Favorite Passages from T.A. Frank’s “On the Ropes with Herman Cain”

Here’s a good article about Herman Cain and how Cain’s campaign has weathered its storms thus far: T.A. Frank’s “On the Ropes with Herman Cain”.  Whether or not he will weather the latest accusations remain to be seen, since they are much more devastating and specific than what we have heard up to this point, plus there is finally a face to one of Cain’s accusers.  But here are some of my favorite passages from Frank’s piece:

“An interview with Piers Morgan the next day went just as poorly, with Cain, supposedly a pro-life absolutist, offering a full-throated endorsement of a woman’s right to choose. ‘What I’m saying is it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make, not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat,’ Cain said.  This had to be it for his campaign. The past few days had been disastrous.  Cain’s next set of poll numbers: solid lead…I suspect Cain’s flubs are unrelated to intelligence. In 2010, Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute set off a lively debate by suggesting conservatives had fallen prey to ‘epistemic closure,’ a fancy way of saying that they were getting all their information and opinions exclusively from one another. This may or may not be true of the conservative movement. But it is certainly true of Herman Cain…In short, Cain’s briefings on politics came from heated right-wing callers on talk radio. “Epistemic closure” is probably too mild a term for such conditions.  This goes a long way in explaining why Cain has found himself hypothetically negotiating with Al Qaeda or affirming a woman’s right to choose. Absent an opposing point of view, you lose sight of what the battle lines are. If you don’t see the soldiers on the other side of the line, you might just find yourself wandering over it. And so Cain, who for years has been busy battling liberal straw men in the echo chamber of talk radio, missed the real thing.”

“There can be no doubt that Cain draws on a deep American love of black American culture. Black music, black comedy and black oratory are integral to the cultural mainstream in a way that would have been unimaginable 50 years ago but is now taken for granted. This is no less true of the South, where Cain’s brand of blackness taps into shared religious faith and a love of the region. His manner of speaking only increases his appeal: 9-9-9 is NAN-NAN-NAN. Hill is HEE-oh. Quarter is KAW-tuh.  ‘To be an American person is to hear a certain warmth and honesty and genuineness in black cadence,’ said John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University. ‘That’s why Barack Obama was so deft in summoning it, at times, such as with the way he inflected ‘Yes, we can.’ ‘  When I watched Cain at a rally in Rogersville, Tenn., each of his remarks was drawing a ‘That’s right!’ from a group of older white men and women near me.”

“Sibby Wolfson, who was Cain’s assistant from 1997 to 2004, remembers accompanying him as he visited a friend in the hospital. ‘The friend was dying, and he told Herman he was scared,’ Wolfson said. ‘Herman told him he didn’t need to be scared, that God would take care of him. I wondered if something as challenging happened to him personally he would feel the same way about it.’  As it turned out, something similar did happen, when Cain was given a diagnosis of Stage 4 colon cancer in 2006. And Cain apparently did feel the same way. ‘He barely missed a beat,’ Wolfson said.”

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.