This article from Dave Weigel in Slate shows a perfect example of how Conservative INC. grows and multiples like buckthorn to crowd out the native plants. Here is Herman Cain unveiling his new role as political activist in front of another poorly attended national Tea Party gathering in Washington D.C:
“…Herman Cain is becoming the man of the moment, as far as the Tea Party’s concerned,” says Judson Phillips. “What’s his role in the movement now? I’d call him a strategic planner without a portfolio.”
You can chortle at the empty chairs and uneaten catering at the Renaissance Hotel, but put it in perspective: The inspiration is a guy who dropped out of the presidential race before any of the primaries. He had to drop out because middle-aged women kept materializing in TV studios and describing grabby encounters with the former National Restaurant Association boss. As he was quitting, he spent more than $300,000 on legal bills.
And yet here he is, still beloved by the movement that briefly made him a legit threat to Mitt Romney. Here’s Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff, still Internet-famous for the campaign video that featured him free-associating about Cain’s “campaign like no other” and smoking a cigarette in front of a brick wall.
“How many candidates dropped out of the race?” he asks, rhetorically. “Herman didn’t go away. Here’s a joke among staff that we love. He took ‘three days of vacation’ after the announcement, okay? Two and a half days of that, he was working, setting up Cain Solutions.”
Quitting the presidential race worked out brilliantly for Cain. Contrast his life with that of Newt Gingrich, still technically running for president. Cain now heads three organizations, with loosely defined goals—Cain Connections, Cain Solutions, and the Herman Cain Foundation. At this reception, he will announce a video channel called CTV. Its flagship show, confusingly enough will be called Cain TV. A short preview shows the host, a beefy joke writer named Rodney Lee Conover, mocking the life and loves of Sandra Fluke as a cartoon of the birth-control advocate sprawls lazily and lustily on a dorm room bed.
It compares awfully well to the no-end-in-sight tragedy that is Newt 2012. When he left Congress, Gingrich started founding think tanks and holding conferences that people actually showed up to—the strategy that Cain is Xeroxing. Those think tanks, now Newt-less, are shutting down. Running for president doesn’t give Gingrich space in the media to share his grand ideas. It gets him headlines about being bit by penguins. The life of the professional has-been is sweeter than the life of the has-been candidate.”
This is exactly why people who have no business running for President run for President. Because a campaign isn’t just a campaign anymore, it’s an opportunity. Even if you lose (or don’t even run like Cain did) you can use the fame you gained by running and use to advance business and marketing opportunities amongst the faithful or a gain future gig in the media on TV and radio shows or in books. Thus Cain, ever the businessman, is using this fame (and the martydom he received by being run out of the race by the media) to create new businesses like Cain Connections, Cain Solutions, etc. to make money for himself and advance the cause, or so they believe. And why single Cain out? Newt Gingrich did the exact same thing after being dumped by a his own collegues as Speaker of the House. No more making pizzas for old Herm,’ it’s now about cashing in politically. And after a while, long after the embarassment of his campaign wears off and is forgotten, Cain may very well run for office again, rehabiliated now that’s he’s become a public policy entrepenure like Gingrich (before his campaign basically broke what was a very profitable business venture for him.)
The sad thing is a lot of good people gave wasted their time and money buying into the shams of “national” organizations whose sole purpose is to pick your pocket (As Judson Phillips did with his “convention”) instead of staying at home and putting their efforts into good work there. Conservative INC. will continue to feed off of and pollute actual conservatism with its “politics” so long people continue to buy what they’re selling.