Proof #1 :
Yesterday, a businessman named Bob Turner, with no prior political experience, handily defeated a Democrat in NY’s 9th district, replacing disgraced amateur porn star Anthony Weiner as the district’s congressional representative. It is the first time a Republican has held that seat since the 1920’s.
Was this a repudiation of Obama, or the state of the current Democrat Party, or of Weiner? All of the above I’d say, but in that order.
While the GOP is crowing, trust me the district did not suddenly change party affiliation. The day the Democrats can find a pro-Israeli, fiscally responsible candidate, they will vote for him. But that will be awhile.
In the meantime Bob Turner will leave his mark, and that mark will be one that Herman Cain has helped pioneer.
Proof # 2
A couple of weeks ago Jeffrey Toobin wrote a lament in The New Yorker that Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t so stupid after all. He and his buds had totally missed it. In fact, Thomas is the stealth intellectual on the Court, and thanks to the Left’s snide derision on him, he has been able to work some serious magic under the radar screen for years.
Affirming Toobin’s angst, Walter Russell Mead wrote about his painful admission at American Thinker, (an important read) and went on to say that Thomas was quietly and effectively removing the “scaffolding” the New Deal leftists of FDR had built around the Constitution in the 1930’s.
Think about it, a Supreme Court as we knew it in the days of Coolidge.
Herman Cain is doing the same somewhere else
This is my analysis only and in no way infers any collaboration with Mr Cain or his staff.
I’ve met Herman Cain twice and like him very much. In every category, yes even foreign policy, I place him at 1, 2 or 3 in the current field of GOP candidates, even considering a later entry by Sarah Palin into the field.
Most of all, I like his “type”. I’ve said this many times.
Most media analysts rank Cain low alongside the other candidates, always based on their own self-generated conventional rules of analysis, pre-2010 (BCE), which generally reads: A person from the private sector, with no political experience, is not electable.
Bottom line: Herman Cain doesn’t measure up to their idea of a president based on years and years of accumulated evidence based on a template that no longer exists.
Herman Cain’s brief reply to this rule (from the South Carolina debate): “How’s that been working out for you?”
More succinctly (from me) how’s that been working out for America?
Herman Cain represents a type of problem solver America needs very much. The nice thing about him he isn’t just out there promoting himself. He’s also selling the broader notion that the best ideas, experience and leadership for a post-2010 America (A.D.), at all levels of government, can be found in the private sector where problem solving is still a resume enhancement.
At the recent Florida debate, Mr Cain laid out his idea of reforming the federal bureaucracy, EPA in particular. (This has been a pet cause of mine for many years, as an original bureaucracy-buster.) He wants to form commissions made up of their private sector “victims.” This a crackerjack of an idea.
Moreover, it is also an idea no other candidate on the dais that night could ever have conceived. Nor their staffs. It’s a purely private sector concept.
There isn’t just sanity in this idea, but it also involves a long over-due reckoning and a reminder to the bureaucracy just who works for who.
But that is just one kind of scaffolding Herman is removing.
Could Herman Cain also be removing the American media’s scaffolding around campaigns.
What I find even more interesting is the way in which he has designed his campaign. Again I say this as an observer outside his campaign.
A little history: The media has always been engaged in political campaigns. But in the days of two city dailies there was never a pretense of objectivity. Newspapers were partisan as hell. But national radio networks announced the news without commentary and even early television, can anyone remember John Cameron Swayze at NBC?, simply read the news. Let the newspapers have at it with partisanship, for facts, the people needed to come to CBS, NBC or ABC.
CBS and Murrow changed that, for by 1960 the media had become an unobjective player in the Kennedy-Nixon race, only I doubt many people knew it at the time. They were no longer about facts.
Part of the scaffolding it built was, of course, “the debate” system, which Nixon won on points, but JFK won on glamor. Another key element was the ability of the media to control, magnify or bury a candidate and his image, such as JFK’s obsessive womanizing, which, had it been known publicly would have driven Kennedy from the race. The media did know and decided it did not fit their designs for him…just like 2008, 48 years later… so they buried it.
In 1960 the national media became propagandists, and for twenty years went about purging its ranks of mouthpieces that even hinted an adherence to a journalistic code.
From 1960-2008 the American media has essentially been in charge of the election process. With Watergate they were given cause to believe they could run a president from office (1974) and tried but failed again to do in both Reagan’s and Bush II’s tenure.
This didn’t mean that Republicans couldn’t win, mind you, but they had to play the game according to the a template. And heaven help the president (or any public office holder) who bucked them while in office. Only Reagan actually defied them, but it was not in his campaigns. It was rather his bypass of both the Congress and the media by taking his case for cutting taxes directly to the American people.
Even conventional conservative media analysts didn’t like Reagan’s “tricks”, I think. Reagan was not a “type” they wanted to see more often in Washington. By 1992, and the accession of Bill Clinton, the scaffolding the American media had erected around the election process was considered as sacrosanct as the liberal Court decisions built around the Constitution since 1936.
Since then, every successful candidate for every office had to be filtered through the media prism. They had the power of political life and death.
Enter Herman Cain; a funny thing happened in South Carolina.
All the conventional media people who watched that debate came up with the usual observations about the candidates’ performance (neither Romney, Perry nor Bachmann were there). Cain did okay, they all said. All eyes were on Tim Pawlenty, the only first tier candidate of the lot (RIP).
But then pollster Frank Luntz did an after-debate poll among a group of South Carolinians, and on a show of hands Cain won unanimously.
What the hey?
Yes, this astounding unfiltered reaction by real people gave Herman an unexpected bump in both the polls and media attention, which naturally meant he had to be tripped up. And Cain stumbled on a question about our military position in Afghanistan, then Islam in general and the issue of a mosque in Tennessee, or so they said. He spent a lot of his time saying “I didn’t say that, but did say this,” which we all recognize as the wreckage of another media drive-by shoot-down.
His campaign settled back into second tier according to media and national consultants.
Mmmm, could be. (Bugs Bunny, Warner Bros)
What no one considered then is that Herman probably gained a quarter of million votes with what he said about sharia law and that mosque, only there was no Frank Luntz there to take the count. But Herman counted, I’m sure.
I recently wrote that while Ron Paul has probably read more books on American foreign policy, once briefed on a situation, Herman Cain has an inner compass Dr Paul doesn’t, and is therefore twice as qualified to act on it. Reagan had that quality, as well.
And Herman seems to be able to convey this quality in everything he says. For people in the audience, it is sensed more than spoken.
In more recent debates, Iowa (FoxNews), then the Reagan Library (NBC) and last week in Florida (CNN), Herman regularly gave time back to the moderators. He was talking to someone different than the people Michelle, Mitt and Rick thought they were talking to. Herman doesn’t waste his time restating his resume to the cameras, or pleading with the cameras every time he speaks that he is qualified to be president.
Does Herman Cain know something the media doesn’t?
It does seem that Herman Cain is merely speaking at the cameras (and the media) and not to them.
He is speaking to someone else.
This was also a quality Ronald Reagan had.
This is a giant crap shoot for Herman Cain, and a lot depends on things I’m not privy to such as the strength of his grass roots operations. Or money.
But Herman Cain seems to be convinced that he can use the media megaphone provided by them and speak to a group of people the media is quite unaware of, in a way they are quite deaf to, about things they don’t even believe are important.
By doing so Herman Cain is undoing their scaffolding around this entire process.
So for this reason especially, I want to see actual votes counted before Herman decides it’s time to cash in his chips. For if Herman does well in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Florida, he will have proved a major point that future candidates can use to minimize the power of the media in declaring any person’s worthiness to be president.
He will have started tearing down a scaffold that is every bit as inhibiting to American liberty as the one FDR built around the Supreme Court 80 years ago.
I like this a lot.
And he may yet win.