Civil Liberties

Herman Cain Learns That the American President Is a Godfather, Too

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Font may prove creepier than you think

Over at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf interviews pizza magnate and GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain about war, constitutionalism, drugs, and civil liberties. It's a mixed bag, to be charitable, but this exchange is well worth the price of admission:

President Obama has said that he has the authority to assassinate American citizens if he's declared them an enemy combatant in the War on Terror. Al Awlaki is one guy who is on the official government list where he can be taken out. Do you have any thoughts on that? Is it a good policy because it allows us to take out Americans who may have joined Al Qaeda? Or is it a bad policy-

Why can't I be the *Godfather* of self?

Well first of all, this is the first that I have heard—you're saying it's okay to take out American citizens if he suspects they are terrorist related. Is that what you said?!

Yes, that's what I said.

I've got to be honest with you. I have not heard that. I had not heard that's something that he said. I don't believe that the president of the United States should order the assassination of citizens of the United States. That's why we have our court system, and that's why we have our laws. Even if the person is suspected of being affiliated with terrorism, if they are a citizen of this country, they still deserve the rights of this country, which includes due process. Osama bin Laden was not a citizen of the United States of America. So I would not have changed the decision the president made in that regard. But if you're a citizen, no, it is not right for the president to to think he has the power to have you assassinated. No. He has the power to make sure you're locked up, but you have to go through due process.

Tim Cavanaugh's great piece on Cain's flat fair tax here.

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  1. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

  2. One of his campaign promises should be to deliver a hot, fresh pizza to every house in America within 30 minutes of being sworn in.

    1. Now that’s a platform I can agree with! Rock you like a Herman Cain 2012!

    2. And if they don’t arrive, he’ll personally helicopter in to apologize. And execute the delivery boy.

      1. Nice reference.

  3. No surprise here. He never heard of the Palestinians’ “right of return” either.

    This guy makes Palin look knowledgeable.

    You’d think if you were gonna run for president you’d at least read a newspaper now and then.

    1. strike 3 and you’re out.

      I’ve only heard of this guy 3 times and each time has been where he didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about. The first time is charming, but the third time is ignorant.

      “Wait, what, you mean the president is a commander, like with medals and stuff?”

    2. I loved this part:

      Do you have thoughts on the War Powers Act and whether President Obama is permitted to be in Libya right now?

      My thoughts are less on whether he has the authority to do what he’s doing than why is he doing what he’s doing.

      So it doesn’t matter if the president is legally allowed to do something, just that he has a good reason to do it? WTF?

      1. So by that rationale, if Obama has a good reason for ordering the bombing of Herman Cain’s house, it’s cool?

        1. Racist….?

      2. But I agree with him on his answer! He’s right, that is more important. Why even get to the issue of whether you have the power to do something, when you don’t even know any reasons for doing it?

    3. Am I the only one who would be totally cool with having a total idiot as President if he’s better than Obama, even if he functions more on instinct and reflex on the issues than booklarn?dness?

      Not that I’m voting for Cain, but some pretty smart people have used government for some pretty awful ends.

  4. Non-citizens, you’ll still be fair game.

  5. This is Herman Cain on drugs:

    “I just know that the decision has to be made as to how do we deal with this problem.”

    Herman, Herman, Herman.

    1. If the root cause is demand in the United States, crack down on the laws against illegal drug use. That’s what you do.

      * sigh * If only we could somehow graft Cain’s public speaking ability and Romney’s fundraising connections onto Gary Johnson…

      1. He could mean either of two things, opposites, by that statement.

  6. Herman Cain, a crazy choice for crazy times.

    I can’t help but love the guy. At least he has balls.

    1. Where his brain should be

    2. You have balls. I like balls.

  7. Cain also said that he would not appoint a Muslim to his Cabinet or as a judge. He must have missed the part of the Constitution that says, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    1. I don’t think he has ever read the Constitution, or would give a shit what is says if he has read it.

    2. Well, technically, the Constitution outlaws formal religious tests. President Cain could informally decide not to nominate any Muslim for those posts. What he can’t do is send out a memo instructing employees of the federal government that they are required to ask job applicants about their faith, and are prohibited from hiring any who are Muslim.

      Not defending his odious statement, just pointing out where the Constitution should draw the line.

  8. When you don’t know the answer to a question, you should lie and obfuscate and bullshit your way out of it.

    1. It’s always worked for me!

      1. Barack, our campaign strategy is supposed to be secret!

        1. Just leave it to us…again…

      2. Exactly. Cain will never get anywhere in politics if he doesn’t learn to stop telling the truth.

        1. I’m not voting for anybody that hasn’t been to toastmaster school. Going forward.

  9. Cavanaugh wrote a piece on Cain’s FLAT tax? Sheesh, Matt, I would think a straight up guy like you knows not to confuse terms in the tax reform debate. It’s bad enough the msm purposefully doing it day in and day out.

  10. Herman Cain belatedly wakes up to what regular readers of H&R have known since freaking ’06, when Bush’s DoJ first made the argument.

    1. So who is more likely to reverse the policy? Cain, who off the cuff says he disagres with it, or some career politician who has a pat answer for everything?

  11. Cain was previously asked about Al Alwaki following the first debate:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a1_73OyiWQ
    (at 7:15)

    So this isn’t the first time he’s heard of him or even the first time he’s publicly spoken about his case. I’m guessing that Cain suspects this might be some kind of kooky conspiracy theory and he doesn’t want to look stupid by saying he knows it to be the true.

  12. Why not just revoke Al Alwaki’s citizenship and then kill him? Problem solved. After all, the guy is a member of an organization that has declared war on the US. Surely that’s grounds for revocation.

    1. And how do you know that he is a member of said organization?

      Should we start revoking people’s citizenship status based on groups they are allegedly tied to, in order to then proceed with murdering them?

    2. I don’t even understand why that is required. He joined a hostile force on the battlefield of Yemen. He should be killed like any other enemy.

  13. I think Ron Paul looks pretty damn good compared to Cain. The scary thing is, I think that there are more GOP voters who want Cain for the nomination over Paul. At least, that’s the feeling I get from Townhall and Free Republic.

  14. Cain is just one “giant sucking sound” comment from going full Perot.

  15. I like Cain when he fills in for Boortz on the radio. He actually sounds very knowledgable by comparison.

  16. As much as I support Ron Paul, but he will never win the general election. These elections are won by the squishy independent fence sitters.. Your candidate has to be flashy, the presidential election is an American Idol popularity contest, this is the reason Ron Paul will never be president.

    Looks like Romney will head the GOP if Cain can’t knock him down.

  17. This is the guy the SC GOPers loved, someone who hasn’t read a newspaper in at least 10 years.

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