Cain’s position, his critics, and his Palinesque supporters (and his Palinesque ignorance)

The interpretation I offered last night of Cain’s position on the long-ago sexual harassment complaint, in which I showed how his apparently contradictory statements about the settlement of the complaint could be reconciled, is indeed his position. And he is sticking with it, notwithstanding pressures from Charles Krauthammer and others to disown it.

Unfortunately for Cain, many people don’t buy my favorable view of his statements; they think his distinction between different types of “settlement,” or between a “settlement” and an “agreement,” is Clintonian. Also, there are more issues here than his contradictory statements about the settlement. Matt Coulter at Race42012 summarizes Cain’s many changing statements on the entire sexual harassment issue and says this does not look good for him.

As I said before, Cain’s supporters are very much like Sarah Palin supporters, and in many cases they are the same people. They adore Cain, just as they adored Palin, because he’s a “real person,” “one of us,” “not a professional politician.” But, to their dismay, again at Race42012, some of them are finding out that not being a professional politician means lacking basic political competence, such as being able to answer a vitally important question about a past sexual harassment charge without changing it five times in a day, such as knowing that China has nuclear weapons. At the same time, many Cain supporters, again just like the Palin supporters, continue to declare that they love him no matter what, and characterize any criticism of him, no matter how reluctant and evidently sincere, as an attack orchestrated by his enemies, who in this case are the sinister “Rombots.”

Sarah Palin’s presidential candidacy is dead. Long live Sarah Palin’s presidential candidacy!

- end of initial entry -

Dan R. writes:

Let us be blunt: the driving force behind Cain’s candidacy, as it was with Palin’s, is a conservative variant on identity politics. If Herman Cain were white he would long ago have dropped out of the race.

Any significant amount of listening to Sean Hannity reveals that the greatest delight of many conservatives is to play jiu-jitsu with liberalism, turning around liberal obsessions of race and gender to attack those liberals they’ve discovered as the ones who are truly “racist” or “sexist.” Perhaps the best example has been Hannity’s constant invocation of the name Robert “KKKKKKKK” Byrd to describe the late Senator. As I believe you would put it, these “conservatives” have more in common with liberalism and go out of their way to avoid being associated with race-realism. Their compulsion to play “gotcha” overwhelms any impulse to acknowledge real differences in race. In fact, I believe most of them probably believe in race as a “social construct.” Or in other words, on matters regarding race, they are liberals.

Whereas liberals’ attraction to Obama was in part based on the fact that he was, as Joe Biden infamously put it, “well-spoken,” Cain’s attraction is strengthened by the fact that he speaks with a black Southern accent, helping to reduce the possibilities of attacking him for his “authenticity.” His folksiness adds to the effect.

And meanwhile the manifestations of the Cain obsession are reflected in a complete disregard of Cain’s statements in the past supporting affirmative action and his present statements on abortion. The critical faculty is suspended. His value as a figurehead is far more important than any individual positions he holds, regardless of whether they are in serious conflict with conservatism.

How fitting this phenomenon is as a reflection of our high-pitched politics where the greatest debate winds up being which party has betrayed basic liberal ideals.

Alexis Zarkov writes:

In an interview, Judy Woodruff asked Cain, “Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States?” His answer contains the following statement:

They’ve [China] indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat. [emphasis added.]

This demonstrates an appalling degree of ignorance. In 1964 China exploded a fission device. In 1967 it exploded a two-stage fusion device. Thus China has had the hydrogen bomb for at least 44 years. China even has silo-based MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle) missiles as discussed by Mark Helprin. In short China is currently an advanced nuclear power. The “nuclear capability” phrase does not pertain to aircraft carriers. While China has purchased carriers from other countries, it only plans to finish building two home-grown Type-089 carriers by 2015 based on the Varyag carrier they bought from Russia. The Varyag is not a nuclear powered carrier.

Based on this statement (and others), I now judge Cain as unqualified to be president of the U.S. This man is 65 years old, yet he might as well have been born yesterday as far as his knowledge of foreign affairs goes. If we wanted an ignoramus for president we could simply stick with Obama.

Alexis Zarkov continues:

For some background on this: China started developing nuclear weapons in the 1950s with help from the Soviet Union. The book Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang has two chapters that provide the real history of the Korean War. It’s almost nothing like we Americans were taught in school. Before the North Korean invasion of South Korea, Mao went to Stalin to get permission for North Korea to attack South Korea. Mao knew this attack would provoke a war with the U.S. and give China an excuse to participate (it had nothing to do with MacArthur). Mao wanted Stalin to help him build war factories and give him nuclear technology. The U.S. played into his hands by threatening to use nuclear weapons.

Michael P. writes:

Yesterday I heard part of an interview where Cain was spanked (not much other word for it) by Bob Schieffer of CBS about the “smoking” commercial. Cain was pathetic in his responses, and ended up sheepishly making what was essentially a public service type anti-smoking announcement on Schieffer’s behalf, simply because the latter stated he was “offended” by the ad. Cain displayed no strength, and was, as they say, totally owned by the CBS newsman. Now RCP reports (via Drudge) that Cain has brought out the racism card, saying that the attacks on him are racially motivated. How can anyone take this man seriously? If he cannot handle a CBS reporter, and falls back on his blackness as an excuse during adversity, how will he ever be able to handle Hu Jintao or Vlad “the Impaler” Putin?

LA writes:

There’s another thing about Cain that I forgot. For the last three years the number one Republican beef against Obama is that he had “no experience.” And now many of the same Republicans are supporting a candidate who has, literally, zero experience.

I’ve repeatedly pointed out how stupid the “no experience” charge is, especially given the fact that the president most Republicans esteem the most, Lincoln, had even less prior experience in office than Obama (including NO executive experience). But no, the brainless Republicans just kept repeating the “no experience” line, as if it were a tape loop in their brain. And now they’re supporting a man with zero experience in any public office, so they look like fools and hypocrites who cannot be taken seriously.

What are they going to say? That Cain has executive experience in business? Are they really going to argue that being CEO of a fast food chain is sufficient preparation for the presidency?

D. Edwards writes:

I saw this at HotAir and I am sending it to you to add to the discussion:

Update: I didn’t see it last night, but here’s what commenter Jason Coleman had to say about Cain’s background with China and nukes:

Herman Cain spent the Vietnam war evaluating the capabilities of the Chinese to deliver a nuclear weapon onto the heads of our forces in South Vietnam.

He examined the test launches of the Dongfeng 1 (SS-1) and plotted out the trajectories for a 500kg warheads.

When China started testing the Dongfeng 2 (CSS-1) Cain plotted out the trajectories and capabilities of it’s delivery of 15 kiloton nuclear weapons.

Both of these missiles were provided to the PRC by the Soviets, Cain analysed data from the Russian test launches and determined the risk to U.S. troops in SE Asia.

Cain also observed the development of China’s first domestically produced missile, Dongfeng 3 (CSS-2) and plotted out it’s use with China’s 15-20KT fissile devices as well as China’s new thermonuclear devices.

Finally, Cain was involved in the determination that China’s Dongfeng 4 (CSS-3) was capable of delivering both fissile and thermonuclear devices to both Moscow and Guam as well as cover the entire deployment of U.S. forces in SE Asia.

Cain is well aware of China’s nuclear missile capability, the only reasonable conclusion is that Cain was indeed referring to China’s attempts to develop and sail their first nuclear aircraft carrier and their attempts to develop more dangerous nuclear cruisers.

I would have broken this out into a separate post except that, after googling, I can’t find anything to confirm Coleman’s claims that Cain spent time on Chinese nukes while he worked on ballistics in the Navy. I e-mailed Coleman to ask for his source but haven’t heard back. He mentioned in another comment last night that some of this is in Cain’s book.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 02, 2011 01:03 AM | Send

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