(This week’s Herald column and a new web ad) Cain and supporters dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck?

A group tied to a GOP firm that allegedly took Sharron Angle and other longshot candidates for a ride in 2010, is up with a new ad (above) … along with a million phonecall march in Iowa, on behalf of Herman Cain.

The web ad by Americans for Herman Cain, which is linked to a firm called Base Connect, which a Salon.com investigation found charged Angle more than $600,000 for her failed Senate campaign, and that typically kept 75, 85 or even 95 percent of the money it took in from candidates, rather than spending it on their campaigns, has taken the race angle on the Cain sex harassment scandal full bore. They are riding the “high tech lynching” meme in their web strategy, including in the new web ad:

And so is Herman Cain.

From my column this week in the Herald:

How ironic would it be if Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and onetime head of the National Restaurant Association, who for many African-Americans too often traffics in uncomfortable stereotypes, was brought down by the ultimate stereotype of black men.

Cain, who delights conservative audiences with his pidgin English — saying things like “I’s don’t care” and who makes an elaborate show of not being able to pronounce “Uzbekistan,” writes in his book that he nicknamed himself “Cornbread” and would like that to be his Secret Service codename as president. In This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House, Cain perfunctorily dismisses the indignities segregation visited upon him and his family, presenting an “aw shucks” view of America that’s highly favored by the right.

He’s said he wants to inject Gospel into Hail to the Chief, and is known to break into a spiritual at random moments; even crooning He Looked Beyond My Fault at the National Press Club after he admitted knowing more than he previously claimed about sex harassment allegations unearthed by the online site Politico, stemming from his time as head of the restaurant lobby.

Cain has eagerly played the role of the tea party’s all-purpose anti-racism defense. Never mind the Obama witch doctor signs; if they like Herman, how could any member of the tri-corner hat brigade be racist?

He has slipped on occasion, like the time he called Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s choice to vacation at a ranch branded with the N-word “insensitive.” He was summarily slapped down by the right for that offense, and quickly reverted to form, telling Fox News there is no racism whatsoever on the right, but lots of it on the left.

Cain repeated the meme on Tuesday regarding his present scandal. But the skeletons hopped out of the closet of an organization with close ties to the GOP establishment, in a story likely handed to the reporters by one of Cain’s Republican rivals.

The truth is, even the most lurid allegations won’t necessarily damage Cain with his diehard supporters, many of whom idolize Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for surviving Anita Hill’s charges of crude behavior when the two worked for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

The top talkers are also standing by Cain, at least for now, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, who clerked for Thomas and on whose radio show a caller on Tuesday said she was so sure Cain is being falsely accused, she’d write in his name on her 2012 ballot if he doesn’t make the GOP cut.

In defending Cain, the right is employing a creative defense for an ideological group that claims it views “playing the race card” as tantamount to selling your soul to the devil: They’re throwing down the race card.

Anyone who repeats the allegations against Cain is “racist.” Anyone who speaks unfondly of Herman Cain is racist. And anyone who doesn’t properly appreciate black Republicans like Herman Cain? Racist.

For all the queasiness of the Cain scandal, including his 999 explanations, it’s ironic that the petard upon which Cain is being hoisted involves some of the oldest and ugliest stereotypes about the supposed sexual aggressiveness of black men — stereotypes Herman Cain would probably deny ever existed in his rose-colored version of American history. …

Read more here

What’s amazing is that Cain is using this two-front strategy with no sense of irony: accusing amorphous “liberals” and the media of beating him up because he is a black conservative, and accusing the above of “lynching” him just like Clarence Thomas, while also accusing the Rick Perry camp of being the ones who orchestrated the leak of his sex harassment issues from the 90s, and beyond. But both things can’t be true. Isn’t he essentially accusing the Texas governor of being the one “lynching” him? And what does that look like for the right?

Are conservatives really going to stand for one of their own making such blunt force use of what they would normally call “the race card?” And how crazy is it that people like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are dealing that card, too?

We have entered bizarre territory on this one.

I find myself having to quote RedState here. So here I go, from someone called “Streiff”:

The whole Herman Cain story has caused me more disappointment in my political allies than any other event in my time as a blogger. As I sit here, mouth agape, I am watching a number of people I respect, like Andy McCarthy at NRO, become indistinguishable from Lanny Davis and James Carville during the Clinton-Lewinski scandal.

The fact that we have a story that was reported by Politico, or Pravda for that matter, is irrelevant because we know what they reported was correct. At some point in his tenure as president of the NRA, Herman Cain was the subject of two complaints of sexual harassment that resulted in settlements in the $35-45K range being paid to the complainants and the parties are bound by an non-disclosure agreement. The fact that we don’t know anything about the substance of the complaints is the responsibility of one man: Herman Cain. Through a period of four days Cain has engaged in evasions and outright lies over the events. But no one on the right seems to care very much about that as honesty is now a bug rather than a feature in our candidates. Because Politico.

Already people are lining up to accuse the women involved of being dishonest and predatory. We’re told they are anonymous allegations. We’re told that Cain can’t respond to unknown allegations. This is just crap on its face The women aren’t anonymous. The allegations aren’t unknown. The women and allegations were sufficiently known to allow the NRA to cut them checks. We, the American public, are kept in the dark because Herman Cain won’t ask the NRA to release all sides from the non-disclosure agreement. Because Politico.

Herman Cain’s pattern of lying about these incidents began in 2003, by his own admission, when he told his campaign manager there was one incident while he knew there were at least two settlements. This isn’t important. Because Politico.

We’re told that most sexual harassment claims are frivolous and people who make them are just paid off, willy nilly, to leave because of the expense of litigation. Is that true in your company? How many of you have wives, daughters, etc., who have sued their boss for sexual harassment just to collect the money? Can I have a show of hands? But we KNOW these cases are frivolous, even though Cain refuses to cooperate in getting the details out. Because Politico.

Cain and even ordinarily sensible guys like Rush Limbaugh are claiming that Cain is the victim of racism over this, do we really think any WHITE Republican would have received this level of support in a similar circumstance? No. But the allegations are racist. Because Politico.

This is just ridiculous.

Unlike my colleague Leon, I don’t see where anyone but Herman Cain has a responsibility to be concerned about Cain’s future political viability. A career which I have to note has not extended to actually being elected to anything in the past. He has created this mess and it is incumbent upon him, alone, to get out of it. We have enough bored dilettantes running for office out there as is so I find the loss of one underwhelming. …

I have never said this about a RedState post before, but Mr. or Ms. Streiff: hear-hear.

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2 Responses to (This week’s Herald column and a new web ad) Cain and supporters dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck?

  1. edthurston says:

    Yes they can’t beat him in debates so they try to take him down by making a smear campaign. Dirty tricks is not new in politics but don’t you think this one is pretty obvious?

  2. Flo says:

    It’s not a smear campaign if it’s true, Edith.

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