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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

LAST MAN SLANDERING: Two 

The race to the bottom in the desperate struggle to be the GOP candidate in 2012.

THE MARK OF CAIN

(Oh, dear. Maybe I shouldn't have written that. In the current environment, it is now fashionable for Republicans to hurl accusations of racism at any and all comers who have a single word of criticism against either of the black Republicans. You know how politically correct Republicans can be ... when it suits them.)

Well, here I was, all ready to talk a little bit about some of the struggling candidates in the GOP primary race, to say a few words about some of the people who will - hopefully - just be names in a few weeks. We were going to discuss former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and why reasonable people use "air quotes" when they talk about his work as a "historian." We were going to say a few words about former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and why reasonable people use "air quotes" when they talk about his "accomplishments." And we were going to talk about Jon Huntsman and, perhaps, figure out who he is and if he really exists.

But, no. Reality has caught up with Herman Cain, and he has shown no sign that he recognizes it. He has not acted in any way that indicates that he has even a nodding acquaintance with it. The only thing that may save his White House bid is that he has targeted the Stupid Vote and it is a large segment of the electorate, a very large segment of the electorate indeed.

So we cannot ignore the unfolding sexual harassment scandal. It will play out. More details may be revealed. Cain may weather this, or he may not.

(And we will keep hearing the phrase "high-tech lynching." A strange term that. It goes back to the confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. I wonder what kind of wanker would come up with the term "high-tech lynching" for an incident where the victim, instead of being left dangling from a tree, ended up becoming a Supreme Court justice. I believe that, historically, the main characteristic of the "low-tech lynching" so popular in the U.S. as recently as 1964 was that it killed people. I searched the records and could not find a single instance of a "low-tech lynching" where the victim became a Supreme Court justice. I suspect that "high-tech lynching" was coined by a conservative commentator making a play for the "Little Miss Martyr" award so coveted by conservative commentators.)

I am not going to comment on Herman Cain's troubles as much as I'm going to comment on conservative commentators and their reaction to the growing scandal. But I'm having a little trouble finding the right language to describe this phenomenon.

If it were liberals or Democrats saying that Herman Cain's accusers are after him because of his race, I could just call it "playing the race card." But it is far more complicated than that. Because it is the conservatives themselves who are screaming "Racism!" at the people who are committing the unforgiveable sin of asking questions that are too tough for Herman Cain to answer in a coherent, consistent or intelligent manner.

So, what is the phrase that you use when conservatives "play the race card"?

I'm sure it is not "play the race card." Because if it were, then surely conservative commentators would be called out for "playing the race card" for their actions when they comment on any of a number of Herman Cain-related misadventures.


In the eyes of the liberal media, Herman Cain is just another uppity black American who has had the audacity to leave the liberal plantation. So they must destroy him, just as they tried destroying Clarence Thomas.
- Brent Bozell
It looks a lot like "playing the race card," doesn't it?

As does this:


Look at how quickly what is known as the mainstream media goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative. ... What's next, folks? A cartoon on MSNBC showing Herman Cain with huge lips eating a watermelon? What are they gonna do next? No, Snerdley, I'm not kidding. The racial stereotypes that these people are using to go after Herman Cain, what is the one thing that it tells us? It tells us who the real racists are ...
- Rush Limbaugh
Who knew Rush was so sensitive about race?


Liberals are terrified of Herman Cain. He is a strong conservative black man. Look at the way they go after Allen West and Michael Steele and they're not even running against Obama. They are terrified of strong, conservative, black men.
- Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter. No comment. (I'm glad she's not on my side. And so is every decent human being.)

Not directly related to the current sexual harassment charges, here is another statement that looks a lot like "playing the race card," but apparently isn't:


My reaction is that’s just very insensitive. There isn't a more vile negative word than the N-word, and for him to leave it there for as long as he did before I hear that they finally painted over it is just plain insensitive towards a lot of black people in this country.
- Herman Cain
It does look a lot like "playing the race card," but, no, it is not.

Because a conservative said it.

That is the difference. It's the only difference needed for the rogues and fools that make up American conservatism.

There doesn't seem to be any special phrase for it when conservatives "play the race card."

Except maybe "business as usual."

UPDATE

Herman Cain said this Wednesday in an interview with (ugh) Charles Krauthammer:


CAIN: There are some people who are Democrats, liberals, who do not want to see me win the nomination. And there could be some people on the right who don’t want to see me because I’m not the, quote/unquote, “establishment candidate.” No evidence.

KRAUTHAMMER: But does race have any part of that? Establishment, maverick, yes. What about race?

CAIN: Relative to the left I believe race is a bigger driving factor. I don’t think it’s a driving factor on the right. This is just based upon our speculation.


Remember. Herman Cain is a conservative. Therefore, blaming his current problems on The Left because "race is a bigger driving factor" is not "playing the race card." (It looks like "playing the race card." But it isn't. I admit, I can see why you're confused.)

He will be a fine GOP candidate for the White House. (But I wouldn't let him take care of a cactus.)

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