Cain-ful Arrogance

Herman Cain apparently blew off a newspaper in New Hampshire after blowing up while talking to one in Milwaukee.

The New Hampshire Union Leader caught the backlash of Cain’s recent gaffe in discussing President Barack Obama’s policy on Libya with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.The paper video recorded the interview for its website and a segment of it, which showed Cain who answered the Libya question with the grace and certainty of a drunk trying to cross an icy street, went viral.

As a result, Cain told the Union Leader that he didn’t want his interview with the UL’s editorial board to be recorded. After a series of back and forth, Cain bailed on the deal when it looked like the paper wouldn’t relent.

Two things come out of this for me:

First, this reminds me of the joke about the scientist studying a frog. He yells at the frog, “Jump!” and the frog jumps. He then cuts off one of the frog’s legs and repeats his demand. “Jump!” and the frog jumps. He repeats this twice more, each time the frog jumps, but with more difficulty. When all of the frog’s legs have been cut off, the scientist yells “JUMP!” and the frog stays put. He screams “Jump! Jump! JUMP!” and the frog doesn’t move.

The scientist then notes in his research journal, “After all four of its legs are cut off, the frog goes deaf.”

For Cain, the problem isn’t that he doesn’t know crap about Libya, Obama’s approach to it or how many extra men it will take to hold that area in a game of “Risk.”

The problem is that a video camera was there.

Politicians used to like certainty that they could say something and if it sounded shitty, they could say, “The paper misquoted me” or “They misinterpreted what I said,” or something George W. Bush-ian that just confused the shit out of people. Now, with every human being carrying a video recorder of some kind, that’s not possible any more. Most news outlets have websites, which can show video, so newspapers are adding video, TV has always used video and bloggers and our grubby dirty unethical shithole sites are using video.

So Cain’s great Frog Deafness Corollary of 2011 dictates that he needs to get away from the video camera.

Can someone please remind him that he’s running for president? And maybe that on occasion our president will need to understand what the hell he’s doing? And that on similar occasions, he might have to be in front of a camera to explain what the hell he’s doing?

Saying you want to be president but don’t want to be videotaped is like saying you want to be a porn star but you’re saving your virginity for your wedding day and you’re camera-shy.

Second, and perhaps more important, Cain is likely to remain at the forefront of this thing until something truly horrific happens. I mean more horrific than the Libya thing… And the pizza song… And the sexual harassment… And the pictures of him at a pool party with Jerry Sandusky… (I only made one of those up.). You know, something like him walking down the middle of Washington, D.C. with an automatic weapon, acting like Hooper from “Chasing Amy.”Even then, I’m sure the Right Wing will support him for his staunch support of the Second Amendment and embrace his expressive nature and cultural diversity.

So why this guy?

Bill Maher hit this one right on the head, even though he wasn’t talking about Cain at the time: Republicans embrace certainty above all else.

It’s why Cain couldn’t say to the MJS guys, “Look, I’m really focusing on domestic policy at this time and I haven’t really looked into his approach to Libya.” He had to come up with a “THIS IS THE ANSWER!” answer for the board. Watch the video, he kept tuning up for his direct, absolute and forceful condemnation of Obama for something that he had no idea about. It was like watching someone try to light a solid rocket booster with a Bic lighter.

Whether it’s their faith, their family or their country, these people want the absolute certainty of hearing from their leader that he knows exactly what’s going on about whatever the hell it is and that he knows EXACTLY what to do an EXACTLY how to fix it. If you want to win the hearts and minds (what little they have of either), you need to bet that kind of absolutist. No time for learning, no time for discussion, no time for dissention. Grab the weapon and pull the trigger.

If you need any more proof of this way of thinking, look at how Cain followed up his LOL Catz Libya video:

“We need a leader, not a reader.”

Well, it would probably help to do some reading, on say Libya perhaps…

Even more, these idiots don’t get that you can’t boil complex problems down to bumper stickers, three-point plans or 8-second sound bites. The more you try to do this, the more often you fall on your keys and limp away.

This is why Rick Perry got into trouble… And Michelle Bachman… And… oh hell… I don’t even know what else is out there in Nutbag Valley.

But at least I admitted it.

8 thoughts on “Cain-ful Arrogance

  1. I have a sister that is a staunch Conservative. She has no idea why (she doesn’t think about it) but she’s forever sending me these little right wing jabs…ugly racist pictures, horrible racist or insulting comments all “disguised” as jokes. When I try to explain the truth or share facts her response is always “I’m really busy I don’t have time to read all that”.
    Basically they think in short bursts like sound bites. You cannot fit policy into sound bites. That is why they support these clowns because they break everything down to five words even if the five words are lies.
    It’s infuriating. It’s just stoopid.

  2. Cain is really getting bizarre on several facets:
    “We need a leader, not a reader.” Wasn’t GWB known for not being interested in reading on governance?
    Aren’t presidential candidates often graded on their knowledge of foreign events?
    No videotape. Where in the world did we get the trajectory that includes banning videotaping meetings under Bush, barring people from meetings if they don’t look republican enough, demanding that questions be pre-submitted. etc.?
    Libya is current events. I’ll give Cain that they needed to gather all the intel possible – but why wouldn’t he assume that Obama did it while under the constraints of needing to make a decision and sell NATO on the decision in the timespan of a couple of days.
    I’ll otherwise grant Cain that an overthrow in Libya could go in many different directions – some good, some bad. We don’t want a decade of the “Reign of Terror” like after the French revolution. But as events have evolved, and even with the opportunity to apply 20/20 hindsight, and as important as Libya is in world events, shouldn’t he at least be able to make some assessment such as “events are still playing out”, “so far, the trajectory has been …” etc.

  3. “It’s why Cain couldn’t say to the MJS guys, ‘Look, I’m really focusing on domestic policy at this time and I haven’t really looked into his approach to Libya.'”
    I don’t see this excuse working very well. After all, Cain visited the MJS editors fresh from a GOPer ‘debate’ that purportedly focused on foreign policy, and he should’ve known at least a few of the basics. Besides, anyone seriously running for President must be able to focus on more than one issue at a time.
    None of this really matters to Cain, though, because he isn’treally running for President anyway. He just happened to be the wingnuts’ not-Romney flavor of the month. He’s on an extended book tour. The big question in Cain’s ‘mind’ is whether the public display of his abject ignorance of any substantive issue during the GOPer ‘debates’ and thevery public airing of the skeletons in his closet will affect his book sales.

  4. “Saying you want to be president but don’t want to be videotaped is like saying you want to be a porn star but you’re saving your virginity for your wedding day and you’re camera-shy.”
    Yikes. Aside from the koolaid-ish virgin-wh*re revenge fantasy undertones in the analogy, consider this:
    While our democracy grapples with the entanglement of income inequality, candidacy and legislation, the poor and the indebted continue to be exploited by the MoTU (who apparently have enough cash, erm, free speech, to speak for the rest of us. Wonder of wonders, “being open to experimenting” gets translated into “being open to being experimented UPON”). And yet, and yet, for all that exploitation, the balance due is never reduced.
    How does that work?

  5. This asshat can’t talk about veggie pizza without making an inappropriate remark.
    Give him his Fox News boobie prize and let’s move on to sticking pins in Mitt Romney.

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