Is Cain the cool cat with nine lives?

Drudge’s witty juxtapositions of headline and photo continue to amuse:




The headline is telling us that notwithstanding the all-out liberal media attack on Herman Cain over the sexual “harassment” charges, and notwithstanding the fact that even many conservative columnists are doing the liberals’ work for them in circulating—and condemning Cain for—vague, unspecified complaints of sexual “harassment” coming from unidentified persons, and notwithstanding Cain’s own disastrous and self-discrediting responses to the accusations, he amazingly continues to lead the polls, evidently because many voters simply reject the use of such unfair and improper charges to destroy a person. The photo combined with the headline is saying humorously, not seriously, that notwithstanding all the formidable strikes against him Cain is heading to the White House.

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James R. writes:

As an aside I see we’re not completely ignoring polls, but we can’t, and I see them as troubling. There’s a certain “rallying around the flag” affect, one could say, with respect to support for Cain seeming actually to increase. I think this is in some respects understandable, and in this episode Cain certainly has been done dirty. But this episode also further illustrates that whatever admirable qualities he has, and he has many, he and his team (a Presidency is always more than just a President) are not up to the task. The Cain camp has demonstrated a pattern of inadequacy in handling so many episodes as to illustrate the problem with “non-professional politicians.”

I dislike—no, I despise our current political class, with a depth that might be equaled by some, but I doubt it is surpassed by many. But Cain clearly isn’t prepared to steer us through the storm our horrible political class has driven us into. I know the likely reply some people might make to my comment, should it be posted, will be, “How could he be worse than what we’ve been getting?” But it is precisely times such as we’re in that require the best judgment and ability in getting through it as well as possible. I don’t know who among this crop of candidates might have that, but Cain has demonstrated he does not.

More’s the pity, because I had been starting to warm up to him, but eventually a pattern of inadequate preparation and judgment makes an impression. Furthermore, I’ve heard him say once too often that in deciding this or that issue, he’d “turn to the experts” before making a decision. This may work well in the corporate world where many technical experts are by necessity grounded at least somewhat in reality. But “government by official public policy experts” is, if anything, what Obama has given us, and the sort of “expert advice” Cain would get from the public policy class would be … well, these are the ‘droids we have now, the same political class (in both parties) that have proven to be worse than useless.

In the immortal words of Rep. Traficant, beam me up!

Andrew McCarthy writes:

I think there is a lag time between the occurrence of bad news and when it starts to register in the polls. We saw that in the rise and fall of both Bachmann and Perry. Let’s see where Cain stands a week from now. The interesting thing to me is that, no matter how many right-of-Romney candidates surge and flame out, Romney himself is stuck under 30 (and now under 25). There is real resistance to him. The divide between the GOP establishment and the more conservative grass roots of the party is very stark.

LA replies:

Ordinarily I would agree with you that this latest poll does not reflect the real damage that one could assume has been done to Cain’s support as a result of the sex “harassment” imbroglio. But there had been earlier expectations that Cain would drop in the polls, following the attacks on his 9-9-9 plan and his many misstatements and overall displays of his unreadiness. But he did not drop in the polls. So I saw the poll posted at Drudge as a continuation of that same gravity-defying pattern.

However, you may be right, and this will hurt him and be reflected in upcoming polls.

If so, the humorous Drudge photo and caption may be the closest Cain ever comes to the White House.

Andrew McCarthy replies:
There is a straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back phenomenon with all these declines—a build up of critical mass that needs just one easily understandable bad development to make the bottom drop out. The fact that the critical mass defies gravity for as long as it does is explained by a few things, I think. The most interesting one is that conservatives just don’t want to settle for Romney, so there is a high level of tolerance for the foibles of the other candidates. Then there’s the fact that a lot of the screw-ups are seemingly minor, often abstruse (e.g., 9-9-9, which I think most people don’t understand and vaguely grasp as some kind of tax cut), and take a while to accumulate. When that one crystal clear screw-up finally happens, all the other stored up problems become additional rationale in people’s minds for writing off the candidate. I think we will see this with Cain in a few days.

Alexis Zarkov writes:

The current Cain imbroglio reminds me of press coverage right before the October 7, 2003 Governor Gray Davis recall election. The very liberal Los Angles Times tried to discredit candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger with a series of last minute sensational (including lewd language) front-page articles that might have come from The National Enquirer. The opening salvo commenced on October 2, with this article about accusations from six (mostly anonymous) women claiming Arnold “groped” them. These alleged incidents went back as far as the 1970s. The Times had gone on a frantic search to uncover dirt on Arnold by culling names from cast and crew lists of Schwarzenegger films. The reporters made cold calls until they found women willing to make accusations. On October 4, the Times ran another front-page story with accusations from three more women. Then having no shame whatsoever, the Times ran yet another sensational story on the Sunday before the Tuesday election with more accusations.

This case study from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University provides details on Schwarzenegger’s turn in the barrel. The study notes that the Times completely ignored accusations against Gray Davis from his own female office staff as to his abusive behavior towards them. While Schwarzenegger won the recall election, according to polls his support eroded just before the election. In February 2008 the New York Times ran on its front page a bogus story about John McCain having an affair with a lobbyist. After Obama was inaugurated, they retracted the story. I hope the public is finally sick of this stuff. Perhaps this is why Cain seems to be “the cool cat with nine lives.”

I have come to regret the ratification of the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage). These often anonymous accusations against men, sometimes decades old, are hijacking the political process. I’m much more interested in Cain’s lack of knowledge about government and foreign policy than his possibly making someone “uncomfortable” 15 years ago. In my opinion, the latter is just not important, and I think most men would agree with me. We have to stop worrying about female sensitivities in the political arena.

LA replies:

The slow but steady decline of the political quality of women since they were granted political equality 90 years ago is plain to see, and is a good illustration of the long-run destructive effects of democratizing reforms. At first, a democratizing reform (the classic example being the democratizing of Athens at the beginning of the fifth century B.C.) does not cause harm, because the newly equalized citizens are living within and aspiring to the standards of the dominant culture in which they have now been granted equal rights. Thus the people of Athens, now included fully in the political system, aspired to the ethos of the Athenian aristocracy with its pursuit of excellence. Democracy in the early decades of the fifth century meant a rise of the cultural and political level of Athens that was co-extensive with the Athenian Golden Age, a rise still reflected in Pericles’ famous funeral oration. But, over time, as the ways of the common man became dominant in Athens, there was a horrifying decline of Athenian morality and politics, as catalogued in Thucydides’ grim account of the Athenians’ ruthlessness and demagoguery during the Peloponesian War, and in Plato’s account of the growing dominance in Athenian life of sophism—the denial of truth, the reduction of politics to the pursuit of power for the sake of power.

Similarly, when women were initially granted the vote, they merely joined a male dominated system and did not change it or its ethos. Almost all women were married and almost all voted the same as their husbands, thus still reflecting the older order in which a family voted as a family. But when, due to feminism and increasing individual freedoms, women increasingly separated themselves from marriage and men (and were often openly hostile to men), politics began to appeal to women as a distinct political force and interest group in society. Women’s often trivial concerns and emotion based reactions became all-consuming concerns of politics, turning the nation’s politics progressively into a joke.

There are many examples of the deleterious effects that the women’s franchise and the assumption of political power by women have had on politics. Think of the mob of Democratic female House members like a bunch of crazed Bacchae climbing the stairs of the U.S. Senate in October 1991 demanding the destruction of Clarence Thomas. Another example, still vivid in my mind, is the 2000 GOP national convention. The first three days of the convention consisted of a minority “dog and pony show” with endless blacks and Hispanics appearing on the stage before an audience of almost 100 percent white delegates. The purpose of this ridiculous display was not to win the black and Hispanic electorates (because the GOP leaders knew that wasn’t possible), but to assure the white “soccer moms” that the GOP was “nice.”

The placing of females’ emotional preoccupations at the center of politics, combined with the obligatory equal inclusion of women in leading political positions, also corresponds with women’s narcissistic celebration of their “power,” as seen in the recent sexy magazine cover shot of 37-year-old Romanian cabinet minister Elena Udrea.

Politics cannot be serious when women are equally included in it. Women’s political equality has become a major factor in the now precipitous decline of the West.

And I have not even mentioned the most consequential single effect of the women’s franchise: the transformation of the state into the Provider State to substitute for now-discarded husbands.

My articles on this issue are collected here.

(Anyone offended by my criticism of democracy should remember that the Founders of the United States eschewed the very concept of democracy, seeing it as mob rule. Yes, under the original Constitution political sovereignty originated from the people, but this sovereignty was expressed through a multi-layered representative political system, not directly by the people. And, needless to say, women did not have the vote.)

Jim C. writes:

“Is Cain the cool cat with nine lives?”

No; he’s done.

Tim W. writes:

Another problem with women’s suffrage is that women are even more conditioned by popular culture than are men. An amazing number of the women I speak to about politics get their information entirely from sources such as Oprah, The View, or Vogue Magazine. And what they get there are emotion-laden drivel about how we need more spending for “life affirming” entitlement programs, more billions for the public schools and teachers’ unions, more “compassion” for minorities, illegal aliens, and homosexuals. More diversity. More controls on speech considered to be too harsh. More feminization of the culture. More celebrities speaking out for liberal causes.

The reason Obama never really plunges to horrendous depths in the opinion polls is that he has a floor of about forty percent of the electorate that will support him no matter what. This includes blacks, the Mestizo portion of the Latino population, homosexuals, and a large chunk of the white female population, mainly single women and soccer moms.

Timothy A. writes:

Bravo. The idol of democracy is badly in need of serious criticism. Some of the extensions of the franchise which have been enacted or proposed—to illiterates, non-citizens, non-English-speakers, incarcerated felons—are obviously damaging, but even the universally accepted extensions of the franchise to women and eighteen-year-olds have led to a less rational political discourse and served to undermine the institution of the family. I don’t know when conservatives decided that democracy was beyond criticism. Perhaps the last group on the right that I can recall insisting on the traditional distinction between a republic and a democracy is the John Birch Society.

Gintas writes:

My plan to overhaul voting:

  • Women need to be disenfranchised;

  • The male head of a household should have a vote weighted according to household size;

  • A man receiving government money has to forfeit his vote (conflict of interest);

  • Some kind of test for voters to show they are competent to vote on the matters at hand.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 04, 2011 09:40 AM | Send

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