Funniest Thing I Read Today

Herman Cain is trying to shore up his foreign policy cred by hiring a consultant to give him a few clever catchphrases to throw around that sound inspiring and compelling. Like this one, from the consultant himself:

“The central tenets of the Center for Security and Diplomacy were restoring U.S. leadership, maintaining a strong military and getting tough on terrorism,” Gordon said. “That matches exactly with Herman Cain’s views on foreign policy. His overarching philosophy is an extension of the Reagan doctrine: peace through strength and clarity.”

Translation: The central tenets of Cain’s foreign policy are a cliche, a platitude and a meaningless catchphrase invoking the memory of a mythical figure whose worshippers think he did the opposite of what he actually did. What on earth does it mean to “restore U.S. leadership”? It could mean anything from the neo-con vision of perpetual invasion and war to Dye’s proposals about expanding America’s “soft power.” A statement that can mean anything means nothing.

10 comments on this post.
  1. zugswang:

    I gave up asking conservatives what they knew about the symbolism behind Great Seal of the United States. When I explained why the olive branch was in the right (dexter) claw, and the arrows in the left (sinister) and brought up the Olive Branch Petition, I got dismissed as a know-it-all elitist.

  2. Reginald Selkirk:

    … getting tough on terrorism … the Reagan doctrine

    By paying ransom for the return of terrorist kidnap victims?

  3. democommie:

    I was talking to someone, just yesterday, who has never struck me as being an idiot, who said Herman Cain had no chance of being elected but that he did have some good ideas. I was in too much of a hurry to stop and ask WTF ideas he was talking about–not that I didn’t have a few minutes, I certainly didn’t have the month it would take to try and scrounge up a few ideas of Herm’s that are not delusional, never mind “good”.

  4. Michael Heath:

    Like Sarah Palin, Herman Cain appears to revel in his being a metaphor brought to life as created by a young William F. Buckley where Buckley wrote, “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”

    The NYTs reports that Mr. Cain’s experience in business didn’t result in his having sound managerial skills: http://goo.gl/3Gv67 .

    So once again we find Mr. Cain taking the Palin route for two reasons:
    1) He’s claiming the media and pundits just don’t get him because he’s not running a traditional campaign.
    2) He reveals himself as either an unserious know-nothing or a scam artist leveraging the campaign season for reasons other than seriously seeking to win the GOP nomination – where each is not necessarily mutually exclusive of the other.

  5. dogmeat:

    IMO he is running to expand his consulting and public business. He might even run as a VP candidate, but I think he would be desperately hoping that his running mate didn’t win. He’ll, then they’d have to actually work at running the country, not make millions pointing to how the Democrats are ruining the country. Best thing to ever happen to Sarah Palin was to lose in ’08. Cain’s fortune could come through being fortunate enough to lose in ’12.

  6. billdaniels:

    If he wins, is he going to invade Antigua?

  7. Marcus Ranum:

    Peace through bankruptcy!!!

    Basically, Reagan led the country into an economic deathmatch with the USSR, whose economy collapsed first under the weight of their military spending — leaving the US, the survivor, with a parasitic military/industrial complex that is leading us toward our own economic collapse. So, yeah, Cain’s “strategy” sounds great, if we want to be a ’3rd world nation with nukes’ like Russia.

  8. vmanis1:

    `Are you smarter than Herman Cain’
    Foreign Affairs Category

    1. True or false: Nigeria and Niger are different countries.

    2. True or false: The Taliban were our friends before they were our enemies.

    3. Which of the following is not a country: Columbia, Butane, Indonesian Kenya, or Galápagos?

    4. What position does Rupert von Greltzau occupy in the government of the nation of Ruritania? (a) President (b) Prime Minister (c) Minister of Secret Police (d) Minister of Posts, Weights, Measures, and Socialist Propaganda?

    5. The Eurozone is (a) a men’s washroom in Dubuque, Iowa (b) a region of the planet Uranus (c) the nickname of the home of Mr Conrad Zone (d) a region of Potsdam, Germany in which uranium is found.

    Scoring: if you got more than 0 right, you are smarter than Herman Cain.

  9. vmanis1:

    I pressed Submit too soon…

    Scoring (continued): if you got 2 or more right, you are smarter than an English cucumber.

  10. cheesynougats:

    I got 4 right (damn you, Ruritania!). I can haz president?

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