Herman Cain and the Debate

Herman Cain has withdrawn from the Republican campaign, sidelined by allegations of sexual misbehavior.  Some find it hard to believe that there was nothing to those allegations, even though no substantiation ever has been offered.

Cain himself, and fellow Republicans, thought the allegations too much a distraction, and so he believed himself unable to discuss the real issues at hand.  Apparently none of these worthies have ever heard of gorilla dust.

But this surrender comes against the backdrop of other Republican candidates who’ve been called out for similar misbehaviors—that actually have occurred—and who have successfully answered those manufacturing the distractions, thereby canceling attempts to move the discussion away from the issues facing us.

No, the real problem with Cain’s retreat is that this is another instantiation of the Republicans’ inability to control the debate, their inability to keep the discussion on topic.  They routinely allow the other party to decide the terms of reference, whether it be gutting Social Security with payroll tax cuts rather than giving Americans real, income tax cuts; or ad hominem attacks to which the Republican targets respond, and respond, and respond; or class warfare, to which the Republican response is to…claim class warfare, but not to push a coherent tax reform plan of their own; or a tax and spend plan masqueraded as a jobs bill, to which the Republicans respond by saying, “No,” without offering a coherent jobs plan of their own.  The list goes on.

They don’t even talk about the budget the House passed at the start of the current session that reduces the deficit and addresses the national debt, and that sits ignored in the Democratic Party-controlled Senate.  They don’t even talk about the 15+ jobs bills the House has passed that sit languishing in that same Senate.  Because the Progressives don’t want to talk about these things, the Republicans won’t; they can only respond to Progressive initiatives.

And yet manufacturing “distractions” is exactly what the Progressives intend to do to their eventual Presidential campaign opponent in 2012.  And to all of their Congressional opponents.  Because they have no hope of arguing the issues themselves, and because they know they can get away with it.

Removing the Progressives from office in 2012 is very uncertain, regardless of any early poll suggestions.

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