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How Herman Cain Killed Black Republicanism

One day the GOP will get a legitimate black conservative voice. That day hasn't come.


This past Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, the once jocular and front-running, now defiant and rapidly crumbling GOP presidential contender Herman Cain announced that he's indefinitely "suspending" his bid for the White House -- and in the process he killed black Republicanism.

That probably wasn't his plan, but after running a race filled with gaffes and gimmicks and lacking any humility or substance, Cain left the conservative movement unharmed and the mainstream GOP alive and well, but he may have finally laid to rest the peculiar strain of political thought that's been driving black Republicans ever since the kinder, gentler Rockefeller Republicanism of former Sen. Edward Brooke and the late NAACP President Benjamin Hooks was replaced by the talking-point parroting brand that found its ultimate distillation in Cain.

After Cain's woeful run, American politics may have finally seen the last of the "I'm not like those other blacks" candidate -- and good riddance.

Cain called himself conservative, but he mostly encouraged supporters to see him as the ultimate anti-Obama -- claiming to be the "real black man" in the presidential race and saying America needed "a leader, not a reader." Yet when the time came, Cain couldn't back up those claims.

He tried to be the "likable" candidate in the Republican field but went about it by indulging in a faux-folksiness unbecoming a serious contender -- kicking off stump speeches by exclaiming "Aw, shucky-ducky!" and wishing aloud that he'd get the Secret Service code name "Cornbread."

He quickly tried to revamp his 9-9-9 plan as a 9-0-9 plan after learning that a 9 percent income tax would raise taxes on 84 percent of Americans.

He backed Donald Trump's suspicions about President Barack Obama's birth certificate right up until Obama went ahead and produced his birth certificate.

He said he'd refuse to appoint any Muslim Americans in a Cain administration because they might try to "force their Shariah law on the rest of us."

He was considered staunchly anti-choice until he told CNN's Piers Morgan that on abortion, it comes down to "a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president."

When he was asked to offer his thoughts on American involvement in Libya, he gave an answer so convoluted that it really has to be seen to be believed.