That's all you need to know, folks! He's not confused, or glib, or uninterested. He's stupid. Like Forest Gump. Or Sarah Palin. He doesn't understand the things that he says. We can't all be smart, or even average. And Herman Cain isn't.

This is just by way of saying, as Bill Maher noted last week, that there's really no need to go down the rabbit hole of what Cain means when he says abortion should be both illegal and the choice of the mother in the same paragraph, followed up by a clarification that people should be free to violate the law he would support banning abortions. Or that he would release the "hostages" at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for an American soldier, except that he would never do that. Or that he would jokingly set up an electrified fence along the U.S.-Mexico border that would seriously kill anyone attempting to climb it, in jest.

Everybody has been trying to treat these debacles as "gaffes," or "misstatements," or strategic falsehoods in an effort to render Cain in traditional political terms, which presuppose a certain (very low) baseline competency. But this is clearly Chauncey Gardner stuff. The most logical, simple, and elegant explanation for Cain's repeated inability to answer basic policy questions is that he lacks the intellectual capacity to formulate coherent responses to those questions. Because he's a dumb guy.

[Image by Getty.]