Lowering Cain

Of the people who might actually get the Republican nomination for President, Herman Cain would be, beyond comparison, the weakest opponent for Barack Obama. It’s not easy to find someone less qualified for the Presidency than a former half-term governor, but Cain probably does it: he has never held any public office, or for that matter any position involiving public policy other than lobbyist. He is not only grossly ignorant, but proud of his ignorance. His positions are extremist where they aren’t merely incomprehensible.

So, as a liberal, I want Cain, rather than Romney, to be the Republican nominee. The people who have a strong need to destroy Cain are Romney’s handlers and party strategists such as Karl Rove. Whether the charges against him are true or false, I very much hope he skates past them.

So when various wingnut commenters try to make this a “liberal media” plot against a conservative, I can only shake my head and wonder whether they actually believe the sh*t they write. Neither answer is really an attractive one.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

9 thoughts on “Lowering Cain”

  1. Considering the fact that Cain’s campaign blamed Rick Perry’s campaign, I would bet that they do not believe a word of what they say, but say it because (1) it inflames the base’s paranoia, and (2) the base is not bright enough to know when it is being lied to.

  2. I understand your logic. But, I’m here to warn you.

    I live in Florida. We elected Rick Scott governor last year. Having a wingnut candidate with no public policy experience other than as a lobbyist is no guarantee that he will lose. And Gov. Scott even had the distinction of having invoked his 5th Amendment rights some 70 times in a deposition addressing fraud committed by his comany against the fedearl government.

    So, while I share your sentiment, I have no confidence Cain would lose if he gets the nomination.

  3. I don’t see Cain as a logical problem for Wingnuttia.
    1. Dontcha know, Herman Cain is electable? Real Americans want a strong black conservative as President. They are colorblind. Opposition to the Muslim Kenyan socialist has nothing to do with his black.
    2. The liberals’ media plot against Cain shows that their deep-seated racism causes them to do irrational things that go against their interests.
    3. General paresis ensues.

  4. I submit that Herman Cain actually has more experience in a position that significantly affects national policy than any Republican candidate other than Newt Gingrich. Compared to the chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, an offbeat US Representative (like Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann) or a junior US Senator (like Rick Santorum) with no significant committee chairmanship has very little influence on national policy. Even multi-term governors of large states (like Rick Perry) have no influence at all on national policy, to say nothing of the one-term governors of a middle-sized states (like Mitt Romney).

    He is still frighteningly ignorant, but I’m afraid he isn’t unique in that respect.

    1. The boards of directors of the Federal Reserve district banks don’t set policy in any way. The chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City does not have any influence on Fed policy, except insofar as he or she participates in the primary responsibility of the bank’s board, which is to select the bank president, who must in turn be approved by the Board of Governors. Not much of a credential to be president of the U.S. — certainly not as relevant as being a former half-term governor or backbencher in the House of Representatives.

    2. “I submit that Herman Cain actually has more experience in a position that significantly affects national policy than any Republican candidate other than Newt Gingrich. ”

      Head lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association?

  5. But, but, but Ann Coulter has already thrown down the gauntlet: “Our Blacks are so much better than their Blacks” when defending Herman! Doesn’t her message deserve more scrutiny as to whether she’s correct or not? Or, is it just another example of out of touch Righties being far too righteous for their own good?

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