May 24, 2011

Re the Negative Reax to Herman Cain’s Fox Sunday Appearance: We’re Clearly Not Used to Politicians Who Are Fully Responsible Adults

Amazingly, Herman Cain is getting grief, even apparently from the network itself, over his Fox News Sunday interview (video and transcript).

As far as I can tell, the two main complaints are that:

  1. He didn’t know what the Palestinians’ right of return demand is.
  2. He wouldn’t articulate a strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

As to Number 1, the “right of return” demand hasn’t exactly been front and center during the past few decades except among the talking-to-themselves press, basically because it’s a stupid topic as long as Hamas and the Palestinians won’t concede that Israel has a right to exist.

But the important thing here is that Cain demonstrated his instincts, and got it right. Once he understood the nature of the demand, he said:

Yes. But under — but not under Palestinian conditions. Yes. They should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to make.

Back to — it’s up to Israel to determine the things they will accept.


Now, you could argue that Cain’s nearly next statement that “I don’t think they (the Israelis) have a big problem with people returning” is a gaffe. No, it just shows that Cain doesn’t realize how many Palestinians are involved, because if he did, he’d know that the Israelis aren’t keen on getting outnumbered. But again, Cain’s deference to our ally Israel is the ruling principle.

As to Number 2, here’s Cain’s allegedly problematic response:

WALLACE: We have been at war in Afghanistan for almost 10 years. And yet you say — and you say it quite proudly — you have no plan for what to do in Afghanistan. You’d have to wait until you got into office, until you met with the experts, until you met with military officials and then you decided.

Don’t you owe to people who are thinking of voting for you to give them some idea about what you would do about a major U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan?

CAIN: I do. And here’s what I owe them — I owe them the right approach to the right decision such that we’re not there 10 more years.

WALLACE: So, what is the right approach?

CAIN: The right approach is: the day I’m elected president, I will start on that plan such that the day I was sworn in, I will be able to implement the plan.

WALLACE: But that doesn’t tell anybody what you’re — I mean, do you support counterinsurgency or counterterrorism?

CAIN: Chris, let’s go back — let’s go back — let’s go back to the fundamental question. We’ve got to work on the right problem. I think it is disingenuous to tell the American people what I would do when I don’t have the intelligence information. I don’t have all of the factors that are affecting this particular situation.

I owe the American people a responsible decision and a responsible plan. And I don’t think any candidate can responsibly say what they would do if they are elected president.

How refreshing to see someone who’s willing to say, “Hey, I don’t know because I don’t have access to the necessary information,” instead of watching people who don’t know anything act as if they do. What Cain did is what adults do when they don’t know the answer to something they can’t possibly know: They admit that they don’t know the answer because they can’t possibly know. I’m told that even the people at Fox are having a hard time accepting Cain’s perfect answer, which means they too need to get out more.

If these are the worst raps people can pin on Herman Cain, the children who criticize him are in for a long 18 months.


1 Comment

  1. I agree with you completely. The grief he is getting is stupid.

    Comment by zf — May 24, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

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