“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Gains Support from Ryan & Laffer

Despite carping from Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, neither of whom I think actually understand Herman Cain's tax code overhaul, both House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan and economist Art Laffer, Reagan's former economic advisor, came out publicly to endorse Cain's 9-9-9 plan.

Ryan, in footage I saw on cable news last week, publicly announced his satisfaction with Cain's tax plan. Coming from Ryan, that's high praise indeed.

Art Laffer endorsed Cain's plan on Brett Baier's Fox News Special Report- see video below. Laffer also echoes my thoughts on why it's useless to attack the plan's sales tax component as being susceptible to being hiked by future Congresses. In short, it's a useless straw man argument.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Calculations Involving Herman Cain's Presidential Bid

As I write this early on Thursday afternoon, 13 October, Herman Cain made the front page of the Wall Street Journal for moving out in front of Mitt Romney by a few percentage points in a recent WSJ/NBC News poll of primary voters.

I've written in prior posts that it makes sense to me that GOP voters should nominate the candidate who would draw the most independent voters. But that was before Herman Cain became a realistic choice to win the nomination.

Now, that arithmetic has to be modified.

This became evident to me earlier this week, when Bill O'Reilly discussed the results of the Bloomberg GOP candidate event with Karl Rove. O'Reilly flatters himself as capable of divining the intent of voters, though he claims to be non-partisan. I don't really think he really understands Tea Party members at all. But O'Reilly proclaimed, and sort of bludgeoned Rove into agreeing with him, that Cain is too far right for most independents, while Romney is not.

Therefore, according to O'Reilly's calculations, Romney is the guy the GOP should nominate.

Not so fast, Bill.....

You see, for Cain, the equation is unique among GOP candidates. It looks something like this:

Total General Election Votes = GOP + share of independents + share of black votes.

Whereas all other GOP candidates effectively share the equation, without the red highlighted term, Cain's is different in that he can draw substantial black votes from Wonderboy.

Thus, while other candidates can, in fact, be reasonably evaluated on the share of independents they attract, since registered Republicans can probably be counted on to vote for whomever the party nominates, Cain can offset a lower share of independent voters with black voters on which no other Republican can depend.

Cain has been quite explicit about this segment, provoking charges of racism from other blacks.

But it does change the calculation for GOP voters. And makes Cain's appeal among blacks important for pollsters to begin measure. Because Cain's net additional, non-GOP voter appeal could well exceed Romney's, if one measures the disaffected blacks who, for the very first time, would have a black alternative to a Democratic national candidate, as Jason Riley noted in his recent WSJ column.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The OccupyWallStreet & Related Protests

Is it just me, or does OccupyWallStreet look and sound like something out of a Tom Wolfe novel? Very much like Bonfire of the Vanities. The politicians and unions all lining up behind the scenes to attempt to maneuver for advantage. Major liberal media celebrities and unions are joining in. Even a few apparently risk-oriented House Democrats, like John Lewis and Frisco Nan.

But interviews with the  ordinary crowd members reveal no actual knowledge of what the movement's/event's objectives and demands actually are.

Never the less, some Democratic Congressmen, and even Wonderboy himself speak of common cause with the anarchic crowd.

What disturbs me is that the movement's public calls to echo Egypt's grassroots democracy overlooks the fact that the US has a standing Republic form of government with freely-elected representatives and president.

This entire event seems to be little more than an attempt by the far left to try to take government out of the existing Constitutional institutions and put it into the street, because they don't like the fact that voters rebuked the Democrats last November by cutting their Senate majority and returning the House to GOP control.

It's as if, having had all three key elements of legislation- House, Senate and White House- for two years, they aren't satisfied with the results. So they simply intend to overthrow the Constitutionally-mandated process of federal government by sitting in on Wall Street and elsewhere in major US cities.

To better understand how skewed and out of touch with reality the movement's supporters are, here's an editorial from the weekend Wall Street Journal by SEIU's president, Mary Kay Henry, entitled Why Labor Backs 'Occupy Wall Street.' I've helpfully highlighted Henry's contentions which are seriously at odds with the truth, in red.

"The images of row upon row of stoic airline pilots, fed-up students and thousands of Americans marching through downtown Manhattan have captivated the nation.

Seemingly overnight, the organic, scrappy protests in the financial center of the world have blossomed into a national movement from Chicago to Los Angeles, calling attention to the gross inequality in our society and the unwillingness of our politicians to correct this imbalance.

The Occupy Wall Street actions are a potent example of what is happening across our country as the anger and frustration of ordinary Americans builds. While the media and pundits obsess over what the Occupy Wall Street protester's want, the protesters have already succeeded in shaking our conscience as a nation and forcing a national conversation about everything that is wrong with our economy.

The hard truth is that things are pretty lousy for most Americans right now. And while students, seniors and workers didn't cause our economic collapse, we're the ones paying the price.

It's been three years since Wall Street CEOs crashed our economy. When Wall Street was on its knees, the American taxpayers came to their rescue with trillions of dollars in bailouts and promise from the big banks that they'd invest in our recovery.

Instead, the banks used our hard-earned tax dollars to enrich themselves. They robbed millions of Americans of their jobs and their livelihoods. They refuse to invest in the small businesses that drive America's job creation and growth. And they continue to kick us while we're down by foreclosing on millions of families.

Today, the richest 5% of the population holds 72% of the wealth in our country. We have 25 million Americans looking for full-time work. And those Americans lucky enough to have a job have seen their hours slashed and their benefits cut. I recently met a worker in Chicago who told me he's been forced to feed his family by foraging for food in the dumpsters behind the grocery store by his house. Not because he's out of work but because his hours had been cut back and there simply wasn't enough money to keep a roof over his family's head, pay the electric bill, and put food on the table every night.

We have an entire generation of young people who were promised good jobs if they worked hard, played by the rules and attended college. They kept their end of the bargain and when they graduated they were left with no job prospects and a record amount of debt.

Americans watched in horror this spring as Republican politicians held our country hostage during the debt-ceiling debate to win harmful cuts to our communities and more tax breaks for millionaires. And this week House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor again turned their backs on the American people by refusing to even bring the American Jobs Act up for a vote.

The anger of the American people has been brewing for quite some time, and now that it's boiled over there's no bottling it up. The importance of Occupy Wall Street can't be measured by any set of demands. What's more important to understand are the values that unite the protesters and their authentic understanding of what has gone wrong in our economy.

We can begin to right the wrongs of our economy and respond to the growing demands of the American people by putting our country back to work and by holding Wall Street and big corporations accountable for the damage they've inflicted on us all.

When Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz was asked what one demand on Washington the Occupy Wall Street protesters should make right now, he didn't hesitate a moment before saying: create jobs.

We can't begin to fix what is wrong with our economy without creating good jobs. We have work that needs doing in this country and millions of Americans looking for full-time work. It's time to put the two together to make America a stronger nation. And it's time to use the money being made on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms across the country to put Americans back to work.

Congress can begin by passing the American Jobs Act and immediately put Americans to work rebuilding our outdated and dangerous roads and bridges and ensuring our kids have first-class schools. We can invest in our communities to keep teachers in our classrooms, police on the beat, health-care workers at our hospitals and clinics, and ensure that we have enough firefighters to protect our communities.

The 2.1 million nurses, janitors, school-bus drivers and other members of the Service Employees International Union stand arm in arm with the peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters. While unions cannot claim credit for Occupy Wall Street, SEIU members are joining the protesters in the streets because we are united in the belief that our country needs a change.

Nobody can predict what's next for the Occupy Wall Street movement. And no one institution or person should try to exert their pressure on this inspiring collective of people.

The importance of the Occupy Wall Street protests lies in the simple fact that all it takes is a small group of courageous people to light a spark and forever change the arc of history. The auto workers in Flint, Mich., lit that spark in the 1930s through their sit-down strikes and forever changed American industry. The civil-rights activists lit that spark when their sit-ins forced us to confront the racial inequality that poisoned our nation.

We saw that spark in Tahrir Square and across the Middle East this Arab Spring as a few brave people inspired millions of fed-up citizens to challenge their governments and demand better lives. It's what I've witnessed for the past 30 years as a union organizer watching working people stick their necks out and stand publicly for a union to win a chance at a better life for themselves and their families.

And it's what countless Americans see in this growing Occupy Wall Street movement. They see the opportunity to restore the very American notion that each of our citizens deserves a shot at reaching his or her own dreams, of finding a good job, and leaving the next generation better off.

The people are finally speaking. Now it's up to our leaders and CEOs to listen and respond."

I won't refute those highlighted passages point by point. Suffice to say:

-"Wall Street CEOs" did not "crash" our economy. For that, thank Barney Frank, Kent Conrad, and Chris Dodd for pushing Fannie and Freddie to guarantee low-doc, no-doc, low-quality mortgage loans.

-To my knowledge, banks were told to take TARP money, and no managements signed papers agreeing, in exchange, to loan money to questionable businesses at near-zero rates.

-Borrowers of money for mortgages who don't continue to pay those loans knew they'd be in default. They are adults, not children. Nobody 'robbed' them then stole their homes.

-The best, though, is this howler:

"We have an entire generation of young people who were promised good jobs if they worked hard, played by the rules and attended college. They kept their end of the bargain and when they graduated they were left with no job prospects and a record amount of debt."

I can't recall, when I was in college, anyone promising me a "good job" if I worked hard, graduated, whatever. This is a union boss' view of the ideal America- not reality in a free-, or even mixed-market economy.

-Then Henry simply states that it's time to be socialist and forcibly take public company capital for employment, against the shareholders' wills, in the economy as government sees fit.

Of course, that last bit is sort of what Wonderboy & Co. have done with Stimulus I and II (the latter a/k/a The Jobs Act), only instead of taking corporate money directly from those firms, they just borrowed it from China and spent it, expecting to get it through higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

-Henry also confuses the early-mid years of American unionism with some sort of utopia, when it was, in reality, an unsustainable money grab in some then-key industrial sectors. One way they 'changed American industry forever' is drove some of it into bankruptcy, taking the union pensions with them, while driving others offshore.

Good job, Mary Kay!

- How about this passage, dripping with entitlement-speak:

"that each of our citizens deserves a shot at reaching his or her own dreams, of finding a good job, and leaving the next generation better off."

What is to prevent anyone from that shot now? Go talk to Herman Cain. Sometimes you have to make your job, rather than sit still while others hand it to you.

Perhaps if some of Mary Kay's precious union workers hadn't spent so much of their high, unionized wages on vacation homes and pickup trucks, while living lifestyles that caused them to require so much expensive medical care later in life, they'd be in better financial shape to weather the current environment. Perhaps not taken on housing debt they couldn't afford.

This is America, folks. Nobody promises you the good life. You have to earn it.

Come to think of it, maybe I have the wrong Tome Wolfe novel. Maybe the appropriate one to cite is much, much older than Bonfire.

Anyone remember Radical Chic and Maumauing the Flack Catchers?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Bloomberg GOP Presidential Candidates' Economics Debate

I managed to watch the first minute or so of Bloomberg's GOP candidates' debate last night, and a little bit more. Mostly to see how disappointing it would be.

Sad to say, my expectations were met, and in some ways, exceeded. I was very disappointed.

As I feared, Charlie Rose, who is looking pretty old and decrepit these days, gave his trademark hound dog look and faux-gravitas tone of voice, then asked Herman Cain what he would do as president to solve the nation's economic problems.

As I listened to Rose's trite question, and Cain's pat '9-9-9' reply, I realized the futility of these sorts of so-called debates.

Bloomberg made a big deal out of declaring that it would have 40 analysts beavering away in real time to uncover flip-flops, lies, or false claims.

Then the first question out of the gate is a straw man question. Isn't it not just ironic, but pointless, to ask a GOP presidential candidate a question which assumes a president has the power to just dictate what he wants, on the day that Wonderboy's own party, which controls the Senate, can't and won't pass his jobs bill?

Despite Bloomberg's various anchors going on and on all day about how the round table format would be so groundbreaking, it changed nothing. Just more silly grasping at anything to look different.

As I surfed between the American League baseball playoff game between Detroit and Texas, and O'Reilly's Factor program from Boston, I heard Rick Santorum fumble the question about economic development in his hometown. How he contended that, sure, all those lost jobs could return.


That's when it hit me how futile this Bloomberg event was on another dimension. Of the eight candidates at the big round table, only Cain and Romney had actually run businesses. Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, Paul and Huntsman have not, to my knowledge. Huntsman may have worked in his father's business, but he doesn't present himself as a businessman but, rather, a former governor and ambassador to China.

Thus the bulk of the field really can't speak 'off the cuff' about business or economics specifics.

This brought me to my next realization. We're not electing a chief economist or chief business cheerleader. We're electing a president.

And, by the way, only Keynesians would think that it makes sense to have a debate among presidential candidates just about economics, with warnings that they 'want specifics.'

Because non-Keynesians, such as followers of the Austrian school of economics, and/or Milton Friedman, don't believe in government intervention. Thus, no economic details beyond lower tax rates, an overhauled tax code, and less regulatory interference, would be appropriate or forthcoming from this group of eight.

Which is pretty much what every candidate said.

But that doesn't make for a very exciting, nor long so-called debate, does it?

What did get really tiring was hearing Huntsman, Romney, Perry and Bachmann continually using terms like 'innovation,' 'innovators,' small businessmen,' and the like. I wish Bloomberg's moderators- yes, there were two others who were equally ineffectual as Rose- would have banned the use of those terms.

Sadly, when in doubt, every GOP candidate begins to sing the praises of something and someone about which they know very little from experience- innovation and business risk-taking.

So why don't they just shut up and leave it to the people who do it?

I tuned back in around 9PM, halfway through the event, only to learn that the next segment was to be a round robin of each candidate asking another candidate questions- something in which I have zero interest. So I Tivoed the remainder of the event and went back to Detroit vs. Texas.

From what I did see, there were three incidents of note.

The first was Gingrich's forceful criticism of Bloomberg and all media for turning a blind eye to government officials whose behavior brought about the financial crisis. He named names- Dodd, Frank, Geithner and Bernanke. When Charlie Rose, with a bewildered, stunned look, suggested that Gingrich wasn't talking about criminal investigations, the former Speaker shot back that he was indeed suggesting precisely that.

Then Ron Paul weighed in against Bernanke, as well. If Helicopter Ben had been in Spaulding Hall, he'd have been lynched.

Which reminds me of another notable incident. Huntsman derided Cain's 9-9-9 plan, saying he thought it had come off the top of a pizza box. The camera cut to Cain, whose tight-lipped expression dripped silent rage. To be truthful, Huntsman tone and wording suggested, to me, a vague undertone of racism.

Finally, Romney had a weird reaction to a question regarding what he would do if faced with a 2013 European financial meltdown which affected the US. Instead of answering the question, Mitt went two rounds with the moderator claiming that hypotheticals made no sense and he couldn't answer one. He looked weak and confused, as if buying himself time, because after berating the questioner a couple of times, he then launched into what he wouldn't do- bail out individual banks and car companies. Big deal. Thanks Mitt, I never could have figured that one out.

But the Mitt question brought to mind what the format probably should have been. Each candidate onstage with three economic advisors of their choosing. Then a hypothetical or real economic challenge would be read, and each team would have ten minutes to huddle and produce a response.

Bad television, but more realistic simulation of how a sitting president works. We simply don't have choices among perfect, omniscient candidates. They all rely on teams of advisors more specialized than the president. Why go through a pointless exercise in forcing someone like Bachmann or Santorum to try to fabricate detailed economic policies alone in two minutes with the cameras on them?

So, from what I saw among the samples of the first hour, the Bloomberg event was pretty much what I expected- nothing new or remarkable. But it did help me realize the utter futility of asking a bunch of largely free-market presidential candidates to spend two hours discussing, in detail, how, if they were president, they would use the federal government as a Keynesian force in the US economy.

What people really want is to learn more about how these candidates would lead and govern. And governing means working with and through Congress and the states- not just assuming that whatever they say they want to do will magically pass. Voters want to get a sense of values and candor from the candidates, as well as general stands on a wide range of key issues. Not an instant detailed economic plan from a candidate who isn't an economics PhD.

Poor planning and strategy on Bloomberg's part. Poor choice of moderators. Poor choice of format.

More Handwringing by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal

Peggy Noonan was in rare, full whiny form last Sunday in her Wall Street Journal weekend column. Here are some passages from the piece,

"What I'm seeing is a new convergence of thought among Democrats and Republicans who are not in Washington and not part of the political matrix. They are in new agreement about our essential problems and priorities: that the economy comes first, all other crises (in foreign affairs, in our culture) come second, because they cannot be helped without an economy that is healthy and growing. They all agree—no one really argues about this anymore—the government is going bankrupt. They all agree the entitlement system has to be reformed. Heck, they all respect Paul Ryan, for his seriousness. They all want grown-ups to come forward with ideas that maybe each party wouldn't love but that might do the country some good.

That is what I see in every business and professional meeting, in conversations with Democrats and Republicans: a new convergence of thought among the thoughtful.

Which makes this a promising moment. For once everyone knows what time it is. It's not like 2008, '04 and '00, when establishments were polarized.

But here's the most remarkable thing I saw this week. I watched, by computer, two focus groups of so-called Wal-Mart moms—middle- and working-class women who'd shopped at least once the past month at Wal-Marts. The polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, assembled the groups, 10 women in Orlando, Fla., and 10 in Des Moines, Iowa. In Orlando they were mothers in their 20s and 30s; in Des Moines in their 40s and 50s.

In Orlando they were asked to describe in a word or two how things are going in the country. The responses: "Depressing," "different," "discouraged," "sour" and "bad." Any positive words to describe our country right now? Silence. How, asked the moderator, do you see our economic troubles in your life? "I see it every day in my job," one woman said. Two weeks ago her company put up a posting for a position. Two hundred fifty applicants responded, "all overqualified."

Another: "Most houses in my neighborhood are under foreclosure or for sale." Another: "If I had the financial stability I think I'd just get out of here."

They don't say "unemployment," they said "laid off," and they all had stories of a husband, a father, themselves. One woman's husband left her, so she took the kids to live with her parents. Then her father was laid off, then her brother-in-law.

They're all trying to save money however they can—juggling credit cards, couponing, not eating out, no vacations, changing where they shop, buying the cheapest food in bulk. One woman spoke of donating blood. Another said she wasn't raising her boys for college so much as to be "self-sufficient." She was teaching them how to collect aluminum cans.

How does this time compare with a few years ago when the recession started? "I feel like it's getting worse." Were things better for you in 2008? "Oh yeah," they said, heads nodding. What is your immediate fear? "Saving money for Christmas—that we won't be able to buy Christmas presents." "Losing my job. That's my fear every day." "That my parents are going through all their savings."

They all think the government is lying about the jobless numbers. It's worse than the official reports.

Who are the culprits behind our economic calamity? "The banks and the people who took the loans." But more the banks, because they had, as one woman put it, "the authority." When they gave out the loans, people thought "it must have been OK." People were "lured in" by the banks—don't worry, home values will keep going up—which pocketed the fees and kept walking.

People lampoon the Occupy Wall Street movement as a bunch of marginal freaks, but these women from the heart of the country shared a basic resentment: The banks got bailed out, everyone else was left holding the bag.

How do they feel about Mr. Obama? Silence. Then "indifferent," "disappointed," "great speaker." A woman in Iowa said, "Lukewarm." No one railed against him, there was no anger. There was a lot of "He tried." "He hasn't done the stuff that he said he would," said one woman.

Both groups were feistier about Congress. "They're playing a game." "What have they done? They wasted a lot of time." In Iowa the words they used were "Dysfunctional," "sides," "defensive," "childish" and "can't work together." Are Democrats more to blame or the Republicans? "The same," said a woman, and everyone nodded.

What do they want in a political leader? Someone who cares about "Jane Doe on Main Street that can't pay her electric bill." Someone "with passion not for himself but for America."

Do elected officials in Washington know how you live? In Orlando there was a chorus of noes: "They have a bunch of chefs cook for them." "They're more privileged." "They're compensated above and beyond their salaries. They have health care."

Do they care about you? "No, not so much." "They won't care till they're affected."

What do you want Washington to do? From Iowa: "Fix it." "Start looking at the big picture."

What do you want from leaders. From Iowa: "Someone who isn't hollow."

They all said they care about 2012. They all said they'd vote.

We are in a remarkable moment. Everyone understands the stakes. Everyone wants action. From comfortable professionals to people barely scraping by, everyone wants both parties to work together, to think of our country and not themselves.

And of course everyone really gets this except Washington, which says it gets it and doesn't.

But those who think 2012 is just a clash of big parties had better wake up. They think they're pulling and pushing in a tug of war, but they are dancing on the precipice."

What a bunch of treacle.

This January saw the largest incoming group of House freshman in, what, 80 years? Those 80+ new GOP freshman aren't all having their meals cooked for them by personal chefs. Doesn't Noonan know of the Utah GOP Rep who lives in his office? And he's not the only one.

Yes, people are scared. But Noonan, a political veteran, seems unable to exercise her own judgement and explain to her readers that these so-called Wal-Mart women don't seem to distinguish between the GOP House working to cut spending and reduce government interference in the economy, while the Democrats keep trying to spend, tax and regulate even more.

It's not like two children fighting over nothing important. There are very important ideological differences which Representatives like Paul Ryan articulate.

Shame on Peggy for not bothering to point this out.

What these women complain about regarding Congress applies more, I suspect, to multi-term Senators and Representatives, and less to freshmen of either chamber or party. Those recently-elected members of Congress are likely quite attuned to the economic pain of their constituents.

Even Democrats like Ben Nelson and Claire McCaskill are trying to avoid Wonderboy and move to the center in hopes of being re-elected.

I remain firm in my belief that what some see as gridlock is simply the Congressional pendulum of power moving through the bottom of its arc as the liberal Democrats give way to full Senate and House majorities for a decidedly conservative GOP. Perhaps the Oval Office, as well.

Then Republican majorities will do what needs to be done to move the American economy forward again- cut regulation, remove government interference in health care, energy, autos, and more. Reduce uncertainty involving taxes, regulation and other things government does which cause investors to wait rather than invest.

Noonan writes as if Wal-Mart women know it all, and every Congress member is an aloof, wealthy dunce. That every adult who unwisely signed a mortgage loan for more than they could pay is a victim.

Does Peggy honestly think all of the lenders wanted their borrowers to default? Is she no longer capable of providing objective criticism of the greedy behavior of so many Americans who unwisely spent and lived beyond their means?

That's just not so. Much of what we are now witnessing is a last, violent gasp of 80 years of failed liberal Democratic social policies which have bankrupted our nation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Does Someone At Fox News Read My Blog?

After the Fox News/Google GOP candidate debate in Florida last month, I wrote in this post,

"I think what would be more meaningful to me would be something like the following. A network provides a weekly two-hour slot for its 'candidate of the week.' One of the GOP presidential hopefuls sits on a set with one or two moderators and answers questions from online feeds and a live audience. Moderators provide follow-up questions and/or fill in background on the candidate's prior remarks on the topic. Or contrast their stance with other candidates, etc.

And, for good measure, the original audience/online questioner gets a few minutes of give-and-take with the candidate, so if the latter evades the question, the questioner can complain about that and note it for everyone else.

I really don't care so much what Mitt thinks about Rick. Or what Newt thinks about anyone. Or what Rick (Santorum) does to try to look relevant.

In the end, I care more about how these people interact with prospective voters than how they fence with each other. I don't expect them to agree with each other, so what's the surprise in these bear-baiting formats?"
Fox News has initiated something of a pale version of my suggestion. Beginning last week on Brett Baier's 6pm program, one GOP candidate at a time will be a guest in what Baier calls the 'middle seat' among his panel. The first to do so was Michele Bachmann.
It's not enough, but it's a start. Missing are audience participation and a more gritty give-and-take for, say, 5 minutes between a guy like Charles Krauthammer and Bachmann. But it is far better than the beauty contest formats now popular in all the debates.
The Baier format, like my recommendation, allows the candidate to position her/himself against Wonderboy, which is what GOP and independent voters really want to hear. Who cares how Perry and Gingrich differ with each other on air? We're only nominating one of them.
Surely the bulk of interested voters can figure out for themselves, after hearing Gingrich and Perry separately, which they prefer. It won't be decided by how they spar on camera.
Now if only Baier's production staff member who reads my blog will begin to solicit viewer Skype or other videoconference questions from computers to the program, and expand the segment to, say, two half-hours per week, we're much closer to an ideal format.
And, for the record, I don't believe anyone at Fox read my prior linked post. Baier's program's modest nod in the direction of my ideas is, I think, far too limited to suggest it is any more than their own very small attempt to give viewers an alternative presentation of GOP presidential candidates other than the mega-debate farces.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cain's Threat To Wonderboy's Base

No less an accomplished black journalist than the Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley, a member of its editorial board, wrote a provocative editorial in last Friday's edition of the paper, entitled Cain's Post-Racial Promise.

Writing of Cain, who is unabashedly not a victim, and harbors no acrimony toward America for racial discrimination as experienced in his youth, Riley explained,

"Black individuals who don't see themselves primarily as victims are a threat to the political left, which helps explain why MSNBC commentators have derided Mr. Cain as a token and why Jon Stewart has mocked him in tones that evoke Amos 'n' Andy or Stepin Fetchit. To secure political victories, Democrats need blacks to vote for them in unison. Independent thinking cannot be tolerated.

No one is hoping more than the White House that Mr. Cain fades away. If he doesn't, Mr. Obama's fear of Mr. Romney winning independent voters next year could turn into a fear of Mr. Cain peeling away black support. Black enthusiasm for the president remains high but has slipped in recent months, and a black alternative to Mr. Obama is not a scenario that Democrats would welcome."

Quite an analysis coming from a black who doesn't even bother with the phrase "African American."

Never the less, I believe the people who are warming to Cain do so only because of his accomplishments and attitudes, not his race. Thus making him doubly-dangerous to Wonderboy.

Imagine seeing both independents and a substantial percentage of black voters desert the president for Cain, enabling the latter to sweep into the White House by a double-digit margin.

Let me add to my thoughts regarding my endorsement of Cain in this recent post. Beyond my list of reasons why I find each other GOP candidate lacking, there's also this simple approach.

Who would I prefer in the following one-on-one matchups?

Romney-Cain: Cain
Perry-Cain: Cain
Bachmann-Cain: Cain

In each case, Cain has attributes I prefer over the other candidate, while typically sharing some positive ones.

For example, he can match Romney and Perry for gubernatorial executive experience, and probably raise Romney on the type of business experience he has.

Cain shares Bachmann's outsider, Tea-Party-esque views, but trumps her on.....executive experience.

Then there's Romney's suspicious flexibility on issues which he discovers are suddenly important. He's less than convincing as a latecomer Tea Party enthusiast. He authored RomneyCare, yet won't just admit it was a mistake.

By contrast, Cain comes to politics with a clean slate and an impressive life story.

And, now we have a respected conservative black journalist suggesting that Cain will be Wonderboy's worst nightmare as the GOP presidential nominee.

That's another big reason to seriously consider Cain for the job.