Archive for Herman Cain

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by loonwatch

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Singling Out Islam: Newt Gingrich’s Pandering Attacks

The former House speaker regularly calls for treating Muslims differently — and his discriminatory remarks are mostly forgiven. 

It’s interesting to observe what qualifies as beyond the pale in American politics. For bigoted newsletters written two decades ago, Ron Paul is deemed by many to be disqualified from the presidency. I don’t fault anyone for criticizing those newsletters. I’ve done so myselfThey’re terrible. So is the way he’s handled the controversy. But isn’t it interesting that Paul has been more discredited by years-old, ghostwritten remarks than has Newt Gingrich for bigotry that he’s uttered himself, on camera, during the present campaign? It’s gone largely ignored both in the mainstream press and the movement-conservative organs that were most vocal condemning Paul.

That’s because Muslims are the target. And despite the fact that George W. Bush was admirably careful to avoid demonizing a whole religious faith for the actions of a small minority of its adherents — despite the fact that Barack Obama too has been beyond reproach in this respect — anti-Muslim bigotry in America is treated differently than every other kind, often by the very same people who allege without irony that there is a war in this country against Christians.

In the clip at the top of this post, Gingrich says, “Now, I think we need to have a government that respects our religions. I’m a little bit tired about respecting every religion on the planet. I’d like them to respect our religion.” Of course, the U.S. government is compelled by the Constitution to afford protection to religion generally, and “our” religion includes Islam, a faith many Americans practice. That’s just the beginning of what Gingrich has said about this minority group. In this clip, he likens Muslim Americans seeking to build a mosque in Lower Manhattan to Nazis building next to the Holocaust Museum. He once suggested that the right of Muslims to build mosques should be infringed upon by the U.S. government until Christians are permitted to build churches in Saudi Arabia, a straightforward suggestion that we violate the Constitution in order to mimic authoritarians. He favors a federal law that would pre-empt sharia law — though not the religious law of any other faith — from being used in American courts, which would be the solution to a total non-problem.

And no surprise, for he regularly engages in the most absurd kind of fear-mongering. To cite one example:

I think that we have to really, from my perspective you don’t have an issue of religious tolerance you have an elite which favors radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism. You have constant pressure by secular judges and by religious bigots to drive Christianity out of public life and to establish a secular state except when it comes to radical Islam, where all of the sudden they start making excuses for Sharia, they start making excuses that we really shouldn’t use certain language. Remember, the Organization of Islamic Countries is dedicated to preventing anyone, anywhere in the world from commenting negatively about Islam, so they would literally eliminate our free speech and there were clearly conversations held that implied that the U.S. Justice Department would begin to enforce censorship against American citizens to protect radical Islam, I think that’s just an amazing concept frankly.

If Gingrich believed all of this it would be damning. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether it is more or less damning that his tone, and much of his substance, is in fact a calculated pander. Justin Elliott at Salon demonstrated as much when he delved into how Gingrich used to talk about these issues:

Gingrich’s recent rhetoric represents a little-noticed shift from an earlier period in his career when he had a strikingly warm relationship with the American Muslim community. As speaker of the House in the 1990s, for example, Gingrich played a key role in setting aside space on Capitol Hill for Muslim congressional staffers to pray each Friday; he was involved with a Republican Islamic group that promoted Shariah-compliant finance, which critics — including Gingrich — now deride as a freedom-destroying abomination; and he maintained close ties with another Muslim conservative group that even urged Gingrich to run for president in 2007.

The article goes on to note:

Gingrich’s warm relations with the Muslim community continued well into the mid-2000s. Around 2004, for example, he participated in a planning meeting of the Islamic Free Market Institute, according to an activist who also attended the meeting. “His tone was nothing like what you hear today,” recalls the activist. “He was very positive, very supportive. His whole attitude was that Muslims are part of the American fabric and that Muslim Americans should be Republicans.” By the standards of the Gingrich we know today, the Islamic Free Market Institute was essentially engaged in “stealth jihad.” The now defunct group, founded by conservative activist Grover Norquist in 1998 to woo Muslim Americans to the GOP, was involved in educating the public and policymakers about Islamic or Shariah-compliant finance. Its 2004 IRS filing reported the group spent tens of thousands of dollars to “educate the public about Islam[ic] finances, insurance, banking and investments.” To most people, there’s nothing nefarious about Islamic finance — there is a large international banking business centering on special financial instruments that are compliant with Islamic strictures against interest, and so on.

So in 2004 Gingrich attended a planning meeting of a group devoted to promoting Shariah-compliant finance. Fast forward to 2010 and here’s what he said in his speech to the American Enterprise Institute: “[I]t’s why I think teaching about Sharia financing is dangerous, because it is the first step towards the normalization of Sharia and I believe Sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.”

If an American politician suggested, of Christians or Jews, that they should be required to take a special loyalty oath before assuming office; that the government should restrict where they’re permitted to build houses of worship; that laws should be passed singling out their religious law as odious; that they don’t count when Americans talk about “our” religion; that their main lobbying group should be aggressively investigated: if any American politician said any of those things, they’d be regarded as an anti-religious bigot engaged in a war on Christianity.

Whereas the accusation that there’s something wrong with Gingrich’s rhetoric is met on the right with righteous indignation, as if he is the put-upon victim of political correctness or the elite media.

In the 1980s, the Ron Paul newsletters played on white anxiety about urban crime and racism toward blacks. It was awful. And apparently America didn’t learn its lesson, for Gingrich 2012, like Cain 2012 before it, is playing on majority anxieties about terrorism and xenophobia toward Muslims. This is particularly dangerous in the civil-liberties climate produced by Bush and Obama, where American citizens can be deprived of their liberty and even their life without charges or due process, a protection that is especially valuable to feared minorities.

Rick Santorum Claims He Supports TSA Using Ethnic And Religious Profiling Of Younger Muslim Males

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by loonwatch

It just gets crazier in the GOP.

Rick Santorum Claims He Supports TSA Using Ethnic And Religious Profiling Of Younger Muslim Males

Andrea Stone (Huffington Post)

http://www.5min.com/Video/Santorum-Muslims-Should-Be-Profiled-517212363

One of the most devout Christians in the GOP field endorsed singling out Muslims for extra screening by the Transportation Security Administration while the only African-American candidate called for racial profiling by another name.

“Obviously, Muslims would be someone you look at, absolutely,” said former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. “The radical Muslims are the people committing these crimes, by and large, with younger males” also deserving of more scrutiny at airport checkpoints.

Herman Cain said he was in favor of “targeted identification,” another way of saying some people look more suspicious than others. “If you take a look at the people who have tried to kill us it would be easy to identify what that profile looks like.” But when moderator Wolf Blitzer suggested that focusing on one sort of person would be like sngling out Christians or Jews, Cain rejected the premise as “simplifying.”

Rep. Ron Paul, as is wont in these debates, differed from his rivals. After Santorum noted that Muslims would be “your best candidates” for extra screening, the Texas congressman said, “What if they look like Timothy McVeigh?” referring to the white Christian ex-soldier convicted in 1995′s Oklahoma City bombing.

“That’s digging a hole for ourselves,” Paul said.

Herman Cain: Thank God My Arab Doctor Wasn’t Muslim!

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by loonwatch

(cross-post from Gawker)

In case it wasn’t obvious already, Herman Cain’s brief outreach to the Muslim community to atone for his unending list of inflammatory statements is definitely over.

Visiting a Jesus-themed amusement park in Orlando, Cain gave a moving speech to visitors after the daily reenactment of the crucifixion about his experience battling colon cancer. But per Yahoo’s Chris Moody, things got awkward once the topic turned to his choice of physician:

He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon’s name was “Dr. Abdallah.”

“I said to his physician assistant, I said, ‘That sounds foreign-not that I had anything against foreign doctors-but it sounded too foreign,” Cain tells the audience. “She said, ‘He’s from Lebanon.’ Oh, Lebanon! My mind immediately started thinking, wait a minute, maybe his religious persuasion is different than mine! She could see the look on my face and she said, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Cain, he’s a Christian from Lebanon.’”

“Hallelujah!” Cain says. “Thank God!”

The crowd laughs uneasily.

This isn’t a new story: Cain told it repeatedly this Spring, playing it up for Christian audiences especially. But since that time Cain made a brief – apparently abortive – attempt to apologize to Muslim leaders for his bigoted statements and refocus his campaign on the economy. Looks like that stretch is over.

* * * * *

Here’s video (go to 5:00 to hear the part about “Dr. Abdallah”):

Cain: Majority of US Muslims Share Extremist Views

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by loonwatch
Only if you stayed making pizza...Only if you stayed making pizza…

A brief look into the inanities of Herman Cain. Take a look!

March of 2011: GOP Presidential Candidate “Resents” Muslim-Americans

… Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?

Cain: “No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempted to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. … The question that was asked that ‘raised some questions’ and, as my grandfather said, ‘I does not care, I feel the way I feel.’ …

May of 2011: Cain Continues Walk-Back of Muslim Comments

“I immediately said, without thinking, ‘No, I would not be comfortable.’ I did not say that I would not have [Muslims] in my cabinet. If you look at my career, I have hired good people regardless of race, religion, sex gender, orientation and this kind of thing.”

June of 2011: Herman Cain Would Require Muslim Appointees To Take A Special Loyalty Oath

BECK: So wait a minute. Are you saying that Muslims have to prove their, that there has to be some loyalty proof?

CAIN: Yes, to the Constitution of the United States of America.

BECK: Would you do that to a Catholic or would you do that to a Mormon?

CAIN: Nope, I wouldn’t. Because there is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other religions. I know that there are some Muslims who talk about, “but we are a peaceful religion.” And I’m sure that there are some peace-loving Muslims.

July of 2011: Herman Cain: Americans Can Stop Mosques

“So, you’re saying that any community, if they want to ban a mosque…” Wallace began.

“Yes, they have the right to do that,” Cain said.

July of 2011 Part II: Herman Cain Issues Apology After Meeting With Muslim Leaders

On Wednesday, Cain met with four Muslim leaders in Sterling, Va. He said in a statement later he was “truly sorry” for comments that may have “betrayed” his commitment to the Constitution and the religious freedom it guarantees.

He also acknowledged that Muslims, “like all Americans,” have the right to practice freely their faith and that most Muslim Americans are peaceful and patriotic.

October of 2011: Herman Cain Defends His Sharia Conspiracy: ‘Call Me Crazy’

CAIN: Call me crazy. … Some people would infuse Sharia Law in our courts system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. … American laws in American courts, period.

AMANPOUR: American laws are in American courts. So the people of this country should be safe for the moment.

Now Cain gives us another quote for November:

I have had one very well-known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views

I wonder who it was who told you. Maybe, Zuhdi Jasser, who was a star witness in the Peter King Trials?

Cain: Majority of US Muslims share extremist views

Herman Cain said that he believes a majority of American Muslims share extremist views in an interview published on Monday.

In an interview that included a few eyebrow-raising comments, Cain’s exchange about American Muslims may get the most attention.

“I have had one very well-known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views,” Cain said in an interview with GQ.

Asked if he thought this individual — whom Cain would only identify as “a very prominent voice in the Muslim community” — was right, Cain said that although he found it hard to believe, ultimately he trusted his adviser.

“Yes, because of the respect that I have for this individual. Because when he told me this, he said he wouldn’t want to be quoted or identified as having said that,” Cain said.

In March, Cain made waves when he said that if he were elected, he would not feel “comfortable” in appointing Muslims to his Cabinet.

The interview — which included questions from GQ‘s food critic — also touched on some of the culinary themes that have permeated the Republican nominating contest. Cain famously described himself as not the flavor of the week or month after his rise to the top of the polls, joking that instead he was Häagen-Dazs’s black walnut, a flavor that “tastes good all the time.”

The GQ writers challenged Cain to assign flavors to his competitors and Cain obliged, labeling Mitt Romney plain vanilla and Texas Gov. Rick Perry rocky road. He was then asked what flavor Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) would be:

“Michele Bachmann … I’m not going to say it. I’m not going to say it,” Cain said.

But pressed by his interviewers, Cain relented, saying that Bachmann would be “tutti-frutti.”

“I know I’m going to get in trouble,” Cain said.

The interview was conducted at Capitol Hill pizzeria Seventh Hill, and Cain — the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza — was asked what he could tell about a man from the toppings he ordered.

“The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe the more manly he is,” Cain responded. Pressed, he laughingly elaborated that “the more manly man is not afraid of abundance” and that a pizza piled high with vegetables was “a sissy pizza.”

The GQ comments were the latest in a string of questionable jokes and comments that might have derailed other candidates. Cain acknowledged as much, asking the GQ writers, “That probably wasn’t politically correct, was it?” at the conclusion of the interview.

At last week’s Republican presidential debate, Cain referred to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as “Princess Nancy,” but walked back the name almost immediately after the debate.

So far, Cain’s candid remarks and allegations of sexual harassment that have surfaced in recent weeks have done little to ding his popularity. A pair of polls released Monday from NBC and Battleground both show Cain still leading the Republican field.

Update: Herman Cain was talking about the other Muslims: spokesman

It turns out, when Herman Cain said the majority of Muslim Americans hold extremist views, he didn’t mean “Americans” as in Americans. Not at all. What he really meant, his campaign spokesman has clarified, was Muslims from some other country.

Cain just shut up!

Update II:  We just can’t keep up with Herman Cain’s fails; check out the latest:

Herman Cain: Thank God My Arab Doctor Wasn’t Muslim!

Herman Cain Defends His Sharia Conspiracy: ‘Call Me Crazy’

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by loonwatch

Herman Cain Defends His Sharia Conspiracy: ‘Call Me Crazy’

By Faiz Shakir

On ABC’s This Week, host Christiane Amanpour confronted Herman Cain about a comment he made to ThinkProgress. “There’s this creeping attempt…to gradually ease Sharia Law and the Muslim faith into our government,” Cain told us in March.

After showing Cain his quote, Amanpour asked him to respond to Chris Christie, who has said, “This Sharia law business is crap, it’s just crazy, and I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.” Cain responded:

CAIN: Call me crazy. … Some people would infuse Sharia Law in our courts system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. … American laws in American courts, period.

AMANPOUR: American laws are in American courts. So the people of this country should be safe for the moment.


In July, Cain met with a small group of Muslims and said he was “truly sorry for any commentsthat may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it.” It’s therefore disappointing that Cain is still clinging to his anti-Sharia rhetoric.

The “creeping Sharia” threat, as CAP explained in our report “Fear, Inc.,” is the product of a hate campaign organized by a small number of Islamophobic actors who are trying to cast suspicion on the presence of all Muslims in America. In fact, Cain’s language of “American laws in American courts” is lifted directly from a right-wing lawyer named David Yerushalmi, who has been leading an effort to pass anti-Sharia measures in roughly two dozen states.

As the ACLU has explained in a thorough legal analysis, the “creeping Sharia” rhetoric is a mythical menace and a fabricated threat:

There is no evidence that Islamic law is encroaching on our courts. On the contrary, the court cases cited by anti-Muslim groups as purportedly illustrative of this problem actually show the opposite: Courts treat lawsuits that are brought by Muslims or that address the Islamic faith in the same way that they deal with similar claims brought by people of other faiths or that involve no religion at all. These cases also show that sufficient protections already exist in our legal system to ensure that courts do not become impermissibly entangled with religion or improperly consider, defer to, or apply religious law where it would violate basic principles of U.S. or state public policy.

A Center for American Progress report on Sharia explained, “It’s important to understand that adopting” the creeping Sharia rhetoric “would direct limited resources away from actual threats to the United States and bolster an anti-Muslim narrative that Islamist extremist groups find useful in recruiting.”

Recall, in 2010, Oklahoma passed a “Save our State” ballot initiative that banned Sharia in its state courts. That amendment was halted from taking effect by a federal district court. District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange argued: “It would be incomprehensible if…Oklahoma could condemn the religion of its Muslim citizens, yet one of those citizens could not defend himself in court against his government’s preferment of other religious views.” The 10th Circuit court is now hearing the case.

Original post: Herman Cain Defends His Sharia Conspiracy: ‘Call Me Crazy’

Frank Gaffney’s Latest Conspiracy: Herman Cain Met with the Muslim Brotherhood

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Frank GaffneyFrank Gaffney

By Scott Keyes on Aug 2, 2011 at 11:31 am

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, CO.

Last week, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain met with Muslim leaders outside Washington, DC in a laudable attempt to make amends for the Islamophobic positions that had come to characterize his candidacy. Cain had previously declared he will not appoint Muslims in his administration — he later backtracked and said he would only require a special loyalty oath from Muslim appointees — and argued that Americans have the right to ban mosques.

However, not everyone was pleased with the former pizza executive’s recent move.

Last weekend, ThinkProgress spoke with Frank Gaffney, a conservative conspiracy theorist who nevertheless enjoys outsized influence on the right. The Center for Security Policy president had a unique take on the matter: Herman Cain had actually been meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to Gaffney, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, where Cain met with Muslim leaders last Wednesday, is “a prominent Muslim Brotherhood apparatus in Washington DC.” The Center’s Imam, Mohamed Magid, is actually, says Gaffney, “the president of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States”:

KEYES: Where would you say Herman Cain’s at now?

GAFFNEY: I only saw one press report of it, and it sounded as if some of what you just described was said by people, Muslim Brotherhood people frankly, with whom he was meeting rather than the candidate himself. […]

KEYES: Those were Muslim Brotherhood people that he was meeting with?

GAFFNEY: Oh yeah. The ADAMS Center is a prominent Muslim Brotherhood apparatus in Washington DC. It’s one of the most aggressive proponents of its agenda in the city. […] Specifically, meeting with Mohamed Magid who is the president of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the United States, who happens also to be the Imam at the ADAMS Center. It’s one of those things, it’s a very problematic departure from what I think had been a generally sensible… I don’t agree everything he has said and some of the positions he has taken, but I think generally speaking he’s been forthright in raising a concern that I think is warranted. And if in fact he’s now changed his position in ways that are being reported, that’s even more troubling than if he was spending time with Muslim Brothers.

Watch it:

Such a charge would be shocking, were it not made by a man who says the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the federal government and CIA chief David Petraeus is submissive to Sharia law.

Cain joins a long list of prominent figures that Gaffney accuses of working with the Muslim Brotherhood, including CPACGrover NorquistDavid Petraeus, the federal government, and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

Despite Gaffney’s outlandish beliefs, he remains an extraordinarily influential figure on the right. Members of Congress regularly appear on his radio show, Secure Freedom Radio. He is anadvisor and close friend to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. And along with a small group of like-minded conservatives, Gaffney has turned Islamophobia into an industry.

With his latest accusation against Herman Cain, Gaffney is well on his way to becoming the 2011 version of Rudy Giuliani. Gaffney’s every utterance now boils down to “a noun, a verb, and ‘Muslim Brotherhood.’”

Jon Stewart Ruthlessly Ridicules Political Missteps Of Tim Pawlenty And Herman Cain

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

Jon Stewart Ruthlessly Ridicules Political Missteps Of Tim Pawlenty And Herman Cain

by Frances Martel | 11:41 pm, July 21st, 2011

The fundraising race on the Republican side in anticipation for 2012 has claimed several victims in the past few weeks, in, as Jon Stewart joked, “what will definitely be called the most important election of our lifetime,” but few have adequately depicted the swift elimination of each with the violence it deserves. Stewart made up for that tonight, sending off candidates with mini wildlife films after mercilessly tearing them apart for their mistakes.

Rick Santorum got the most traditional way out– a wildebeest eaten by a giant alligator for acquiring so few funds. Then came “old silverback Newt Gingrich,” who Stewart noted was “actually in a lot less debt” than America is, hitting the one million mark in deficit while the nation is still $45,000 in debt per person.

Then Stewart turned to Tim Pawlenty, whose campaign to be taken seriously while being thoroughly boring brought out some of the best in Stewart. “Ooh, Tim Pawlenty,” he mocked, “taking a bold stance against charisma! Saying it’s got no place in politics!” Jokingly mimicking Pawlenty asking whether politics was a “popularity contest,” he answered himself: “oh wait, it is.” Pawlenty’s animal alter ego didn’t even get killed by another animal– it was a mammal chopping down a tree, getting pummeled by the very tree he just cut down. “If a Pawlenty campaign falls in the woods,” Stewart asked, “does it make a sound?”

Then there is Herman Cain, who, Stewart ceded, was not doing bad at all in the money race– but then there is his understanding of the First Amendment. Stewart tore into his statements on last week’s Fox News Sunday, where Cain declared that the First Amendment gave communities the right to ban mosques. “There are some pronoun issues here,” Stewart quipped about Cain describing the struggle as “our First Amendment” protecting against “their mosque.” “the First Amendment protects their mosque from us,” Stewart corrected, similarly going through his claim that Islam is different from other religions in that it has an element of law in it. Cain, perhaps most pathetically, didn’t even get to die in animal form– he is just a domestic cat, head stuck in a tissue box.

The segment via Comedy Central below: