It seems that some Democrats’ heads might explode from the mental contortions they’re going to through to justify their enduring belief that Republicans must be racists.
I’m certainly not a supporter of Herman Cain, but I’ve enjoyed watching some Democratic commentators trying to explain away Cain’s growing support among many Republicans. You see, if Republicans don’t support black candidates, it’s because they’re racist. But if they do support a black candidate, it’s also because they’re racist. Got that?
If that logic doesn’t make sense to you, it’s clear that you haven’t learned logic in the same place as Democratic strategist Karen Finney. On MSNBC Friday, Finney gave her spin on Cain’s surge in popularity, saying, “I think [Herman Cain] is giving that base a free pass and I think they like him because they think he is a black man who knows his place.”
I’m not sure who should be more insulted — Cain or his Republican supporters.
Finney isn’t the only Democrat to trot out this bizarrely irrational approach. U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) said the same thing last week. Democratic partisan and actress Janeane Garofalo has wondered out loud who is paying Cain to be a black “token” for the Tea Party. And, of course, there’s the black novelist who goes by the name, Toure, who says that Cain’s views are an insult to the black community.
Does it cross the mind of these narrow-minded folks that maybe Cain is just saying what he believes? And does it cross the mind of these bigots that a sizable number of Republican voters like what he’s saying — and couldn’t care less about his race?
To me, Cain is nothing more than a typical neo-conservative with a glib line and no credentials. I can’t imagine why anybody would support him. But I think the same thing of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry and all the rest of the ones who have any shot at the nomination. I disagree with Cain on a number of issues, but I guarantee that his race doesn’t influence what I think of him. I think that’s the case with a tremendous number of people who will be voting in the Republican primaries.
They’re an odd kind of racism that underlies what Cain is facing from Democrats and in the attitudes that Democrats have toward Republicans. It’s a racism that suggests that blacks are only allowed to believe certain things. Anyone who deviates from the progressive left script about race is a racist, according to that line of thinking. Blacks have to believe one monolithic set of beliefs. And whites who disagree with that must be racists. It’s irrational, but it’s accepted as wisdom among many Democrats today.
I know only one person who knows Cain and has been around his campaign, and that person speaks very highly of him. (He doesn’t speak so highly of the competence of Cain’s campaign staff, but that’s another issue.) I’ll tell you a story that was relayed to me by my friend from a campaign stop that speaks to the race question. Everyone is conscious of it, but it doesn’t seem to be the main issue.
According to my friend who was there, at a campaign event in Georgia recently, Cain was asked about his race during a Q&A portion of the public event. A bit tentatively, a man asked, “Mr. Cain, do you think you’re going to be electable right now? I like what you have to say, but since so many people are unhappy with Obama, do you think they’re going to be willing to elect a black man again?”
Cain stopped and thought for just a moment before he said, “Elect a black man? They haven’t elected a real black man yet.” The crowd laughed and suddenly seemed to accept that it wouldn’t be an issue. My friend said these white Republicans were genuinely impressed by what they saw and heard.
I don’t believe Cain will get the GOP nomination. I think he’ll be another of those “flavor of the month” candidates who get popular and then fade. But when he loses, it will be because he doesn’t have the right experience or someone else shined a bit brighter to enough voters or something like that. It won’t be because he’s black. For most voters, it’s a non-issue.