Herman Cain is a flash in the pan, and probably won’t be the candidate chosen by the Republican Tea Party.
So I have my reservations about spending so much time exposing this huckster. It’s insulting to treat this carnival show like the real thing. Aside from his idiotic tax plan, he’s got a few rotting bodies in the closet only a tea party zombie could love:
Steven Pearlstein: “Don’t blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”— Herman Cain, from an Oct. 5 video interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray.
We were first introduced to Cain’s economic world view in 1993, when as chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza he stood up at a nationally televised town meeting and told then-President Bill Clinton that requiring employers to offer health insurance to their workers would force businesses like his to eliminate large numbers of jobs.
If Cain is the perfect Republican candidate for 2012, then Godfather’s Pizza is the perfect metaphor for the winner-take-all economy envisioned by today’s uncompassionate conservatives: a highly-leveraged management buyout that made fortunes for top executives and big franchise owners by closing stores, hiring mostly minimum-wage employees with no health or retirement benefits, and relying on slick TV ads to peddle an unhealthy and mediocre product.
When he wasn’t fighting to deny pay raises and health insurance to the working poor, Cain was also busy serving on corporate boards, including Aquilar. Aquilar was once a sleepy electric-power company that, while Cain was on the board, followed Enron into the wholesale energy-trading business. Like Enron, it got nailed for trying to manipulate trading in natural gas and paid a fine of $26.5 million. Curiously, Cain never mentions his experience at Aquilar when demanding repeal of those onerous post-Enron regulations that require directors to adopt better systems for internal control.
That’s the kind of leadership we want to see in the White House, or anywhere for that matter?