By Manifesto Joe
I know I'm supposed to be indignant. If his accusers are telling the truth, Herman Cain has not merely been an adulterer, but a harasser as well. In adultery, at least the other person in the affair is a consenting adult. Victims of harassment have consented to nothing.
But I was always much more concerned, and still am, that an obvious ignoramus like Cain could ever have gotten as far as he did in presidential aspirations. This is a guy who actually said in an interview on the campaign trail, with alarm, that China is trying to build a nuclear weapon.
Cain would have been around 18 or 19 at the time that China completed its first successful test of an atomic bomb. They've had the A-bomb for 47 years, and have probably developed some rather sophisticated delivery systems by now.
It's no crime that, as an ordinary citizen/dorkus, Cain missed that little tidbit of information. But for someone aspiring to be president of the U.S., it's downright laughable.
In other words, the big problem there was never Herman Cain's penis. It's his brain. (Or am I being redundant?)
Unfortunately, Mr. Cain was only one of the igmos in the GOP field. There are at least two others surviving among the Republicans' "seven dwarfs," and they will be vying to pick up Cain supporters as the Iowa contest draws nearer. I don't think I need to name them.
Whither the Republicans?
After the Tea Party-backed Republican candidates triumphed so resoundingly in last year's midterm elections, I was seriously worried that the country was in a mood to elect, literally, any bozo the GOP put up against President Obama. Now it looks far less certain. Any major political party that has Newt Gingrich emerging as a frontrunner for the presidential nomination has got to be in serious trouble. They honestly don't seem to know whom the hell to nominate.
Mr. Gingrich is far from the dumbest of the Republican contenders. But he's a longtime political opportunist, and there is considerable evidence that he at least used to be a serial adulterer.
His chief rival appears to be Mitt Romney, who seems to have a squeaky-clean image but has two serious drawbacks: (1) He's a Mormon trying to win over Religious Right types who regard Mormonism as a cult, and (2) Based on his record as governor of Massachusetts, I think he could be expected to govern more as a moderate than as the hard-right ideologue that Tea Party types clearly prefer.
What will happen? My guess is that there will be a long battle through the primaries, with Romney getting the edge. Wall Street wants a winner, not a buffoon, and that small but powerful wing of the party will have its way in the end. Gingrich, who has nothing better to do, would be well-advised to accept the No. 2 spot on the ticket, if Romney will have him.
I would say that's the Republicans' best chance next year. And, looking at the electoral map, they would have to win Florida, Ohio, and one of two key Western states -- either Nevada or Colorado -- to be able to win the presidency.
Six months ago, I feared the worst. Now, I'm more optimistic. Obama's not what I would have liked to see. He's not FDR. Hell, he's not even Truman or LBJ. But looking over the Republican "seven dwarfs," I'm just about ready to be a trusting fool and say for a second time, "Yes, we can!"
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.