Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lighten Up, America

At first thought, he could have said that he changed his mind. Or that he was exaggerating to make a point.

But Herman Cain said neither when on Sunday's Meet The Press (transcript here) David Gregory commented/asked "On immigration, you said at an event in Tennessee that you would build an electrified fence on the border that could kill people if they try to cross illegally."

The exchange continued:

MR. CAIN: That's a joke, David.

MR. GREGORY: It's a joke, so that was...

MR. CAIN: It's a joke. That's a joke.

MR. GREGORY: That's not a serious plan?

MR. CAIN: That's not a serious plan.


MR. CAIN: No, it's not.

MR. GREGORY: You got a big laugh out of that, but that's not what you'd do.

MR. CAIN: That, that's a joke. that's a joke. I've also said America needs to get a sense of humor. That was a joke, OK?

At a rally in Tennessee on Saturday the chain-store pizza magnate asserted that he wants to "secure the border for real with a fence" (video, below) and
It’s going to be 20 feet high. It’s going to have barbed wire on the top. It’s going to be electrified. And there’s going to be a sign on the other side saying, ‘It will kill you — Warning.'

Recognizing a joke about electrocuting individuals apparently committing a misdemeanor (trial or hearing at government option), we all laughed. Presumably, we all were to have laughed when Cain added "It’s insensitive for them to be killing our citizens, killing our border agents. That’s what’s insensitive. And that mess has to stop.

More than a little insensitive, though evidently the reference to illegal immigrants killing border agents was part of the joke from the would-be stand-up comedian.

Note to Republicans considering voting for Mr. Cain: your candidate did not say Democrats "need to get a sense of humor" or liberals "need to get a sense of humor." He said "America needs to get a sense of humor." That means you. Although the officials you've elected often seem unconcerned about America, "Americans" include you. That applies particularly to those conservatives exorcised at the exercise of political correctness, in which liberals are just far too sensitive. Americans simply need a sense of humor.

That's because the problem is not with Herman Cain, or with what he said. The problem is with the audience, with Americans, stricken with a serious character flaw. And Herman Cain's prospects in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida may depend upon the tolerance of GOP voters and their willingness to give a vote of confidence to someone who looks down his nose upon them.

Next: That wasn't the worst (but was the most shocking) thing Herman Cain said on MTP.

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