Herman’s Head

By Steve Deace

At first glance it would seem as if Herman Cain is the ideal champion for patriots seeking to take their country back.

He’s fiery and well-spoken. He’s a political outsider that’s never held elected office. He’s a Baptist minister from a red state. He’s also black, and for a lot of white conservatives stinging from being called racists simply because they don’t believe in socialism and moral depravity, it’s definitely a plus to have a spokesperson that defies leftist stereotypes.

As Republican presidential primary voters start taking a serious look at their candidates with the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses just 75 days away, Cain is the most recent flavor of the month. He’s surging in the polls. He’s got his better-known campaign rivals reacting to him in debates. And according to Politico, he’s not actually campaigning anywhere that matters.

Politico says that “Cain has logged less time in the kickoff states” than any other GOP presidential candidate. For example, Cain has done just 19 events in New Hampshire in since May, while Jon Huntsman has done 75 since June. Since the end of August, even afterthought candidate Buddy Roemer has done more campaign events in the early states than Cain.

On the other hand, Cain has done a book tour and made appearances in Ohio, Illinois, and Kansas City.

Cain hasn’t been to Iowa since the August 13th Iowa Straw Poll, and has spent a total of 13 days here in the last five months. That’s less than half the time spent here by Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Cain does not have a viable organization in Iowa after having burned through two sets of staff because of dysfunctional in-fighting, as well as accusations of dishonesty and charges he’s not really running for president but raising his profile for other reasons—which several former Cain staffers have shared with me and others over the past few months.

If you’re really running for President of the United States and had the surging poll numbers Cain currently has, wouldn’t you be enthusiastically organizing on the ground in anticipation of the crucial first tests on the Republican primary calendar?

What Cain is really up to is anybody’s guess, but it’s clear that unless he thinks you can win the Republican nomination on Facebook he’s not really up to running for president. However, what remains unclear is how Cain can still have the support of Tea Party patriots or Bible-believing Christians after what we’ve learned about Cain recently.

The criminal enterprise known as the TARP is the issue that is credited with launching the modern day Tea Party Movement. Cain, who positions himself as a Tea Partier, actually supported the TARP. At a campaign event with Cain that I attended, Cain said the Constitution is what determines how he governs. I submitted a question asking him where in the Constitution he finds justification for pilfering taxpayers for bailouts for crony corporatists. He replied, “I didn’t read the Constitution with TARP in mind.”

Obviously.

Cain now says he supported the concept of TARP, just not the way it was carried out. If you’re a Tea Party activist, is there a such thing as a better or more efficient way to steal your tax money from the Treasury and allow government bureaucrats to determine which corporatist crooks are too big to fail? Is that what the Tea Party is fighting for — a better way to rob, pillage, and plunder our prosperity and our children’s future?

Many Tea Party patriots also believe the Federal Reserve should be audited. Cain, a former Federal Reserve official, said the following about that:

Here’s the advice I’ve given to people who are worried about an audit of the Federal Reserve. “CALL ‘EM UP, and ask ’em, if you can stop by and have one of their PR people, or of their Public Relations people, explain to you, how the Federal Reserve operates!” I think a lot of people are calling for this audit of the Federal Reserve because they don’t know enough about it. There’s no hidden secrets going on in the Federal Reserve, to my knowledge, and I tell people, we’ve got twelve Federal Reserve banks, find out which district you’re in, call ’em up and go from there! We don’t need to waste money with another commission, or an audit that’s not necessary, because, folks, we got a lot of other problems we need to worry about.

At the recent New Hampshire debate, Cain claimed he never called anyone wanting to audit the Fed “ignorant.” However, based on the above quote it certainly sounds like he feels that way.

On foreign policy Cain has come across as unprepared to be Commander-in-Chief twice in the last week.

At Tuesday’s CNN debate, Cain denied that he said he would be willing to negotiate with terrorists, despite the fact he had done an interview on CNN before the debate saying so. On NBC’s Meet the Press on October 16th, Cain said he wasn’t familiar with the term “neo-conservative” despite the fact it’s been the philosophy driving American foreign policy since 9/11, and is frequently discussed in the media.

On moral issues Cain seems to lack any tangible moral consistency.

In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan this week, Cain said he believed that homosexuality is a “sin.” However, a few days earlier in an interview with David Gregory of NBC, Cain said that he would not defend marriage if he were the President of the United States. Cain has refused to sign the National Organization for Marriage pledge as well. For months, the Cain campaigned hid the fact that one of its top staffers was a pro-sodomy activist who was once removed as a Wisconsin sodomy group’s treasurer for suspected malfeasance. Later, one of Cain’s staffers in Iowa revealed in testimony before Iowa Workforce Development that despite Cain’s later claims the pro-sodomy staffer was removed, he was still very much involved as a paid consultant with an outside group.

On life the moral confusion persists.

Months ago, a member of my staff attended a Cain event intended to rally Iowa social conservatives, and she said his answers on life were so flawed and inconsistent the campaign reached out to her immediately for a “make-good” interview in order to minimize the damage. Several of those that were at that meeting ended up supporting other candidates. Cain recently said in a CNN interview that he believes in life-at-conception, but that he would also favor baby-murder in cases of rape and incest.

Cain’s rationale for this obvious contradiction seems ripped right from Planned Parenthood’s talking points, and sounds like every other liberal abortionist who claims they’re “personally pro-life” but can’t impose their morality on others:

“I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make.”

Then there’s the Second Amendment.

Prior to the Iowa Straw Poll, Cain’s campaign refused to even accept a candidate survey from the state’s most influential gun-rights group, let alone fill it out. In June, Cain told CNN that he supported a state or local government attempting to supersede the Second Amendment, like what happened in the recent District of Columbia v. Heller case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cain is good at regurgitating talking points, but when he is forced to explain what he believes the devil is usually found in the details—whether the issue be bailouts, monetary policy, national security, life, marriage, or the Second Amendment.

Based on the testimony of his own words, Cain is neither ready, willing, nor able to honor the oath of office required of a President of the United States. Since Cain has no actual record, we can only judge him by his words.

Cain’s meteoric rise in the polls is another warning to voters to take full advantage of all the means of staying informed, and not get emotionally attached to a candidate without fully vetting them first. Securing the future for our children and grandchildren is more important than a seat at the table or puppy love. Looking at his non-winning campaign strategy as well as his inconsistent worldview, we still do not know what’s going on inside Herman’s Head.

But that’s no excuse not to be using our own.