He is good at selling things, and now Herman Cain is outdoing his Burger King and Godfather Pizza triumphs by getting hungry GOP voters to order him up for the White House.
From the bottom of the pack, Cain has surged to third in the national Fox poll at 17 percent, two points behind Rick Perry, after surprisingly eating the Texas governor’s lunch in a Florida straw poll this week.
The political noise is all about Cain’s race, a furor he fuels with the claim that black voters have been “brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view.” To up the ante, helpful Pat Buchanan is adding that Cain is an antidote to Lyndon Johnson, who passed the landmark 1964 law to overcome segregation.
“Great Society liberalism,” huffs Buchanan, “has been devastating for the African-American family...he’s saying that they bought an awful lot of liberal propaganda on the liberal plantation.”
As Tea Party members flock to Cain, perhaps to prove to themselves they are not racist, there has been little serious discussion about his core political proposal, the 999 tax scheme, to equalize personal, corporate and sales taxes at 9 percent.
Catchy, if you’re selling pizza or burgers, but a stale rehash of the flat-tax proposals of the past, which were adjudged to be Neanderthal back then—-a plan that would put Warren Buffet’s complaint on steroids by not only equalizing his secretary’s income tax rate with his but the levy on her takeout lunch with that of his corporate profits.
At the last debate, several opponents mused that Cain would be an attractive running mate, and that at best seems to be where he is heading.
But it is a depressing sign of the times that a former fast-food salesman with no political experience is less scary than some of the candidates from whom he might be a heartbeat away in the White House.