UPDATED: Can’t keep up with Cain’s fumbles? Who can! Here the latest on Libya.

Herman Cain is living proof that the Republican Party has learned absolutely nothing from Sarah Palin’s disastrous VP bid.

Right-wing pundits and Tea Party leaders have rallied around another candidate who cannot open his mouth without making seemingly intentionally ignorant statements and gaffs that are immediately followed by apologies and corrections. More often then not, they are also followed by attacks on the media for playing “gotchya” by simply repeating them.

Comedians and pundits on the left are having a field day ridiculing Cain’s buffoonery:

Polls show that Republicans simply are not bothered by Cain’s complete ignorance of the basics, and are even encouraged by it as some sort of “outsider” badge of willingness — to say anything. But running with a candidate who makes them look foolish is doing the Republicans no favors… and Cain shows no signs of stemming his font of verbal diarrhea. In fact, almost everything he says on the campaign trail is provably inaccurate, misleading, unworkable or just wrong.

Cain admits he knows very little about foreign policy, which is a huge understatement. Most of what he is ignorant about could be debunked by a reasonably intelligent 6th-grader, or at least a Google search.

Consider this little turd of ignorance on Iran. On more than one occasion (which means he might be able to fact-check it) he has said that it would be a good idea to choke Iran’s economy by developing enough other sources of oil that we no longer need to buy any from them. On its face it seems like a solid policy idea, but it ignores a basic reality: we do not import any oil from Iran.

Not that let this little fact will stop the applause from his right-wing audiences. Sure, maybe he got this wrong, but the guy doesn’t like Iran — which is good. Cain dislikes Iran so much he wants to “change some of the rules” at the UN to restrict the anti-US rhetoric of dictators.

Of course as president he would have no authority to do this. But even more importantly, he seems to have not even considered the horrible message this would send to the world if he did: the USA is a bastion of free speech, but insists that foreign leaders cannot use the same rights when they come here.

Cain believes that China represents a military threat to the US. When pressed on this issue, he cited the “fact” that China is trying to develop a nuclear bomb. Problem is, they have had nukes since the 60s. After the error was pointed out, Cain insisted he was misunderstood:

Maybe I misspoke. What I meant was China does not have the size of the nuclear capability that we have. They do have a nuclear capability. I was talking about their total nuclear capability.

Misspeaking is Cain’s calling card.

When sexual harassment charges where unearthed he denied any knowledge of them, then had some knowledge, then remembered them, all in the space of under 24 hours! At the same time his campaign blamed liberals, his GOP rivals, former campaign employees, racists, anti-business-ites and the “Democrat machine” for digging up the allegations — all without any evidence. Blame, apologize, repeat.

Cain’s already made himself a laughing-stock with the international community by belittling Uzbekistan, apparently because he thinks it has a silly name. How embarrassing is this video showing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laughing with Afghanistan’s leader Hamid Karzai over Cain’s ignorant and foolish comment? The man is nowhere near to ever being president, but he has already reinforced the worst stereotypes of American closed-mindedness and prejudice to the world.

To his base, it is all good. Screw Uzbekistan, China, the sexually harassed, Iran and especially the UN. Cain doesn’t have a campaign so much as a collection of right-wing blog talking points, and his fans LOVE him for it. Anita Hill is a punchline on her own, no need for warm up. Nancy Pelosi is a princess.

Don’t even get me started on the pundits (most notably Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter), who are falling over each other to prove every racist and sexist cliché about the Republican party. Coulter insists the GOP has “the best Blacks” while Rush asked this over the idea of a joint press conference by Cain’s harassment accusers:

Do they want to synchronize their menstrual periods? Why appear together?

If the Republicans had any sense, they would ask Cain to get out of the race now. He makes Sarah Palin’s gaffs look good, and he beats her hands-down as far as how quickly he generates them. I guess a right-wing guy who is bombastic in sharing his likes and dislikes without bothering to shape them into any type of policy is fine with them. Frankly, guys, it’s fine with us too.

Cain can even screw up a swipe at the right’s favorite punching-bag: Barack Obama. Here is his criticism of the administration’s decision to shelve the Space Shuttle program:

I can tell you that as president of the United States, we are not going to bum a ride to outer space with Russia. We’re going to regain our rightful place in terms of technology, space technology.

Of course he was actually talking about a decision made by George Bush’s administration. Cain does not deserve to be taken seriously by anyone as a presidential candidate.