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The bracket thus far. The first three rounds have been blowouts. Will today be any closer?


On Oct. 23, 2011, Libya celebrated its independence from Muammar Gaddafi. It was sort of a big deal, the revolution having dominated news coverage for months.  Poor Republicans had no idea what to do, given the positive resolution of the war. It's hard to criticize the president for playing a helpful role in the revolution, without costing our nation lives or significant treasure—you know, the opposite of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, Herman Cain had three weeks to figure out how to deal with the question of Libya when he sat down with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal's editorial board on Nov. 14. The results, if you can bear to watch that painful first minute:

Here's a transcript. Note, those few words below filed 65 eternal seconds:

Okay, Libya. [really long pause] President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say ‘Yes, I agree,’ or ‘No, I did not agree.’

I did not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason: [brief pause] nope, that’s a different one. Uh… I gotta go back, I got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me did I agree or not disagree with Obama?

Painful. Cain was already on a downward trajectory following revelations of his serial sexual harassment. This interview sealed his fate.


When you are a Catholic candidate supposedly seeking Catholic support, you:

a) Embrace JFK as a transformational figure in the Catholic community, or at worst, ignore him, or

b) Talk about how much he makes you want to puke?

That's not a trick question, but it sure as hell tripped up Rick Santorum.

His full comments:

To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?

That makes me throw up and it should make every American who is seen from the president, someone who is now trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you, not that you can’t come to the public square and argue against it, but now we’re going to turn around and say we’re going to impose our values from the government on people of faith, which of course is the next logical step when people of faith, at least according to John Kennedy, have no role in the public square.

Hoookay. Two days and much sturm and drang later, Santorum lost the Michigan Republican primary Catholic vote 44-37 to the guy whose religion isn't even considered legitimate! Had he won Catholics, he would've won the state and we'd still be caring about the GOP nomination contest tonight. Even conservatives were shaking their heads.
Today Ingraham, a conservative radio host, told the former Pennsylvania Senator that she believes he is a tolerant person but “sometimes Senator, when you’re out there and it’s like ‘I’m going to throw up when I heard JFKs line on that.’ I mean, as a Catholic, he’s a revered president of the United States, assassinated, I probably wouldn’t have gone down that road with JFK and I was going to throw up. We generally don’t want to hear presidential candidates talking about throwing up at all in any context.”
It's particularly unpleasant to hear about presidential candidates named Santorum mention anything about throwing up.


Today's winner is

34%1262 votes
65%2442 votes

| 3707 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  No contest, Rick Santorum makes me puke (15+ / 0-)

    in general and so does his comment on JFK in particular.

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:02:40 PM PDT

  •  Of the 4 so far, (21+ / 0-)

    this was the most difficult to choose.

    My comments are not intended to be factual statements.

    by asm121 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:03:04 PM PDT

    •  Yesterday (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus, Aunt Pat, Philpm, Matt Z, sharman

      I did not really care.
      Today, I wanted to double-vote.

      "All things are not equally true. It is time to face reality." -Al Gore

      by Geek of all trades on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:06:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is going to get very very difficult. (0+ / 0-)

      You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501c(3).

      by 2thanks on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:28:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the first one where I lost (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asm121, Matt Z

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:33:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  for me also. I went back to the original diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asm121, Matt Z, rubyclaire

      to see what the definition of the winner was:

      So we decided it would be fun to relive the best moments,
      as that pertains to GOP madness in 2012.

      Rick Santorum's statements scared the wits out of me -- so does that count as a "best moment?"
      OTOH, Cain was funny as hell (as always).
      If best moments are those which show the total lack of anything approaching rational thinking or understanding of democracy, they both qualify, though in different ways.
      Originally I thought I'd pick Cain because he was ROFL funny, so, yeah, "best" fits. But for pure scary craziness, I have to say that Santorum's complete disregard of American History, of the fact that the founders of our democracy were not religious and/or were descended from people who had been persecuted for their religion by people with another fanatic religion, for his lack of understanding anything outside of his own narrow vision of how everybody is supposed to be just like him and for the fact that he actually was pretty popular among a lot of Republicans -- for all of that, I'll choose his vomiting from listening to JFK clarify the principles of American democracy.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 02:07:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree Cain was more insane and stupid, but (0+ / 0-)

      Santorum was more dangerous. I went with dangerous.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

      by CTMET on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:32:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know you're not supposed to (5+ / 0-)

    tug on Superman's cape, but isn't this a somewhat pointless use of the front page space? How is rehashing the failings of the people that the Republicans didn't want going to lead to more, better, or whatever admixture of the two is popular, Democrats?

    I say this in the form of customer feedback, Markos, not just random abuse.

  •  Easy - the Herminator (10+ / 0-)

    His response showed clearly how downright dangerous the man is/was.  And I'm not just thinking about the women folk.

    The test of whether we're willing to stand up to the thugs that wrote voter suppression laws is this: Are you willing to hold hands with someone that needs hand holding in order to qualify to vote?

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:03:59 PM PDT

  •  Hard choice... (9+ / 0-)

    ...but gotta go with Santorum.  Someone that strongly believes something repugnant is worse than someone that weakly doesn't know WTF to believe.

    The thing is, you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear. Dig? - The Rock Man

    by BalanceSeeker on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:07:21 PM PDT

  •  To me (15+ / 0-)

    Cain's comment was clueless.
    Rick's comment (I prefer not to use his last name in polite company) was actively destructive.

    "All things are not equally true. It is time to face reality." -Al Gore

    by Geek of all trades on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:07:39 PM PDT

  •  Toughy today... (7+ / 0-)

    I went with Cain because at least Santorum knew who Kennedy was.  Libya had been in the news non-stop for months when the question was given to Cain.  Irony alert: don't Republicans run around saying that if Kennedy was alive today he would be GOP?

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

    by RichM on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:10:58 PM PDT

  •  I keep saying… (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republicans will get even more psycho as the show goes on. They don’t even need (or want) to win. There’s no disputing the fact that ‘democrats’ have been very very good to big banks, big oil, big pharma, private health insurance, the rich (all traditional republican constituencies/sponsors). Republicans have the best of all worlds, they can kick back and let ‘democrats’ get the blame for the same shit they’ve always supported.
    I call it the Sharon Angle-angle. Just like the Harry Reid midterm race (who done huge favors for private health insurers by not scheduling an up-or-down vote on the public option etc.), republicans will run psycho-equivalents to Sharon Angle against other ‘democrats” as their republican 2012 house/senate candidates (and probably also as their 2012 presidential candidate). It’s obvious the establishment likes things just the way they are.

  •  Stupid is as stupid does (Herman).... (10+ / 0-)

    but to malign a speech by JFK, wherein the man was trying to allay fears that the Vatican would control U.S. policy...well that was not only stupid, but totally tone deaf.  Now we're supposed to welcome church interference in government policy???  Not so much - but that's a bigger fear to me than Cain's uninformed nutsiness.   Cain was seen for what he was, not "with it" at all.  But Santorum carried on for a while with his Christianist views of how we all should behave, and that's how the conservatives want to remake our country.  They scare the crap out of me.  

    Great evil has been done on earth by people who think they have all the answers. - Lynn W Andrews 1987

    by Spirit of Life on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:11:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm actually having trouble deciding with this one (10+ / 0-)

    Cain's an ignorant fool with no business being a political candidate for POTUS, and his Libya answer demonstrates it well.
    On the other hand, Santorum is a theocratic fool with no understanding of the most basic concepts present in the US Constitution, and not fit to be POTUS, and his moment demonstrates this well.
    That the GOPers supported either of these fools needs to be memorialized.  Hmmm.  I think I've got to go with Santorum, though, for his lack of basic understanding of what the country he thought he could rule was founded on.

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:12:02 PM PDT

    •  it's always hot there /nt (0+ / 0-)

      slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

      by annieli on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:18:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your keyboard is broken (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filby, Tamar

      It is inserting a Y where you obviously meant to type another A.

    •  Yes, not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, Philpm

      LybbiLybbiLybia on the labellabellabela (you will like it like like in on your table table table)...
      Or worse, Lybiabeckibeckibeckistanstanstan.

      Poor Herman was trying to follow the standard repub path of "whatever Obama is for, I'm against it" and try not to show support to the actual bad guys.

      Santorum's nausea with JFK is simply due to the fact that JFK was working to ally the fears of non-Catholics that the he would be beholden to the Pope (which IIRC was a real concern amongst the non-Catholics of the time).  

      Then again, the Pope then was John XXIII who was probably the best Pope the church has seen in many years (his work included bringing the church into the modern times, and also worked to refocus the church to a mission of service to others...which JP2 and the current officeholder have furiously worked to undo).

      The Golden Rule isn't so golden if you don't bother polishing it with every soul you meet. (-6.5,-4.1)

      by minidriver on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:29:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Santorum dind't really say "puke" did he? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Vince CA

    No, he took the route of the kindergartener and said "throw-up." To be expected of course, from that childish brain. No big words like regurgitate for idiot Rick.
    Oh, to go back to the day when the thought that D.C. ought to be distanced from the dictates of Vatican City...

  •  Tough one but had to go with Cain... (5+ / 0-)

    he was seriously in contention at the time and this awesome display of ignorance didn't even cost him much among the Ignorati. Scary to think such a clueless dolt made it so far.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:29:18 PM PDT

  •  As much as Cain's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    loretta, Vince CA

    total incoherence is frightening in a presidential candidate, Santorum wins this for some of the most vile spew of this campaign.

    Santorum 2012: When Satan isn't enough to scare the crap out of you.

    by Philpm on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:33:13 PM PDT

  •  Voted for the Hermanator (7+ / 0-)

    Nothing demonstrated his utter vacuity quite so clearly. THAT was the moment that should have ended his campaign, not the sexual harassment. When you don't understand the basic problems you are supposed to address you are not fit to lead.

    Rick Santorum thinking there shouldn't be separation between church and state was not news to me.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:33:16 PM PDT

  •  That is a tough one (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, asm121, Vince CA, paintitblue, Matt Z

    While I wanted to pick Santorum - especially since this one comment seemed to really seal his also-ran status, I ended up picking Cain since he just seemed so clueless out there and this snipet perfectly captured just how unqualified he was. Still, super tough choice, any other day I might have picked differently, but today, Herm Cain is my "winner".

    A pessimist looks both ways before crossing a one-way street

    by beefydaddy18 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:33:24 PM PDT

  •  *Really* hard choice. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, asm121, Vince CA, Matt Z

    I think the fact that Cain was walking the path trail-blazed by Palin gives Santorum the edge on this one.

    If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

    by dirkster42 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:33:42 PM PDT

  •  I went with Herman Cain because I find the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, Richard Cranium, asm121, Matt Z

    anti-intellectualism of the Republicans more destructive than the religiosity of the Xtian right.  Especially with the idea that he'd be in charge of the nuclear button.  But this was very close.

    Santorum is seen here spewing the vile twisted viewpoint that because the Democrat (be it JFK or Obama) doesn't want to let Santorum's church dictate how the country must operate, that must mean the Democrat's church of atheism is being pushed onto people.  The concept that maybe, just maybe, making decisions that are based on doing good for people without having to adhere to a specific religious viewpoint is how America has operated for 230 + years (and generally quite well, with a few black marks along the way) - well it's Republican projection again.  They figure if they can't boss you, then you must be bossing them, and the idea that prohibiting employers from being able to impose their religious beliefs on their employees is somehow punishing the "job creators" is evil.  They just can't get around the idea that other people might think differently than they do, and that by gum those different-thinking people might actually have good ideas of their own.

  •  No contest! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, Vince CA, Matt Z

    Herman Cain's moment of silence appeared stupid.

    But Santorum hit the trifecta with a comment that was (a) stupid; (b) offensive; and (c) harmful to his own campaign.  

    In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
    The young emerald evening star,
    Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
    And ladies soon to be married.

    by looty on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:36:39 PM PDT

  •  I don't have my I.D., can I still vote? (0+ / 0-)

    Doesn't matter.  I can't really make up my mind on this one.

    "There's been a little complication with my complication"

    by dash888 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 02:01:26 PM PDT

  •  Cain is just basic Republican CEO (0+ / 0-)

    with ego beyond his ability stupid.  Sanctorum breaks new ground.

  •  These are getting tougher! (0+ / 0-)

    But in the end, a know-nothing is par for the course. But puking on the memory of an assassinated President takes a special kind of Republican.

  •  Listen up! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hayate Yagami

    The republicans are a minor party.  The big story is how one of our national parties has fallen apart thanks to a bunch of crazies!

  •  Cain drew a tough seed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paintitblue, Matt Z

    I think his brain freeze would make it to the third round normally.

    Romney is campaigning to be President SuperBain; his cure is to cut wages, end pensions, let companies go bankrupt, and let the assets of production go dark or be sold to China. He really thinks thats the best of all possible Americas.

    by Inland on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:00:19 PM PDT

    •  In any election not full of insane right-wingers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, Inland

      that would be true. But this year?  There's a lot of really strong competition.

      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

      by Hayate Yagami on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:38:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clueless Vs Disgusting (0+ / 0-)

    I went with Santorum on this one.  Cain's "oops" moment showed ignorance. Santorum's "throw up" comment was absolutely disgusting.  Not even a close contest.

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

    by Hayate Yagami on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:37:08 PM PDT

  •  Gee, Rick, why did religous & secular people elect (0+ / 0-)

    Kennedy if his message about religion was so puke worthy? Kennedy, in fact, dealt with the ENTIRE 1st amendment, unlike you who only quote the pro-religious pieces that you like:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Nobody's telling any religious person they have to disavow their beliefs to be in government. But the institutions of democratic government and the private religious beliefs of a church should absolutely be kept separate. That separation protects both church and state. If you don't understand that, you make me want to puke.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:57:36 PM PDT

  •  "Positive resolution of the war?" Baloney! (0+ / 0-)

    Is that what you call it when we bomb the heck out of the country, including civilians (and inserted a bunch of Qatari foot soldiers) putatively to keep the secretive, loony dictator we had been propping up financially for years from torturing people and leveling cities...and installed instead a secretive, chaotic group of warlords who have no control outside the reach of their arms, while large numbers of militias run rampant including - guess what - leveling entire cities and torturing people, and massacring and oppressing the Black minority population!

    Just because Obama ordered it does not make it good. Just because both NATO and the mainstream media have - in the grand jingoistic tradition - carefully refused to look and see that we have simply replaced one set of evil and well organized rulers with a different set of evil and disorganized rulers, does not mean that all is well.

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