Herman Cain, Republican presidential candidate (Getty)

In a blog entry at the Washington Post, columnist Jonathan Capehart critiques the GOP's questionable acceptance of presidential candidate Herman Cain's nicety jokes in response to difficult questions. He says, "it's just a matter of time before Republican primary voters rallying to his side learn that the joke is on them."

Herman Cain likes to say "America needs to get a sense of humor." He's not wrong in that assessment. With all the problems facing the nation, retaining the ability to laugh at ourselves and each other might be the only thing getting us through these tough times. Rick Perry's handling of his "oops" moment is a prime example of laughing your way through adversity. But Cain has used humor throughout his improbable campaign not only to paper over deficiencies in policy knowledge but also to jab at critics. Jabs that are so stinging, hard-edged and unbecoming a potential president that he almost always has to walk them back — kind of.

In criticizing the failure to repeal the health care law, the former chief of Godfather's Pizza called the former speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, "Princess Nancy" at the debate last night. "That was a statement I probably should not have made," he said on CNBC immediately after the debate.

Of course, Cain being Cain, apologies are never unconditional or uncomplicated. Today in Michigan, an irked Cain said, "I apologize for calling her 'Princess Pelosi,' if that's the biggest story you all have, okay?" Asked to explain why he apologized, he said, "So you all will stop asking me about it, okay?" Okay, then.

Read Jonathan Capehart's entire blog entry at the Washington Post.