Citizen Vain


In an interview with the religious right Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain badly bungled Uzbekistan’s name and said his standard answer to “‘gotcha’ questions” would be that he doesn’t have answers.


CAIN: I’m ready for the ‘gotcha’ questions and they’re already starting to come. And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know. Do you know?

And then I’m going to say how’s that going to create one job?


Knowing who is the head of some of these small insignificant states around the world — I don’t think that is something that is critical to focusing on national security and getting this economy going. When I get ready to go visit that country, I’ll know who it is. But until then, I want to focus on the big issues that we need to solve.

Original DVD cover

With U.S.-Pakistan tensions on the rise, the Obama administration is in discussions with Uzbekistan about increasing military supply routes to the U.S.-led Afghanistan war through the former-Soviet republic, whose authoritarian president — Islam Karimov — has some human rights issues.

Cain’s mocking and ignorance of Uzbekistan come at the tail end of a tough week for the former pizza chain CEO on foreign policy, even as his star slid up a notch in the Republican nomination contest.

Lately, Cain’s been assailed by conservatives and liberals alike. On Wednesday, neoconservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin decried Cain’s “lack of rudimentary knowledge about foreign policy.”  And an earlier Cain gaffe about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict led off a Saturday front page New York Times article about the GOP race’s inattention to global affairs (despite the nomination frontrunner Mitt Romney’s largely substance-free fear-mongering and general hawkishness).


The centerpiece of former pizza czar Herman Cain’s presidential campaign is his “999″ plan, which would slash taxes on the wealthy, drive up deficits to the worst point since World War II, and force low-income Americans to pay a massive nine times their current tax rate. In an interview this morning with CNN’s Candy Crowley, Cain even said food and clothing would not be exempt from the 9 percent national sales tax he would put in place if elected president.


CROWLEY: Is there any exception, as you see it, in this consumption tax? Except for clothing, perhaps? Except for food? […]

CAIN: Nope, you don’t have to do that. Nope, you don’t have to do that. […]

CROWLEY: So a poor person is paying the same amount of taxes on groceries as I am? Does that sound fair to you, just in a vacuum?

CAIN: Yes, it does sound fair because of the other point I’m about to make. If they need to buy a car or a home or some hard goods that are used, they pay no taxes.

Because he says his plan would lower the income tax for some Americans — and, by his calculations, leave people with more money to spend — Cain seems to think his plan would leave low-income Americans with more money. He is wrong. Presently, the bottom quintile of earners pays about 2 percent of their income in federal taxes. Under Cain’s plan, their taxes would increase all the way up to 18 percent.

Taxing poor people’s food is considered so beyond the pale that even the Tea Party group FreedomWorks assumed that the final version of Cain’s tax plan would exempt food from the sales tax.


This week, Cain said his plan would not be regressive because “It expands the base so that everybody has a lower rate. And it is not regressive on the poor.” Clearly, he is ignoring how his tax plan would actually affect hardworking Americans, especially when it comes to the food they buy so that they can feed their families.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain amplified his criticism Sunday of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement, calling the protesters “jealous” Americans who “play the victim card.”


[…]Cain, surging in popularity among many conservatives, seems to have had among the most virulent responses to the protests. He suggested that the rallies had been organized by labor unions as a “distraction so that many people won’t focus on the failed policies of the Obamaadministration.” The banking and financial services industries aren’t responsible for those policies, Cain said. “To protest Wall Street and the bankers is basically saying you’re anticapitalism,” he said.


Filed under Afghanistan, Barack Obama, humor, Mitt Romney, movies, Pakistan, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

35 responses to “Citizen Vain

  1. Hermana-fanna bing bong Cain and unAbel.

    What a douchebag. It’s a point of pride being an idiot. I remember these kids back in high school.

  2. John Erickson

    Where to start? There’s just SO many things wrong with his precious “999” plan, AND his lack of foreign affairs knowledge, AND basic economics, AND….
    Dang, he makes my head hurt! (Well, hurt MORE……)

  3. jean-philippe

    Why pulling out the Uzbekistan line to expose Cain’s ignorance when you can simply ask him about Canada? Or his own country…

    • you could ask him about his next-door neighbor, and he wouldn’t know a thing about him unless he was trying to buy his property dirt cheap. he only learns things when he has to know them. however, he has no interest whatsoever what’s going on outside his own orbit.

  4. Anti-Romney Award Winner … gotta love that on the poster!

  5. Only in the Republican Party is ignorance a virtue that warrants votes.

  6. Robert

    I think Herb Cain is having his”fifteen minutes” of fame.He’s here and there and everywhere,saying that black people are brainwashed,not the smartest thing to say if you want black peoples vote.I hope and think that he will talk himself out of nomination.

    • he’s just a flash in the pan, and i think he’s more shocked than anyone that he’s actually being called a frontrunner. i don’t think he ever wanted to be president. he just wanted to sell his shitty book and make more money. why else would he have taken a month off from his campaign to go on a book tour?

  7. maggiejean

    LOL at the Herb, er no, Herman Cain. Leave it to Sarah to screw up his name. I was wondering when there was going to be a reference to Citizen Kane.

    • if she endorses him, you know that everyone will be asking how she can endorse someone when she didn’t even know what his name is.

      i have no idea what took me so long to get to citizen kane. the obvious eludes me at times. 😉

  8. Cain can stick his 999 plan where the sun don’t shine.

    I don’t care if he does not know who the president of Uzbekistan is—
    and frankly it pisses me off that probably the only reason the Obama admin does know of him & his name is to keep up the wars.

    One war leads to another – Iraq, Afghanistan & then US Drones dropping bombs in Pakistan.

    I guess when a country drops bombs from robotic planes that kill innocent civilians, it does tend to “make tensions rise”.

    I’m feeling grumpy.
    Look at all the promises Obama laid out during his election campaign.
    My hooe for change w him went kaput.

    He was AWOL during the Wisconsin Union protests, and he’s absent in the masses calling for fairness & reform.
    The banksters are not properly regulated, and this country has people starving, hurting, homeless & nobody seems to give a rip. The banks would rather evict, foreclose & bulldoze than give some family lower interest rate to have a home.

    I can’t help but feel they are all crooks & liars…. even the ones yiu thought might be good. Now I can just *hope* there is *change* in our pockets when my husband loses his job.

    What will Obama’s new campaign slogan be???

    Not the GOP, cause they’re worse?

    With U.S.-Pakistan tensions on the rise, the Obama administration is in discussions with Uzbekistan about increasing military supply routes to the U.S.-led Afghanistan war through the former-Soviet republic, whose authoritarian president — Islam Karimov

    • i’m not really disappointed with obama, because i never allow my expectations to get very high. like they say, politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose. do i want things to change more quickly? of course. but i’m a realist, and things don’t change quickly in washington. they aren’t all crooks and liars, but some are, and they have to be dealt with. i’m not making excuses for obama or anyone else. it’s way past time to start swinging and stop the asswipes from controlling the message and the agenda. no matter how unhappy i get, though, i think of how things might have been under a capt underpants/princess sarah administration, and i shudder.

      • Ok you make an excellent point-a Palin/McCain admin would have been infinitely more of a nightmare & not any one candidate is going to get everything right– but for sure we are settling- which is why I am asking what Obama’s slogan will be– something to the effect of “it could be worse”????

        As for the war front situation & Obama’s embracing the miiitary/industrial complex… it is Obama’s approach to wars that bothers me the most, because many of the other issues are effected by it.

  9. Tax on food is an abomination (several southern states do it). And that 9% VAT he speaks of would be added to the regular sales tax to throw consumtion into the 18-20% bracket. But it doesn’t matter, he’s not the anoited and never will be. Of course when the holy oil is poured on Mittens it might pop and sizzle a bit.

    • better for a millionaire to put another 100 thousand or so under his trust fund kid’s pillow when his tooth falls out than for some poor schmuck in podunk to buy food to feed his kids.

  10. jeb

    I think he spent too much time in the supply room inhaling pizza dough fumes.

  11. Snoring Dog Studio

    Is this not a low point in Republican party history? Are any pundits or talk show hosts or observers pointing out the horror or abundant evidence of underachievement being presented as the slate of candidates for the Rs? When did ignorant become the new qualification for being a candidate for POTUS? I guess the appeal is for the huge segment of Americans who just don’t like to think very much. What a shame.

    • it’s the southern strategery. all iq points should go south before a rethug enters a race for political office. i’d say that this is the low point for the rethuglican party, but joe the plumber announced his bid for congress. 😯

  12. Inspired was just asking about what Cain knows (or doesn’t know) about foreign policy. I was able to point her to this post to show her how little he knows or cares.

  13. 18% on someone making minimum wage. Real nice.

    • he’s got plenty to eat, so he doesn’t care if kids are out there starving. i bet he tinted the windows of his car really dark so he doesn’t have to look at how anyone else is living. he’s the new barbara bush who doesn’t want to waste his beautiful mind on someone else’s suffering.

  14. This afternoon I heard an interview with Bruce Bartlett, an economist who was a senior advisor in Reagan and GWH Bush administrations, and he totally panned Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Not sure if he has written about it though.

    • thank you, bugged voter. you are very kind. 😀

      it’s driving me crazy. i know i’ve seen your gravatar before, but i can’t remember who it belongs to. have you commented here under a different name, or am i just nuts? okay, both things can be true at the same time. 😉

      updating my comment–is that you, nunya? i knew i knew that gravatar! so happy to see you here again!