The Inertia of Herman Cain, As Time Ticks Away for the GOP
The problem with lightning in a bottle is that you then have to do something with it or it just dies. Herman Cain has been playing to what the crowd applauds, and thinks he says the right things to push the buttons of the great American consumer, but when he actually has to explain anything he means, it breaks into pieces. It's much like a manager who hasn't actually read his Powerpoint, just had an assistant prepare it, and then has to answer questions. They can usually only keep repeating the bullet points, clinging to that in hopes that they are magic, or at least tiring enough that the questioner loses interest and accepts.
His utter incoherence on abortion is just the latest example. He believes it should be illegal, but it's up to the woman, but he supports life from conception, but the government should not get involved, but he is utterly pro-life, what part do you not understand?
And what this all breaks down to is Herman Cain is pro-choice, even if he does not believe in abortion. That's the funniest part of it all. Hey, I'm pro-choice too. But I'm also not running for the presidency as a Republican. Apparently Cain thinks the GOP is anti-government in all things. No, they very much believe in the power of the government to stop women having abortions, and to execute the ones that become criminals later.
Or maybe he's just tossing out what he thinks people want to hear and not thinking at all?
Who in the world would have thought John Stossel would be the one to take Herman Cain down, though? It does look accidental.
What was his appeal for Republicans, especially since their most obvious motivator against Obama was that they could not abide a black president? This is true, but they love a black performer who plays to their prejudices and flatters them. Where I grew up, South Carolina, they loved the show Good Times. Oh, not for the story of a Chicago project family trying to survive. Not for John Amos, and his believable portrayal of a poor but strong family man beaten every day and still trying to survive. No. They loved JJ, the minstrel character.
This is a man who called black people "brainwashed," and has said he's pproud to literally have gone to the back of the bus. Do you think he is playing to black voters? No, he's playing to white, and quite obviously. Do you think he'd choose the nickname "Black Walnut" otherwise?
Bill Maher remarked on Friday that Herman Cain is, for white Republicans, that one black guy they know who says derogatory things about other black people, so they think it gives them permission to say these things too. He plays to this, he flatters them, and he knows well his act.
When you hear things like his ridiculous "999" plan--which in fact increases taxes, on everyone but the rich, not that he realized this--you realize this is a man who is thinking according to what would look good on a flyer, with coupons. This is the level he's playing to. He's not even intending to think things through. Like many CEOs, he thinks slogans are brain-clouding magic. Sometimes they are. But his are very clumsy, too.
His CEO experience is touted. As though in today's America being a CEO should inspire anything but wondering what you haven't been caught for yet. But Herman Cain has not been an active CEO for a decade. He is that most sincere sort of person, a motivational speaker. Motivational speakers are about ego over logic, will over sense. They teach you to take what you want and not to think, but do--as though the two were different things. They are, though, when you do something very risky without preparing and simply talk yourself into magical thinking, which is reportedly what killed noted closet conservative anti-union CEO and marketer Steve Jobs in the end.
And Herman Cain has either gone into this without thinking--much like Sarah Palin--or has used it as a vehicle to build his own celebrity where he had none before. Much, again, like Sarah Palin. And I think the latter is the stronger possibility. Palin, Trump, and now Cain have, with the GOP's collusion, turned their presidential race into the lamest reality show ever.
The GOP has spent too much of its time and energy trying to be the Bizarro party, only there to block any policy that might aid American recovery--or indeed, any policy whatsoever--in an effort to stall till the next election and break Obama down in the process. And till very recently, Obama has been quite their punk, so no points on his side either, but unlike them he does not mean evil to the US. If they were not an American political party--and I think at this point to call them one is being too broad with the term--we would have labeled them a subversive group out to destabilize the government. They define themselves only by what they are not.
And now they have nothing. It's too late for them to get any candidate that might have stood a serious chance. And in their debate process, their candidates who express anything resembling human decency--Neanderthal Rick Perry in his one good moment, regarding the HPV vaccine the Christian right hates so much because they think it turns girls into sluts for some reason--suffers, hard, for it. Thus any candidate that could make it in the general election, where there are swing voters to alienate, is knocked out of the process. Or like Chris Christie, are too smart and sane to even step into the pit with today's national GOP yet, at least till "the crazies" are burned out.
So what are they left with? Unusable and withering candidates like Bachmann or Perry, or being used as a host body, a vehicle to celebrity. Trump increased his own. Palin and Cain built theirs and never will be president, but didn't intend to be. If Cain were serious, he'd be in Iowa, but it's a book tour he's doing. He has books to sell, and again, so do I, but I'm not pretending to run for president to do it. This is hype. And hucksters like he and Palin have been making, and will make, a lot of money off their higher profile, because it no longer matters if they actually do anything. And more--by this time next year, Herman Cain will be on Fox, that's a promise.
Meanwhile the GOP has wasted valuable time on these wasters of their resources. By next year, they will be left with no choice but to eat their Romney and like it. And then he will lose.
The GOP has no idea what they're doing anymore, and eventually will implode. Perhaps we're seeing it now. It looks like there's energy, with all those bubbles rising to the top, some getting quite big till they pop. And then it goes flat. ___________________
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson