November 09, 2011

the cain mutiny

Is the Herman Cain sexual harassment saga a complicated conspiracy or is it Occam's razor where "the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one"? Maybe it's both. The simplest explanation is perhaps to understand that there is at least some element of truth to the allegations. But the timing or something intangible about the whole situation sets off the desire to want to at least entertain conspiracy theories. So long as we are all doing that there are at least three possible conspiracy scenarios that I can think of:

Scenario 1: The story was planted by Democrats and it's the liberal media's natural inclination to want to run hard with the story because for various reasons some having to do with race and how Cain does not fit the stereotypical way the left imagines a black man should act, that this is somehow a boon to Democratic/left leaning fortunes and then therefor this is Democratic party doing with the happy participation of a liberal mainstream media already pre-disposed to want to trash Cain.  Perhaps you can tell my delivery that I don't put all that much stock into this explanation which has typically been advanced by right wing talk radio and lately, by the campaign itself. As has been pointed out by some of my left leaning friends, it just doesn't seem to be in the Obama campaign's and then therefore Democrat's best interests to try to torpedo the Cain candidacy this early and in the primary.

Scenario 2: The story was planted by GOP operatives in either the Perry or Romney campaigns or from another primary candidate's campaign or possibly by other murkier forces in the GOP "establishment" that don't want Cain as the nominee for whatever reason possibly but not likely having to do with race but that he is ultimately seen as either unelectable on his own or seen as unable to beat Obama in the general election. While this scenario seems more likely than scenario 1, I still don't buy it. Initially the Cain campaign accused the Perry campaign of planting the story with basically no proof and then the Perry campaign went on to reflexively point the finger of blame at the Romney campaign with absolutely no proof. This kind of stuff isn't exactly helpful to a GOP who should rather be focussed on matters of substance/ attacking Obama. In the last two weeks the Cain campaign has backed off of these type of fellow GOP accusations and instead gone with a narrative closer to scenario 1.

Let me preface with a warning to whoever it is behind this if it is a conspiracy to bring down Cain: You better be sure this doesn't backfire. While watching some highlights of the Cain press conference it occurred to me that this entire controversy has in a way made him seem more presidential. This press conference today was one of the most anticipated press conferences and media events probably of the presidential campaign so far.

Scenario 3: The story was planted by the Cain campaign itself or at least.... forces sympathetic to the campaign. Think about it, who stands to gain the most if all of these charges are proven to be false or somehow go away or Cain can somehow otherwise brush this off? The answer of course is Cain. This could be a downright Machiavellian masterstroke of political genius if there's even a shred of truth or validity to this theory assuming it works out. The public would naturally rally around a man so egregiously and wrongly accused.

I'm sure there are other possible conspiracy scenarios that are conceivable other than simply saying the main is guilty so believe what you will but the bottom line is that I now see a pathway for Herman Cain towards getting the nomination whereas before this entire controversy it never really existed.

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