Flipping the script

Rising Cain candidacy flips old narratives on politics and race

Herman Cain doesn’t fit snugly into the usual narrative about race and American politics.

It is not merely that the African-American businessman is coming on so strongly in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination.

It is that the bedrock of Cain’s support comes from demographic and ideological groups that are sometimes accused — falsely, they would say — of harboring racist tendencies.

Polls in recent weeks have indicated that Cain has conspicuously strong backing among Republicans in the states of the old Confederacy. He has been a Tea Party darling virtually since the movement’s inception. And, as recently as Friday, he was cheered to the rafters by the deeply conservative, and almost uniformly white, attendees of the Values Voter Summit in Washington.

Has Cain achieved this measure of support by sidestepping issues of race? Hardly.

In his speech announcing his candidacy, back in May, he invoked Martin Luther King Jr. Were he to become president, he said, “we will finally be able to say, ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, America is free at last.’”

The line deftly combined a nod to King’s legacy with the suggestion that true freedom for African-Americans would involve shaking off their resilient attachment to the Democratic Party.

Cain made that point more explicitly, and more controversially, when he told CNN late last month that black voters had “been brainwashed into…not even considering a conservative point of view.” A furor ensued.

At Friday’s Values Voter Summit, one of the lines in his speech that attracted wild applause came when he related how a reporter had asked him whether he was “angry” about America, given the historic injustices meted out to African-Americans.

“I said, ‘Sir, you don’t get it,’” Cain told the crowd. “‘I have achieved all of my American dreams and then some because of the greatest nation, the United States of America.’”

It is no surprise that Cain’s candidacy is seen in fundamentally different ways, even within the ranks of black political commentators.

According to radio host and Tea Party activist David Webb, Cain’s candidacy has already made it easier for African-Americans to see the appeal of conservative ideas. Webb asserted that people like Cain and himself “help open up the discussion and bring down the stereotype” of unstinting allegiance to the Dems.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, the author of several books on the African-American experience, has a very different interpretation.

“The GOP has over a long period of time developed a very articulate handful of black conservatives – to, firstly, pound not just civil rights leaders but liberal Democrats generally; and, secondly, to create the illusion that there is a huge capacity among African-Americans to embrace the tenets of conservatism,” he said.

If Cain were to go on and win the GOP nomination this could be very interesting. Obama and the Democrats will have difficulty playing the race card (even though they’ll still try) and if Cain breaks the Democratic stranglehold on black voters then Donna Brazile’s dream of a new coalition will go up in smoke.

I’m not endorsing Herman Cain. He’s a conservative and I’m not. I don’t like any of the current candidates in either party. There are only two people I would actively support but neither of them is running.

So unless something changes one cf the current candidates is going to be POTUS for the next four year term. Since they are all far more conservative than me (including Obama) I am looking past their ideology and judging them on character and competence.

Based on what I have seen so far I think I could hold my nose and vote for Cain. And an Obama vs. Cain match-up will be far more entertaining than Obama vs. Romney.

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58 Responses to Flipping the script

  1. HELENK says:

    this is off topic but should be seen and heard.
    You asked about who started occupy wall st. Look who and what is teaching false flags
    Hello move-on and George Soros

  2. myiq2xu says:

    51% Don’t Want Second Term For President Obama

    A majority of Americans now oppose giving President Obama a second term, reflecting the country’s continued weak economic performance, according to the latest IBD/TIPP survey released Monday.

    By 51%-41%, respondents in October picked “someone new deserves a chance” over Obama “deserves to be re-elected.” Among independents, it was 54%-36%. Back in September, the readings were 50%-44% and 53%-38%, respectively.

    The other 49% didn’t want the first one.

  3. yttik says:

    “….to create the illusion that there is a huge capacity among African-Americans to embrace the tenets of conservatism,” he said

    Actually, there already is a huge capacity among African Americans to embrace the tenets of conservatism. There are a lot of religious influences and not a lot of support for things like gay marriage. This idea that all black folks are liberals really is brainwashing. They may tend to be Democrats, but most aren’t from the liberal end of the party.

    • trist says:

      Yes, if it were just on social issues, no doubt the black community in large would be far more instep with conservative values. But Republicans don’t need black votes to win, so no reason to court them. And since the Dems are all but guaranteed to receive those votes, by just saying well “they” don’t want you, so where else you gonna go? No reason to actually earn those votes by delivering any real improvements, just keep saying the other side won’t even give you the meaningless promises at least we are.

  4. Three Wickets says:

    NYTimes promoting a wikileaks type thing for OWS.

    At Pastebin.com, however, you can still see the anarchic nature of the early protests. There, you can search for the personal information of the police officials who have used force against the Wall Street protesters; or what purports to be e-mail addresses of bank executives; or guides on how to spot an agent provocateur or undercover officer in your midst; or lists of other Occupy movements around the country and the world.

    • Three Wickets says:

      This CNN article reads like an Obama ad. How Obama’s data-crunching prowess may get him re-elected

      Obama may be struggling in the polls and even losing support among his core boosters, but when it comes to the modern mechanics of identifying, connecting with and mobilizing voters, as well as the challenge of integrating voter information with the complex internal workings of a national campaign, his team is way ahead of the Republican pack.

  5. WMCB says:

    I’ve been following several black republicans, libertarians, or conservatives on blogs and Twitter for some time now, and they are noting that they are seeing more and more black republicans “coming out”, as it were.

    In the past few months, I’ve seen an increase on their Twitter feeds of other blacks arguing with them, but also conceding they have a point in some areas. I’m also seeing a certain boldness and outspokenness increasing in the R black community.

  6. HELENK says:

    I thought the democratic party had lost their minds in 2008 when they basically told anyone who was not for backtrack to get lost.
    Now I know they have lost it. To come out in favor of these manufactured protests is just crazy.
    They must think those computerized voting machines are going to work wonders for them


    • myiq2xu says:

      They are trying to create an astroturf version of a Democratic Tea Party.

      A lot of people who should know better are falling for it.

    • votermom says:

      “I support the message to the establishment,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Change has to happen. We cannot continue in a way that does not — that is not relevant to their lives. People are angry.”

      Nancy, I hate to break it to you, but YOU are the establishment. From 2006 to 2010 YOU were 3rd in line to the presidency, YOU were in charge of the House, YOU had the power to push through any legislation you really wanted, and WHAT DID YOU DO?

      People are angry AT YOU.

    • yttik says:

      Surprise! Not. Occupy Seattle has just endorsed Obama’s Jobs bill:

      Monday, October 10 at 5pm – Rally for Good Jobs Now

      “President Obama has proposed creating jobs with $50 billion to repair our bridges, roads and transit systems. He’ll pay it for it with a tax on millionaires. But Congress keeps saying NO. Are you angry about the lack of good jobs in our communities? Then join us to stand up together. Let’s tell Congress to create jobs and rebuild the Middle Class”

  7. HELENK says:

    I saw this suggestion for a theme song for the occupy wall st bunch

    where are we going I don’t know

  8. WMCB says:

    Juan Williams on Cain:

    As Herman Cain’s long shot campaign to become the GOP’s first black presidential nominee continues to gain in the polls he is writing a one-of a-kind Hollywood fantasy. What if both candidates for the White House in 2012, Republican and Democrat, are black?
    And what happens to American politics if a black Republican wins the White House by winning the black vote?
    Until now this movie seemed far-fetched. It fit in the same make-believe movie fiction genre as Jimmy Stewart being saved by an angel in the classic make-believe film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    But since Cain handily won the Florida Republican Party’s straw poll this movie is pushing toward reality.

    On Fox News Cain added that black voters in Atlanta, his hometown, constantly come up to him and begin whispering. They say they like him and his conservative positions. This happens so often he has started asking them why they are whispering. The answer is that black people fear being ostracized by other black people because they support a conservative – even if he is black.

    Cain dismissed the backlash as the predictable retort from a crowd of black liberal Democrat politicians who fear losing their monopoly on black voters. And he issued more fighting words when he said his comments were “not as insensitive as the president of the United States standing in front of a major black audience, the Congressional Black Caucus, and scolding them because his policies have failed the country, his policies have failed black people.”
    “That’s more insensitive — that’s more insulting to me than me using a term brainwashed. It’s their only weapon… to try to silence me because I’m a conservative. It’s simply not going to work” he added.

    Good for Herman Cain.

    Whenever the mainstream media wants to know what the African American community is thinking, they invariably go to the usual liberal voices, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as if they speak for all black people.

    Brilliant black conservative voices are viewed as tokens and inauthentic. That ranges from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to former transportation Secretary William Coleman, former Housing Secretary Al Jackson, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, author Thomas Sowell, Professor Walter E. Williams and businessman Herman Cain.

    After a while, the idea that the GOP will never be able to win back the black vote has become a self fulfilling prophecy. For the last several decades even Republican candidates have given up and not put money into winning the black vote.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/10/06/cain-vs-obama-in-2012-its-not-just-fantasy/#ixzz1aOABfaPL

    Myself, I believe that our country would be healthier politically if black Americans felt the same freedom to have the same wide range of political views that white Americans do, without being racially shamed and attacked on a racial basis.

    One of the main reasons I will cheer on Herman Cain is not political/policy reasons, but to support him in his effort to say that black americans can be conservatives if they want to. Equality means freedom to be whatever you want, without race being held up as the reason you can’t. You can be what you want to be. Even a conservative, and even wrong.

  9. WMCB says:

    Cain edges out Obama in new nationwide poll. That’s pretty good, since Cain’s name-recognition among non-political-junkies is still lower than anyone in the field. Interesting internals:

    I’m not terribly familiar with this firm, Poll Position, and they’re using automated voice survey techology (robo-pollsters, like Rasmussen) but their new survey result is worth mentioning because of the tidal shift it might represent: Herman Cain beating Barack Obama in a head-to-head matchup.

    Yes, that Herman Cain, the widely-liked former pizza executive who most folks didn’t take seriously because he had never been elected to any public office before.

    They find Cain with 43.3 percent and Obama with 41.3 percent. In their results, Cain takes 24 percent of the African-American vote.


  10. WMCB says:

    OT LOL

  11. What I like about Cain is, unlike Obama, Romney, and Perry, he’s not from the Political Class. That alone is worth attention.

  12. trist says:

    You know I did catch Cain in passing on some news show last week and made the comment to my Mom that he sounded like a preacher. She agreed, and then I said, well at least when he does it, it sounds authentic unlike when The One gets up there.

    I’m not a church goer myself, and am not so interested in how he says something but what he’s saying, however, I can see how his style might resonate with a lot of people. Though I think he’d have to be careful about going overboard with it.

    • DeniseVB says:

      He probably sounds like a preacher, because he is one 😀 I think part time though, the same church he’s attended since childhood.

    • His politics is not my cup of tea. But then neither is that of the One. They’re both conservative, I’m not. Either way we lose IMO. But I’d like Obama to lose just because of the anti-democracy crap in the last primaries. And well, because he’s an ass. 🙂 Also I want a teachable popcorn moment. 🙂

  13. HELENK says:

    all this about Herman Cain not having political experience is just so much bull.
    When I was training people on a job, I told them that everybody,even the general manager started out new.

    With his experience in running companies, he had to have some political know how. Politics is getting people to do what you want.
    He had to have the ability to understand and fix problems or he would be broke.

    just my opinion

    • DeniseVB says:

      Cain also worked every position in those companies he was involved with….janitorial, flipping burgers, taking orders. Sounds like what a good CEO should be doing. He was a jobs creator too and who better to understand how that works in the private jobs market.

  14. HELENK says:

    would you work for goldman sachs if they paid you in weed?


  15. Three Wickets says:

    @rortybomb: My friend Andrew Bossie is doing an intro lecture on banking/money/Fed at @OccupyWallStNYC at 3 pm today; I’ll be joining him. Stop by!

    Lol, well good for him I guess. Rortybomb’s put together some interesting OWS data.

    • Karma says:

      Still have to finish the whole thing, so I’m probably going to chomp on my foot somehow. But doesn’t it seem like the ages most represented are those who’ve just finished their degree/masters?

      Which makes this quote interesting. They wanted the big bucks – so they took on the big debt. Now they don’t like the contract they signed on their future.

      It’s straight out of antiquity – free us from the bondage of our debts and give us a basic ability to survive.

  16. yttik says:

    Sarah Palin said she is one of Cain’s biggest fans. It could get interesting for the political establishment if she endorsed him. He’s already picking up steam, I imagine that coveted Palin endorsement just might send him so far beyond Romney, he could become the candidate.

    That would certainly be called flippin the script on the political establishment.

  17. Three Wickets says:

    Think Perry must be using Pawlenty’s ad people.

  18. Jeffhas says:

    This weekend I donated to Herman Cain. The only candidate I’ve donated to since Hillary.

    Here’s my reasoning:

    He’s the only candidate that strikes me as ‘human’ (somewhat like what WMCB said).

    The color of his skin seems completely unimportant to him or his policies.

    While I disagree with his politics, I will not support a Dem Presidential Candidate until Pelosi/Reid/Schumer/Brazille et al are punished (Dean has already been punished somewhat – but I’m still waiting for the apology). NOT ONLY will I not support a Dem Pres Candidate, I have also made the added choice (ymmv) that I will vote for the Republican Candidate as my personal protest so the Dems have to make up two votes for the one I cast for the opposing party. I believe voting third party does not cut it – as those candidates have little chance to win, only the Repub candidate will be a threat – so to make them have to find two votes, I must vote for the Republican. THIS IS A PROTEST VOTE, I do not support the Republicans, but I don’t see everyone through the prism of my tribal sunglasses anymore…. and I don’t begrudge anyone else who wants to vote Dem or third party – it’s your vote, and I respect what you decide.

    Cain’s Campaign is going to need money. He is now the strongest candidate after Romney. If the ‘Brainwashing’ statement didn’t derail him (or the slight misstatements about foreign policy) then he will get stronger and stronger with each misstep – this could make him teflon before too long… but he doesn’t have Mitt’s 5 years of planning and infrastructure in place – HIS CAMPAIGN WILL NEED MONEY to compete with that machine.

    Cain as the nominee is the most effective and sure way of purging the Dem Party of the people who ruined it. If he takes even 20% of the African American Vote away – there is no chance in hell Obama can win, and it has the possibility of changing the Dem political landscape for generations – there will be hell to pay for those who stuck us with a loser.

    I am all aboard the Cain Train – until or unless it derails – then I’ll hold my nose and still vote against Obama as a protest – they will never get me back until they admit what they’ve done or suffer some consequences.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Cain’s my choice too because this time I’d rather have an experienced “blank slate” than 4 more years of “it’s my way or the highway” rule of the Boy King and his loyal subjects.

    • votermom says:

      I’m not quite ready to get my heart broken again, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Cain.

    • KC says:

      Be careful of jumping on the “Herman Cain is only a successful businessman” train.

      Cain was on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Federal Reserve for 4 years and played a large role in defeating the Clinton health care initiative in the early 90s.

      He’s an insider, just like Obama was/is an insider.

      • Jeffhas says:

        I’m on the ‘how-do-I-get-my-party-back-and-punish-those-who-stole-it’ train.

        … I don’t agree with Cain or have any other adoration for him – I do he think he seems ‘most human’, but I trust no one in politics…. but I do think he’ll cause the most damage to the current Dem leadership – and to me, that is what is needed.

  19. gxm17 says:

    Unless there’s an economic miracle, it’s going to be an anyone-but-Obama election. Good grief but Obama has been even more of a disaster than I could have ever imagined. And I knew he was gonna suck.

    Right now, Cain is the only Republican contender I can stomach so I am thrilled that he is gaining momentum.

    Now if we can just have a liberal miracle come along and give me someone to vote for, and feel good about my vote. Ahhh, if wishes were bankers…

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