You want any waffles with that pie?
More after the jump. Please remember to rec and tip your writer.
The pizza man can't seem to make up his mind how to cook his position on Roe v. Wade. First he says gimme a little "choice" on both halves, then extra "choice" on one half, and then no "choice" on either half.
On July 17, John Stossel did a show with Herman Cain (and Ellis Henican, and an Obama impersonator). Stossel asked Cain to explain his abortion position. But Cain muddled his answer and left everyone totally confused.
STOSSEL: alright a quickie on, a quick question on one more hot subject, abortion
STOSSEL: You're against it
CAIN: I'm pro-life from conception, yes
STOSSEL: any cases where it should be legal?
CAIN: I don't think government should make that decision. I don't believe that government should make that decision.
STOSSEL: People should be free to abort a baby.
CAIN: I support life from conception. No, people shouldn't be free to just to abort, because if we don't protect the sanctity of life from conception we will also start to play God relative to life at the end of life
STOSSEL: So I'm confused on what your position is.
CAIN: My position is that I'm pro-life. Period.
STOSSEL: If a women is raped, she should not allowed to end the pregnancy?
CAIN: That's her choice. That is not government's choice. I support life from conception.
STOSSEL: So abortion should be legal?
CAIN: No. Abortion should not be legal. I believe in the sanctity of life.
STOSSEL: I'm not getting it. I'm not understanding. Should it be legal.
CAIN: I believe
STOSSEL: If it's her choice that means it's legal.
CAIN: No. I believe. I don't believe a women should have an abortion. Does that help to clear it up?
STOSSEL: Even if she is raped?
CAIN: Even if she is raped or the victim of incest because there are other options (what options???). We must protect the sanctity of life and I have always believed that. Real clear.
Somehow in Cain's mind that response makes sense. But he's worse than Pudd'nhead Palin and her word salad. With Pudd'nhead it's just a jumble of words and sentence fragments and nobody in their right mind believes Pudd'nhead knows what she's babbling about. Cain is completely different but just as nonsensical.
Everything Cain says is grammatically correct but it's also completely contradictory and illogical. You're left trying to choose which of his two positions to believe (i.e., abortion is not the government's decision, or the government must outlaw abortion in all situations).
And if sanctity of life is paramount, how does one justify a law that absolutely chooses between the life of the unborn child over the life of an at-risk mother?
And of course, it leaves one to wonder what's his position on the death penalty?
Maybe Cain simply misspoke and ome sort of follow-up or press release will make his position on the different aspects of the abortion issue perfectly clear. But that never happened.
Then last week, on the Oct 16 show of Meet The Press with David Gregory, Cain gets a chance to clarify his position on abortion. But it's another swing and a miss. Cain starts out with the GOP bog-standard anti-choice position and then immediately contradicts himself by allowing special dispensation for abortions to save the life of the mother (because that's a family decision, not a government decision):
MR. GREGORY: What about abortion ? You want to overturn Roe v. Wade. Could you support or condone abortion under any exceptions at all?
MR. CAIN: I believe in life from conception, and I do not agree with abortion under any circumstances.
MR. GREGORY: Exceptions for rape and incest?
MR. CAIN: Not for rape and incest because...
MR. GREGORY: What about life of the mother?
MR. CAIN: Because if you look at, you look at rape and incest, the, the percentage of those instances is so miniscule that there are other options. If it's the life of the mother, that family's going to have to make that decision.
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm. But you can--would you condone abortion if the life of the mother were...
MR. CAIN: That family is going to have to make that...
MR. GREGORY: You won't render a judgment on that.
MR. CAIN: That family is going to have to make that decision.
Unbelievably, Gregory doesn't ask any sort of follow-up. He simply ignores the totally contradictory nature of Cain's response and plows ahead to the next question on his script. Maybe that talking-head Gregory needs to get his hearing checked (and/or maybe before the show the MTP writers should have slipped a clue to Gregory about how Cain flubbed the exact same question previously, which is why they put it on Gregory's list of quesitons).
NB: In this interview, Cain repeats the same bogus assertion he made in the Stossel interview, "the percentage of those instances [of abortions due to rape or incest] is so miniscule" As far as I know, nobody keeps statistics on the number or abortions due to rapes or incest (it's a privacy matter). So Cain's assertion is a bald-faced lie. It may indeed be a very uncommon situation but there are no facts to back up that assertion. And it's totally hypocritical for him to imply that if it was a very common situation that he would allow abortions in those cases. And worse still, it's misleading for him to imply that there's some other option available. What he obviously means is that he wants to force the victim to have the baby and then choose whether to give up the baby for adoption. This totally ignores the fact that pregnancy itself has major health and life consequences. No pregnancy is ever totally risk-free (or cost free). So what Cain is advocating is akin to enslavement of the victim. Both Stossel and Gregory should have challenged him on this offensive bogosity. Given that he repeats it every time he's asked about his abortion position, hopefully some smart interviewer will eventually call him on this.
Then more recently, during the Oct 19 Piers Morgon Tonight show on CNN, Herman Cain, again tried to explain his position on abortion for rape or incest victims. He doubles-down on his previous "it's not the government's decision" (pro-choice) hedge by kneading together day-old bits and pieces from his prior half-baked answers to both Stossel and Gregory:
CAIN: No, it comes down to 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 have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.
MORGAN: By expressing the view that you expressed, you are effectively -- you might be president. You can't hide behind now the mask, if you don't mind me saying, of being the pizza guy. You might be the president of United States of America. So your views on these things become exponentially massively more important. They become a directive to the nation.
CAIN: No they don't. I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn't be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make
It seems like sometimes Cain shuts off his brain and just lets his mouth say his default answer to any question, "the government shouldn't tell people what to do". He just blindly plows ahead even when the interviewer asks him to make certain that's his final answer.
Three days later (after taking broadsides from most of the other GOP losers about being a crypto-Libertarian and not being sufficiently anti-choice), on Oct 22, Cain sat for an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network with David Brody to try reestablish himself as full-blooded anti-choice candidate.
In the CBN interview, Cains explains it's not his fault, they edited the video tape to make him look bad, it was a "gotcha question", and interviewers shouldn't try to pin him down with specific situations, and don't expect him to give a rational or logical response when he's trying to avoid being pinned down
It wasn't my fault I swear to God
--Jake Blues, The Blues Brothers
CAIN: The lesson that I’m learning is that I’ve got to be careful of being pigeonholed because people can take a piece of tape and edit out the first half and only pull out one snippet that could start a firestorm. The tape that you are referring to, I said specifically, ‘I am pro-life, from conception, no abortions, no exceptions,’ but they only focus on a later part of it where they were trying to pigeonhole me with a specific situation. So, the lesson learned is beware of being pigeonholed, because you know they can pull it, and take it out of context.
Cain of course avoids even mentioning the "life of the mother" situation so that's still out there for people to wonder about.
And without saying exactly what it would cover, he says that as CEO of the United States he would sign a pro-life amendment.
BRODY: Are you for some sort of pro-life amendment to the constitution that in essence would trump Roe v. Wade?
CAIN: Yes. Yes I feel that strongly about it. If we can get the necessary support and it comes to my desk I’ll sign it. That’s all I can do. I will sign it.
Cain must have skipped fifth-grade civics and is doesn't have a clue about how amendments are ratified (hint: two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states (except for the repeal of Prohibition)). Some snarky reporter should ask Cain, if had been president in 1964 would he have signed or vetoed the Civil Rights Amendment and compare his answer to Sen. Rand Paul's (hint: there's no such amendment, it's the Civil Rights Act, signed by LBJ).
If you want to know about constitutional law you should talk to a constitutional law professor (like Pres. Obama). But if you want to know how to make a large, half with anchovies and half without, talk to Herman Cain.