Hermann Cain's presidential campaign is taking a hit in the mainstream press because of an as-yet unfounded claim of sexual harassment. But in the conservative blogs he's getting pilloried tonight for a comment in an interview today that suggested that he does not know that China has had nuclear weapons for more than fifty years. Here's the transcript:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you view China as a potential military threat to the United States? HERMAN CAIN: I do view China as a potential military threat to the United States... we already have superiority in terms of our military capability, and I plan to get away from making cutting our defense a priority and make investing in our military capability a priority, going back to my statement: peace through strength and clarity. So yes they're a military threat. They've indicated that they're trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.
Look, I like Cain and I wish him well as a person. But Cain's one and only positive attribute in his run for the Presidency is that he was a successful businessman. I like that, and I want that in a President, because it shows that the candidate will be sensitive to how wealth is actually created in the private sector, and it shows, at least to a degree, that he knows how to manage a large enterprise. But, having said that, that's not all a President does, and not all a President needs to know. What I sense is that Cain is a conservative version of Obama -- an inexperienced, not-ready-for-prime-time guy whom we like out of all proportion to his merits because he's black and voting for him makes us feel good about ourselves.
Think about it: if Cain weren't black, wouldn't we all be reallly turned off by his recent wishy-washy comments on abortion? The not-so-hidden VAT tax in his 9-9-9 plan? His deer-in-the-headlights know-nothingism on foreign policy? Seriously, if he doesn't know about the Right of Return (the central issue in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians) and he doesn't know about China's military capabilities (the central challenge to America for the next 50 years or so), then he really doesn't know much, does he?