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The Curious Case of Cain

Quite honestly, the hypothesis that Herman Cain got into the campaign to sell books and to burnish a post-campaign media career is looking more reasonable all the time.  I am not sure that I actually believe it, but I can’t deny that Cain looks more and more like someone who had no idea what he was getting into and so the need for an explanation for his behavior beyond just ignorance is appealing.

My personal hypothesis remains that he is a product of the talk radio mentality:  i.e., the approach to politics that assumes a few pithy sound bites about complex issues between commercial breaks makes one a policy expert.  Indeed, I think this approach has become a major approach within Republicans ranks at the moment.   Like I said back in May:

I find it interesting that he is a talk show host, as it seems that partisan political punditry has become accepted as a major road for GOP hopefuls (e.g., Gingrich, Palin, Santorum, Huckabee).  I would note that I think that this a problem for the party, as some of the least responsible people in public discourse at the moment, both intellectually and rhetorically, are talk show hosts and cable news commentators.  As such, I would prefer not to cultivate political leaders in that particular field.

In a normal election cycle a candidate like Cain (i.e., one who is charismatic but lacks any experience in elected office) would likely peak early in the low double-digits (i.e,. 10%ish) at best (which is why I talked about a “Cain boomlet” earlier in the year).  Usually, once voters learned about the inexperience and saw past the charisma, the candidacy would stall.  In Cain’s case he rose from curiosity to front-runner before the bloom started to fade.

What explains Cain?  I have no definitive answer, but would offer the following questions:

1.  Weakness of the field?  The most popular hypothesis is that the Not Romney phenomenon is a result of a generally weak field of candidates where there is the legacy front-runner and a gang of alternates.  An interesting aspect of this question is whether the weakness being indicated here is one of electability (i.e., a perception in the Republican selectorate that all of these candidates are bad challengers to put up against Obama in 2012) or that it is one of ideology (i.e., the perception in the selectorate that the legacy front-runner is not ideological comfortable enough and so the need to try numerous other candidates to find one that is a better fit).  My perception is that the issue is more ideological than anything else at the moment and if that is true, this has potential longer-term implications of the GOP (which already hurt itself in some quarters with ideological primaries in 2010—see, e.g., the Senate races in Nevada and Delaware).

The degree to which Cain was considered to be a serious candidate by a significant slice of the GOP selectorate is interesting, if not problematic, because of Cain’s clear lack of actual knowledge about governing.   Of course, his seeming rejection may absolve the voters in question for their momentary flirtation.  Although it would be interesting to know how much of the rejection is because of his clear ignorance of things that, well, matter for someone seeking to be president or if it is because of the sexual harassment accusations.

2.  A function of the long campaign coupled with 24/7 cable and new media? Perhaps the long campaign leading up to actual voting (especially with the proliferation of debates) simply allows for these boomlets as the voters evaluate and reject candidates.  The shape of this race, and whether it truly ends up being all that different from previous cycles, is how the voting goes, not how the pre-voting polling went.  As such, this story may end up looking rather different once we see the entire tale instead of focusing overmuch on specific plot points.

3.  The Cult of the Inexpert.  The thing that is perhaps the most troubling about Cain is the notion that so many people appear to have ever taken him seriously in the first place, given that his lack of expertise that was pretty obvious from the get-go.  The concerning part of this issue is that it does seem that some in the GOP are more than willing to support candidates who are unqualified for office.  Yet, the positive interpretation is that after lengthy exposure, Cain’s support has waned.  Of course, as noted above, it is unclear at the moment if Cain’s decline is about his lack of knowledge or because of various accusations.  Cain does seem to be emblematic of faction of the GOP that eschews the value of knowledge and expertise concerning governance, however.

4.  The Businessman Fetish?  Perhaps Cain is the latest manifestation of a long-term GOP fetish:  the notion that what we really need is a businessman in office, i.e., the need for someone who could run government “like a business.”  This is one of those things that perhaps sounds good (it appealed to Younger Me, I must confess) because, you know, in business you have to balance budgets, be worried about the “bottom line” and all that jazz.  Of course, the fact that government is radically different than business makes this whole notion more than a bit problematic (e.g., government does not operate in a market, cannot go out of business, does not exist to make a profit, does not have customers, etc.).  However, the idea has appeal and perhaps that is make attracted people to Cain.

Having said all of this, it should be noted that while Cain did become a co-front runner with Mitt Romney for a few weeks, he peaked at 26% in the RCP average:

image

As such, the degree to which Cain’s rise tells us all that much about the GOP base is questionable, although I think it does raise some questions worth considering as we watch the process unfold.  Still, his candidacy has truly been an odd exercise.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Bleev K says:

    5. The Stupidity of Republicans

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  2. Jeremy says:

    I really wish Colin Powell had jumped in the race. At least we would have a serious candidate for the presidency, not these reheated leftovers.

    It’s starting to look like, to me, that the GOP wants to throw the election just so they can keep complaining for another four years. Easier than actually running things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  3. Jeremy,

    Powell made it clear in 1996 that he had no interest in electoral politics, and he’s never really been considered a serious contender since then. Besides that, he’s 74 years old this year.

    That said, there were plenty of people who stayed on the sidelines that should’ve gotten in the race — Daniels, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush come to mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  4. @Doug Mataconis:

    Given how bonkers the Republican base seems to be, it’s not suprising that the serious candidates wanted nothing to do with the process. The old saw about wrestling with pigs comes to mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    That list actually highlights the lack of GOP alternatives. Amazing for one of the two major political parties.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. Jeremy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Barbour? Jeb Bush? Ych.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  7. Hey Norm says:

    @ SLT…
    I don’t think the talk radio mentality is any different from selling books. Ratings or book sales…pick your poison. The bottom line to both is an electorate who is unable, or unwilling, to see the shallowness of the arguments presented…or #3 in your list.
    It’s an electorate that absolutely hates Obamacare…but absolutely loves the specifics when they are described to them.
    It’s an electorate that believes Wall Street will do the right thing for the country…if you just get rid of all the dang regulations.
    It’s an electorate that thinks water and air will get cleaner…if you just abolish the dang EPA.
    It’s an electorate that thinks Education will improve by leaps and bounds…if you just get rid of the Department of Education.
    Bleev K may be onto something with his #5 (above at 10:09)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  8. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    This candidacy says a number of things about the GOP primary selectorate, none of which are positive. Ultimately it all comes down to demographics, but now with a twist. A collection of Bible bots, spoiled brats, bored housewives and curmudgeon retirees is going to be and always has been divorced from working class realities and disassociated from common sense. Thing is, the GOP has been dealing with this miasma for decades. It’s nothing new. Pat Robertson, anyone? Gary Bauer. Pat Buchanan. This time around, however, the right wing absurdities have escalated to a critical mass.

    What’s apparently happened here is that with the advent of talk radio and the Internet the wing nut component of the GOP primary selectorate has metastasized. Now instead of sitting by themselves, yelling at their TV’s and fuming and frothing over their newspapers, they can go online or fire up the radio and hear and interact with people just as uninformed and just as irrational as they are. This reinforces their own degrees of ignorance and their own degrees of irrationality.

    In short the wing nuts have found each other and now are able to ping off each other. Hence the stunning descent on the right to the lowest common political denominators. Incidentally, this bodes ill for the country at large.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  9. @Jeremy:

    Two term Governors are nothing to turn your nose up at.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. Hey Norm says:

    @ Doug…
    But Perry is a three term Governor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Hey Norm says:

    From the South.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  12. Perry self-destructed on the campaign trail. He was tested, and he came up wanting. That’s what the primary process is for, actually, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t like the idea of a one-day nationwide primary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Fiona says:

    The other thing the rise and fall and rise and fall of a number of not-Romneys tells us is how unpalatable Romney is to a large part of the base. This doesn’t exactly bode well for Romney or the party as a whole.

    What’s apparently happened here is that with the advent of talk radio and the Internet the wing nut component of the GOP primary selectorate has metastasized.

    I think the Tsar is on to something here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  14. @Doug Mataconis:

    Perry self-destructed on the campaign trail. That’s what the primary process is for, actually, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t like the idea of a one-day nationwide primary.

    I would point out that Perry self-destructed well before any voting took place, so he really doesn’t argue against a national primary. Really, even if we had a different primary process, the actually campaigning would persist. The main culling is taking place well before the voting takes place.

    Note, too, (as per your endorsement of Newt post the other day) that one of the oddities of the current system is that candidate currently have to tailor their campaigns to Iowa and NH (which is part of why I do not like the current system).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bleev K:

    5. The Stupidity of Republicans

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    Now instead of sitting by themselves, yelling at their TV’s and fuming and frothing over their newspapers, they can go online or fire up the radio and hear and interact with people just as uninformed and just as irrational as they are.

    2 words: Fox News.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  16. Eric says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Not that Jeb Bush is not qualified for the presidency, but his brother has tainted to some degree that kind of legacy. Jeb is a lot more qualified than his brother and he is able to bring so much to the table. However, I don’t think voters are willing to elect “another Bush” as it seems to be somewhat of a case with Rick Perry. Plus Democrats will just scream out to the voters about the horrors of electing another Bush.

    Daniels is someone I can get behind, but he has a lot of respect toward his family and wife which was the main factor in him not running for election. I’m not sure if he would ever run. And I don’t know much about Barbour to comment on him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. @Hey Norm:

    I don’t think the talk radio mentality is any different from selling books. Ratings or book sales…pick your poison

    They go hand in hand, yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Hey Norm says:

    @ Doug/SLT…
    Yeah my point was that terms spent as Governor is no real measuring stick.
    Bush was a 2 term Governor…and he was not found wanting by the primary process…yet 9.11 happened on his watch, he didn’t get OBL, he left us with two unfinished wars, an exploding deficit, a crashing economy, and…well you get the picture.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Daniels, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush come to mind

    .

    Let’s see, one is a Bush (not gonna happen again for at least a generation)(and I actually think Jeb a reasonable candidate on his record, problem is his record is not what he would be judged by) another is an reconstructed Confederate (work great in MS and AL, not so well in the rest of the country, even GA is above that) and the last???

    I doubt he could survive any serious questioning of his record as Gov.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. MBunge says:

    A very obvious factor has been overlooked.

    5. Republicans love having “Black Friends”. Cain’s role as an African-American who reassures conservatives they’re not racist is pretty clearly part of this dynamic.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  21. Woody says:

    I find the phenomenon of Fox News is still quite underestimated among high-information citizens (somewhat left, but especially right). IIRC, the number of self-identified Republicans that cite Fox News as their primary news source has risen throughout the 2000s. Fox News continually broadcasts material that states all other media to be excessively liberal (great from an economic perspective, imho). Therefore, any criticism of the GOP simply reinforces this view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  22. ponce says:

    Cain is an interesting guy to listen, compared to all the other candidates.

    If Mitt Romney sat next to me on a plane, I’d pretend to sleep through the whole flight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. gevin shaw says:

    partisan political punditry has become accepted as a major road for GOP hopefuls (e.g., Gingrich, Palin, Santorum, Huckabee).

    Don’t forget Reagan’s daily radio commentaries in the late ’70s. And his campaign that led to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in the late ’80s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. de stijl says:

    @Jeremy:

    Powell endorsed Obama in 2008.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  25. Kylopod says:

    @MBunge: That’s exactly what I was thinking. And it’s not just speculation. Here, for example, is something Hannity said a couple of weeks ago when commenting on the sexual harassment allegations:

    “Herman Cain demolishes the false scurilous lie that conservatives do not like minorities.”

    I’ve heard this sentiment expressed by many Cain supporters. Cain himself said it, more or less, early in his campaign: “Cain railed against liberals, who, he said, slander conservatives as ‘racist, redneck tea-baggers.’ He paused for effect, then brought the house down: ‘I had to go look in the mirror to see if I missed something!’”

    Statements like these reflect such a mind-bogglingly one-dimensional and ahistorical understanding of the nature of prejudice that it can take some effort to wrap one’s mind around it. According to this view, to be racist against blacks requires Consistently Hating All Black People All The Time. So, as soon as they like one black person (or claim to like one black person), it automatically demolishes any theory that they hold the slightest racial animus toward anyone.

    This reasoning apparently doesn’t go in the other direction. According to Hannity, Beck, and others of their ilk, Obama has a “deep-seated hatred of white people” even though he was raised by white people, has many close friends who are white people, and has spent most of his life surrounded by white people. But, when it comes to antiwhite hatred, I guess, the rules are just…different.

    The real purpose of these arguments is to serve as a rhetorical tool against charges of racism. In 2010, black Republican Congressional candidate Les Phillip (who went on to win the seat) produced an ad consisting of thirty seconds of the usual right-wing blather about Obama and Wright and radical Islam before ending with the declaration, “And they’re not going to call me a racist.”

    Cain has taken this theme, it seems, to its limits. He has attacked the president as not “a real black man” like himself, he has referred to most African Americans as “brainwashed” and said they need to get off the “Democrat plantation.” He has even dipped a little into birther waters. But to hear some right-wingers talk, you’d think he’s run a “colorblind” campaign unlike Obama (who, in reality, hardly ever talks about race, and certainly has never said anything remotely as incendiary as the above remarks).

    I really think this factor helps explain Cain’s rise, perhaps more than any other. After all, it isn’t as if Cain is the most ideologically pure of the candidates: he supported TARP, for example, and he’s wavered on abortion. If purity is what the GOP voters were after, why didn’t they stick with Bachmann, or go to Santorum? But then, considering who the current Not-Romney is, you wonder if they’re really putting any thought into these choices at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  26. Kylopod says:

    [Moderators, delete this message.]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Ellen says:

    This is very interesting and I appreciated it, even if it was tough to read. I’m glad you review your written work before posting it, but it would be nice if you deleted the artifacts of earlier sentences when you make revisions. After a while, it gets too frustrating to add/subtract the missing articles and extra words that sap the meaning from too many of your sentences.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. @Ellen: Without a doubt I am my own worst editor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. ponce says:

    Statements like these reflect such a mind-bogglingly one-dimensional and ahistorical understanding of the nature of prejudice that it can take some effort to wrap one’s mind around it

    Kylo,

    This surprises you?

    Republicans think a single snowflake refutes mountains of data on global climate change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Kylopod says:

    @ponce: Are you insinuating that Herman Cain is a snowflake?

    Racist!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  31. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jeremy:

    If serving under the current POTUS simply out of a sense of duty disqualifies Huntsman, I can’t imagine that Powell–who actually endorsed Obama–would fare better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  32. @ponce:

    If Mitt Romney sat next to me on a plane, I’d pretend to sleep through the whole flight.

    He’s running for president, not drinking buddy. We’re better off when the president produces as little excitement as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. Have A Nice G.A. says:
  34. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    If serving under the current POTUS simply out of a sense of duty disqualifies Huntsman, I can’t imagine that Powell–who actually endorsed Obama–would fare better.

    Huntsman re endorsed the Ryan plan,ALL OF IT<— he can't be all bad…

    Powell, blagh…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  35. john personna says:

    I think respondents are having fun with the long cycle – I certainly hope they’ll get serious later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Two term Governors are nothing to turn your nose up at.

    Maybe so, but the party sure is turning its nose up at two of the two-term governors currently running, Johnson and Huntsman* And another governor, a one-termer, is the anybody-but candidate. The two-term governor the party really liked, for a little while, turned out to be Rick Perry.

    Shocking those other guys didn’t want to go down that road. Daniels surely would have. Bush has even bigger issues, and the idea of someone like Barbour in 2012 is just laughable.

    * Huntsman didn’t complete two terms, but was re-elected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. MarkedMan says:

    As an outside observer, and as someone who a couple of decades ago voted fairly often for Republicans at the local and state level then, I think there is a vicious cycle at work in the Republican party. The leadership, including Roger Ailes, Hannity and Limbaugh but also people like Kyl, Armey and Inouye (pardon the spelling), has promoted ignorance, anti-science and anti-reality since Reagan. People who have a “my team right or wrong” and a “if you’re not on my team you must be diseased” mentality and a resentment of people telling them that answers might be complicated are attracted to these shiny lights and loud noises. People who value good judgement and good management are repelled and go elsewhere. As the party becomes more extreme it accelerates the process. I don’t know where it will end, but about ten years ago it put me into the camp that I won’t even vote for a Republican for town supervisor regardless of qualifications because they will use it to campaign more effectively for Republicans in higher office. I really do believe that the Republican “know nothing and proud of it” mentality and their “nothing can be fixed, nothing can be improved” management style is so profoundly endangering the country the party must be pushed onto the ash heap of history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Meta comment question:

    Powell endorsed Obama in 2008.

    Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    How does a factual statement garner an “Unhelpful” vote?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  39. john personna says:

    @de stijl:

    Well, we are talking GOP politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  40. de stijl says:

    @john personna:

    It would’ve been funnier if you’d given my meta comment an “Unhelpful” vote and walked away. If I was smart enough to spoof the system and down vote my own comment, I would have done it in a heartbeat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Moosebreath says:

    Marked Man,

    “Inouye”

    The Democratic Senator from Hawaii? I think you meant someone else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. John says:

    The irony to most of these comments is that they are equally true of Liberals (common parlance: Democrats) & Conservatives (common parlance: Republicans). For example, Conservative Talk Radio == Liberal Demonstration. (When was the last time you heard good, rational discourse at a demonstration?)

    People who have a “my team right or wrong” and a “if you’re not on my team you must be diseased” mentality and a resentment of people telling them that answers might be complicated are attracted to these shiny lights and loud noises.

    Look at liberal organizations (e.g. NOW, MoveOn.org) and you see the same thing.

    So, trying to get back on topic: why did I want Herman Cain as president?

    I consider myself to be a Rational Conservative. I wanted a qualified, rational outsider — someone who could hold a thought for longer than two seconds, and is not beholden to the “establishment”. We have similar educational backgrounds (Bachelors in Math, Masters in Computer Science), so I have an idea of how he was “trained to think”. And while no job will actually prepare a person to be POTUS, being a successful business leader does go toward showing a knack for leadership. But he went and “self-destructed”.

    So close …

    For those that think this is somehow “new”, I suggest you go back to the 1984 Presidential campaign. Read a bit of Berke Breathed’s “Bloom County”, how the Democratic Party was perceived at that time. (Berke is a “Rational Liberal”, for what it’s worth).

    For the record, I doubt I’ll be voting in the next election. I don’t like any of our (Republican) candidates, and as for Obama … well, he doesn’t like me either.

    He’s made that clear in nearly every speech he’s made.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. mantis says:

    and as for Obama … well, he doesn’t like me either.

    He’s made that clear in nearly every speech he’s made.

    I have enjoyed that the president takes time in every speech to tell us how much he dislikes anonymous internet commenter “John.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. de stijl says:

    @mantis:

    Whenever Obama tugs on his earlobe he’s sending a special message to John.

    Or Carol Burnett’s daughter.

    One of the two. Whatevs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. john personna says:

    @de stijl:

    It wasn’t me, actually.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. John says:

    (No, that would be me. Just John. BTW, John is my real name.)

    What?:You didn’t hear it? In every speech, at exactly 7 minutes and 42 seconds he says “Let me be clear — I do not like John, the Semi-Anonymous poster on Outside the Beltway.”

    There are two channels in every communication, the Literal (or Explicit) meaning and the Implied (or Implicit) meaning. While he has never come out and said he doesn’t like me, his tone and content — the implicit stuff — makes it clear I’m not wanted in his White House. Granted, all politics tends to be like this to a certain extent, but there is only so much of the Sound Byte/Talking Point rhetoric I can take before walking away.

    Which, coincidentally, is why I ignored most of the stuff on this thread. I mean, really — Republicans are racist because … “I said so”? Not the literal words, no. Republicans should ignore Herman Cain because he has no experience? Neither did Obama.

    The boy who cried wolf comes to mind here. These sorts of things have become so common that Conservatives consider them to be signs that they’ve got a viable candidate. Calling me a racist — especially for something as shallow as a political party affiliation — just means that you know absolutely nothing about me. You are reacting not to me, who I am, or what I believe — you’re reacting to what you’re afraid that I represent.

    Just like the Conservative talk show hosts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Rob in CT says:

    Presumably you have actual differences with our current President about policy. I hope you do.

    I understand messaging can turn someone off. I get that. But I’d like to think that someone who thinks of themselves as rational would focus on policy and try to leave the messaging aside (not that I really get what upset you about Obama’s messaging, since you haven’t shared).

    But then if you are a rational guy who cares about policy… Herman Cain? Seriously? 9-9-9? In your face ignorance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. John says:

    *laughs*

    You obviously missed the past tense there.

    My differences with the present administration are numerous, but not unilateral. I often share a common idea of the issue, but would rather get some facts with my story. Global Warming … how do we know that Human Beings have anything to do with it? Super Freakonomics actually answered that for me; no thanks goes to the Media of either side there. Occupy Wall Street? Sure, I get there’s a problem. Who actually speaks for the “movement”? Is there any commonality other than anger?Anyone do a Root Cause Analysis? No? Can we actually define the problem rather than the issue?

    “Problem”, in this context, is an objective, measurable, issue that can be solved. (Actually there’s a better definition out there, but that should do for now). So, for example, unemployment is an issue; “We need to drop unemployment to 0%” is a fantasy (it can’t be done without a totalitarian government); “Income for the 1% is going up while the 99% is stagnating or going down” is a symptom.

    The problem would require some serious thought and analysis.

    My turning point with the Obama administration came when I was listening to his defense of what has become labeled “Obamacare” (IIRC, he didn’t really write it, but “Pelosicare” does’t have the right ring to it to be a good sound bite). I have lots of concerns (the well known FDA corruption problem and tort reform among others), but none of them were addressed. In the end, I heard lots of blame but nothing that said “yes, I hear your concerns …”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. lankyloo says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Probably meant Inhofe, not Inouye. That jumped out at me too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @lankyloo: Thank you. I did mean Inhofe. What bizarre recesses of my brain caused that slip?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0