Monday, December 5, 2011

The Last Straw, American Reality and So Long, Mr. Cain

And then along came Ginger White and there went Herman Cain's improbable bid for the presidency. His campaign was dying a slow painful death to begin with. Every new day brought more bad news and seemingly another woman accusing him of harassment. Ms. White was the straw that broke the back.

Herman Cain now knows the truth. When you're selling pizzas no one cares who you're boinking. When you're running for political office on the national stage everyone does. That and when it comes to presidential politics there are no secrets that can't be and won't be uncovered.

The fact that Cain apparently didn't realize this speaks to his naivete. Before he ever announced his run he should have known someone was going to rat him out. He could deny the accusations all he wanted, but they would be there and people were going to convict him on the spot. That is what we do in this country.

Ever since Nixon went down for the count and Woodward and Bernstein became wildly famous every journalism student in America has had recurring wet dreams about taking down a big time politician. It is as much fun as lion hunting and sex all at the same time and one doesn't have to worry about coming down with malaria or the clap in the middle of the African veldt.

One of the reasons I tend to write off almost every political conspiracy theory out there is because I, unlike Herman Cain, understand that no one in this nation can keep their mouth shut. Everyone wants their moment with Wolf Blitzer in the "Situation Room". Everyone thinks that their fifteen minutes will catapult them into something bigger and better. Everyone WILL talk and that includes your mother who caught you masturbating in the basement when you were thirteen years old.

It is a media driven world and everyone wants air time, no matter how much they have to debase themselves to get it. There is a reason reality TV is all the rage now, beyond the fact the producers don't have to worry about writers and story lines. All of America is willing to make complete asses of themselves in front of a national audience. And, in lieu of making it to the stage, laughing derisively at those who have.

No, Herman Cain is apparently so out of touch with today's reality he never stood a chance. His complete ignorance of foreign policy not withstanding his was a campaign that was doomed as soon as he made the announcement he was running. It was only the complete unacceptability of Mitt Romney to the baying hounds of the right that kept him in it this long. Now that the Newt has caught his stride, all the accusations and finally this last infidelity came home to roost. He was riding high in October with a 27% national approval rating. By late November in Iowa he was struggling to get to 8%.

So now the list of republicans has been pared by one. More are soon to follow, especially after the Iowa caucuses and the contributions begin to dry up. By next summer, barring unforeseen revelations, only Romney and Gingrich will be left along with the hopeless romantic, Ron Paul. Everyone else in the current field will have taken the Cain option and moved on to "Plan B of my public life."

Politics on the presidential level is an extraordinarily expensive and ugly business. It is run by the ruthless and monitored by the blood thirsty. If you are going to declare you are seeking the highest office in the land you have to sell your soul to billionaires and you had better not even have the hint of an indiscretion in your background.

It is an exclusive fraternity. Most who pledge never become full fledged members. The hazing process is just too harsh for all but the elite. Herman Cain didn't make the cut. Few do.


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