Sunday, November 06, 2011

Quote of the Day

"You got it."

-- Herman Cain responding to a journalist who asked if he plans to never answer any questions about the incidents of alleged sexual harassment in his past

This is the point where all of us rational people chuckle derisively at the idea that a guy accused of having sexually harassed a bunch of women thinks he can win the GOP presidential nomination without ever answering the press's questions about that alleged harassment. This is also the point where I catch myself and remind everyone not to laugh at this -- because while Herman Cain doesn't stand a chance in hell of ever becoming the Republican nominee, let alone President of the United States, there's nothing the least bit shocking about his assuming that he can go the distance in GOP politics while completely ignoring and even demonizing the traditional media.

What one underqualified political celebrity began a few years ago is now coming to logical fruition with another. Sarah Palin made the admittedly canny decision to not only write off any media outlet which dared to make her pea-brain hurt by lobbing a bunch of pesky questions at her, she publicly rebuked those outlets for demanding she know things; now Cain is taking that concept one step further by both ducking questions regarding a legitimate scandal consuming his campaign and blaming the media for concocting the scandal in the first place. What makes Cain think he can at least somewhat get away with it -- why Palin did before him -- is the fact that Fox News exists. I've said this over and over again so I won't get into it in detail, but the rise of Fox as the dominant bullhorn for Republican talking points throughout the media universe -- a propaganda machine so powerful that it has the ability to influence coverage at other news outlets -- means that a GOP candidate need never suffer through another adversarial interview again if he or she chooses. Cain isn't playing to every American at the moment; he's playing to the Republican base only -- and Fox owns the Republican base, lock, stock and barrel of uninformed monkeys.

If Herman Cain wants to marginalize the responsible press, he knows he pretty much can -- and what we're witnessing may be the shamelessly brazen new model for how Republicans embroiled in scandal attempt to sidestep the quagmire that years ago would've dragged them under instantly: ignore, evade, ridicule, and let the talking heads on Fox take up your cause and launder your sins in their own private news cycle. Cain has simply decided to, as I'm sure he sees it, take the wind out of the mainstream media's sails; he knows that answering a single question will just lead to a flood of others behind it, so why not deny responsible journalists the chance of getting the better of him by denying their right to ask questions at all. Like Palin, Cain is playing the persecution card and claiming that anything that trips him up isn't his fault but the fault of a Star Chamber of unethical journalists who have collectively ruled that he must be destroyed.

Will it work? With the GOP base, which is becoming more and more insulated and insane every minute, probably. With everyone else -- the ones who haven't made up their mind in advance and who are looking for information rather than confirmation -- probably not.

But again, none of this matters for Cain anyway. A gaffe-prone black guy won't win the GOP nomination if there's an equally conservative gaffe-prone white guy to get behind. And a cartoonish pizza salesman with zero governmental experience who in the span of just 24 hours has said, "People that want to be lazy and not help themselves, well, that’s their little boogie-woogie," and "When people get on the Cain train, they don't get off," isn't gonna win the general election.


Bill Orvis White said...

Excuse me! But Mr. Cain answered the questions by the hack liberal reporters. Mr. Cain is moving on by keeping his eyes on the prize. I just got done watching the debate with Mr. Cain and Speaker Gingrich. It brought me to tears because here are two fine gentlemen who simply wish to take the country back from progressive socialists who wish to make us operate like Secular Europe. The Cain Train is going full steam ahead with a car full of 9s ready to dump them on Washington come January 2013 when He is inaugurated. Soon thereafter, job$ will appear, low/no taxe$ will be instituted, a culture of life will return, the Department of Miseducation will be dismantled, the criminals at the EPA will be duly arrested and shipped off to Venezuela to be with their friend Hugo and most likely Hussein Obama and his band of union thugs, liberal media members and Godless morons will be escorted to Gitmo where they will answer to their crimes of liberalism and treason. Amen, Bill

pea said...

Holy shit. Is it April Fool's Day already?

PS My word verification word is shilogma. Indeed, Blogger, indeed.

Jason Cunningham said...

There are several things that are insulting about how Cain responded to this whole ordeal. One is the fact that he seems to think that changing your response to the same question repeatedly during the same news cycle isn't going to come back and bite you. That wouldn't work if you were running for high school treasurer, dude. Second, asking for an apology from the Rick Perry campaign because you think they leaked the information? How arrogant are you? Maybe you should apologize to your family instead of asking Rick Perry to do it. He's got his own problems. I would suggest that someone so prone to shooting themselves in the foot not jog with a loaded pistol. I digress. Third, calling journalists stupid for asking you questions about a controversy you could have ended one day after it happened is like throwing chum to sharks. You damn well should know better.

Anonymous said...

Bill, you're an imbecile. An honorable man does not sexually harass women while in a position of authority and then play the victim when the questions mount. There were settlements involved. Gag orders. This isn't slander. Herman Cain sexually harassed subordinates.

This is a fact. An honorable man would not be associated with such things.

You're wasting your life, Bill. Stop it. Please. Find something else to occupy your time. If a guy like Herman Cain means this much to you, your parents have failed.

It's not too late to use your brain.

Steve said...

I'm curious, Chez, if you have any insight as to how the reporters feel about these new rules. As a casual observer, it sure look like they fell right in line with Palin's ridiculous ground rules. Do they grumble about it in private? Why don't they grumble about it in public? It's as if the rules of celebrity press access have taken the place of the public's right to know. It makes sense, I suppose, since the likes of Palin and Cain are far more interested in celebrity than governing.

Ref said...

Steve's right and it's a good question. Why do these reporters, from institutions ostensibly unaffiliated with the Republican Party, not just stop covering Cain? He's demonstrably uninterested in behaving like a legitimate candidate.

Chez said...

First of all, Anonymous -- Bill White is satire. He proves Poe's Law perfectly in that his mocking of right wing insanity is indistinguishable from right wing insanity itself. Normally I don't tip my hand to the joke but you seem so sincere in your indignation -- and rightfully so, I suppose -- that I figured I'd clue you in.

Now, the reason media outlets continue to cover an unserious guy who regularly and cynically vilifies them is twofold: Number one, it's their job to cover him, regardless of what he says or doesn't say; he's a joke, but he's a joke who's currently capturing the "imagination" of the Republican base and that means he's news. Number two, quite frankly, the more he pushes the press away, the better story he becomes. But you're both right -- while a responsible journalist is one who doesn't decide what stories he or she does or doesn't cover based on personal feelings, I'd certainly want to tell him to go screw himself. That said, if you think all these questions aren't getting to Cain -- whether he chooses to answer them or not -- you're not paying attention.