The last column on Cain, I promise

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By Rick Howell

    One of the joys of writing this column is just how easy the task comes to me. Allow me to explain.

    Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammed Ali was always considered a big braggart. But in response, he said, “it ain’t bragging if you can do it.”
    Not only do I agree with that, but I think my grammar is considerably better than his. People sometimes ask, ‘How do you come up with ideas every single week?’
    Well, again, it’s easy. I’ve been a news junkie and a political animal all my life. To me, thinking and writing about politics is as automatic as remembering what day it is. I’m not bragging. It’s just the truth.
    Okay…on a very rare occasion, I do get right up against deadline and still haven’t decided what to pontificate about. But once I sit down to perform the task, the idea flows.
    This week, I have to say that I’m very disappointed to be writing about Herman Cain once again. I feel strongly that I’ve wasted enough time on this remarkably horrible presidential candidate. But the absurdity of his candidacy just gets more and more pointed, and I am helpless to ignore it.
    So, forgive me. One more time will I address this laughable subject, and then I shall not go there again. But I have to say: Herman has taught me a lesson. I thought Sarah Palin was the biggest idiot in American politics.
    Only now do I realize that I owe the dear girl an apology. Step aside, Sarah. There’s a new champion.
    Before the recent GOP presidential debate on foreign policy, Cain had distinguished himself by saying that he admitted he didn’t know the names of the leaders of every – as he put it – “U-biki-biki-biki-stan-stan-stan” country.
    This remark even caught the attention of Afghanistan’s president, who must have wondered how such a bozo could really be considered presidential material. Then, the bozo caught fire in a right-wing party desperate to avoid the hint of moderation that Mitt Romney brings.
    Next came the sexual harassment claims, which I won’t address here. As bad as it is that Cain may be a serial womanizer, isn’t it even worse that he didn’t seem to realize that China has long had nuclear weapons?
    But there’s more…Cain then demonstrated that he knew absolutely nothing about Libya, Obama’s policy there, or apparently even the fact that the Libyan leader had recently been overthrown and killed. His tortured, twisted attempt at an answer on that subject to a Wisconsin newspaper went viral on the Internet, and it was devastating.
    The best fiction writers anywhere simply couldn’t make this stuff up. This guy makes Sarah Palin look like a genius.
    Now, abruptly, I switch direction and ask: Just where is my colleague on this page, Dr. John Barnhart, in this presidential race? I remind him that he recently said he’d vote for Cain rather than have “four more years of Obama.”
    Really? Is his hatred of Obama so intense that he’d subject the nation to this pizza-flipping clown who knows nothing about anything?
    I noticed he called Romney an “unprincipled liar.” Well, I get the “unprincipled” part, since Romney has flirted with demonic moderation. (You can’t have “principles,” see, if you’re not a “true conservative.”)
    But what has the former Massachusetts governor lied about? I’d love to know the answer…
    Here we are just weeks away from the first presidential primary, and Bedford’s top conservative hasn’t declared for a candidate!
    Come out of the woods, doctor! Tell us who you support. If it’s Cain, well, I’ll just let you run with that and reap the….uh, rewards? That way, I can keep my promise and not ever have to write about him again.

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    Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at NewCenHowell@aol.com.