Point of View Columns

A Phenomenon But Not Phenomenal

The Herman Cain phenomenon seems to be skidding and slipping into a morass of terminal stupidity and eternal irrelevance. The fact is that even before his current running battle with sexual harassment allegations his campaign was coming apart at the seams as his “9-9-9” fake tax policy was evaporating upon examination.

The idea that Herman Cain is some kind of representative of the best that corporate America can offer for public service was always as flimsy as cheap gossamer bought from the local 99 cents store. When finally experiencing some pressure, Mr. Cain has shown himself to be by turns arrogant, petulant, and self-absorbed and totally tone deaf – and frankly, very weak. The fact that he could have been the chief executive officer of any kind of company is a condemnation of what passes for leadership in some parts of the business community of the United States.

Before the sexual harassment tsunami hit the Cain carnival attention was focused on the flimsiness of his policy proposals and the empty bucket of ideas that he carried around while pretending that he actually had something important to say. In some bizarre way these allegations of misconduct have helped Mr. Cain as they deflected attention away from the fact that he was quoting a Japanese cartoon character (“Pokémon”) during one of the G.O.Tea Party debates and his “9-9-9” tax proposal actual comes from the Sim City computer game.

Without the sexual harassment issues Mr. Cain might be taking time to explain how he could be a paid mouthpiece for the Koch brothers for half a decade while proclaiming to be an independent businessman. He might also have to take a few moments to once again explain how he could deride government service while having served as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

While he was at it, Herman Cain might want to re-examine his claim that he is not a politician and that his political virginity makes him different from other presidential aspirants. Clearly his memory has failed him once more as he served as a senior political advisor to the Dole-Kemp presidential campaign. Further, the only reason he can form his lips to say that he is not a politician is because he lost his campaign for United States Senator in Georgia. It seems that Herman Cain is definitely a politician – it is just that he has been a failed and unelected politician.

Mr. Cain has worn his woeful ignorance of foreign affairs as a badge of honor. He dismisses the need to know about “insignificant” countries and has expressed concern about China becoming a nuclear power (someone needs to tell the pizza chieftain that he is about 45 years too late). Rather than retire with some semblance of honor and decency Mr. Cain continues to insult the intelligence of the American public – a herculean task these days that he seems to accomplish with preternatural ease.

The sexual harassment issues will make themselves known over time. Those who are prepared to dismiss them as “smears” should recall that the charges date back over a decade when Herman Cain was famous only for being a successful peddler of pizzas making it virtually impossible that these charges were politically motivated (a very necessary element for any kind of smear campaign).

Claims of “high tech lynching” are sad and offensive. Lynching has a very special and awful place in African American history. The men, women and children who were lynched over a period of century and a half in this country did not have the protective cloak of the Koch brothers and did not have the Fox News network as the their guardians. I would refer Mr. Cain and his defenders to the book “Without Sanctuary” to get an idea as to what true lynching was all about.
For someone who claims that racism is no longer an obstacle for black Americans,

Mr. Cain seems to have misplaced his big boy pants the first time he comes under serious attack. Rather than respond in some reasonable and rational fashion when the sexual misconduct allegations surfaced, Herman Cain played the race card.
We can only surmise that Mr. Cain forgot that when he decided to run for president he was playing in the big leagues and all aspects of his life are fair game, whether it is fair or not. As far as sexual misconduct charges being directed against him because he is a “strong black conservative”, Herman Cain supporters should ask Gary Hart, John Edwards, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich whether a white skin served as useful armor when those particular slings and arrows start flying.

Just as the Sarah Palin star crashed burned and died, Mr. Cain’s time in the spotlight will come to an end as it becomes clear that the pizza emperor has no clothes and not much in the way of original thought either.

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3 thoughts on “A Phenomenon But Not Phenomenal

  1. Hank says:

    I read somewhere that with his allegiance to the Koch brothers, Cain and the brothers Koch are known as Koch-Cain. Do do drugs — it’s bad for you.

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