Herman Cain, A Man Without a Country: Unprincipled Pro-Abortion and Ineffectively Pro-Life.



I Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

Will the Real Herman Cain Please Stand Up (For Something?)

Herman Cain can’t make up his mind whether he is pro-life or pro-abortion.  He wants to ride the fence, so let’s let him.  But I have two suggestions for what to call his position.

First, Unprincipled Pro-Abortion. I don’t mean unprincipled and pro-abortion. I mean unprincipled pro-abortion. He is pro-abortion for sure, but not on principle, but rather on purely pragmatic grounds. This will never do for those who (like The Fonz) can’t bring themselves to ever say the word “b-b-b-b-a….  Fetus.” Cain is no Barack Obama, who never met a single baby that ought to be protected, even one already outside the womb, once that baby has been declared a choice. But Cain is different, more nuanced.  He can go long stretches without the pro-life community even noticing he is not one of them. No pro-abort of principle would ever be found hanging out with pro-lifers.

Second, Ineffectively Pro-Life.    Just as Mitt Romney loves to say he was “effectively pro-choice”, rather than (really) pro-choice, Cain says he is pro-life, but as the transcript below seems to indicate, would not lift one finger to actually stop abortion.  He mouths the words, but his true intent is elsewhere.  Cain has joined a growing number of supposedly pro-life candidates (like Gingrich, Romney and Perry) who are really pro-choice. The only thing Cain has going for him is that he finally admitted it (kinda).  In an interview with Piers Morgan of CNN, Cain started off fine.

MORGAN: Abortion. What’s your view of abortion?

CAIN: I believe that life begins at conception. And abortion under no circumstances. And here’s why –

MORGAN: No circumstances?

CAIN: No circumstances.

MORGAN: Because many of your fellow candidates — some of them qualify that.

CAIN: They qualify but –

MORGAN: Rape and incest.

CAIN: Rape and incest.

 

So far, so good.  No exceptions, not one baby should be killed.  But then Cain went off the railing.

MORGAN: Are you honestly saying — again, it’s a tricky question, I know.

CAIN: Ask the tricky question.

MORGAN: But you’ve had children, grandchildren. If one of your female children, grand children was raped, you would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?

CAIN: You’re mixing two things here, Piers?

MORGAN: Why?

CAIN: You’re mixing –

MORGAN: That’s what it comes down to.

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.

MORGAN: That’s a very interesting departure –

CAIN: Yes.

MORGAN: — from the normal politics.

CAIN: Exactly.

Now how in the world does Cain go from saying that life begins at conception and he doesn’t believe in exceptions to the idea that the government should stay out of the family’s decision.    I’d like to give Cain the benefit of the doubt and assume he is only talking about the unsocial decision to abort a baby descended from a criminal, but as readers of my previous blogs on this issue know, it isn’t much of a benefit.  I consider that position unprincipled pro-abortion and ineffectively pro-life.  Perhaps he did misspeak and was only referring to the son or daughter of a rape victim that should not be protected.  Then, at least, admit it then.  Stop with this nonsense that you don’t believe in exceptions.   Thou speaketh with fork in mouth.

Update: There is a possibility that Mr. Cain was referring to adoption in the follow-up question Morgan asked about his children and grandchildren.  The question was “bringing up the baby as their own”?  So we’re going to see if we can get clarification from the campaign.

Follow-Up.     Mr. Cain has issued two completely different explanations for his answers (see below), so it is unclear what his original reasoning was.

Here they are:

1)   In a statement to the Christian Broadcast Network, Cain said the CNN comments were taken out of context and referred only to individual cases when a mother’s life is at stake—a situation in which he said he believed a president should never play a role.

The problem with this is that neither Morgan nor Cain even mentioned the life of the mother exception.  Perhaps this is what Cain was thinking, but nothing is taken out of context – he never provided the context he is now claiming.

2)  I understood the thrust of the question to ask whether that I, as president, would simply “order” people to not seek an abortion:

My answer was focused on the role of the President. The President has no constitutional authority to order any such action by anyone. That was the point I was trying to convey.  As to my political policy view on abortion, I am 100% pro-life. End of story.   I will appoint judges who understand the original intent of the Constitution. Judges who are committed to the rule of law know that the Constitution contains no right to take the life of unborn children.

I will oppose government funding of abortion. I will veto any legislation that contains funds for Planned Parenthood. I will do everything that a President can do, consistent with his constitutional role, to advance the culture of life.”

It do not know what this answer means.   Morgan never said anything about the president ordering anything.  I could take what he says to mean that he would criminalize “taking the life” of the unborn, but he hasn’t used those words.  I think his clarification needs some clarifying.

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  • Anonymous

    Since Paliin announced she isn’t running, I’ve noticed a lot of people at C4P jumping on the Cain bandwagon, I’ve noticed this same trend at Free Republic and other sites as well.  After reading all the gushing, and fawning posts about Cain on these sites, I’ve come to the conclusion that most are supporting him only because he’s black.  They figure that it will take the race card away from 0bama. 

    I think a lot of these people are so conflicted over voting against a sitting black president that they want to only do so if they can vote for another black guy.  They may have been able to justify voting for Palin because she would be the first female to run for president, but with her out of the race, where does the white guilt tripper vote go, why to Cain of course.  If Cain isn’t the nominee many of these people will either vote for 0bama or stay home.
     

    • Anonymous

      I think people who falsely brand people as racists are as bad as actual racists.

  • http://media.nola.com/tpphotos/photo/9346409-standard.jpg bondmen

    Herman Cain has a great appeal to Americans who know we need to get back to the business that makes America work and away from the political correctness and intrusive socialism that retards incentives to improve.  He is not perfect as he is not Jesus but he’s not owned lock stock and barrel by the elite Rockefeller country club Republicans like Mitt Romney.  Mr. Cain is a great example of an individual pulling himself up through a strong family and using his mind and discipline to make a better life; an example for all Americans no matter their outer skin covering.

    • http://twitter.com/CalvaryGirl Wendy

      You are right. Conservatives need to understand that there is never going to be a candidate that is perfect in anyone’s eyes, and there is something “wrong” with everyone. Are we going to send the country down the river over one single issue? I hope everyone keeps the big picture in mind come next November.

    • Argon

      I wouldn’t discount the amount to which Cain might be beholden to elites and country club Republicans. He has been CEO and Fed Reserve Bank of Kansas board member/chair. Also a restaurant industry lobbyist. He moves in the elite, chummy waters of business.

  • Anonymous

    So he’s pro-choice in the case of rape or incest. That is not unreasonable. If your daughter or grand-daughter was raped, do you think the government should force her to bear the child? It should be the victim’s decision to take the day-after pill. Torture is worse than murder.

    • http://wadingacross.wordpress.com/ Wading Across

      Yet if the unborn is a human life that began at conception then whether it was conceived by rape or incest is just as irrelevant as if the baby were an “accident”.

      Yes, the woman will no doubt live for years with the trauma of the abusive event, but that doesn’t justify the killing of a human life.

      And yes, the woman will make choices, but the government should not condone or legalize the killing of any innocent human life, in utero or born.  The unborn are the real innocent victims here.

    • David Shedlock

      “Torture is worse than murder.”
      No it isn’t.   Ask John McCain if he would rather be dead.   And carrying your own child is not torture – that is the lie of those who would promote death.

  • Scott

    I don’t think it’s at all clear that Cain was only talking about cases of rape and incest.  What I got from the interview was that he was talking about all abortion being up to the woman and the government should stay out of it.  I can see he’s goint to try to backpedal like he doesn’t on everything else, but he is now permanently crossed off my list.

  • Argon

    It really sounds like Cain is anti-abortion and pro-choice: Not “pro-abortion”. This is a viable and not-uncommon position although it’s hard for some to wrap their heads around. People can forget that the questions of abortion and choice represent two axes*: One is whether you think abortion is acceptable or not, the other, the degree to which you believe you have the right to impose your choice on others who may disagree. 

    Put another way: I’m certain that smoking is bad for people who smoke. I know it kills people. I don’t smoke myself but I won’t force everyone else to stop smoking. So, with regard to smoking, I’m anti-smoking but pro-choice about allowing others to choose whether they wish to smoke. Others would outlaw tobacco sales: They would be anti-smoking and anti-choice.

    Cain’s is a common libertarian position: For him it’s not for the government to regulate. It isn’t correct to call this a “pro-abortion” position — It’s pro-choice.

    Still I’d bet 500 Quatloos that he’ll walk back his comments after consulting pollsters to determine what he really believes.

    *Actually it’s not so simple as a single, linear scale: One might decide that there are situations when abortions are OK, such as when the life of the mother is at serious risk. Specific cases present separate dimensions.

    • Argon

      OK! I’m up 500 Quatloos — Cain does yet another walkback in less than 24 hours.

  • http://wadingacross.wordpress.com/ Wading Across

    The reality is that whether abortion is illegal or not it will probably still occur to some degree.  My grandmother evidently had an abortion long before it was legal.  My grandfather found someone willing to do it and made it happen.

    From what I’ve read too, prior to abortion being legalized, states went after the doctors and those who performed the abortion(s), not the women who aborted their babies.

    You see, whether abortion is illegal or not, it does boil down to choice, and I am most certainly not a pro-choice person.  I’m not saying a woman has a right to chose.  I’m saying she will and does chose, specifically irrespective of the law. 

    Laws against murder and the threat of capital punishment do not stop most murderers from killing.  These people make choices irrespective of the law(s). 

    The real issue here then is whether Cain misspoke or really does believe that the government has no right to make abortion illegal.  If he does believe that life begins at conception, then abortion is murder and his answer is truly contradictory.  He does indeed seem to be fence sitting here, though his view is probably widespread in the US.  Personally anti-abortion but also pro-choice… “I think it’s wrong but I’m not going to stop you from doing it.”

    If Cain truly does and has run in “elite” circles, it’s going to be interesting to see how the early primaries shape up as it’s evidently a three-way race now between him, Perry and Romney.

    I wonder how many people are going to be willing to vote principles next year instead of pragmatism and vote third party or not at all for president if they’re truly not happy with the GOP candidate?  I suspect many conservative Christians will yet again rationalize and pragmatize when they get to the booth.

    Man I hate politics.

    • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/?author=22 David Shedlock

      “Laws against murder and the threat of capital punishment do not stop most murderers from killing.”

      You don’t mean that, and you know you don’t. I think you are wrong. Remove laws against murder, and anarchy will rule the streets.

      When the breakdown of authority is known, people act upon their wicked impulses. During the LA Riots, when it became evident police were not going to enforce the law, people who would not have murdered otherwise, did in fact murder because there was no authority they feared.. Capital punishment would be a deterrent if it were evenly applied against ALL First Degree murder cases and carried out swiftly upon conviction.

  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    I have never understood the attraction that conservatives have to Cain.

    • http://wadingacross.wordpress.com/ Wading Across

      The attraction has been that he’s not Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich or Michelle Bachmann.  I suspect that’s what it boiled down to prior to Ames and perhaps still to a large degree.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        I guess the old saying is true for folks who like Cain – ignorance is bliss. :)

      • Argon

        Apparently Bachmann’s paid staff in New Hampshire doesn’t even like her. Reports are that they all just quit.

      • http://wadingacross.wordpress.com/ Wading Across

        I’m going to guess that the NH staff realized Bachmann’s chances went up in smoke with the Gardasil shark she jumped.

        After Ames I thought she’d be able to hold it together but apparently her money’s running out and then she stuck her foot in her mouth and refused to take it out.  I believe her NH staff aren’t the only ones who’re fleeing.

        All that said, Cain and Gingrich have had staffing issues too and have managed to plow through them as did McCain in 2008, so who knows… though with three months to go before the primaries, and NH being an early test, this isn’t a good sign for her at all.

        If she continues to flounder I think she’ll either bow out just before Thanksgiving or right after the first or second primary.

      • Argon

        Gingrich is pretty much dead in the water, money-wise. A lot of his staff quit after he halted campaigning to go on a cruise. Santorum’s finances are poor but he doesn’t seem to experience a lot of turnover. Cain needs to raise a whole lot more money. I’m not sure about Ron Paul’s cash situation but I think the heavy hitters remain Romney and Perry.

        I’m not sure I’d attribute the NH staff mass exodus entirely to worries about Bachmann’s chances per se. She burns through staff in her House office as well. Either she chooses the wrong people or her staff don’t have a clear picture of her management methods before they sign on and suffer serious disillusionment – Somehow there’s a lot of turnover around her. Michelle’s is not a stable office.

    • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      Same could be said with some conservatives and Romney ;).