have figured out how to lie about it more convincingly in the first place.

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Whatcat,

Certainly agreed. Further, I haven’t been serious on this thread for some time. I agree that Cain made a technical error, but it’s no big deal.

I watched some of these people with Palin and it really set a fire under me to defend the rest of the candidates with logic and reason as best I could (except for Romney, I just can’t logically defend his switch from the left of Kennedy to the Great Right Hope, it’s so bogus).

Punchy and AG are even beating the “Cain can’t possibly understand the Constitution drum” over in the other thread as well. They’re rabid to tear the man down in the hopes their guys will get out of single digits.

It’s actually sad, but when AG couldn’t even bring herself to admit who she supported, I just threw all in and went for it.

It’s been fun, but I do feel a little despicable for it.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:14 AM

I’m just having fun. I had my arm taken off and then put back on, recuperating and nothing much to do right now. Stuck in a chair and bored stiff. I normally wouldn’t play this silly game with her, but I’m just entertaining myself. If I had a more serious conversation to join in I would.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Ouch dude. Hope that heals up for you.

We actually missed out on a good serious conversation earlier, on something Cain has actually proposed, that actually has real merit in discussing and could have serious ramifications should 999 pass.

Earlier the question was posed as to whether or not 999 could cause significant deflation and whether or not that would be a problem. That’s a good question.

In my opinion, I think the price of goods is going to basically even out to be of identical cost to the consumer as it is now, so I would expect much in the way of deflation.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Ack, *wouldn’t.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 1:17 AM

He would probably sign such a proposal right?

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:05 AM

NOPE.

Aslans Girl on October 24, 2011 at 1:12 AM

Oh really now? He wouldn’t?

Why did Lincoln sign his proposal for the 13th then?

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:17 AM

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 1:15 AM

There should be a whitepaper on that over at FairTAX.org.

I don’t think that 999 would cause deflation directly, but there is a risk that we’re holding off deflation now with the repeated QE’s flooding the zone.

The value of money is going to have to catch up with that eventually, so I can see coincident deflation, but not necessarily causation attributable to 999.

I’ll have a look for the whitepaper.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:21 AM

CrankyTRex,

Price deflation — almost certainly.

Monetary deflation — that’s what I don’t see causation attributable to 999.

Should have made that clear.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Whatcat,

Certainly agreed. Further, I haven’t been serious on this thread for some time. I agree that Cain made a technical error, but it’s no big deal.

I watched some of these people with Palin and it really set a fire under me to defend the rest of the candidates with logic and reason as best I could (except for Romney, I just can’t logically defend his switch from the left of Kennedy to the Great Right Hope, it’s so bogus).

Punchy and AG are even beating the “Cain can’t possibly understand the Constitution drum” over in the other thread as well. They’re rabid to tear the man down in the hopes their guys will get out of single digits.

It’s actually sad, but when AG couldn’t even bring herself to admit who she supported, I just threw all in and went for it.

It’s been fun, but I do feel a little despicable for it.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:14 AM

Eh. I understand. AG is a good person, but her candidate is going down in flames after a great rollout, so I can’t blame the straw-grasping at a word. Pretty human response. Perry getting himself into the BC mess in the Parade interview doesn’t help much either. Sometimes there is the darkness, but no dawn for which to look forward.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 1:27 AM

Ouch dude. Hope that heals up for you.

Thanks and it’s healing nicely, definitely an ouch, but surgical trauma is a comparative blessing.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:29 AM

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 1:27 AM

She very well may be a nice person, but when a “nice person” is so willing to tar and feather someone in the manner I’ve watched her do over multiple threads, I don’t really care how “nice” they may be in other areas.

I’ve watched horrible things happen to my preferred candidate (not referring to Cain) and I’m not going to do to Romney (who I personally despise), Perry, Bachmann or any of them what she and her ilk are trying to do to Cain.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Pretty Petty human response.

Couldn’t resist.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:32 AM

What I can’t understand about the Pro-Perry Cain-bashers, is that the Cain folks aren’t going to break for Perry in the primary, so trying to kill Cain is wasting ammo.

Pro-Perry folks need to go for establishment Republican voters, because that’s the Texas model, and the Texas model is Perry.

Perry is more likely to pull Romney supporters back. Anyone who left Perry isn’t going back in the primary, but will in the general. He and his supporters should be demanding with fires on doorsteps that Romney release his correspondence to the legislature, and if Romney won’t release on his own, they should be clamoring for FOIA requests up and down the aisle to get that correspondence.

Cain won’t ever go after it, because he doesn’t need to get into the Romneycare Obamacare fight, he’s got that covered when he faces Obama just like he covered it with Hillarycare.

Romney is the only potential source for Perry primary votes left.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:38 AM

Eh. I understand. AG is a good person, but her candidate is going down in flames after a great rollout, so I can’t blame the straw-grasping at a word. Pretty human response. Perry getting himself into the BC mess in the Parade interview doesn’t help much either. Sometimes there is the darkness, but no dawn for which to look forward.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 1:27 AM

He’s not done yet. He’s been given the most leeway of any of the candidates. (Well, I guess except Romney since it completely blows my mind Romney has any support whatsoever.)

I would wager he will get a lot of touting that he’s The Best Not-Romney once Forbes’ flat tax proposal comes out on Tuesday. Chances are that will be the Best. Plan. Evah! since it won’t have the sales tax, and he’ll get 10-15% back from Cain of the people who were still holding out hope for him.

I personally don’t see the appeal of Perry at all though. Career politician who has yet to put any serious policy proposals on the table and who has been pretty much incoherent on every subject in the debates. He has totally avoided doing media so I have no idea how he is with that yet. His governing experience is not one of taking a failing enterprise and turning it around or having to fight with an entrenched opposing ideology, both of which are skills I expect any candidate will need this time. His also broke out the Left’s argument that my unwillingness to give people free stuff means I don’t have a heart, which is definitely the opposite kind of thought process we need to turn this thing around.

So yeah I don’t get it. But I’m not a registered anything, so my opinion doesn’t count for much in the primary I’m afraid.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 1:43 AM

She very well may be a nice person, but when a “nice person” is so willing to tar and feather someone in the manner I’ve watched her do over multiple threads, I don’t really care how “nice” they may be in other areas.

I’ve watched horrible things happen to my preferred candidate (not referring to Cain) and I’m not going to do to Romney (who I personally despise), Perry, Bachmann or any of them what she and her ilk are trying to do to Cain.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Such things don’t bother me all that much. It’s not a novel observation, but people do get worked up over politics and religion. I try avoid getting into the emotionalism and, instead, see if I can insert some reason. I also will inject a glass houses caveat, such as Perry’s statement about TX public schools teaching “Creationism”. When people realize the knife cuts both ways they tend to stop and think more often before reacting.

And, at any rate, I try not to confuse a person’s opinion, no matter how much I disagree, with the person him/herself. Since I can be strongly opinionated, lol, it’s as I said about the knife cutting both ways. It’s all just occasional drunken bar room brawls between people who’ll be buying each other drinks the next night.

And, yeah, AG is a good person. She gets old Monty Python punchlines, which make her okay in my book.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 1:47 AM

If Perry can put together a good FlatTAX proposal, he might be able to generate some support, but he won’t pull much from Cain. Cain’s people are angling for a FairTAX.

Perry also has to come up with a way to get to the FlatTAX. It’s not as simple as just saying “here’s a flat tax, let’s run with it.”

He’ll need a transitional vehicle like 999 and the sad thing is that if he offers a transitional vehicle, people will say he’s copying Cain.

Perry’s FlatTAX is great (I prefer the FairTAX for a number of reasons, one being I have the means to go off-grid personally and the FairTAX is better for my businesses), but he’s late in coming with it, and Cain has sucked alot of air out of the room.

Perry’s only shot is to crack Romney, IMHO.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:53 AM

He’s not done yet. He’s been given the most leeway of any of the candidates. (Well, I guess except Romney since it completely blows my mind Romney has any support whatsoever.)

I’m thinking the bottom line for most folks will be the image of him debating Obama. I’m guessing that that thought will keep his numbers down.

I would wager he will get a lot of touting that he’s The Best Not-Romney once Forbes’ flat tax proposal comes out on Tuesday. Chances are that will be the Best. Plan. Evah! since it won’t have the sales tax, and he’ll get 10-15% back from Cain of the people who were still holding out hope for him.

It’ll matter to some people, but not so much to others. I think most people will know that it isn’t really his plan, but one crafted by some staffers. If it were his plan, he’d have already expounded on it. Also, I think most folks know that plans turn out usually to be just that plans since we don;t live in a dictatorship. The one thing he’s doing right with “phase 2″ is releasing it on a Tuesday. “Part 1″ (drill,drill,drill) was tossed out on a Friday as a document dump.

I personally don’t see the appeal of Perry at all though. Career politician who has yet to put any serious policy proposals on the table and who has been pretty much incoherent on every subject in the debates. He has totally avoided doing media so I have no idea how he is with that yet. His governing experience is not one of taking a failing enterprise and turning it around or having to fight with an entrenched opposing ideology, both of which are skills I expect any candidate will need this time. His also broke out the Left’s argument that my unwillingness to give people free stuff means I don’t have a heart, which is definitely the opposite kind of thought process we need to turn this thing around.

I’d go along with most of that, Perry seems – to paraphrase Seinfield – “a candidate about nothing”. I don’t mean that as a slam, just that there’s not much substance. I was excited at the roll out and was pulling for the hype, but like most other folks once he opened his mouth the reality set in.

So yeah I don’t get it. But I’m not a registered anything, so my opinion doesn’t count for much in the primary I’m afraid.
CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 1:43 AM

Me, too. And by the time the dust has settled I’ll have had no say in the process, so I’m just hoping that whatever they toss out doesn’t require too many backup noseplugs to pull a lever for.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 2:01 AM

If Perry can put together a good FlatTAX proposal, he might be able to generate some support, but he won’t pull much from Cain. Cain’s people are angling for a FairTAX.

Perry also has to come up with a way to get to the FlatTAX. It’s not as simple as just saying “here’s a flat tax, let’s run with it.”

He’ll need a transitional vehicle like 999 and the sad thing is that if he offers a transitional vehicle, people will say he’s copying Cain.

Perry’s FlatTAX is great (I prefer the FairTAX for a number of reasons, one being I have the means to go off-grid personally and the FairTAX is better for my businesses), but he’s late in coming with it, and Cain has sucked alot of air out of the room.

Perry’s only shot is to crack Romney, IMHO.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Nah, there’s a lot of squish in Cain’s #s. A lot of people switched to him when they realized he could actually win, but if the gaffes of this week make it look like he can’t, they will bail and go for the next “most conservative who can win”, which the pundits will argue is either Perry or Newt. Since nobody likes Newt and Perry has the new plan and the money, I assume that will be Perry.

Romney is unbreakable short of a dead girl or a live boy showing up in his bedroom. The people who are supporting him obviously do not care about anything other than either whose “turn” it is or what they perceive to be the best method of beating Obama.

I don’t really think a flat tax would require the transition any more than 999 does.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 2:02 AM

If Perry can put together a good FlatTAX proposal, he might be able to generate some support, but he won’t pull much from Cain. Cain’s people are angling for a FairTAX.

Perry also has to come up with a way to get to the FlatTAX. It’s not as simple as just saying “here’s a flat tax, let’s run with it.”

He’ll need a transitional vehicle like 999 and the sad thing is that if he offers a transitional vehicle, people will say he’s copying Cain.

Perry’s FlatTAX is great (I prefer the FairTAX for a number of reasons, one being I have the means to go off-grid personally and the FairTAX is better for my businesses), but he’s late in coming with it, and Cain has sucked alot of air out of the room.

Perry’s only shot is to crack Romney, IMHO.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:53 AM

I think the bottom line on the Cain 999 plan is it stands a hound’s opportunity in Hades of going anywhere. People aren’t going to vote for a 9 % cost of living increase. It’s as realistic as Perry’s plan to change the Constitution 7 times – i.e. naive, if not delusional.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 2:07 AM

I’m thinking the bottom line for most folks will be the image of him debating Obama. I’m guessing that that thought will keep his numbers down.

I’d actually say the heartless crack will do more damage, particularly if he manages to have a good debate at some point or his interviews go well.

It’ll matter to some people, but not so much to others. I think most people will know that it isn’t really his plan, but one crafted by some staffers. If it were his plan, he’d have already expounded on it. Also, I think most folks know that plans turn out usually to be just that plans since we don;t live in a dictatorship. The one thing he’s doing right with “phase 2″ is releasing it on a Tuesday. “Part 1″ (drill,drill,drill) was tossed out on a Friday as a document dump.

All true. But it’ll be the thing the pundits latch on to and use to convince everyone Perry is now the only hope to take out Romney.

I’d go along with most of that, Perry seems – to paraphrase Seinfield – “a candidate about nothing”. I don’t mean that as a slam, just that there’s not much substance. I was excited at the roll out and was pulling for the hype, but like most other folks once he opened his mouth the reality set in.

I never bought into the hype. My immediate reaction when Ed brought it up on TEMS the first time was “You want to hand them the GWBII meme on a silver platter?”

Me, too. And by the time the dust has settled I’ll have had no say in the process, so I’m just hoping that whatever they toss out doesn’t require too many backup noseplugs to pull a lever for.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 2:01 AM

I know this much. I will not vote for Romney. I would rather have a 4 year stalemate and then try again or at least not prolong our trip to rock bottom any longer than necessary.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 2:10 AM

Well it’s been fun. I’m going to say goodnight and hit the hay.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 2:11 AM

Well it’s been fun. I’m going to say goodnight and hit the hay.
CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 2:11 AM

Watch out for the bedbugs.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 2:18 AM

I’ve run 999 on my businesses and they work for me, quite well in fact. I actually pay slightly more in one business, but when you take out the money I pay for tax prep, and the purchases and decisions I make to avoid taxation, I come out ahead in bottom line dollars.

On the manufacturing side the numbers come in great.

The FairTAX works for business, FlatTAX works for trustfunders, investors and dividend earners, but hurts seniors. Seniors come out ahead with FairTAX and 999.

We’ll see, but it’s I doubt that anything on abortion is going to soften Cain’s numbers, probably make him stronger as he’s the most Pro-Life of any of the top tier candidates.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 3:43 AM

I’ve run 999 on my businesses and they work for me, quite well in fact. I actually pay slightly more in one business, but when you take out the money I pay for tax prep, and the purchases and decisions I make to avoid taxation, I come out ahead in bottom line dollars.

On the manufacturing side the numbers come in great.

The FairTAX works for business, FlatTAX works for trustfunders, investors and dividend earners, but hurts seniors. Seniors come out ahead with FairTAX and 999.

We’ll see, but it’s I doubt that anything on abortion is going to soften Cain’s numbers, probably make him stronger as he’s the most Pro-Life of any of the top tier candidates.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 3:43 AM

I agree that most people – other than pro-abort types – will have little, if any, issue with his pro-life creds.
But most working stiffs will have an issue with the 999 thing in that it imposes a sudden 9% rise in the cost of living.
In the general voting populace, abortion is not a top concern either way. Personal finances are big, though, and will be much more of a deciding factor. So he’s going to have to do some major tweaking, at the very least, on the 999 or it’s a non-starter.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 4:28 AM

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 4:28 AM

Try running these for yourself, it’s not super accurate, but it’s close enough to compare.

Retail Pricing Calculator
http://www.nerds4cain.com/Blog/archives/917

Income Calculator
http://www.nerds4cain.com/Blog/archives/723

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 4:42 AM

Try running these for yourself, it’s not super accurate, but it’s close enough to compare.

Retail Pricing Calculator
http://www.nerds4cain.com/Blog/archives/917

Income Calculator
http://www.nerds4cain.com/Blog/archives/723

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 4:42 AM

Eh, the site didn’t work for me. It’s probably only designed to work with the MS Internet Explorer browser. And don’t get me started on bad site design, lol.

But I got the idea anyway. I just think it’s going to be a hard sell (actually, an impossible sell) telling people that, under Cain, their grocery bill – among other things – will instantly shoot up 9%. And if I can say that’d be a problem, the Democrats will have even less hesitance in stressing it and beating Cain over the head with it without mercy.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 5:06 AM

I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people, and that plant, that plant kills people

Nice try, Jazz, but I’m still not voting for this guy.

I wonder if that would be classified as a “gaff” or not?

MNHawk on October 24, 2011 at 6:25 AM

To make a long story short, blame government before you blame the businesses.

gryphon202 on October 23, 2011 at 9:58 PM

That is why I wish that we would tie spending cuts to the discussion of 9-9-9. If the government has less demand for money, our taxes go down. Cain’s 9-9-9 could be 7-7-7 or even less.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 7:05 AM

I would rather have a 4 year stalemate and then try again or at least not prolong our trip to rock bottom any longer than necessary.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 2:10 AM

What about supreme court nominees? Those choices affect the country beyond Obama’s term. We cannot allow Obama the ability to add more justices in the stripe of Kagan and Sotomayor.

ANY GOP candidate would nominate more conservative justices than Obama.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 7:10 AM

Nice try, Jazz, but I’m still not voting for this guy.
I wonder if that would be classified as a “gaff” or not?
MNHawk on October 24, 2011 at 6:25 AM

I dunno, but maybe misspelling “gaffe” might be a gaffe.
:)

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 7:11 AM

Cain keeps rearranging his plan to suit the audience and that is by definition a politician. He told everyone that his plan had been prepared by experts and would work, except that he’s already making changes to it. He doesn’t know that he can’t please everyone on the abortion issue just like he doesn’t know squat about the ME, China or Russia. Dealing with our enemies would be his most important job and it’s hard to do with ‘experts’ telling you what to do.

Kissmygrits on October 24, 2011 at 7:30 AM

There is no evidence that manufacturers would lower their prices to reflect the reduction in taxes they pay. As a matter of fact, evidence to the contrary is a fact. IE, the reduction in fees that airlines paid did not result in lower airfares.
csdeven on October 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

I don’t think this example is a useful argument either for or against a ‘fair tax’. An airline’s bottom line is directly affected by the price of oil. I don’t know that the fair tax would lower costs of imported commodities whose price is controlled largely by the OPEC cartel. Maybe Neal Boortz knows the answer:)

Buy Danish on October 24, 2011 at 8:21 AM

TexasDan on October 23, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Semantics…You’re doin’ it right.

I’m guessing you’re reasoning that an unborn child with NO reasoning skills & no heartbeat can make that decision and communicate it effectively to the mother?

— You want to play the semantics game…You got it.

Talismen on October 24, 2011 at 8:29 AM

What this comes down to is this:

Who do we think should have control over who decides when life begins? — Because THAT is at the core of this issue.

Some call it “murder” no matter the circumstance.
Some call it a “choice” no matter the circumstance.

Some want BIG GOVERNMENT to decide when a baby can live outside the womb.

Some want individuals to be able to make that decision.

However we come down on this issue ALONE will dictate how we feel about Cain’s original answer.

I’ve yet to see anyone (including the ASSUMED-conservative-but-probable-lefty-here-to-stir-trouble “Aslans girl”) try to answer the question I first posed in this discussion thread. That question being:

If we don’t like the idea of govt intruding into our lives when it comes to making “end of life” decisions, then how can we logically hold the same stance about the abortion issue when it comes to rape, incest, life of the mother? Both scenarios — end of life, and abortion due to rape, incest, life of the mother — deal with extremely personal life decisions that should be made ONLY by individuals and their families. Both are choices. Both deal with life and death. If it’s ok for individuals to essentially CHOOSE to take their own lives when they wish to do so because of extreme circumstances, how does that differ from abortion due to rape/incest/life of mother (also extreme circumstances)??

It’s an issue that will NEVER be resolved, between individuals and the individual and government. However, would you rather government HAVE THE ABILITY to tell you when life begins, or not? Because if you do…You’re opening a Pandora’s box. A government that can dictate when life begins, can also dictate when death should occur.

Want that? Think hard…Your time could be ticking away more quickly than you realize.

Talismen on October 24, 2011 at 8:40 AM

A government that can dictate when life begins, can also dictate when death should occur.

Want that? Think hard…Your time could be ticking away more quickly than you realize.

Talismen on October 24, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Except in the case of abortion, it already has decided when death should occur.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a perfect example of trying to have it both ways. You can’t get mad at politicians because all they do is lie then say Herman Cain is screwing himself because he’s telling the truth.

Seriously, you can’t win no matter what you do.

Pcoop on October 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Gosh a politician telling the truth instinctively -maybe Cain is the right one and the rest of the clever and cunning professional liars need to make the change. But then, what would happen to America’s ruling class power if they had to tell the truth all the time? COuld we ever handle the exponetially increase immigrant problem?

BTW in the real world Cain wouldn’t be my choice. He has what I require first (integrity and character -it matters most) but he lacks what appears to be a sense of the political world that exists on the other side of economics and how to deal with it.
He is like a marvelous boat with no oars -it wont sink, but it will get tossed around by the seas of misfortune.

On the other hand-the other side is little more than a leaky old (stolen) tub with nefarious pirates at the helm.

Don L on October 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Except in the case of abortion, it already has decided when death should occur.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 9:18 AM

They merely defies God’s decisions – they could care -they will have to deal with Him later(I’m sure their cunning, their legalese, and deceptive media blitz will work well then)

Don L on October 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM

I dunno, but maybe misspelling “gaffe” might be a gaffe.
:)

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 7:11 AM

gaffe also gaff n. an occurrence of someone telling the truth by accident.

Depends on the meaning of “also.”

MNHawk on October 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

To make a long story short, blame government before you blame the businesses.

gryphon202 on October 23, 2011 at 9:58 PM

That is why I wish that we would tie spending cuts to the discussion of 9-9-9. If the government has less demand for money, our taxes go down. Cain’s 9-9-9 could be 7-7-7 or even less.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 7:05 AM

What difference would that make? Our government has been spending nothing but borrowed money literally since 1963. I too wish that candidates would talk about spending cuts, but Herman Cain stands out as someone who has at least offered a tax restructuring proposal. I’m still waiting on Perry’s ideas…

gryphon202 on October 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM

It’s an issue that will NEVER be resolved, between individuals and the individual and government. However, would you rather government HAVE THE ABILITY to tell you when life begins, or not? Because if you do…You’re opening a Pandora’s box. A government that can dictate when life begins, can also dictate when death should occur.

Want that? Think hard…Your time could be ticking away more quickly than you realize.

Talismen on October 24, 2011 at 8:40 AM

That’s atraw man argument. The government can’t tell us when life begins -it can only recognize that science can -it was the pharmacutically paid government that pressured the medical community to radically alter its truthful and factual understanding of the long held “life begins at conception” to one of, “life begins at implantation” allowing the lucrative use of
abortifacients (abortion by chemicals)the morning after pill etc.

The government, no government, no dictator, no person, has the authority to determine the taking of innocent life. This unalterable truth is merely what our forefathers understood when they clearly placed into our declaration of independence the statement that our rights (life is the most basic) come (from no government) Nature’s GOD -thus, only He can determine such things.

Western Civilization’s Judeo-Christian thought has always held that kings and government merely represent God for earthy matters (that render to Caesar thing)and acting always morally on His behalf, may, when necessary,execute the non-innocent criminal.

This thought has been accepted for centuries. It is only since our modern revolution against God that man has given himself false authority over life -and we are living with the dastardly results of that folly daily.

Don L on October 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Cain wants to be president, but before you can hold that office you have to be a politician first.
POSTED AT 6:15 PM ON OCTOBER 23, 2011 BY JAZZ SHAW

Looks like your colleague Ed Morrissey provided a good response to that a week ago:

It might be hard to balance the critique of Obama against support for someone without electoral political office experience, but at least we would have a candidate with a track record as a successful executive — and that’s something Obama can’t claim now.
POSTED AT 10:45 AM ON OCTOBER 17, 2011 BY ED MORRISSEY

sceptical on October 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM

What difference would that make? Our government has been spending nothing but borrowed money literally since 1963. I too wish that candidates would talk about spending cuts, but Herman Cain stands out as someone who has at least offered a tax restructuring proposal. I’m still waiting on Perry’s ideas…

gryphon202 on October 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM


Perry has a flat tax and would emphasize a BBA and entitlement reform
. I think we have a historic opportunity to get a BBA and we should spend time/political capital getting that passed rather than complicated tax reform that will do little to control spending/entitlements.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 10:16 AM

What about supreme court nominees? Those choices affect the country beyond Obama’s term. We cannot allow Obama the ability to add more justices in the stripe of Kagan and Sotomayor.

ANY GOP candidate would nominate more conservative justices than Obama.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 7:10 AM

I’m not convinced of that with Romney, and Congress can block any of Obama’s nominees if it wants to. Since the GOP will get the Senate, they would have full say over anybody Obama wants to put up there.

And as I said, I would rather hasten the decline than drag it out if we’re not going to start fixing things.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 10:16 AM

sceptical on October 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM

It’s still a leap of faith with Cain. Cain is weak on so many issues and the truth is any president only has a short time to enact a core agenda before the public gets to vote on it at the next congressional election.

I think tax reform is a distraction from reform of gov’t spending and entitlement reform.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Cain needs to learn to defend his positions instead of backpedaling. Even his 9-9-9 plan is starting to fill up with exceptions and special circumstances as people say “what about the poor” and “what about inner city neighborhoods”?

We want a President who can lay out bold positions on smaller government clearly, and then defend them.

hawksruleva on October 24, 2011 at 10:19 AM

And as I said, I would rather hasten the decline than drag it out if we’re not going to start fixing things.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 10:16 AM

The only thing dragging it out does is perpetuate the illusion that problems can be fixed without pain. The only ones who benefit by dragging it out are the ones who buy and sell debt.

Americans had better get real about this whole mess because we’re running out of playing room. That’s a debt-service event horizon in the distance and you’re already too close if you can see it.

platypus on October 24, 2011 at 10:24 AM

…it was the pharmacutically paid government that pressured the medical community to radically alter its truthful and factual understanding of the long held “life begins at conception” to one of, “life begins at implantation” …
Don L on October 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

You do realize that 30-50% of conceptions don’t make it to the implantation stage, right? What is the proper, ethical, and moral way to get that number to 100% in your view? And what would be the role – if any – of government in improving those statistics?

gatorboy on October 24, 2011 at 10:30 AM

ANY GOP candidate would nominate more conservative justices than Obama.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 7:10 AM

Really? Any of them?

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/07/25/romney_jurist_picks_not_tilted_to_gop/

besser tot als rot on October 24, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Really? Any of them?

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/07/25/romney_jurist_picks_not_tilted_to_gop/

besser tot als rot on October 24, 2011 at 10:33 AM

You do know that we have rule here about not using facts in an argument, right?

platypus on October 24, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Pro-Perry folks need to go for establishment Republican voters, because that’s the Texas model, and the Texas model is Perry.

Jason Coleman on October 24, 2011 at 1:38 AM

What?! Heaven forbid we end up with Texas governance on a national level. That would be … awful (?).

besser tot als rot on October 24, 2011 at 10:39 AM

It’s still a leap of faith with Cain. Cain is weak on so many issues and the truth is any president only has a short time to enact a core agenda before the public gets to vote on it at the next congressional election.

I think tax reform is a distraction from reform of gov’t spending and entitlement reform.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 10:18 AM

It’s always a leap of faith. Nobody really knows what any of these people will do or will be able to do once they get elected.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 10:41 AM

What?! Heaven forbid we end up with Texas governance on a national level. That would be … awful (?).

besser tot als rot on October 24, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Geez that would be just awful really /

Don’t you love being told what you need/want/think? I know I do.

gophergirl on October 24, 2011 at 10:44 AM

. . . That said, Cain is charming and intelligent . . .

Book on October 23, 2011 at 11:00 PM

They said the same thing about Obama.

Voter from WA State on October 23, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Which means one of two things… either Cain is a socialist! Or he’s electable.

Book on October 24, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Tax reform is the key to kickstart the private sector. Cutting government spending and entitlement reform are essential to stopping the federal government from going bust, but they will not by themselves provide the necessary boost to the economy.

This is why I am with Art Laffer (in the WSJ) on the effect of the 9-9-9 plan – “I believe his plan would indeed be static revenue neutral, and with the boost it would give to economic growth it would bring in even more revenue than expected.”

In my view, Cain deserves huge credit for putting tax reform right at the top of the debate agenda – and his polling successes show people are listening.

sceptical on October 24, 2011 at 10:56 AM

.. he should have figured out how to lie about it more convincingly in the first place…

I disagree. A politician can hold an unpopular position on a given issue without lying about it and still be an electable politician.

Cain, for example, could’ve argued that, while he opposes abortion and would support and sign anti-abortion legislation, he fully understands there are situations where the mother might find abortion the only solution in an otherwise insoluable dilemma. He could’ve fallen back on the federalist argument, saying if elected President, he would appoint Supreme Court justices favoring repeal of Roe v. Wade and allowing the issue to devolve to the Legislative branch, where it should have been decided in the first place. Whatever the outcome, the abortion issue would not be decided by judicial activism. No one would probably be pleased by the outcome, given legislative give-and-take, but the result would be more representative of the will of the people.

Cain could’ve said any number of things to clarify his views, but lacked the political savvy and rhetorical ability to present a coherent argument on a make-or-break GOP issue. He and his team also failed to prepare at least the outline of a structured response beforehand.

You Cain supporters do realize if Herman Cain wins the primaries, he will be debating Obama on live television, right? No matter how low the President’s numbers are right now, do you honestly believe the American people will elect a man reduced to endlessly repeating ‘Apples and oranges! Apples and oranges!’ when pressed on tax policy matters? Or, if the topic is foreign policy, has no idea what the terms ‘Right of Return’ or ‘neo-conservative’ mean? Who will answer, ‘I’ll defer to my generals’ in the event of a military crisis?

I saw the Obama versus Keyes senatorial debate. I saw the Obama versus McCain presidential debates. President Obama will dismantle Herman Cain on the national stage. You know it, I know it. What are you thinking?

troyriser_gopftw on October 24, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Imagine, a politician too honest to be elected…sometimes I wonder what country I am in.
We want those slick politicians because they have been so effective lately…

right2bright on October 24, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I saw the Obama versus Keyes senatorial debate. I saw the Obama versus McCain presidential debates. President Obama will dismantle Herman Cain on the national stage. You know it, I know it. What are you thinking?

troyriser_gopftw on October 24, 2011 at 11:16 AM

That’s because the others were not “honest”, but politicians…it seems everytime, in every debate, Cain gets “taken apart”, but rises int he polls…gee, maybe honesty resonates with the public more than you think…

right2bright on October 24, 2011 at 11:20 AM

That happens during primary time. Once we have our nominee, we’ll be one the same side again.

csdeven on October 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Can’t wait for that day!

There is no way any candidate would call that a choice in the context of the question he was asked. Cain hears “abortion” and doesn’t think “murder”. He knows he screwed the pooch on it and that is why he is walking it back.

csdeven on October 23, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Who would put up a million dollars for ads to fight abortion if they didn’t think it was murder?

Elisa on October 24, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Which means one of two things… either Cain is a socialist! Or he’s electable.

Book on October 24, 2011 at 10:44 AM

That’s funny :)

But what it says to me is that Cain is a blank slate upon which everyone is projecting their own opinions, like they did to Obama. Cain’s odd statements concern me a bit, but I’d certainly vote for him. For now I prefer Perry, however, since he has a good tangible record of trying to minimize (at least by modern standards – nobody is perfect) the government’s impact on the people. Incidentally, the Romney people are tying to push this “let he who is without flip-flop, cast the first stone” – Romney’s problem is that he flip-flops on everything, except of course a few of his liberal pet projects of his, such as RomneyCare and AGW/Cap-and-Trade.

besser tot als rot on October 24, 2011 at 11:26 AM

President Obama will dismantle Herman Cain on the national stage. You know it, I know it. What are you thinking?
troyriser_gopftw on October 24, 2011 at 11:16 AM

I’m thinking if Herman Cain can embarrass Bill Clinton on the national stage, he can easily do the same to Obama. I’m thinking that Cain may get more traction with his ideas just because he takes the race issue out of it. I’m thinking that trying to pick a candidate based on how a potential Obama v. Candidate match up might go is a stupid way to pick one.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 11:31 AM

If Cain’s enemies/opponents want to run with “Cain is not a good enough liar to be president,” let the entertainment begin!!!

landlines on October 24, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Wow, imagine my surprise to come to hot air and see Cain getting bashed. It’s like a story on the news about kids liking candy.

Shaw strikes again.

How about refreshing and bold. Cain knows what he is doing. The MSM know what it is doing and there are plenty of repukes (RINO) willing to play along.

kara26 on October 24, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I’m thinking that trying to pick a candidate based on how a potential Obama v. Candidate match up might go is a stupid way to pick one.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Like most people, I extrapolate possibles and probables based on previous events. Herman Cain, whether fielding questions from a member of the press or responding to attacks from opponents in a debate forum, falls apart, followed by a series of endless clarifications later on what he really meant. His responses demonstrate a lack of mental discipline and preparedness necessary for a president to perform his job.

Cain isn’t ready and, if his public statements continue to evince the same incoherence and lack of substantive knowledege, will show he isn’t even trying to be ready.

Lastly, ‘stupid’ is believing the dark brown color of a candidate’s skin will ‘take the race issue out of it’. With Obama, the race issue will remain in play simply because the tried-and-true counter-strategy would be for the President to portray himself as legitmately, authentically Black, as opposed to Cain, who will be cast as a token candidate, a puppet of his rich, all-white masters who fly around in private jets, drown kittens, and drop-kick puppies. To win over public opinion among both Africans and African-Americans, Mohammed Ali successfully employed the same strategy prior to his fight with George Foreman in Zaire. It worked. It will work again.

If you’re supporting Cain because of the color of his skin, you’re wrong. The GOP needs to drive home the truth of the adage that people should be judged by content of character, that race and ethnicity are irrelevant to merit. Trying to out-pander Democrats on the racial issue is a disaster in the making.

troyriser_gopftw on October 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

This led one of my friends – a newly minted Cain supporter – to drop me a line after she’d had time to consider my argument. It included the following:
Maybe you don’t realize in your analytical little brain how offensive it sounds when you say that. Here’s what I hear you saying: Herman Cain shouldn’t be elected because he wasn’t smart enough to figure out what to lie about ahead of time.
Kind of harsh, but I had to admit that maybe that’s what I was saying. Cain wants to be president, but before you can hold that office you have to be a politician first. (And a darn good one at that.) Perhaps Cain would excel at the job as leader of the free world. But he’s not shining at the necessary task of being a good enough politician to get there. Assuming that many of these initial bits of truth telling are how he really feels about these issues, either Herman Cain has to figure out how to win the nomination while espousing positions which are unpopular with the base, or … (deep breath) .. he should have figured out how to lie about it more convincingly in the first place.

Jazz,

So what you’re basically describing to me is that the presidential candidate nomination and election process, as currently designed, is bound to ensure that the most consistent and believable liar (with the requisite depth on the issues as another requirement, no doubt) becomes the candidate for his/her party and the eventual president.

Some might argue that the ability to lie that consistently and believablly without tripping up over past lies, might be a sign of being a psychopath. While I agree that one truly must be crazy to want to actually become POTUS given the nature and stresses of job, when looked at it from this perspective, the process as currently set up makes me somewhat dismayed.

Lots of people seem to say that they want honest politicians elected to represent the people, particuarly after they’re in elective office (when people say that Obama lied, Bush lied, Clinton lied, Nixon lied, etc, etc.), but if the process as currently set up guarantees that we get the very best pathological liar as POTUS…I can’t help but wonder if it’s time to re-engineer the process for a better result?

Shirotayama on October 24, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Cain is the political embodiment of Oakland, there’s no there there.

Mason on October 24, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Like most people, I extrapolate possibles and probables based on previous events. Herman Cain, whether fielding questions from a member of the press or responding to attacks from opponents in a debate forum, falls apart, followed by a series of endless clarifications later on what he really meant. His responses demonstrate a lack of mental discipline and preparedness necessary for a president to perform his job.

Cain isn’t ready and, if his public statements continue to evince the same incoherence and lack of substantive knowledege, will show he isn’t even trying to be ready.

I have seen him do that. I have also seen him give stellar interviews and handle himself well in debates. So for me it’s a wash, and I don’t presume to extrapolate he simply “isn’t ready.”

Lastly, ‘stupid’ is believing the dark brown color of a candidate’s skin will ‘take the race issue out of it’. With Obama, the race issue will remain in play simply because the tried-and-true counter-strategy would be for the President to portray himself as legitmately, authentically Black, as opposed to Cain, who will be cast as a token candidate, a puppet of his rich, all-white masters who fly around in private jets, drown kittens, and drop-kick puppies. To win over public opinion among both Africans and African-Americans, Mohammed Ali successfully employed the same strategy prior to his fight with George Foreman in Zaire. It worked. It will work again.

That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the Nixon/Kennedy effect. On the radio, where looks didn’t matter, Nixon was perceived to have won. On TV, where they did, Kennedy was perceived to have won.

When you have the black guy and the black guy side by side, it eliminates a visual disparity, that, like it or not, will be present for lots of viewers. They see the slick white guy taking it to the new black President, and suddenly they’re not thinking about what is being said but why the white dude hates the black dude.

If you’re supporting Cain because of the color of his skin, you’re wrong. The GOP needs to drive home the truth of the adage that people should be judged by content of character, that race and ethnicity are irrelevant to merit. Trying to out-pander Democrats on the racial issue is a disaster in the making.

troyriser_gopftw on October 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I am not supporting Cain because of the color of his skin. I consider that a bonus. I am supporting Cain because I believe he is the best option out of the current field based on his background, how I perceive his character, and his willingness to go out there and lead on a major issue.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Related: Cain even went so far this weekend as to say, regarding such an amendment to the constitution, “… if it comes to my desk, I’ll sign it.”

Thomas Jefferson to Herman Cain: Presidents don’t sign Constitutional Amendments. They are voted by Congress and ratified by 3/4 of State Legislatures.

The Godfather needs to read his script in the Constitution.

Steve Z on October 24, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Tearing down Cain is not how one “vets” our candidate. Tearing down any candidate only gives ammo to the other side. Attack the mans plans not the man. With Perry I dont like the hpv deal. its still socialized medicine. Romney is obummer white. We dont need someone that is going to be just barely to the right of obummer. We need someone that will stick to the ideals that the business of America is Business NOT socialism. Read Common Sense. Gov and Society are 2 different entities and need to be treated as such.

ColdWarrior57 on October 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM

I got it by reading what he said.

Perhaps I got the business about “the family will do what it’s going to do” wrong?

We all know that murderers have murdered, and that, if murder were allowed by law, there’d be a lot more of it.

I don’t get strength from Cain’s stated position on abortion — I get vote-getting. Maybe he shouldn’t have tried to explain quite in the way he explained.

I’d think that a position which illustrates the abortion industry’s basic racism — “30% of all black babies wind up dead from abortion — there but by the Grace of God go I” would be a winner coming from him.

unclesmrgol on October 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM

The Godfather needs to read his script in the Constitution.
Steve Z on October 24, 2011 at 12:43 PM

we went over this in a previous thread, Steve Z. Presidents do acknowledge documents with their signature even tho their signature is not required.

gracie on October 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM

It’s always a leap of faith. Nobody really knows what any of these people will do or will be able to do once they get elected.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 10:41 AM

That’s not true. Romney, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, Paul all have held elective office and have records as governors and/or legislators which give an inclining as to how they would govern.

Cain doesn’t have a political record other than supporting causes as a citizen. Not unimportant but not the same as being responsible to the electorate for your decisions.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM

In my view, Cain deserves huge credit for putting tax reform right at the top of the debate agenda – and his polling successes show people are listening.

sceptical on October 24, 2011 at 10:56 AM

You are right about needing tax reform. Cain’s plan would do that but the problem is that his plan leaves open the possibility of future liberal politicians raising taxes. A BBA is the only way to bind future congresses to limited gov’t spending.

The criticism of Cain’s plan is not economic.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

You are right about needing tax reform. Cain’s plan would do that but the problem is that his plan leaves open the possibility of future liberal politicians raising taxes. A BBA is the only way to bind future congresses to limited gov’t spending.

The criticism of Cain’s plan is not economic.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I beleive thats a straw man arugment that they might raise taxes later on. What prevents them from raising taxes now?

ColdWarrior57 on October 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

That’s not true. Romney, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, Paul all have held elective office and have records as governors and/or legislators which give an inclining as to how they would govern.

And yet you still won’t know until they get there. Their record may give you an educated guess, but at the end of the day, it’s still only a guess.

Cain doesn’t have a political record other than supporting causes as a citizen. Not unimportant but not the same as being responsible to the electorate for your decisions.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM

It is not the same, but it gives you very similar information about the candidate’s philosophy, methods, and ability to convince others to trust him with a job and to then do that job well.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I believe because Cain is not a career politician that those that love the current system are afraid of him. He is breaking the rules. They cannot/ will not tolerate a regular man running for president who is not one of their own. Is He (Cain) going to make missteps sure, sure he will. The main stream propaganda machines don’t want someone that isn’t their guy, so they are going to point out EVERY mistake he makes. I recall obummer saying he went to 57 states with another X to go. Did the main stream propaganda machines point that out? They protected him on that didn’t they? If I had the time I would start a list of obummer miss-speaks and post them against Mr. Cains, But I have work to do so it will have to be a task undone.

ColdWarrior57 on October 24, 2011 at 1:26 PM

I beleive thats a straw man arugment that they might raise taxes later on. What prevents them from raising taxes now?

ColdWarrior57 on October 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

The Democrats cannot raise a national sales tax because there is no national sales tax. A tax like this would take bi-partisan support to implement because it is so unpopular that if one party tried to ram it through they would get killed at the next election.

The Democrats want to be more like Europe and giving them a national sales tax would take us a lot closer to being a social welfare state.

Don’t you understand this?

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 1:41 PM

It is not the same, but it gives you very similar information about the candidate’s philosophy, methods, and ability to convince others to trust him with a job and to then do that job well.

CrankyTRex on October 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

The other side of having never held office is that Cain has not learned to couch his language to be as inoffensive as possible. This is important because there are people who don’t pay attention to what is going on. All they get are sound bites from a hostile media. That is why conservative politicians have to be very careful about what they say and how they say it. Just ask Sharon Angle.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a perfect example of trying to have it both ways. You can’t get mad at politicians because all they do is lie then say Herman Cain is screwing himself because he’s telling the truth.

Seriously, you can’t win no matter what you do.

Pcoop on October 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Actually, I wonder if you haven’t hit on why, considering Cain is so seeminly gaffe-prone, it doesn’t seem to be halting his rise to the top.

Lets face it. It seems like anyone else (other than our current President) who was as unclear at times as Cain has been would see a drop in the polls. His seem to be going up. And it isn’t because we have a compliant press who excuses or overlooks or even actively covers for him.

What is the deal with that? Is it because people think that ultimately even though he unclear, he is a straight shooter and they like him? Does the fact that he is conservative trump all?

Do people give a pass to someone who misspeaks, if they are sure that they aren’t lying?

I can’t help but wonder why Perry is tanking but not Cain.

Lily on October 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

That is why I wish that we would tie spending cuts to the discussion of 9-9-9. If the government has less demand for money, our taxes go down. Cain’s 9-9-9 could be 7-7-7 or even less.

csdeven on October 24, 2011 at 7:05 AM

YOu know I am going to be honest with you CS…I remember reading some of your posts about 2-3 years ago and I really disliked you. Even now I think you do th Bwahahahaha abit too much…but that being said I have final determined that you do exercise a fair amount of critical thinking…still don’t agree with you sometime…but the post above shows you know to NOT stop short in your analysis.

The 9-9-9 is a three pronged approach which is simple even if not abundantly clear. Taking up 1 level the three major fronts need to be: 1. Drastically reducing the spending/size of government in a Ron Paul/Newt Gingrich hybrid fashion. 2. Simplify the existing tax code per CAIN/Perry. 3. Reduce government regulatory interference per Perry/Cain/Gingrich and yes even Romney.

RedLizard64 on October 24, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I dunno, but maybe misspelling “gaffe” might be a gaffe.
:)

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 7:11 AM

gaffe also gaff n. an occurrence of someone telling the truth by accident.

Depends on the meaning of “also.”

MNHawk on October 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

LOL, got me. I usually skip the blurbs at blog post top, they’re most often snarky groaner puns. But, at any rate, normally the first spelling listed in a dictionary is the one most commonly used.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I believe because Cain is not a career politician that those that love the current system are afraid of him. He is breaking the rules. They cannot/ will not tolerate a regular man running for president who is not one of their own. Is He (Cain) going to make missteps sure, sure he will. The main stream propaganda machines don’t want someone that isn’t their guy, so they are going to point out EVERY mistake he makes. I recall obummer saying he went to 57 states with another X to go. Did the main stream propaganda machines point that out? They protected him on that didn’t they? If I had the time I would start a list of obummer miss-speaks and post them against Mr. Cains, But I have work to do so it will have to be a task undone.

ColdWarrior57 on October 24, 2011 at 1:26 PM

So if a good portion of the electorate gets their news from the MSM how is it a good thing to make mistakes stating your positions? If the MSM is against conservatives shouldn’t we go out of our way not to give them ammunition to use against us?

Cain’s problem is not his beliefs but his delivery and that goes to competence. If you are running for president you should have the answers down cold and the voter who you are trying to convince to vote for you will expect that.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Lets face it. It seems like anyone else (other than our current President) who was as unclear at times as Cain has been would see a drop in the polls. His seem to be going up. And it isn’t because we have a compliant press who excuses or overlooks or even actively covers for him.
What is the deal with that? Is it because people think that ultimately even though he unclear, he is a straight shooter and they like him? Does the fact that he is conservative trump all?
Lily on October 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

A few things, Lily. First off, have you considered that most people, excluding the blogway-elite types, just aren’t as confused as you on Cain’s prolife creds? And that the complaints by critics that Cain isn’t lying only boosts their certainty? When your detractors say you’re the only guy in the race who’s honest, your numbers are indeed going to go up!

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Cain’s problem is not his beliefs but his delivery and that goes to competence.

Tell that to Stephen Hawking. GWB, too.

If you are running for president you should have the answers down cold and the voter who you are trying to convince to vote for you will expect that.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

That your opinion and your criteria.

If you believe that people who don’t agree with your standard on this are less intelligent than you, I’ll say that your dumb if you think that those you’d find less intelligent than you because of this wouldn’t think that you are at least as handicapped mentally as you believe they are. :)

Bizarro No. 1 on October 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I didn’t say I was confused. I absolutely believe that he is pro-life. But I am a supporter of his and have been since he was in single digits, so it isn’t me he is talking to but others who are still looking for their candidate of choice. They may be confused, or so we are told.

Why, considering if this is supposedly a gaffe as everyone is quick to tell us all, is he not suffering loss of support as typically happens when a candidate commits a serious gaffe? Was it really a gaffe like they want us to believe it is?

I just wonder why someone like Perry, who came in high and is losing ground rapidly, has done so. Will Cain suffer the same fate? If so why, if not, why not?

For that matter why is Romney up as high as he is seeing as he is a RINO. Is it because the establishment is proping him up or because people actually think he is a good candidate?

I didn’t mean to take a pot shot at either Cain, Romney, or Perry, I am just curious how this will all play out.

Lily on October 24, 2011 at 2:40 PM

I didn’t say I was confused. I absolutely believe that he is pro-life. But I am a supporter of his and have been since he was in single digits, so it isn’t me he is talking to but others who are still looking for their candidate of choice. They may be confused, or so we are told.

Ah, well, that’s just the nature of blog “news”, making up shocking controversies where there are none.

Why, considering if this is supposedly a gaffe as everyone is quick to tell us all, is he not suffering loss of support as typically happens when a candidate commits a serious gaffe? Was it really a gaffe like they want us to believe it is?

I just wonder why someone like Perry, who came in high and is losing ground rapidly, has done so. Will Cain suffer the same fate? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes, that’s how you tell there’s nothing to the complaint – if there were, Cain would be tanking. Instead he keeps rising. I think trying to gin up some faux controversy has the opposite effect than what was intended. Voters don’t appreciate unfair and untruthful attacks.

For that matter why is Romney up as high as he is seeing as he is a RINO. Is it because the establishment is proping him up or because people actually think he is a good candidate?
I didn’t mean to take a pot shot at either Cain, Romney, or Perry, I am just curious how this will all play out.
Lily on October 24, 2011 at 2:40 PM

I think with Romney the attraction is electability – Perry would be a very long shot due his poor communication skills, Cain is holding his own in the electability department.

whatcat on October 24, 2011 at 2:58 PM

The horrible truth is that you don’t necessarily have to come from the East (but it helps) (Clinton from Arkansas and Obama from Chicago-but both Ivy League educated) but you do have to be slick.This means you have to “win” debates with the MSM judging you-about as fair as a Chritian on trial in Iran. Bush with his mumbling and West Texas twang lost enough points in the debates to turn the election with Gore into a real nail biter.

This is why Perry has sunk and why it won’t be long before Cain does the same.The nation doesn’t want the truth but rather measly-mouthed flip flops and vague generalizations which have as much substance as canned smoke. This disturbs me because this means that the architect of George Bush (Karl Rove) may well be the architect of Mitt Romney. Cut open this elephant and you will discover a donkey. “Hee haw hee haw”.

MaiDee on October 24, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Bush with his mumbling and West Texas twang lost enough points in the debates to turn the election with Gore into a real nail biter.

This is why Perry has sunk and why it won’t be long before Cain does the same.The nation doesn’t want the truth but rather measly-mouthed flip flops and vague generalizations which have as much substance as canned smoke. This disturbs me because this means that the architect of George Bush (Karl Rove) may well be the architect of Mitt Romney. Cut open this elephant and you will discover a donkey. “Hee haw hee haw”.

MaiDee on October 24, 2011 at 3:26 PM

You’re wrong here, from your GWB analysis (GWB was comfortably enough ahead in the polls until the Friday before the 2000 vote, when his drunk-driving violation was leaked) to your analysis of Cain’s “similarity” to Perry.

An objective look at Perry reveals him to be a business-as-usual, career-type politician from the human side of things i.e. his personality/thought process isn’t very interesting nor deep, while the same kind of look at Cain (and GWB, for that mater) shows him to be the exact opposite of this – people who aren’t dislikable see this clearly, much to the chagrin of these dislikable people who can’t see the truth about this clearly and thus end up feeling left out, all because their vision is too clouded by anger.

Bizarro No. 1 on October 24, 2011 at 3:46 PM

If you are running for president you should have the answers down cold and the voter who you are trying to convince to vote for you will expect that.

Bill C on October 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

That is the hallmark of a career politician. I believe that nation is DONE with career politicians. We have had them sine when IKE? They mananged to screw US every time. Time for a change.

ColdWarrior57 on October 24, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Bizarro I never said that Cain and Perry were politically similar-only similar in that both are relatively unpolished outsiders. There is also great similarity that when they surged ahead of Mitt Romney in the polls, Romney, or his attack dogs, (including, to some extent, Fox News) quickly took measures to “correct” the situation. There is also similarity in that both have been somewhat “lead footed” in response to these attacks. But, in any event, the GOP (hence mainly Eastern establishment) has selected Romney, and God help anyone else who would surge ahead of Mitt in the polls.

My personal sympathies lie with Cain because of, in my estimation,Perry’s bizarre illegal alien policies. But, as I have already alluded to, anyone who gets ahead of Romney (not just Perry or Cain) is in deep caca.

MaiDee on October 24, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Jazz Shaw, aren’t you the puppy who’s been pumping Romney here for weeks?

elfman on October 24, 2011 at 7:15 PM

What a spin. Mr. Cain is having problems keeping the same position because he’s too honest?

I’m sorry but Mr. Cain’s record shows he is lying today when he says he is 100% prolife and always has been.

How can you not be lying when you make these comments:

When asked if he’d run for office, Herman Cain decided against as he said he was less clear cut on social issues saying he “was not ready to appease voters by taking stands on those issues.” then said “I am pro-life with exceptions, and people want you to be all or nothing” (However, about a year later announced run for President)

Cain added, “I’m not a social issues crusader. I’m a free enterprise crusader.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/herman-cains-muddled-abortion-remarks_598356.html

Then there’s the recent infamous Stossel interview where he took every stance he could even moving back and forth between them.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/herman-cains-muddled-abortion-remarks_598356.html

This one is particularly revealing and the interviewer’s question nor Cain’s answer can be miscontrued as Herman even repeated the question:

Are there circumstances under which he thinks abortion should be legal?

There’s a four-second pause. “Ahhh,” [Cain] sighs, going silent for 16 seconds. “You’re asking, are there circumstances in which it should be legal?” Yes. “Let me get back to you on that. I need to mull this over because that question can be a trap either way you go. I don’t want to be inconsistent with what I have said in the past.”

16 seconds of silence? Do you know how long 16 seconds is? Cain repeated the question and gave a straight up YES. You have to mull it over? You have to make sure it matches what you said before? WOW, wouldn’t need to if you had a true core belief. It would come with no pandering nor hesitation.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/herman-cains-muddled-abortion-remarks_598356.html

Oh, and that Pac where he supposedly gave a million dollars to was to run for GA Governor. It also wasn’t all his money. He used most of it on Admin costs and giving it to companies to lobby Congress.

And if you want to go there on the ads he ran in the black community, you don’t try to get people into our party by putting out ads calling black women HOs and you don’t help minorities to lift themselves up and get out of what Herman Cain said was stereotypical behavior by calling white people CRACKERS.

I believe Cain may be personally prolife but will do nothing about protecting the unborn. I believe he is playing political opportunism here-both sides of the fence.

Tell me what you believe in. Be true to your core and principles. Don’t pander. Let me then decide whether I can accept it.

With all the campaigns he’s ran and been an advisor and co-chair on, being a D.C. Lobbyist or funding Lobbyists for decades, I believe Mr. Cain knows exactly how to be a Politician. He is one. He just wants to be one all sides will like.

TriciaNC on October 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Bizarro I never said that Cain and Perry were politically similar-only similar in that both are relatively unpolished outsiders. There is also great similarity that when they surged ahead of Mitt Romney in the polls, Romney, or his attack dogs, (including, to some extent, Fox News) quickly took measures to “correct” the situation. There is also similarity in that both have been somewhat “lead footed” in response to these attacks. But, in any event, the GOP (hence mainly Eastern establishment) has selected Romney, and God help anyone else who would surge ahead of Mitt in the polls.

My personal sympathies lie with Cain because of, in my estimation,Perry’s bizarre illegal alien policies. But, as I have already alluded to, anyone who gets ahead of Romney (not just Perry or Cain) is in deep caca.

MaiDee on October 24, 2011 at 5:07 PM

First things first: I reread your post I was responding to, and I see that I wasn’t attentive enough the first time – I misread it as being negative towards Cain in a way that it wasn’t, so I apologize to you for that (explanation: I was a little trigger-happy because of all the stupid personal attacks I see here at HA).

I will admit I don’t agree that the establishment slant/advantage is quite as bad as you and many others perceive, nor am I as worried about Cain (or anyone else who surges past Romney) flaming out the way Perry did – Cain’s a different person than Perry, I believe he has and will continue to handle his mistakes better than Perry is able to, so I think the expected arrows fired at him will bounce off rather than pierce him. Let’s hope I right about this! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on October 24, 2011 at 9:10 PM

We forget that the handlers for both the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns kept their candidates away from live mics for at least 9 months during the 2007-8 campaign season. Neither of those “major leaguers” could talk in front of a live microphone without either (1) lying transparently, (2) making hideous gaffes, or (3) sounding like a tongue-tied rookie. And we forget that the McCain campaign was goaded into neglecting to do the same for Sarah Palin, and she got chewed up and spit out as a consequence.

It’s just not easy to stand in front of an open mic and say the right thing every time. It takes training and lots of practice. The fact that Cain has been doing it without sounding disingenuous or lying through his teeth encourages me a great deal. I’m inclined to cut him — and all the other candidates — some slack.

philwynk on October 25, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I would sugesst that you are selectively reading. Cain has a history of supporting making abortion illegal.

Jason Coleman on October 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM

One of the things I have yet to see mentioned, is the form and nature of illegality we are talking about here.

The term “illegal” applies to both civil and criminal infractions, but there is a fairly large distinction between them in this context, and trying to parse and reconcile the multiple positions that Jazz pointed out becomes a bit different in each of the contexts.

So for anyone who knows:

1. Has Cain stated publicly that he would support making the seeking of an abortion a criminal act (and with what penalties)?

2. Has Cain stated publicly that he would support making the act of having an abortion a criminal act (and with what penalties)?

3. Has Cain stated publicly that he would support making the act of performing an abortion a criminal act (and with what penalties)?

If any of the above are true, how do we square that position with the earlier quote:

No, it comes down to is, it’s not the government’s role — or anybody else’s role — to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision.

Now, if you take the position that abortion is murder, it would seem consistent to hold that the commission of an abortion should necessarily be a criminal act… and the enforcement of justice over criminal acts is precisely one of the proper roles of government!

So it seems incoherent to me to say, on the one hand, that you think it’s proper for the government to pass laws or to amend the Constitution in order to make the act illegal… while at the same time saying it’s not the government or anyone else’s role to stand in the way of someone making that “sensitive decision”.

Sure, he can spend a million dollars to try to dissuade a far-too-common practice that he might personally see as morally abhorrent, and all good credit to him for doing so. But I think it would help if he would be clear about the notion of whether this should be treated as a criminal matter, and therefore properly enforced against by the government in its judicial function.

VekTor on October 25, 2011 at 1:44 PM

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