Posted on December 06, 2011 in Countdown

Countdown Vol. 10, No. 26

America's Gain, Countdown's Loss

If you haven’t heard already, we’d like to share the tragic news that Herman Cain has suspended his Campaign, so while the season will be more sane, Countdown will be a bit more plain (fine, fine! We'll cut it out with the rhymes). But it's true! And it wasn’t any of the serious disqualifiers to becoming President that brought him down, like (a) being both pro- and anti-abortion rights at the same time, (b) not knowing China was a nuclear power, (c) suggesting Muslims can be excluded from the 1st amendment (if you've been following Countdown, you know we can go all the way down to Z). Instead, it was a personal scandal of an alleged 13-year affair that did it. Keeping it stylish, Cain closed out his campaign by quoting (we kid you not) the Pokemon movie. Cain, we’re saddened by your departure and thank you for the Countdown material you so generously provided over the past few months. For those who would like exclusive footage of how we (the Countdown team) took it here at the office when we first heard of Cain’s decision to quit, click here.

The Gaffes Go On! 

While Cain’s loss is slightly saddening, it’s hardly devastating. We have plenty of other candidates who will continue to provide us with material for a very long time! Last week in New Hampshire, Rick Perry decided to unilaterally disenfranchise millions of young voters by declaring the legal age for voting shall from now on be 21. Well, he didn’t quite declare it like that, but he actually thought it was 21. Elsewhere, Bachmann promised to close our Embassy in Iran when she becomes President… Except we don’t have an embassy in Iran and haven’t had one in decades. And these are the people who want to lead the world. Sigh! Romney, on the other hand, is so cautious not to gaffe he pulls the cheese off his pizza.

What Newt Would Do with America’s Children 

The GOP race has a new front runner: Newt Gingrich! A couple of weeks ago, we highlighted the fact that he thought child labor laws were “stupid,” and suggested that school children ought to work as janitors. More recently, Gingrich met with Donald Trump, and afterward he said (we’re not sure who of the two this reflects more poorly on) he was a “big fan” of his. He also came up with a new idea for America’s kids: hire them as apprentices (or “apprenti” as Trump put it) on Trump’s show. We don’t know about you, but we think the kids would find janitorial work to be the less cruel option of the two.

Speaking of Trump 

So Trump is hosting a Republican debate, and (nanana booboo) Ron Paul won’t attend because Trump hosting a debate would be like a “circus.” Well that’s just fine with Trump because he thinks Ron Paul will never win anyway, so there. Gingrich came to Trump’s defense, though Ron Paul is not left alone here, with Republican heavy weights like John McCain and Karl Rove also disparaging the idea of a Trump-hosted debate (and with Rove saying it would get the worst ratings of the year). Trump, when your fellow Republicans can’t take you seriously, it may be time to stop trying to inject yourself in serious matters.

Another Smear Campaign 

Here in Countdown, we like holding public officials to account for statements they made. Others prefer to hold such figures accountable for statements they didn’t make. In recent days, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and our friends at Paranoia Magazine (among others) have called for the firing of Obama’s Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman over the false allegation that he has engaged in “apologetics” for anti-Semitism. Gutman, himself Jewish, did no such thing. Looking at Gutman’s remarks reveals that he was merely distinguishing between different kinds of anti-Semitism, while condemning all of them. Some incidents of hate crimes are driven by classical anti-Semitism (i.e. driven by pure ethnic or religious hatred). Other incidents are driven by other factors, as evident by flare-ups of tensions between the Arab and Jewish communities in Europe in correlation with flare-ups in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But it’s campaign season, so even the most uncontroversial facts can be twisted into an attack on Israel or apologetics for racism and be exploited accordingly. Yay campaign season!