. . . but it helps!
Old punchline. New lead-in: "You don't have to be an idiot to be a GOP presidential candidate..."
I know I'm not alone in being completely baffled by the overt stupidity on display pretty much daily from these bozos, but here are a couple of items that-- while not on the level of Bush thinking the Taliban was a rock group while he was running for president-- help demonstrate how little we could expect from a Republican successor.
Romney: I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that "jihadism" is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, "... based on the number of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration."
Hopefully that statement isn't accurate, because it's stupid on so many levels I'm not sure I could enumerate them all. I'll just pick one of the more smart-assed: Mormons make up less than 1.5% of the population, Mitt. Which 3.5 Mormon senators will you ask to resign?
Huckabee: Huckabee displayed his roots as a Baptist minister when he said with a shaky historical grasp, "[The Israeli-Palestinian] conflict isn't new. It has been going on since all the way to the time of Abraham."
What was even more startling was when Huckabee appeared to reject long-standing Clinton-Bush policy and oppose a Palestinian state that would include portions of the West Bank. "It would be very problematic for Israel to give up the West Bank, from their own standpoint of security," Huckabee said. Instead, the surging republican long shot suggested, "there are a lot of options that involve other territory that doesn't have to include the West Bank or the Golan Heights. There is an enormous amount of land in Arab control all over the Middle East."
UPDATE: I just noticed that Kevin Drum has a pretty funny take on the story right here.
Giuliani: Rudy Giuliani said yesterday he "never had any doubt" that if he were President four years ago, he would have invaded Iraq. He said he is now "even more certain" that it was the correct national security move.
Fine, I admit that one could go either way-- stupid or insane. Or both.
And while it's probably more indicative of unctuousness than stupidity, we have this asessment of the candidates' positions on "abstinence-only education," which is neither educational nor results in abstinence. Naturally, the Bush administration has spent hundreds of millions on it.
*Giuliani, the only Republican candidate still waffling about his pro-choice stance, avoids the issue.
*McCain promotes abstinence-only education programs but the Arizona senator has previously promoted comprehensive sex education.
*Romney promoted abstinence education in Massachusetts classrooms as governor of that state from 2003 to 2007. Romney mentioned this in the May South Carolina debates to show his credentials as a "clear and consistent conservative.". . .Romney, however, checked a box saying he supported comprehensive sex education in a 2002 Planned Parenthood candidate survey.
*Thompson backs abstinence education.
*[Hunter] wants to give abstinence the same amount of teaching as the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.
*Huckabee favors abstinence-only and opposes abstinence-plus,
*Paul favors abstinence-only programs.
*Tancredo favors abstinence-only programs.
OK. I've destroyed the entire premise of this post. To be a candidate, you are required to exhibit some combination of ignorance, dishonesty, and madness.