When I think of Black Walnut Cornbread Herman Cain's deflections and denials I can't help but think of Marion Berry. It is a small world. Perhaps they are cousins, or at the very least, members of a mutual admiration society.
Question: How many important events have been ignored by the news media this week because of Herman Cain's purported peccadilloes?
Nevertheless, he remains tasty, low hanging fruit that one cannot resist over indulging on--even at the risk of becoming horribly ill. The old maxim was always, "if it bleeds it leads." There is a cousin to that rubric. Sex sells. Race and sex and cartoonish black conservative pizza mavens sell even more.
Why? Even in the Age of Obama, race remains America's national obsession. Moreover, most voters are ill-equipped to talk about public policy with any degree of expertise. Because the masses are asses, and elites encourage them to remain in a state of stupefied ignorance, the public is attracted to sex scandals because the politics of the loins, and errors of Eros and lust, are topics that are universally relateable.
As the founder of Herman Cain studies, I offered an obligatory prediction regarding the total number of women who will eventually come forth and accuse him of sexual harassment (thanks owed to The Daily Beast for giving my over/under some shine). I have also uttered the heretofore obvious, but somehow still verboten:Herman Cain's accusers are white women.
Conservatives, especially the Tea Party Christian Nationalist types who are Herman Cain's base, love a story of lust, corruption, falls from grace, and redemption. At this point, it is obvious that Herman Cain is guilty of something. My instincts suggest that at a minimum he stepped out on his wife a few times. In the worst case scenario, Cain got these women drunk and had sex with them--consensual or otherwise. Cain has lust in his heart. Therefore, he should be the fallen everyman and use his gift of melodramatic preacher pitchman Stepin Fetchit habitus to throw himself on the mercy of the Tea Party GOP public.
In another life, I worked in public relations and crisis management. If I had his ear, I would have told Herman Cain that the old school still remains the true school: the cover-up is always worse than the crime. Ideally, he should have gotten ahead of the story a week or so ago, issued an obligatory and vague statement, took the 24 hours news whipping, and moved on. We are past that point. Now Herman Cain has to do something a bit different to turn the tide.
If I had Herman Cain's ear, I would tell him the following.
Herman, you need to have a confessional. Unless you can have a third party silence these accusers, they are going to make a public debut. This will happen sooner rather than later. When the inevitable occurs, you need to channel your big tent preacher revival spirit. If need be, cry. The public is you. You are the public. We are all victims of a judgmental mainstream liberal media that wants to take down the only person who tells the truth. They defend Obama at every turn. The mainstream media, inside the beltway, East coast elites, are hostile to you because they are fundamentally dishonest. Herman, real America understands you. Play to this strength.
Communicate with your public: Don't let the media take this moment away from us.
Remember,"you," "we," and "us." Those words are your friends.