trick questions

Herman Cain Not Entirely Sure What This Medicare Thing Is

Serial scumball Newt Gingrich and banal grifter idiot Herman Cain held some kind of “modified Lincoln Douglas style debate” Saturday night, which attracted exactly as much media attention as Newt Gingrich desperately blathering reasons why he deserves Herman Cain’s veep pick on a Saturday night as you’d expect. There was exactly one fun part, when Herman Cain was asked the world’s most incredibly basic question on whether he will keep Medicare (the current “defined benefits plan”) or destroy Medicare (Paul Ryan’s “premium support plan”). Herman Cain has no idea what any of that is, so he tries his usual tack of repeating a few of the words back for a few seconds and then just gives up and makes a weird “fatal server error” face. IS IT UR TURN ALREADY, NEWT?!?!

TalkingPointsMemo has a useful summary of the debate if you’re into that kind of horrorporn, but the problem was that Herman Cain was asked a question first. This is how the entire exchange went otherwise: Newt talked for six billion years and then Herman Cain said, “yeah, whutever Newt said.”

“If you’re dealing with something as big as Medicare, you can’t force people, because they will oppose you,” Gingrich said, then speaking at length about the need to fully re-examine entitlement programs, crack down on fraud and abuse, and get policymakers to think about the choices in front of them, before ending on a punchline: “And getting people in Washington to think is a very big challenge.”

Cain opened his own response by saying: “At this particular juncture I’m supposed to have a minute to disagree with something he said — but I don’t.”

Which is exactly what Abraham Lincoln would have said. [YouTube/TPM]

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      1. SorosBot

        There's a reason all the Republican plans to destroy Medicare and Social Security leave them in place for the current olds, just destroy them for the rest of us when we become old ourselves.

        1. SorosBot

          Tell the kids to get off your lawn and complain about much worse these kids today are than you were. And now, mourn that the quintessential grouchy old man is dead.

        2. chicken_thief

          Play with a remote controlled pink dildo while watching tranny porn? Or is that just in the south?

  1. Pragmatist2

    He wasn't stumped. he was staring at that short woman in the first row. The one about the same height as his wife.

    1. tihond

      "You want a spot here in the debate audience, don't you?" Cain said as he tried to hold the audience member's hand to his crotch.

  2. mereoblivion

    "If you're dealing with something as big as sex, you can't force people, because they will oppose you," Gingrich said ruefully, nudging Cain to wake him up and make sure he got the point.

    1. OneDollarJuana

      Except war spending. Oh, and tax cuts for billionaires and oil companies. And ADM. And WalMart.

      1. chicken_thief

        And Congressional salaries/benefits. Those are necessary, too. Also. So, you know, they won't be tempted to take lobbyist money.

        1. Schmannnity

          It did not work out so well for her clients versus O.J., Arnold Schwartzenegger, Tiger Woods, or Anthony Weiner.

    1. SorosBot

      And the Republican response has basically been to go full-on retrograde sexist, not merely content to call the women liars like they did with Anita Hill but to deny that sexual harassment is a problem and instead claim the problem is women complaining about it, because is should be perfectly OK for powerful men to harass their female employees. They're showing their true colors, just like with the overt racism that's slipped out in some of the attacks on Obama.

      Also, see Amanda Marcotte's take:

      1. Beowoof

        There is a sense that the republicans believe these women should have just shut up and fucked him Mad Men style.

    2. Terry

      The floodgates are fixin' to open on old Herman. He doesn't have the staff structure to cover things up and spin. Stuff's gonna start sticking.

    3. Bonzos_Bed_Time

      I wish this would come out in Feb after a couple of the stupid caucuses/primaries. That way he would still be around extolling the stupid and koch-blocking the other candidates.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "Lincoln-Douglas style debate" my ass.
      Looks closer to a Lincoln-Douglass debate, no?

      (Admittedly, Knoot in the role of Lincoln is a hell of a stretch.)

    2. OccupytheDashboard

      See here son, yer gonna drive me to drinkin'
      if you don't stop debating Abraham Lincoln

  3. memzilla

    "Herman Cain Not Entirely Sure What This Medicare Thing Is"

    Medicare is the gummint subsidy that keeps people alive who would otherwise have died from eating shi**y food like Godfather's Anus n' Corn Syrup Pizza.

  4. ManchuCandidate

    "That's what Newt Said" the new internet meme.

    "Oh my god, I'm shitting Tiffany Cufflinks" TWNS.
    "I'm a big irrelevant failure who's an even bigger joke candidate than Michelle Bachmann" TWNS
    "You got cancer? Fuck that I'm outta here!" TWNS
    "Herman Cain's favorite suit is his sexual harassment suit from Saville Row." TWNS

    See? It's "fun."

  5. Sue4466

    Huh. Somehow I must have missed all the olds lined up opposing their Medicare benefits.

    Keep the guv'mint out of my Medicare!

    1. chicken_thief

      "Of course, in GOP circles, Newt is the smart one. "

      Which is surprising since bodacious ta-tas are usually equated with nitwits.

      1. HistoriCat

        They're really more of a Sergeant Pepper's album cover. The correct answer is "all of them Katie."

  6. Fred_Wertham_Jr

    As someone who tackled many an essay question on topics he knew absolutely nothing about in college, I say that Herman Cain is a disgrace to all bullshitters. He's not even trying.

  7. Ducksworthy

    This fuckwit was an "Executive" and doesn't know what a defined benefit plan is? No wonder the economy is in the mess it is.

    1. Occupy V572

      As an "executive" at the restaurant lobby, his job was to ensure that restaurant workers didn't ever get health insurance.

    1. Mahousu

      He knew that Ciao Baby Cucina had a decent happy-hour spread. And that it was only a short cab ride from there to his apartment. And that maybe you had had a little too much to drink.

      1. Negropolis

        I don't care how many times I see this new meme, I lough out loud every single time. "She comes up to about here" is this generation's "that what she said."

  8. orygoon

    These guys are up for the big votes as almost a Christmas present, the primaries are so early. In spite of endless debates, nobody is ready. Not the candidates. Not the voters. None of us poor schmoos. Mountain-o-fail.

  9. fartknocker

    I predict that the Napoleon of Pizza is about to meet his Waterloo. The fact that this shindig was held in The Woodlands confirms to me that these two shit stains were seeking nothing more than handjobs from the more radical side of the Republican Party.

    Debate the President and lets see how this works out for the Napoleon of Pizza.

        1. HistoriCat

          Biel_ze_Bubba won this one a week ago:
          Springtime for Herman and GOP
          Winter, for libruls and gays!
          We're marching to a faster pace
          Look out, here comes the darker race!
          Springtime for Herman and GOP
          The middle class takes it up the ass, ev'ry time
          Springtime for Herman and GOP
          Watch out, Dems, it's nein nein nein!

  10. bureaucrap

    Just another reason to go with Rachel Maddow's theory (which she espoused last Friday) that Herman Cain is running as a satirical joke. He's trying to determine HOW obviously moronic/ uninformed/ harassing/ simplistic he can be before the republican electorate calls him on it. And of course, every time he makes a new display of bad judgment or blithering stupidity, his numbers go UP! I'm now certain Rachel's "practical joke" theory is correct.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      I wish him good luck with that — he's gonna have to invade Finland if he wants to outdo that last dumbass motherfucker.

      1. Mumbly_Occupado

        And yet, Cain's on the record as saying that he will not put Borat Sagdiyev in his cabinet, if elected.

    2. tcaalaw

      I used to think that Michael Steele was some sort of gonzo performance artist too, but that one didn't pan out, so I'm not sure about your Cain = Andy Kaufman theory.

  11. SorosBot

    Huh, I didn't realize that giving away free health insurance to old people was "forcing" them to do anything.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Oh, it's an insidious form of totalitarianism — in much the same way that not allowing companies to sell lead paint-covered toys, insanely polluting vehicles and listeria-infected food to consumers is "restricting your freedom of choice." And the GOP is on the front lines of this fight for your rights.

  12. stopthemovie

    If we could harness the power of Lincoln and Douglas spinning in there graves it would solve the energy problem.

  13. SayItWithWookies

    That's just another gotcha question from the liberal — uhhh — Texas Patriots PAC. Those damn gotcha liberals are everywhere.

  14. freakishlywrong

    Conservatard event horizon. Flat tax, privatize "entitlements", fuck the poor, repeat in an endless loop for infinity.

  15. SexySmurf

    Whenever Newt and Herman are in the same room together, the Sheriff's Department should be required to go door-to-door alerting neighbors and putting up flyers near schools and playgrounds.

    1. hagajim

      Just cause you paid for them doesn't mean you're entitled to them…only Kochsukers like Herman Cain are entitled.

    2. MzNicky

      Socialist! Get a job! Quit being such a parasite on the hardworking taxpayer! Why do you hate America, et cetera.

  16. chascates

    Here's an idea: how about taking a look at the 'fraud and abuse' in the defense expenditures first before eliminating the only affordable medical care the elderly poor have available to them?

    1. hagajim

      How 'bout we roll back military expenditures by a third….we don't need to have the military we have now.

      1. NellCote71

        And Rick Perry. Fact: Two counties in the United States account for more than half the Medicare fraud: Miami-Dade and Hidalgo.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      If the people who charge the Pentagon $800 for a toilet seat were Democrats, the GOPtards would rootin' out the fraud like crazy. But guess what?

  17. Monsieur_Grumpe

    Cain could have said I don't understand the question but nooooooooooooo.
    I suspect Newt didn't understand the question either but that wouldn't stop him from acting like he knows the answer and spouting mounds of gibberish.

  18. proudgrampa

    What is it that attracts people to these scumbags? That's what I can't figure out.

    Why would anyone waste even a half hour listening to or attending an event like this??? I mean, you have to really have nothing better to do…

    I could:

    …Wash my car in the rain, change my new guitar strings;
    Mow the yard just the same, as I did yesterday.
    I don't need to waste my time, listening to you;
    …I've got better things to…

    do. Check the air in my tires, straighten my stereo wires,
    Count the stars in the sky or just get on with my life
    I don't need to waste my time, I got better things to do…

    1. mrblifil

      They are titillated by the very thought of Obama being unseated, and their sexual arousal is not precluded by thoughts of the comparative likelihood of such an event actually occurring. They also like to spend time with their cute lawn-jockey because they become bathed in self-righteous feelings of tolerance and post-racialness.

  19. DaRooster

    “And getting people in Washington to think is a very big challenge.”

    Well Newt… you did get that right.

    1. Redhead

      "And getting people in Washington to think with the head that holds their brain and not the head of their dick is a very big challenge."


  20. GuanoFaucet

    Every time Cain opens his mouth, all I hear is "My Mama always said life was like a box of pizzas."

  21. Chichikovovich

    I think they mean "Lincoln – Douglas" not referring to the debate, but rather what it looks like when a Lincoln Town car smashes into a Douglas fir.

  22. Mahousu

    This was a modified Lincoln-Douglas debate in the same sense that Yahoo Serious was a modified Einstein.

  23. Allmighty_Manos

    Serial scumball Newt Gingrich and banal grifter idiot Herman Cain held some kind of “modified Lincoln Douglas style debate”

    Gingrich thought it was great idea, b/c he learned from Fox News that Douglas was black too.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      And because Fox News didn't think that whole "states rights" issue was completely settled in 1865.

  24. widestanceshakedown

    At some point in the debate, Newt laughed this sick chirping sound and I had to rush to cover the dog's ears to prevent his having a seizure (not prone to having them, but why take a chance?).

    As for the radio, it's been thrown into a volcano–it's the only way to be sure.

  25. Tundra Grifter

    Mr. Cain would be much better off limiting himself to questions such as "Would you like pepperoni with that?" That's one problem with people who particpate in Faux News infomericals and mistakenly conclude they have experience being interviewed. Sheer InSannity asks leading questions with the answer obvious to almost anyone.

    Apparently anything more than "What's your favorite color?" stumps these folks.

    Mr. Cain had previously announced he won't answer any more questions about the sexual harassment stuff.

    Apparently he's now moved on to not answering questions about anything.

    On the other hand, he could well have gone with "Both of them, Katie."

    1. proudgrampa

      "And now, for the prize, here is the question: What is your name?"
      "30 seconds, Bob."
      "Begins with a B…."
      "Ends with a b…."
      "It's Bob!!!!!!"

    2. MzNicky

      Mr. Cain had previously announced he won't answer any more questions about the sexual harassment stuff.

      Oh rillly? I have a feeling he'll have to backtrack on that one, too.

      1. Tundra Grifter

        That's red meat to the press corps. They have a dull assignment – each day the candidates say the same thing in a new place.

        To be able to tease and otherwise harass a candidate by following up like this is pure entertainment.

  26. Naked_Bunny

    Has attention-seeking internet trolling become some sort of LARP? I can't see any other way of explaining the GOP candidates this year.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Most vanity presses don't have any cash for book tours, so this is a way for the know-nothing self-aggrandizing hacks to get the people to pay for their publicity.

  27. Goonemeritus

    Newt is scared to attack Medicare and Herman doesn’t understand the difference between defined benefit and defined contribution hence the punt. The latest Republican plan is to raise the eligibility age gradually over time. I would guess they will propose raising it one year every year until it reaches a sustainable age of 120.

  28. Indiepalin

    Herman Cain's fund raising strategy now includes appearing in a series of Miller Lite commercials discussing the pros and cons of "tastes great" vs. "less filling".

  29. BaldarTFlagass

    This was an historic moment, though—first time ever a black person was allowed into the Woodlands Resort and Conference Center while not holding a mop or wearing a bellhop's uniform.

  30. Redhead

    It's like a madlibs: Herman Cain not entirely sure what ________ is; presidential candidates typically know what __________ is; Faux News talking heads respond by praising Cain for finding a way to sell crappy pizze and insisting he knows more about politics than ________ by virtue of being a Republican.

  31. mrblifil

    God the pasty white questioner is unctuous. Thinks he's real cute coming up with obfuscatory language. When what he means is "kill Gramma now, or let 'er live a while?" I volunteer to be on this fucker's Death Panel.

  32. BarackMyWorld

    Cain fully endorsed Ryan’s plan, saying that if workers are given ownership of their money and responsibility for their costs, they will spend it more wisely than the government would.


    I thought the Ryan "plan" was to give older people vouchers to buy private insurance with. (Which sounds oddly just like "Obamacare" but that's a different issue…)

  33. DahBoner

    This reminds me of the time where I married this guy, who I ended up divorcing after 15 minutes, after I found out he was gay.

    I thought we had a Bromance going on…

  34. V572625694

    Who wants to bet that if one or more of Cain's accusers turns out to be a white woman, his support plummets?

    1. Chet Kincaid

      Conventional wisdom says that would peel off a good chunk of support, but we are in bizarro world now. He prolly thinks he could dry hump Faith Hill during the Sunday Night Football theme song and see his contributions go up. I'd encourage him to try that, actually!

    2. OccupytheDashboard

      Especially with Clapping Old Seal Man

      "His ideas are great…he tells it like it is…I'm gonna clap like crazy for this guy"

      He slept with a white woman.

      "Why that no good n**ger!"

      1. HistoriCat

        I don't know – these guys are completely down the rabbit hole now. "He slept with a white woman? Hell – I want to sleep with a white woman too. Or any woman."

    3. MzNicky

      Some of us are giddily hopeful that there are white wimmins involved. There would be no finer point with which to prick, and then watch shrivel away to nothing, the gasbaggery of the bloviating hypocritical racist faux-Cain supporters down here in deepest Redneckistan.

  35. PhilippePetain

    This is what I love about the whole "has executive experience" thing. Dude was a CEO. Does that mean he knows one damn thing about any of his employee's health plans? has he ever had to worry about his own insurance? Of course not. Which is why it's so amazingly galling that someone like this thinks he deserves to lead anything.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      The dude ran a bunch of pizza shops — what could he possibly know about employee health plans? His plan is the equivalent of having all of America making pizzas for minimum wage, so corporations can sell them to China.

  36. FakaktaSouth

    He absofuckinglutely represents the know-nothing, gleefully, willfully, beligerantly ignorant cocksuckers that the Republicans have intentionally come down to. He IS the lowest common denominator. Fuck you very much Herm.

    1. El Pinche

      Do some Perl string substituting and you go yourself the GOP 2012 ticket:


    2. ShitFilledExistence

      If you posed the same question to the average Republican voter (or sadly the average voter, period), they'd probably react the same way. So he'll gain stupidity points for that one.

  37. Crowe2011

    The hell? It's not even as if you'd need to know much to understand the question. All you'd need to know is that Medicare involves giving healthcare benefits to certain groups of people. Then the question is to you define certain benefits that the state will pay for or do you instead pay the money in the form of support for the premiums of private insurance. If you understand the voucher debate in education you understand this; it's the exact same argument with the exception that elderly voters are single issue voters (or dual issue voters if they're retired zionists) whereas children don't vote. If you're running for the GOP nomination you say something like 'I understand why Mr Ryan's plan was controversial and I wouldn't necessarily support it at this time but I think we should do some investigation as to whether it mightn't be better for everyone to provide medicare by way of support for private insurance; first because it deals with the problem of long term healthcare affordability, secondly because more people in the system will lower the cost of healthcare premiums for everyone (this is doubly not true as you've put a bunch of people with considerably healthcare needs and artificially increased buying power into the system) and finally because it's better for those people because they can choose the care that's best for them rather than having the government force them to accept a particular program deathpanels deathpanels'. It's not that he's uninformed, it's that he's apolitical – it's like he's never read a newspaper. He shouldn't have been running for Senate if that question stumped him, let alone be running for President, let alone being the frontrunner.

  38. Ducksworthy

    Please, somebody ask him the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Hermie "How should I know what Medi Medi caid care stan stan is?"

  39. Guppy

    The GOP wants to investigate fraud and abuse in the Medicare system so that the offenders can be installed as the Governor of Florida.

      1. Guppy

        Term limits haven't been repealed (yet), so they'll need a steady succession of such keen businessmen to continue to hold the office.

  40. CapnFatback

    "You go first, Newt."

    That's a switch. Usually Newt comes first.

    And then he divorces his cancer-stricken wife.

  41. owhatever

    Cain listened to the question, made a note, then let Newt take the lead. Herman's note, recovered afterward from the trash can, said "Once again, I agree with President Obama and the Democrats."

  42. Biel_ze_Bubba

    “And getting people in Washington to think is a very big challenge.”

    You should know, Newt — you helped put those non-thinking assholes into Congress.

  43. Limeylizzie

    Apparently, the 4th woman looks like a Gennifer Flowers type, all bosoms and bleach, but she says the Herminator grabbed her vagina and pushed her head toward his crotch. The 69 plan.

      1. Limeylizzie

        Is that really what she said happened? Fabulous, if true. I told you he was a vile lecherous character, I have been sexually harassed more times than I care to remember.

  44. finallyhappy

    I must need Medicare now- I was at a senior fair and someone asked if I was signed up for Medicare- I said no- she asked why and I said "I am 58". She didn't look embarrassed.

  45. anniegetyerfun

    Apologies for the sincerity below.

    This is why I will never understand the conservative love of "non-insiders" as political candidates. It's not like non-politicians have fewer sex scandals, and wouldn't you WANT your elected officials to have a basic grasp of how the government operates?

    1. Negropolis

      If you had a basic grasp of government, you'd understand it's usefulness, and to understand such a thing I'm pretty sure is a Christian sin of some sort.

  46. anniegetyerfun

    Godfather's pizza used to have this godawful "Taco Pizza" that we used to order, with sausage and chips and lettuce on top, along with salsa. Everything about that sentence now seems filthy and wrong, in addition to gross, thanks to Herman Cain.

  47. HelmutNewton

    I love how the stupid teabaggers just laugh after Cain passes the buck.

    "Haha! It's fun to not know a damn thing about policy! We just love low-grade morons who make things up as they go along!"

  48. Negropolis

    “If you’re dealing with something as big as Medicare, you can’t force people, because they will oppose you,” Gingrich said

    Yeah, the olds have been fighting Medicare forever, huh? They've been fighting it so hard that it's become one of the most popular and successful government programs of all time.

    These idiots will say anything. These two are brothers from other mother fuckers, I'll tell you what.

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