#Excelsior502- I really liked Herman Cain, truly. To me, Mr. Cain was a breath of fresh air cutting through the rank, musty effluvium of Our National Political Scene. A self-made man, not a professional politician, with a record of success, and a homey sort of demeanor that made him downright likable from the get go.
Cain might have been somebody in this 2012 GOP nomination contest, he could have been a true contender. He might even have found himself as the eventual nominee’s Vice-Presidential choice, but alas, it is not to be. For Herman Cain, far from being the mighty planet in a crowded political solar system has instead turned out to be little more than a streaking meteor, flashing spectacularly in our metaphorical night sky before crashing to Earth with a mighty "Boom!".
For Herman Cain, Grandfather figure, kindly old gentleman math teacher, solid businessman, apparently suffers from some of the same weaknesses -- some expected, some wholly surprising – as any other man, and particularly some which you’d expect to find in the professional politician he so obviously wasn't. It’s all crushingly disappointing to a people who have become both inured to slimy political figures and simultaneously repelled by them. Herman Cain, in whatever capacity he survived the primaries, would have stood as something refreshingly different.
Herman Cain would truly have been Change You Could Believe In, if only he hadn’t had been all too human. Barring some miracle, the Cain candidacy is over, but for the shouting and post-game analysis.
Here are Five Reasons Why You Can Stick a Fork in Herman Cain.
1. Alleged Victim #1, Alleged Victim #2, etc., etc…
The appeal of Herman Cain was that he seemed so thoroughly smart and decent. It turns out that this is certainly not the case. Now, it’s still entirely possible that Cain was the victim of a political whack job (the jury is still out), but it’s difficult to make the case that the string of his alleged sexual antics is totally a matter of political or financial opportunism when there seems to be so many of them.
Think of it this way:
If one woman accuses you of such base conduct, you just might be the target of a gold-digger or a disgruntled employee. If two should accuse you of the same, then you just might be an unlucky person. If a third accuses you, then where’s there’s smoke there’s probably fire, and if a fourth comes out of the woodwork with phone records, evidence of gifts, and an allegation of a 13 year-long extra-marital affair, then you, Good Sir, are entering “Liar, Liar, Pants of Fire” territory.
America has had to suffer its share of philandering douchebags in the Oval Office, for sure. But the public believes, for the most part, that we deserve better. Considering the dire straits we currently find ourselves in, we can be forgiven if the general trend is to want to elect, if at all possible, an honest man, seeing as how the present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue avoids telling the truth as if doing so would put his immortal soul in jeopardy of eternal torment.
Herman Cain seemed to be that honest man, so much so that when Anonymous Victims Numbers 1 and 2 were unceremoniously thrust into the political spotlight by cowardly political operatives who used the shield of non-disclosure agreements to tar Cain without him being able to confront his accusers, that we gave him the benefit of the doubt. Contributions to Cain’s campaign and his poll numbers went up, not down. We believed him.
Until it became too difficult to continue to believe, naturally.
Now with the apparent demise of Mr. Cain, we’re down to a bunch of people we’re pretty much certain have some slime on them, the only questions are “how thick is the slime?” and ”how much slime are we willing to tolerate in the course of defeating Barack Obama and the democratic party?”
Which sadly means that we’re back to business as usual.
2. Herman Cain Knows Dick about Foreign Policy…
An eleven second pause before a convoluted answer on the question of a nuclear Iran was the stake through the heart in this area.
To be fair, Cain wasn’t exactly the strongest candidate in this area to begin with, but he did make an effort to learn a few things. Unfortunately, he didn’t learn enough, and what he did learn he seemed to quickly forget or misconstrue. There is nothing deadlier in American politics than to be asked a direct question about an important issue, repeatedly, and not be able to answer it. Even Barack Obama would have been able to issue a stream of bullshit that would have neatly danced around inconvenient questions and yet still satisfied the 50% of Americans whose attention spans can be measured in RPM’s, most of whom seem to work in the Media.
Cain’s problem is that in this arena, he simply looks lost. We already have a President without a clue, and people will have little patience for another.
3. The 9-9-9 Plan…
This was perhaps Herman Cain’s biggest mistake: he put forth a tax policy that was simply too easy to understand, and way too easy to politically demagogue.
The Plan’s biggest structural strength was also the major structural weakness: since the plan was so simple it threatened to remove the fog of obfuscation surrounding the current Federal tax codes which is the sea of graft within which both political parties swim.
Additionally, it did nothing to protect the tax payer from losing the gains in Federal tax relief from the depredation of State Legislatures, who would regard that potential windfall as ‘found money’, and as an excuse to raise local taxes.
Billions of dollars in ‘free money’ (in the sense that it would not be going to Washington, or into the coffers of tax preparers, but rather the pockets of the people who earned it) was simply too big a loss for the Washington, D.C. set to suffer, and so the Plan was beat to a bloody pulp day after day, by pundit after pundit. They had to: that money is their lifeblood, which allows them to buy votes. The Monument to Graft that is the Federal Tax Code had to be protected for the benefit of those who thrive on it.
Then again, after one absorbed the very simplicity of the 9-9-9 concept, one also began to notice it’s other major holes, namely, that it didn’t seem to have been thought through much past the concept stage. Even Cain couldn’t answer the questions surrounding it. After the experience we’ve had with ObamaCare we want to know the details beforehand, and in great depth.
4. Racism, Or Just a Proper Vetting?
One has to ask this question for a very simple reason, and that reason is Barack Obama.
Obama practically sailed into office with nary a nick, scratch, or dent put in him by the Press. The reasons for this are numerous, and mostly ideological, and we don’t need to go into them here, but the salient point is that Barack Obama never had to answer very many tough questions about his background, his ideology, or his experience in the lead-up to the 2008 Elections.
We’ve learned the unfortunately painful lesson that when you don’t ask questions beforehand, when you don’t do your homework, when you trust to blind faith rather than cold, hard facts, you end up with a leader whose greatest attributes are the ability to whine, pander, and go on vacation every three weeks, and who doesn’t seem very interested in doing the job he’s set to spend a billion bucks (of other people’s money, of course) to keep.
If we had only done a little more research on Barack Obama we might have avoided the reality of this Presidency: we (and by that, I don’t mean ‘I’; I voted for the other guy) elected a complete boob to the Highest Office in The Land. In retrospect, it would appear (and it pains me to say this) that had Obama not dazzled with the connivance of a sympathetic Press, and McCain not disappointed by being himself, that Hillary Clinton was perhaps the least of the three possible evils we could have chosen.
While that thought gives me douchechills, one could still say this: things would have been far different, and perhaps a bit more tolerable, to the point where the specter of having Billy Jeff around to soil more White House furniture might be considered the needed comic relief a Hillary Administration would scream for.
But getting back to Obama, there’s one other aspect to his reign that can’t help but have put some people off on Herman Cain, and this was even before his personal foibles became public knowledge. Barack Obama has, in three years, probably done more to destroy racial relations in this country than any militant Klansman could ever have hoped to achieve. Why? Because Barack Obama has neatly reinforced in the minds of many just about every negative stereotype about Black Men that you could ever think of.
Obama doesn’t s appear to like work, but loves picking up the paycheck. Obama likes the trappings and perquisites of office, but not the responsibilities that come with them. He’s not detail oriented, preferring to let others handle that for him. He whines and cries about racism whenever he doesn’t get his way, and often for no reason at all. He’s quick to accuse others of having base motivations, but slow to consider his own. He seems to spend more time on vacation than he does in his office, leading to the conclusion that he’s lazy and a procrastinator. Obama talks a good game, but then never follows up. The aroma of ‘scam artist’ clings to him. The Shadows of Affirmative Action and Incompetence seem to seep from every pore…
…and let’s not get started on his wife.
It’s quite possible that having achieved something that many thought they would never see – the elevation of an African-American to the Presidency of the United States – that it’ll be a very long time, if ever, before we see another one. And if we do see another one, he or she is going to be subjected to the sort of scrutiny that one usually only associates with a colonoscopy.
In this sort of electoral environment it was probably inevitable that someone was going to go through Cain’s life with two fine-toothed combs and find some dirt on him, and to cite it and his lack of experience in the field of Foreign Policy and lack of Legislative expertise, and use them to put a hole in his boat. It might not have been fair, but this is now the gift that the legacy of Barack Obama has bequeathed to a new generation of Black Politicians who have national aspirations: you’d better be squeaky-fucking-clean, My Brother, and extraordinarily well-prepared.
5. We DO Have Other Choices…
And as much as it pains me to have declare the Cain Candidacy a Dead Duck, we can at least take some solace in that at least one of the remaining candidates has the wherewithal, experience and intelligence to wipe the proverbial floor with Barack Obama next fall.
Personally, I was holding out for a combination of Romney, Gingrich and Cain, and it looks as if I’m going to get my wish. I’ve lobbied on this page for a Gingrich run for 8 years now. I can abide Romney, if the choice was strictly between him or Obama, figuring Romney to be the lesser of two evils. However, I was hoping to see someone new on the political scene, someone not marinated in the sewer of politics, who might bring a measure of sanity to the political discourse, but alas, I am to be disappointed.
Which is the natural state of life, I figure, but damn if it doesn’t seem a great pity to me today.
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