Barring a late entry by Zombie Reagan, it looks like we now have a final lineup of contestants for the 2012 cycle of So You Think You Can Beat Obama. Chris Christie, after spending weeks teasing dissatisfied Republicans to near climax by threatening to run for the nomination, has instead hopped the closest state funded helicopter and flown back to New Jersey, probably at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin dominated the news cycle for almost thirty whole minutes by announcing that she too would decline a presidential run, not because of the fact that the she’d have a better chance at winning a science fair than she would the presidency, but because, as she told Mark Levin, “Not being a candidate, really you are unshackled and you’re able to be even more active.” This is Mamma Grizzly talk for, “Running for president is hard and doesn’t pay well, and anyway I’d rather spend my days criticizing people and updating my Facebook status. Oh, and I’m doing YouTube now, cause on that you don’t even have to spellcheck.”
This leaves eight culture warriors vying to be the name plastered on all those poster board signs when the balloons drop in Tampa next August. Most of these people have no chance at all. We do not need to trouble ourselves with the notion of a Newt Gingrich Presidency. Michele Bachmann isn’t going to happen.
And then there is Jon Huntsman, who is is a somewhat reasonable man, stuck in a desperately crazy party. He is not horrible on gay rights, at least as far as Republicans go, but ultimately Jon Huntsman is the guy who has shown up at the costume party not wearing a costume. He stands out for looking so normal. You will not find any tri-cornered hats in this man’s closet, which is why his campaign is doomed. Rather than run for president, he should be put behind glass in a museum as an example of what Republicans looked like before The Republican Revolution made being an arrogant asshole cool again.
So now Herman Cain is a man of science. Evolution and climate change are liberal conspiracies, but on homosexuality, he’s all about the science.
No, this race has come down to three people. First, we have Rick Perry, who I believe to be a secretly brilliant performance artist disguised as a hopelessly confused cardboard caricature of a Republican candidate. And let’s not forget Mitt Romney, who would wear a party dress and give head on television if he thought it would get him elected president. Also, for some odd reason, Herman Cain.
Out of nowhere, the seemingly pointless vanity candidacy of Herman Cain has evolved into something of a legitimate threat, mostly because the ever baffling Rick Perry has already begun to implode, either because he is a terrible candidate, or because he is our generation’s Andy Kaufman. (It’s totally the second one. I just can’t prove it.) Regardless, it’s not working out, and Perry is collapsing in the polls. Rather than settle with Mitt Romney, who is despised by giant sections of the Republican party, they have decided to give a shot to the AAA player of the moment, Herman Cain. Maybe they think his 9-9-9 plan is clever marketing, despite the fact that it is outrageously stupid fiscal policy. (For more on this look, well, anywhere.)
What does this mean? Mostly that Herman Cain gets to be on TV a lot now. He’ll probably grace the cover of Time Magazine before too long, and for a few weeks we will have to pretend like he has a real shot. And who knows, he might. (Hint: He doesn’t.)
What we do get to be treated to is raw Herman Cain. More TV means more talking, which means more “straight talk,” or as everyone else calls it, “making amateurish campaign mistakes and other totally unforced errors because Herman Cain is in no way ready for all of this attention.”
This brings me to Joy Behar. While on his, “I really can’t believe I am relevant right now” national media tour he was asked by Joy Behar whether or not he thought that homosexuality was a choice. He replied with an unequivocal “Yes.” Then we got this:
“Well, you show me the science that it’s not and I’ll be persuaded. Right now it’s my opinion against the opinions of others who feel differently. That’s just a difference of opinions.”
Oh so now Herman Cain is a man of science. Evolution and climate change are liberal conspiracies, but on this issue, he’s all about the data.
Or perhaps this statement from the American Medical Association will be sufficient. It says that:
(The AMA) opposes, the use of “reparative” or “conversion” therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.
I bet none of this is enough for Herman Cain. He is a liar, and his views have nothing to do with science. This is about something else altogether. You see, this is not the first time Scientist Herman Cain has weighed in on the subject of homosexuality as a choice, though this time, it’s not the science of the matter that has him convinced. From CBS News:
“I believe homosexuality is a sin because I’m a Bible-believing Christian, I believe it’s a sin,” he said. “But I know that some people make that choice. That’s their choice.”
Cain was asked: “So you believe it’s a choice?”
“I believe it is a choice,” he responded.
Well that doesn’t sound like a very scientific rationale. Which is it Herman Cain? Is it because you don’t find the science convincing, or because the Bible says so? You can’t have both. Well you can, but it makes you a poor scientist and an even worse “Bible-beliving” Christian.
And why would this matter anyway?
I suppose, for him and people like him, convincing themselves that homosexuality is a choice makes it easier to support Constitutional amendments denying LGBT people marriage equality, to pursue the reinstatement of DADT, and to veto the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Let’s just break that down. Pretend for a moment that being gay is a choice. Herman Cain is saying that if you elect homosexuality, you should be kicked out of the Army, fired, and denied access to the legal protections necessary to form a family with the person of your choice. Because of Jesus, apparently. It’s okay to defame, demean, and devalue an entire class of people if you don’t agree with their choices. That doesn’t make you righteous, it makes you an awful person.
But of course, being gay is obviously not a choice. Here is a fun rule: If you can “choose” to be gay, and then “choose” to be straight, then you are bisexual. I suspect none of the people using the “choice” rationale actually believe it. It’s just something they say so they can publicly justify their despicable behavior toward LGBT people. It’s the cover bullies use so they can sleep at night.
No, Herman Cain doesn’t like gay people, and doesn’t want to be forced to live in a world where it’s unacceptable to be nasty to them. This is what conservatives are talking about when they express fears of homosexual “normalization.”
That, or he is suggesting that everyone is bi. If so, that sort of brings a new meaning to “The Cain Train.” Maybe I’m in for a ticket after all.
Benjamin Phillips is a Humor Writer, Web Developer, Civics Nerd, and all around crank that spends entirely too much time shouting with deep exasperation at the television, especially whenever cable news is on. He lives in St. Louis, MO and spends most of his time staring at various LCD screens, occasionally taking walks in the park whenever his boyfriend becomes sufficiently convinced that Benjamin is becoming a reclusive hermit person. He is available for children’s parties, provided that those children are entertained by hearing a complete windbag talk for two hours about the importance of science education, or worse yet, poorly researched anecdotes PROVING that James Buchanan was totally gay. If civilization were to collapse due to zombie hoards or nuclear holocaust, Benjamin would be among the first to die as he has no useful skills of any kind. The post-apocalyptic hellscape has no real need for homosexual computer programmers who can name all the presidents in order, as well as the actors who have played all eleven incarnations of Doctor Who.
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