"Look, Herman Cain is a joke. Obviously, where there is smoke there is fire, and he needs to make a decision about whether or not he stays in the race. But I do find this extremely interesting, that Cain might get pushed from the race but Newt Gingrich is one of the top frontrunners."
-- An unnamed Republican operative, to the Huffington Post
The brilliantly ironic thing about all of this is the fact that a lot of Republicans are now making a show of calling for Cain to give up and get out because they say the Cain traveling circus is a distraction from the supposedly legitimate, non-batshit-crazy candidacies of the various other GOP presidential personalities. Cain of course got out in front of this story yesterday by turning what was supposed to be an inconsequential one-on-one with Wolf Blitzer into the most hysterically awkward interview anybody's seen in years; every TV talking head dreams that he or she won't have to work that hard for a bombshell and will have it simply fall out of the sky the way it did for Blitzer. Now, though, at least everyone in America will have no trouble finally giving in and admitting what anybody with a brain has known all along -- that Cain doesn't stand a chance in hell of ever becoming the GOP nominee, no matter how egomanically defiant he may be about the scandal now enveloping him or how deluded he always was about his real-world chances of success on the national and international stage.
So alas, the Herman Cain Performance Art Project ends not with a bang but a whimper, mostly because nobody who mattered had very high hopes for him to begin with. This latest twist in the "Herman Cain Loves Strange Pussy" saga, while amusing, doesn't even make a dent in the truth that we've all accepted since day one. Although there is one interesting sidebar to all of it. Cain loves to paint himself as the archetypal American business titan, circa 2011, and as it turns out he is: he's arrogant, completely out of touch with reality, unwilling to take any amount of responsibility for his actions no matter how devastating the evidence against him is, and convinced that because of his status he's somehow bulletproof -- that brashness and audacity is a kind of armor against anything thrown his way and that he's always above being held accountable. He's basically a cut-rate bullshit artist, but in the world of big business there's no such thing as lying when you're high enough up the food chain so who gives a damn.
In the real world, Herman Cain was never more than a smarmy, lying little toad and crappy pizza salesman infatuated with delusions of his own greatness -- and everyone else accepted that even if he didn't. So, so long, Toucan Stubs. It was entertaining while it lasted.
Next up: shameless, cheating, lying, hypocritical, bling-obsessed, endlessly corrupt newly minted/classic Republican infatuation Newt Gingrich -- a guy who once claimed that he loved America so much that it caused him to fuck around on his wife and who now engages in the most cynical kind of pandering imaginable by saying that he's not perfect because only Christ is. Get the popcorn ready.