September 26, 2011

Cain Isn't Able

The results were sprawled across the news websites:

Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll

And like most people, my first thought was "Who?"

And after a little research, I can say with authority that Herman Cain is the other black man in the Tea Party.   Unless the Tea Party is still pissed at Allen West,  in which case Cain becomes the Tea Party's token black man.

Alright, I confess, I kid; but not by much.  There have been accusations against the fringe conservative group since its inception, and Cain recently rebuked Morgan Freeman for calling the group racist.  From his Fox News interview with Neil Cavuto:
...I doubt if Morgan Freeman, with all due respect, who is a great actor, has he ever been to a Tea Party? Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties, Neil, about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party.
Of course, other Tea Party defenders have come to other conclusions, such as The Economist's Lexington's Notebook column:
I SAID in a recent post that people, such as those in the NAACP, who call the tea-party movement racist did not know whereof they speak. Now, in light of the Mark Williams affair, I have to consider whether a correction is in order.

To judge by a "satirical" letter he wrote in reaction to the NAACP, Mr Williams, a tea-party activist, is indeed a racist...

...I concede that there are racists within the movement, maybe many more than I had realised.
Like Lexington, I'm willing to concede that the organization isn't intended to spread racism, and didn't set out to recruit racists.  But take a look at this slideshow of photos taken at last weeks Conservative Political Action Conference, and take your own inventory.

My second thought, when I look at the numbers, it's hard to agree that he "won" the straw poll.

Here they are:
  • Herman Cain: 37 percent
  • Rick Perry: 15 percent
  • Mitt Romney: 14 percent
  • Rick Santorum: 10.9 percent
  • Ron Paul: 10.4 percent
  • Newt Gingrich: 8.4 percent
  • Jon Huntsman: 2.3 percent
  • Michelle Bachmann: 1.5 percent
Sure, he got more votes than the top two runners-up combined, but he still took only a little more than a third of all the votes cast.  That means that about 2 out of every 3 participants voted against him.  He didn't win so much as he didn't lose as badly as everyone else.

I wouldn't call it a stunning victory. 

Everyone expected Rick Perry to win, even though he's an idiot.  Of course, George W. Bush was elected, and he was an idiot.  But last week, he had to hold his own with people who were much smarter than he was, or at least with Mitt Romney.  Perhaps, like Sarah Palin, Perry should have written his prepared off-the-cuff retorts on his arm.

Mitt Romney would probably be a good choice to lure in voters from across the aisle, which is why die-hard conservatives won't consider him.  Toss in the fact that he's a member of "a wierd cult," and we can see why Romney won't get the nomination.  Again.

The rest are the usual flotsam and jetsam of knee-jerk conservatives spouting all the usual conservative talking points; lower taxes, less regulation, and screw anyone who isn't already wealthy.

The real message from the straw poll isn't "Cain is a great candidate."  It's "can't you turd-herders come up with even ONE potential candidate who's not a complete jerk?"

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