Cain doesn’t fit GOP mold

Herman Cain, purveyor of awful pizza and current GOP flavor of the month, hit a major bump late last week. It turns out he’s pro-choice.

“It ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make,” Cain said, echoing every liberal for the past several decades. “Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family, and whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision.”

Trying to explain his position, Cain later doubled down.

“I understood the thrust of the question to ask whether that I, as president, would simply ‘order’ people to not seek an abortion,” he said. “My answer was focused on the role of the president. The president has no constitutional authority to order any such action by anyone. That was the point I was trying to convey.”

Thanks again, Herman! You are so right. There is no constitutional authority to prevent women from having abortions. We liberals are glad we’re all on the same page.

Cain’s admission sent a shockwave through social conservative circles. Iowa radio host Steve Deace blasted him, saying, “Cain’s rationale for this obvious contradiction seems ripped right from Planned Parenthood’s talking points, and sounds like every other liberal abortionist who claims they’re ‘personally pro-life’ but can’t impose their morality on others.” He’s right!

Former Iowa GOP political director Craig Robinson wrote on his website, “Basically, Cain’s position as a candidate is that of pro-abortion activists. The government has no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body.” True again!

Cain’s abortion gaffe gave conservatives reason to dig deeper into his record, and they didn’t like what they found. He had refused to sign the Pro-Marriage Pledge, and had earned an “unknown stance” on every issue of the National Organization for Marriage’s scorecard. On “Meet the Press,” Cain claimed, “I wouldn’t seek a constitutional ban for same-sex marriage, but I am pro-traditional marriage.” 

But Cain’s months of campaigning alongside Mitt Romney haven’t been for naught — he’s clearly learned to flip-flop from the Massachusetts multiple-choice master. Cain now claims he would “sign” such a constitutional amendment. (Someone needs to explain to him how the Constitution is amended.)

On foreign policy, Cain said he would trade all the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay for a single U.S. service member, all but begging al Qaeda to kidnap U.S. troops. He admitted that he didn’t even know what a “neocon” was, leading their magazine, Commentary, to sniff: “That someone running for [president] has not even heard the term suggests Cain is not only bereft of foreign-policy experience, he apparently has never even read much about it.”

Cain was a supporter of TARP, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist doesn’t like his 9-9-9 plan that would raise taxes on most Americans and Cain thinks auditing the Federal Reserve is stupid (contrary to current Tea Party sentiment). 

When asked by Wolf Blitzer whether state or local governments should be “allowed to control guns,” Cain said, “The answer is yes, that should be a state’s decision.”

So Cain is a libertarian on social issues, and a states’-rights advocate on issues where the usually federalist conservative establishment hypocritically prefers to see national regulation. Good for him. Unfortunately, that’s not what the GOP primary electorate is looking for.

Moulitsas is the publisher and founder of Daily Kos (dailykos.com).