Nov 012011

The Herman Cain campaign is a sham. Keith Olbermann when speaking about it, always calls it a pretend campaign. Rachel Maddow recently said that she thought the whole thing was performance art and not a serious attempt to gain the Presidency. She pointed out several incidents that seems to support her theory.

  • The 9-9-9 tax plan that he claimed was from secret top notch economists would be massively regressive. It also happens to be the exact same tax plan of the video game Sim City.
  • In a speech, he grandly said “in the words of a poet,” and then went on to repeat a series of lines from a song in a Pokemon movie.
  • He demonstrated his foreign policy prowess with the Uz beke beke stan stan comment during a televised interview.
  • One that Rachel missed was a speech slamming politician’s for a lack of understanding of the constitution and their need to read it. Then he proceeded to recite a quote from the Declaration of Independence.
  • Further evidence of a lack of knowledge about the constitution shown in his support for an amendment stating that life begins at conception, and his willingness to sign the amendment if it should come across his desk.
  • The fact is, he doesn’t have any campaign staff or campaign offices or infrastructure even in the States that will have early primaries. The few people he does have are Koch brother employees from one of their conservative “think tanks.” His campaign stops seem to be more of a book tour.
  • Cain recently made a foreign policy statement about China. He said that China was a military threat because they had indicated that they were trying develop nuclear weapons. Could he possibly be so out-of-touch that he doesn’t know that China has had nuclear weapons since 1964?
  • His campaign released a statement saying that on most days, they provide him with a one page report on foreign policy matters. I guess they feel that extra abbreviated Cliff notes are all that is necessary for him to be prepared to confront our complex global circumstances.
  • In general he seems woefully unprepared and unapologetic on all issues.
  • Even his TV ads are bizarre and I’m not only talking about the smoking campaign manager. They are all difficult to know what the message is and end with his face filling the screen with a creepy, crafty, knowing smile.
  • Recently at a Koch brother’s sponsored event he made the very presidential statement that he is with the Koch brothers, in fact, he feels like their brother. He declared, “I’m the Koch’s brother from another mother!” A line said by Chris Tucker in the movie Rush Hour 3. Rush Hour 3?
  • More recently, in response to his lack of knowledge regarding foreign policy, Cain proclaimed that, “people want a leader, not a reader.” This comment wasn’t original either. It was first said by the mayor of Springfield… in the Simpson’s Movie.

Not since the Pat Paulson presidential bid (The Smothers Brother’s Show) have we been treated to a more humor filled campaign. We have to ask ourselves: to what end? Performance art, as Rachel posited? More curious is that the Koch brothers chose this clown as the candidate that they would put their money behind. Or even more of a mystery, why do they continue to support him.

That he is leading in the polls boggles the mind. It may reflect the fact that there is no Republican candidate conservative enough, or sufficiently dominionist enough to pass muster with the religious right. At least not one who is also sane enough to win a general election. But maybe therein lies the answer. Herman has injected fake talking points into the conversation and into the debates. Herman is a distraction.

From the beginning, I wondered why the Repubs would want to unseat Obama. He has been a boon to the conservatives. Many of the policies that they have only dreamt about have become a reality. For decades the GOP has tried to roll back the New Deal and social programs with scant progress. They have definitely had better luck with Democrats in the White House. It was during the Clinton years that the very retrograde Welfare reform was enacted. Bush2 got no where with Social Security privatization even after rebranding it personal retirement accounts. Obama has accomplished what a Republican president could never have. With Obama the GOP have got the renewal of the Bush tax cuts, cuts to “entitlements,” and now seem poised to cut Social Security and Medicare and other programs that make up the social safety net.

Obama is to the Republicans sort of like a cranky friend with benefits. He may complain, but ultimately he puts out. He has the additional advantage of giving the conservatives political cover. They get the best of both worlds. If something works, they can take credit and if it fails they can blame Obama and the Dems. Why would any thinking conservative want to mess with such a good thing. What better way to insure Obama’s reelection than to have an entire field of whacko and otherwise unelectable Republicans?