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Controversy Thy Name Is Cain

The Republican Party has a big problem right now, and his name is Herman Cain. He can’t win the nomination, he won’t go home, yet he makes all the other presidential candidates look like also rans, mostly because he is very, very good at speaking through the TV cameras to right wing America.  

The GOP brain trust has got to be wondering right about now how to graft Herman Cain’s effusive personality onto Mitt Romney, who is going to turn into a yellow stripe if he gets any more middle of the road. Aside from Jon Huntsman, who came off yesterday like he was an applying for a job as a teaching assistant in a college philosophy department, and Rick Perry, who needs a stunt double for any comment over two sentences, the rest of the field of Republican presidential hopefuls are a chorus of Negative Nancy’s whose palpable disgust at the idea of Barack Obama sitting in the White House has turned them all into grotesque caricatures of themselves. The pessimistic drumbeat of their gloomy rhetoric is so depressing it overshadows any constructive ideas any of them may have.  

Herman Cain, by contrast, is not going to ever wear his audience out with an endless laundry list of President Obama’s faults because his main job is selling Herman Cain. The only time the spiteful side of Cain has been on full display is when he defends himself against the sexual harassment charges he faced as the head of the National Restaurant Association back in the 90’s. At these times, he is not The Herminator, the human motivation speaker, but Herman the Horrible, the ugly misogynist who takes a page straight out of the Newt Gingrich Book of Nasty as he savagely attempts to lay waste to the character of his accusers.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would have to believe that right about now, the GOP brain trust that orchestrates these political proceedings have their opposition files on Herman Cain spread all over a table somewhere in a smoke filled room. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would be certain that the only thing this cabal is debating is whether to continue dribbling out the unsavory details in Cain’s past and let him keep twisting in the wind or to just dump it all at once and snuff his candidacy out like a candle.   

Whether you see him as Herman Cain, The Herminator, or Herman the Horrible—any way you slice it, the Cain Controversy owns the GOP presidential nominee narrative for the foreseeable future. This has got to be making the people who have poured all those hundreds of millions of dollars into conservative Super PAC’s to support the Republican presidential candidate very, very angry.

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