Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cain Enabled

Among those occupying the clown car that is the GOP's current presidential field, one of the more disagreeable candidates to emerge from a veritable cadre of disagreeables is pizza magnate Herman Cain. While expressing anti-Muslim sentiments is now de rigueur if any Republican wants their party's nod, Cain's Islamophobic screeds have put him right alongside fellow hopeless hopeful Newt Gingrich in their virulence, and are even more rank by virtue of the fact that a) he actually seems to believe what he's saying, and b) given his own history, he's better equipped than most to know how dangerous it can be to form blanket opinions about a majority of people based on the unfortunate actions of a few.

"It's not bigoted," protested Cain a little too much, but of course that's exactly what it is. Now, I've been making merry sport of Herman these past few months, both here and on my Twitter feed, thanks to his alarmingly ignorant rhetoric (of which Islamophobia marks only the tip of a very sizable iceberg). And based on his performance at Monday's Republican presidential debate, wherein he called on any Muslims serving in government to take a "loyalty oath" to the United States, it sure looks like he'll be giving me plenty more material between now and whenever he inevitably gets out of the race. Here's Slate's William Saletan on Cain's Muslim problem, and the inherent ignorance it traffics in:
Now that Cain has climbed the corporate ladder and is running for president, he faces a new kind of racism: the assumption that a black man must be liberal. Cain ridicules this stereotype. "Some black people can think for themselves," he says. 
But Muslims? They all think alike. "I have not found a Muslim that has said that they will denounce Sharia law [and] support the Constitution," Cain told Ingraham. In another interview, he explained: "The reason I made the statement that I would not put a Muslim in my cabinet, or in my administration, is because I want people that are dedicated to the Constitution. … I don't know one Muslim who will denounce Sharia Law and then say that they can support the Constitution." 
Herman, you really need to get out more.
More from Saletan at the link, and more from Cain whenever he opens his mouth next, I'm sure.

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