Thursday, October 13, 2011

Will Republicans Play the Cain Card?

This is fraught with danger. And I recognize the difficult history of race relations in my own religious tradition. We are doing so much better now and there were always heroes like Mitt's Dad, Michigan Governor George Romney, who really was a champion of Civil Rights and may actually have marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. more than just figuratively.

There also was the white liberal guilt that really was a factor to some extent in the election of President Obama. I admit it in myself. It did make me feel better with my hope for a post-racial nation after our sordid history of racial prejudice in this country. And I hope my sentiments are in the tradition of Frederick Douglass, Lincoln, all those who sacrificed and struggled to move Civil Rights forward, and within the intent of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. At least for me though, it's much more than our President's heritage race that led me to support him. I mean, read his The Audacity of Hope and see how much his political philosophy matches many of the themes I have been expressing on this blog.

We all know how insulting it is to call someone a "racist" these days. At least it is no longer acceptable in polite society to admit or portray any form of overt racism. And as we all know from Rush Limbaugh, it is impossible for conservatives to be racist, because they "never see race." Civil Rights laws are in place, everyone has a fair chance, they put the most qualified people like Michael Steele in as their party chairman and support candidates like Hermain Cain. The only people who are "racist" are the minorities who do notice race and play their "card" to ask for special privileges. Well, I see it differently - but to each his own.

Totally outside of these difficult issues, we'll see how well Cain does as the new spike-to-the-top-of-the-polls. We've seen so many already: Trump spiked and then ended up firing himself; Bachmann spiked at the Iowa straw poll then dropped on "icky" culture war issues about inoculating little girls; Palin spiked with the tease never fulfilled; Perry spiked just by showing up then decided he didn't like debating. So, once Cain drops, the Republicans will be left with Romney who I guess one can hope will flip back to the moderate he probably truly is - maybe like his dad who really was a good guy. Romney the moderate would have a much better chance against President Obama than any of the other candidates (well, there is Hunstman. If only . . . .)

I hope Cain enjoys his days in the limelight. People on both the right and the left are now paying attention to his "9-9-9" and it comes up a little short of an all-meat special irresistibly invoking Mondale's classic line on Hart, "Where's the pepperoni?" It looks like a great deal for the wealthy and Romney's "corporation-people" and not so much for the middle class and poor who would see their taxes spike - especially while shopping at WalMart with that 9% federal sales tax (on top of state and local). I also think Cain will have continued problems from the entertaining statements he makes as in his idea that African-Americans are "brainwashed" by Democrats and people out of work in the Occupy movement just need to get a job and get rich themselves instead of being jealous of those who are. I think there might be even bigger whoppers to come.

Let me end with this from one of my favorite, professional bloggers, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who, citing a comment on another blogger's site, Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish,gives things from a perspective I don't think I can match.

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