Sunday, November 6, 2011


Politico and the liberal media in general are in the process of "Palinizing" Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.  The anonymous, vague allegations of gestures and comments that might make some people  "uncomfortable" are the thinnest of gruel, but Politico has managed to squeeze not one or two, but over ninety stories out of the "scandal".   When shock jock Howard Stern opined that it's nothing more than a smear campaign, sidekick Robyn rebutted that 'that's what politicians do'.  This is par-for-the-course liberal equivocating, but the fact is that this wasn't done by a politician, it was done by an alleged news publication - an entity that, if nothing else, opens itself up to litigation when it resorts to peddling fact-less innuendo.  It seems the future of journalism is distortion and allusion - turning allegations into convictions - and the future is now.  Don't forget to stir the coals and implicate more republican candidates report on speculation over where the leak is coming from (when you already know damn well)! 

When Sarah Palin emerged on the national stage, she was immediately perceived as a threat to the democratic ideal that minorities -women included - are strictly democratic voters.  Well, the ones not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, that is.  They managed to bring her down with an overwhelming number of legal challenges to her in her capacity as governor.  These bogus suits were costly not just in terms of dollars, but also in terms of the time spent dealing with them instead of the business of the state (which she was then criticized for neglecting).  The fact that none of the suits had any merit and cost the Alaskan taxpayer millions means nothing.  The ends justified the means. 

Herman Cain poses an existential threat to the locked-in democratic votes of the black community.  There is a possibility that a choice between a black democrat and a black republican might cause some to reassess their true political leanings, rejecting the traditional knee-jerk liberalism.  This cannot be allowed to happen.

And so the palinization of Cain has begun. 

His portrayal of himself as a non-political everyman has encouraged a perception of him as having an aura of decency and strong personal ethics. He comes across as a man of integrity - plain-spoken, patriotic and honest.  These are all things sorely lacking in the current occupant of the White House.  This is NOT a comparison democratic operatives want the public making in the general election.  Since it is impossible to attempt to recast Obama as a man of integrity, patriotism and a champion of personal responsibility, it is necessary to instead bring Cain down. They simply had to drop his credibility level.

Don't forget that this was also attempted in 2008 against Senator John McCain after he won the primary.  Allegations of an affair between McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman were dismissed rather quickly.  The New York Times - purveyor of the smear - ended up settling the dispute with a retraction in January of 2011 (one of several the NYT has had to print in recent months in regards to smearing conservatives).

The media meme of "where there's smoke, there's fire" is quite convenient for palinization, considering as many anonymous accusers as necessary can be ginned up to smear Cain and plant the seed of doubt about his ethics without any need for pesky things like facts or corroboration.  The best part is, instead of having to file costly lawsuits like the antics in Alaska, all that's required are barrels of ink and reams of paper.  So much cheaper!  This new trend towards "take my word for it, it's bad" journalism is quite a change from the traditional standard of verifiable sources and hard evidence.

Apparently there is no need to discover if allegations are true nowadays.  Just the fact that someone has been accused by anonymous sources is enough to convict - at least in the press.  So much for innocent until proven guilty.  Proof of a settlement is no proof at all, particularly when it comes to sexual harassment allegations.  It is routine for large companies to pay off on claims like this as it is far cheaper (even at $45,000) than investigating and defending a suit.  Ultimately, a southern man - particularly of a certain age - calling someone 'darling' is as much sexual harassment as Brigadier General Michael Walsh's calling Senator Barbara Boxer 'ma'am' was an attempt to somehow demean her.  Ridiculous.

That Cain has enjoyed a bump in not just contributions but polling, too, shows that the public just doesn't seem to be buying what Politico is selling.  The question is, has it cast at least a shadow of a doubt on his character?  The media are certainly trying to imply that, but his support seems to be as strong as ever, even after a week-long journalistic full court press.  NRA's consent for the non-disclosure agreement to be lifted should put an end to the matter once and for all.  At this point, the accuser restricted by the agreement is unwilling to go public, and none of the others seem too keen to step forward either. 

The big question is, will this palinization work? 

So far, it hasn't.  In fact, his less than stellar handling of the situation might do more to damage his prospects than the initial allegations themselves.  There is also the possiblity of another accuser stepping forward, but if her accusations are as flimsy and vague as the other three, it's more likely the public will take it with a boulder of salt, roll their eyes and move on.  Don't get me wrong - if Cain has skeletons in his closet they must, by all means, be brought to light.  It's called vetting.  If the media had done half as good a job vetting candidate Obama, we'd be talking about running against incumbent President Rodham-Clinton today - you know, the one who wasn't hanging out with Ayers, Wright, and Rezko. 

But that would be to imply that those associations carried just as much political import as those of Jane Doe numbers One, Two and Three. 

How silly.

UPDATE:  Herman Cain has suspended his campaign after a woman named Ginger White stepped forward and claimed a thirteen year affair with the candidate.  It seems that this particular bit of smoke had some fire behind it.  Cain blames the media for his sinking polls and thus the suspension of his campaign, but it would be more likely that his poor performance in interviews and debates - particularly on foreign affairs - did him in.  If allegations of affairs with presidential candidates were disqualifiers, Bill Clinton would never have been elected.  But the Lothario-in-Chief got into the Oval Office because his responses and debate performances were as strong and rock-solid as his libido.   In my opinion, Herman Cain's campaign was over with that infamous question on Libya.  It's painful to watch.  I'm with S.E. Cupp.  He just wasn't up to the task and it was only a matter of time before it became obvious.



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