Now that we’ve witnessed the fall of Herman Cain we’ve also been exposed to the inevitable avalanche of self-victimization and martyrdom from Cain – “I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family,” and his supporters; “The media took a good man down! “ is their cry.
Nothing about such things as personal responsibility, the idea that a man might be responsible for what he does with his own hands and his own penis. Blame it all on an overly permissive society, on liberalism and pluralism, or blame it on conspiracies (“dark forces”) or the dark hearts of women. But Herman Cain’s penis is innocent. The Republican idea of personal responsibility only comes into play when a man’s house is burning down and he hasn’t paid his fees.
His penis can boldly go.
And then there is the handiest scapegoat of all: the alleged “liberal media elite.” According to Cain the problem is not his penis but the media talking about his penis or actions directly attributable to the influence of his penis:
“These false and untrue allegations continue to be spinned in the media, and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family. That spin hurts. It hurts my wife. It hurts my family. It hurts me. And it hurts the American people, because you are being denied solutions to our problems.”
But the colossal failure of the aspirations of Cain’s penis cannot be laid at the door of the media. Is the media fair and objective? Of course not. Neither, arguably, was Cain’s penis. And it (sorry, talking about the media here, not Cain’s penis though it is true of both) is far from liberal; it is corporate-owned (his penis too) and far more right-leaning than left (here we can only speculate with regards to his penis and appeals to the example of Bill Clinton’s penis will get us nowhere).
Ask any liberal or progressive running for office (about the media, not Cain’s penis). And that lack of objectivity is directed disproportionately at liberal and progressive candidates. To the extent media coverage had anything to do with Cain’s downfall only exposes that bias more deeply as the exception that proves the rule.
Where the blame really lies is with Cain himself. It isn’t the media that forgot to tell his wife about the woman he had been financially supporting for more than a decade. The media didn’t invent the women he paid settlements to in the 90s. The media isn’t to blame for the trouble his penis got him into. The media didn’t invent the news; it reported it. Cain came across like another Bill Clinton with his cry “I did not have sex with that woman” before trying to parse the act of sex itself. Cain’s excuses were many, imaginative, and ever-changing. He did not come across as a credible witness in his own defense.
Even some conservatives admitted to me that where there is that much smoke, there is likely fire. His supporters can claim Cain’s support of Ginger White was altruistic, that it’s because Christians don’t brag about their “good deeds” but wouldn’t you think her name would have come up at least in casual conversation with his wife of forty years? There are reasons other than altruism and Christian goodness that men don’t mention women they support on the side to their wives.
Cain was not the victim here. He was not a victim at all, except of his own actions. Republicans pay lipservice to personal responsibility just as they do freedom and liberty but for the GOP these are only buzz-words, not actual concepts that carry any weight. The victims are the women involved, who, after being exposed to Herman Cain’s harassment endured being called whores and worse by Cain’s supporters for daring to imagine they had a right to say no to Cain’s penis.
All this self-victimization and martyrdom detracts from the reality of Cain’s campaign, that it was likely doomed to failure from the start. He does not and never did have the cachet with voters that even Michele Bachmann has as a genuine religious fanatic, or Rick Perry, who has gotten into bed with religious extremists so far out there they make Bachmann look like a progressive Christian, or Mitt Romney, who though despised by those religious fanatics is the choice of the Republican establishment because he comes across as the only truly sane guy out there who hasn’t dropped trou for his country (looking at you, Newt Gingrich).
According to CBS News, Herman Cain’s political future was far from rosy:
Just eight percent of likely Republican voters at the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses support Cain, according to a poll released Friday by the Des Moines Register. That is about a third of the 23 percent support Cain had just over a month ago.
The entire Republican field is a joke. The Republicans know it. The polls show the American people know it. Herman Cain just happened to be a bit more of a joke than some others we might name, with the possible exception of Rick Santorum.
Newt Gingrich for one, though, wishes Cain well. In a written statement he said,
“I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend. I know from having worked with him for more than a decade he will continue to be a powerful voice in the conservative movement for years to come.”
And why not? Both men have made their penises a powerful voice, and it is Gingrich’s penis that is likely to benefit most from the fall of Cain’s penis, given the fact that though Romney likes to strap the family dog to the car’s roof, his penis seems to stay home and that Rick Perry probably doesn’t remember he has a penis and couldn’t articulate its use if he did.
Herman Cain, a fan of 1999’s Pokémon movie and the Donna Summer song that accompanied it, liked to talk about the “Power of One” but in the end, it was the power of his penis that derailed his political aspirations. We can only hope Donna Summer doesn’t choose do a song about it.
Image from HensParty.org