Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, arguably more than any other GOP candidate, has been spewing a lot of nonsense about a “creeping” scheme to “gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government.” Yesterday on ABC, he expounded on the subject in ways that were not reassuring.

On “This Week,” Christiane Amanpour showed Cain a quote from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) saying, “This Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.” The host asked Cain for his response.

CAIN: Call me crazy, but there are too many examples of where there has been pushback.

AMANPOUR: You don’t really mean this, though, do you, Mr. Cain?

CAIN: Oh, yes, I do.

AMANPOUR: Sharia law in the United States?

CAIN: Some people would infuse Sharia law in our court system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. It’s not going to be some grand scheme, little by little. So I don’t mind if he calls me crazy. I’m simply saying…

AMANPOUR: You’re sticking to it?

CAIN: I’m sticking to it.

I was especially struck by Amanour’s incredulity. I get the sense this is fairly common among many in the media — sure, Republican candidates repeat a lot of nonsense, but underneath the rhetoric, even conservatives have to be more sensible than they appear.

But therein lies the point: they’re really not. Cain actually believes this garbage about the threat of American courts abandoning American laws. The threat is purely imaginary — Cain would be equally justified in basing his campaign in part on fears about Bigfoot — but he doesn’t seem to care.

Cain welcomes the “crazy” label. At least he won’t be uncomfortable, then, when people describe him accurately.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.