James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Cain for GOP? Nein, nein, nein

Posted by James McPherson on December 2, 2011

First, let me say that I don’t particularly care whether Herman Cain cheated on his wife. I might care, for her sake, but since she seems to be a “Cain en-able-er” (go ahead, say it out loud and groan), I’m certainly not going to lose sleep over what goes on in their 43-year marriage. Apparently something works.

The same generally goes for serial adulterers Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump. If they can govern, that’s mostly what I care about. Still, when Republicans keep preaching about family values, it seems a bit more hypocritical (and perhaps more politically relevant because of that hypocrisy) when the cheater is a Republican such as those three, Mark Foley, Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Larry Craig, Mark Sanford and John Ensign, rather than a Democrat such as Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Jim McGreevey, Anthony Wiener or Eliot Spitzer.

I grant you that all of the guys named above with the possible exception of Cain are sleazeballs that I don’t want to hang out with. But if I thought one of them could get the country on track, he’d get my vote. And the fact is, Cain would be a lousy president. Most conservatives would agree, if they actually know anything about him. Cain just happened to fill the “anybody but Mitt” slot that Gingrich now occupies, probably also temporarily because he’s also a loser, for the GOP faithful.

I would remind the Cain supporters not to be too hasty in their arguments that Cain is being maligned. Usually the women who make these kinds of claims are ridiculed and disbelieved at first–and usually they turn out to be telling the truth. But one of those Cain supporters made me laugh out loud today.

Floyd Brown, the creator of the infamous “Willie Horton” ad used against Michael Dukakis posted on his own blog a piece titled–and I promise, I’m not making this up–“Video: Herman Cain, Man of Character, Destroyed By An Evil Media.” In his post, Brown unbelievably writes the following: “I consider the attacks on Cain to be the most reprehensible series of unjustified media allegations I have seen in my 50 years of life.” Really, Floyd? Remember, you’re the guy who takes pride in introducing most of us to Willie Horton through the ad that–in case you need a reminder–you can find at the bottom of this post.

Brown also states that “the relentless assault planned by the Obama White House … is abhorrent.” Now that’s just goofy, and Brown–or any regular watcher of “The West Wing” or “The Good Wife”–should know it. If Democrats were behind this, don’t you think they’d wait to unleash it until after Cain had the nomination? If the supposed “attacks” are political in nature, my guess on who is behind it would be Gingrich–the guy who is supposedly staying above it all.

And while I thought Brown’s showing of support was funny, I found another to be simply sad. A new website, titled “Women for Herman Cain,” includes words of support from women around the country professing their belief in Cain. Most include photos of themselves, many of the self-shot variety that too many girls and young women commonly post on Facebook. But many of these women aren’t young, and shouldn’t be naive. And because I find them mostly pitiful, I won’t include their names below.

“Dear Mr. Cain, I am a 66 year old female architect in the State of Texas, and want to simply say… as a REAL woman I do not believe for one second any of these ‘women’ that have crawled out from under a rock somewhere to defame you and bring pain to you and your family. They are pitiful creatures at the very least, and evil at the most. Isn’t it convenient that they have suddenly become offended by supposed advances by you now after all these years, my goodness, poor babies, how have they been able to bare up under the pain for all these oh so many years… LIARS, LIARS, LIARS…”

Even as we wonder about the ironic misspelling of bear/bare, one wonders how this “real woman” knows that others are liars. Here’s another, with the original spelling and grammar intact:

” Hello, Herman Cain, you need to focus about this America” and don’t even listen to all this women ,that they don’t have nothing good to say about you… they they are money hungry… and women like this, Don’t care or don’t have no “SHAME to go on TV…to use lies, for money…somebody has been paying this women. They make me sick to my stomach…..they need to start digging a hole on the ground n till they rich china”

And another, from a woman who apparently missed the fact that Cain blames unemployment on the jobless: “”Mr. Cain, I support you very much. I am currently unemployed. I haven’t been able to find a full time job since I graduated college in 2009. … I do not believe a single one of the ‘women’ who have accused you.” What is it about Cain’s female followers and their use of quotation marks while disparaging possible “women” victims?

One writes to Cain’s wife, who is heading up the website: “Mrs. Cain, I’m so very sorry for the pain you’ve had to suffer at the hands of these seriously troubled women and those behind them. Such an elegant lady as you should never have to deal with such scum.”

I agree that Gloria Cain shouldn’t have to deal with scum. But apparently she chooses to do so. And I do wonder how often her husband checks out the photos on her new website, looking for new women to “help.” God knows that some there seem to need it.

Next-day follow-up: Cain admits that his campaign is toast, as he is “suspending” his campaign. He’s make an endorsement soon, as he continues his run for vice president–I’m betting it’s for Gingrich, since the two men obviously have much in common.

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5 Responses to “Cain for GOP? Nein, nein, nein”

  1. gqbrielle said

    as a survivor of sexual assault, i support the women who have spoken up about their treatment at hermain cain’s hands. i know how hard it is to come out about that kind of experience. and i’m super disappointed (though not particularly surprised) that it’s his affair that’s killing his campaign with the GOP base, not these other allegations.

  2. Reuel said

    Character Matters. But also working with the people you got is also important. In 2010 the Democrats did not get the hint like President Clinton did. President Clinton worked with the Republican congress and turned things around. Balanced budget he still raves about in all his speeches, without recognizing that he did that with Republicans. But Barry chose to doubt down and play the divide and win a second term and what has it got us? Wall Street up and the People down.The left should of pulled Hillary aside and made her run for 2012, she would of got my vote twice, primary and General elections. But I feel that anyone but the divider for 2012. He has nothing but himself on his mind and that is not what we need right now. He lacked experience then and still lacks experience but is good at apologizing and blaming. The 9/9/9 plan was lousy but did bring the discussion back to to reforming the tax code, which is what is really needed. What to get more money from the rich? Get rid of the loopholes that both sides have put in to appease their supporters.

    I still have little respect for men or women whom cheat on their partner. This is also a thing that would be taken in to consideration for whom I will vote for in 2012. It won’t be Barry he cheated on all of us.

  3. Reuel said

    James;
    I will check in here once in a while to see what your writing, WJ pulls my post when I call Ron Paul a nut. I think they all get reported by the wackadoodles. I won’t be visiting that alternate universe for a while. Have a good holiday?

  4. James McPherson said

    Yeah, WJC seems to be really pushing Paul. Joe Farah, who founded both WJC and WorldNutsDaily, is the one behind the nastiest anti-Newt commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMPjo46das&feature=player_embedded

    Though I can’t say I blame him–Newt is also a nut, and the Republicans seemed to have narrowed their choices to a pretty dismal group. As I’ve said before, the only thing that can get Obama re-elected is the Republicans, and they seem determined to do it.

    Once I’m done with grading and some committee work, I get to spend part of the holidays with the grandchild. After that I hope to get some reading and non-blog writing done. Merry Christmas, and have a great 2012–at least until November. 🙂

  5. […] here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Examples relevant to gender here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and […]

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