What to do about Herman Cain?
This question goes not to the Republican Party, where "establishment" candidates like Mitt Romney privately dismiss Cain as lacking the experience, gravitas and resources to beat President Barack Obama and then to soundly govern the country.
Herman Cain is not going to be the GOP nominee.
Without a serious star-power staff, a ground game, chits to be called in by the candidate or the candidate's influential network of friends of influence, the "fat cats" sit on their checkbooks until and unless they believe their horse can win. A serious presidential candidate is not one who, like Cain, breaks from campaigning for a book tour timed to coincide with his unlikely quest for the White House.
No, Cain is a clear and present danger to the Democratic Party -- and their invaluable near-monolithic black vote. Cain says things like: "African-Americans have been brainwashed" into voting for the Democratic Party; "If you (Wall Street protestors) don't have a job or you're not rich, blame yourself"; "People sometimes hold themselves back because they want to use racism as an excuse for them not being able to achieve what they want to achieve"; and "I don't believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way."
How do some influential left-wing blacks react? Not well:
Cornell West, professor of black studies at Princeton: Cain needs to "get off the symbolic crack pipe."
Harry Belafonte, entertainer, civil rights activist: "He's a bad apple, and people should look at his whole card. He's not what he says he is."
Tavis Smiley, PBS host and NPR broadcaster, simply writes off Cain's comments as "ridiculous or crazy."
But Cain threatens to change the race-card game in ways that even those who voted against Barack Obama hoped he would do: Put the stake through the heart of the nonsense that white racism still holds people back. Instead, Obama sides with a black Harvard professor who badly mistreats a white Cambridge cop who was just doing his job. Obama tells an author that racism fuels the opposition to ObamaCare. Obama says nothing when comrades ranging from former President Jimmy Carter to Jesse Jackson Jr. to Morgan Freeman defend Obama by blaming racism.
Now comes Cain.
He calls his economic program 9-9-9. But Cain's real number is 95. That is the percentage of the black vote captured in 2008 by Obama. What if someway, somehow, the Republicans captured over 35 percent of black presidential vote, as the GOP did as recently as 1956?