Quo Vadis, Herman Cain?

With one percent of Americans paying most of the income taxes in America, while 47% pay nothing, it figures that Democrats would decide that the fair thing to do is to force the one-percenters to pay even more. That is what liberals refer to as social justice, which they believe is better than just plain old-fashioned justice because it allows them to stack the deck. That, in a nutshell, is not only a good reason to never vote for liberals, but an equally good reason not to play cards with them.

Recently, Obama announced that seven out of 10 millionaires to whom he’s spoken — and those are generally the only people to whom he speaks without using a Teleprompter — agreed that they thought it would be a swell thing if they paid income taxes at an even higher rate than they presently pay them. What he failed to mention is why, in that case, they don’t simply write a bigger check. He has also neglected to mention why it is that he doesn’t pay more. What the heck is stopping him? Shouldn’t a leader lead by example?

Quo Vadis, Herman Cain?

As it so happens, I have a solution that should satisfy both Democrats and Republicans. As everyone from pediatricians to Mary Poppins knows, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. So why not sweeten April 15th by combining Tax Day with a super lottery? Wouldn’t people be more likely to pay what they owe or even a little bit more if they stood to win, say, thirty or forty or fifty times the amount they paid? Suddenly, I’m willing to wager, even those people who currently pay nothing would be eager to enter the sweepstakes.

The question I constantly ask myself is why it’s inevitably people like me who have to come up with these simple solutions when it’s guys like Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke who get paid big bucks, get invited to address congressional committees and who never do anything but make bad economic problems worse?

Moving on, it recently occurred to me that the political playbook for liberals comes to us straight from old-fashioned melodramas. Whether the stage director is James Carville, Howard Dean, Rahm Emanuel, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz or David Axelrod, the job is easy as pie. He or she merely explains to blacks, gays, college students, union members and illegal aliens, “You’ll play the damsel in distress. The Republicans will play the mustachioed villain trying to throw granny out the door and into a snowstorm, while simultaneously trying to have his dastardly way with you. And we, of course, will play the dashing hero who rushes in to save the day, not to mention your honor.”

And, just like “The Drunkard,” which ran for years and years, it doesn’t appear that Democrats ever intend to change even a single line of corny dialogue. Why would they when the old chestnut continues to draw crowds and standing ovations. By this time, even the audience has learned when to boo and hiss on cue.

Finally, I don’t know how things will finally play out for Herman Cain. As I sit here, things don’t look good. It’s not that I have any reason to believe that he sexually harassed any of the women who were paid off by the National Restaurant Association. My inclination is to suspect that he did nothing untoward, and that his accusers merely saw a golden opportunity to get an organization to cough up some dough to avoid time-wasting and potentially expensive lawsuits.

Having said that, I don’t know why Mr. Cain wasted a lot of time pretending he was unaware of the payoffs and, like Bill Clinton parsing “is,” pretended to be confused by the words “settlement” and “arrangement.”

I also had a problem with his double-talk about abortion. He had already disturbed me when he candidly admitted that he had no idea what “the right to return” meant when applied to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Although it’s comforting to hear Mr. Cain say he will surround himself with smart people once he’s in the White House, what guarantee do I have that his smart people will be any smarter than Obama’s advisors?

And while I sometimes get tired of seeing presidential candidates dragging their wives around during campaigns, I find it puzzling that I have never laid eyes on Mrs. Cain, although I did once get to see their 43-year-old wedding photo on TV.

As I said before, I have no reason to believe that Mr. Cain is a serial sexual harasser. What’s more, I like his voice, his demeanor and his smile. In fact, I like him, which is more than I can usually bring myself to say about any politician. However, I was mystified that when he finally managed to recall a time when he and one of his accusers were standing in his office, he apparently told the woman that she and his wife were the same height. What?! I’m not suggesting that was a come-on or that he was flirting with her. But, quite honestly, try as I have, I simply can’t picture the scene.

I am 71 years old and I have never had occasion to say those particular words to any female. I can’t even imagine a circumstance in which I would. I mean, unless the woman happened to be 2-foot-7 or 7-foot-two, what would be so doggone coincidental about two women who were both, say, in the normal 5’2” to 5’7” range that anyone in his right mind would feel called upon to make such a goofy observation?

©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write Burt!

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
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  • Sunnyr

    “I am 71 years old and I have never had occasion to say those particular words to any female. I can’t even imagine a circumstance in which I would. I mean, unless the woman happened to be 2-foot-7 or 7-foot-two, what would be so doggone coincidental about two women who were both, say, in the normal 5’2” to 5’7” range that anyone in his right mind would feel called upon to make such a goofy observation?”

    Glad to know I am not the only one who thinks this is a totally bogus story! I think Herman Cain is a flim-flam man and has snookered a lot of gullible Tea Party Conservatives. I just can’t listen to any more of his lame excuses that stretch the heck out of credulity.

    I’ll be glad when this is OVER!

  • Bob

    Bernie, Why can’t Herman take a lie detector test, and then ask the accusers to do the same? Let the chips fall where they may, and leave it at that.

  • Jeff Burdick

    Was Rahm among those passing along the Cain rumor? My guess is there’s something to this, but he no doubt was one of many (especially since the rumor was true). It seems almost too bizarre for a guy now so distant from D.C. to be falsely connected to this rumor. You expect there always to be rumors that tracks every rumor back to the White House or a dirty-tricks arm in either national party. But Rahm? Well, Rahm loves talking off-the-record with countless reporters and dish the latest cocktail chatter. It’s how you win media affection, as well as distract them from covering your own warts. It’s the same thing that Karl Rove, Richard Armitage and Scooter Libby were doing when they revealed Valerie Plame’s name. Very Insider 101. So I believe there’s some truth to the Cain-sourcing rumor. But for a view into another aspect of Rahm’s media savvy touch, check out this humorous YouTube video of his orchestration of his next mayoral news conference: http://tinyurl.com/44msscl

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Drew Page: Yours is the most fascinating comment so far. Not because it was amusing or insightful, but because it suggests that you read me on a regular basis, which would be the only way you’d know that I make it a practice to be inane. If you actually believe that, why would you read my commentary? Now, don’t be shy. Speak right up.

    The fact is, I have a very easy way of spotting bulls–t, Mr. Page. It’s when people don’t merely disagree with my point of view, but decide to insult my writing.

    Sincerely, Burt

  • Glen Stambaugh

    An odd conversation. The context would be interesting, but it strikes me that few would try a pass whilst referring to their wife. Seems worse than lame for a smart guy like Cain. Probably just trying to make (inane) conversation to fill a lull.

  • IndependentLasVegas

    As you said this is the weakest group of candidates ever put togther..

    I believe the GOP is throwing the election// As Michael Savage said. We are now in an era of you get 8 yrs then we get 8yrs…

    In a country of 300 million people these sorry sacks of blank candidates is the BEST we CAN DO!

  • Drew Page

    If inane comments were better left unsaid, Burt would be out of a job.

  • David R. Zukerman

    Key details about the settlement agreement not yet disclosed, people reacting to Mr. Cain’s statements since the Politico story went online really should have awaited full disclosure of the terms of the agreement, including: who paid; if the Restaurant Ass’n, why; who is bound by the non-disclosure provision;are there penalties for breach of the agreement; is the emergence of the story indication of breach of the agreement?

  • RandyM

    I agree with you, Burt, about inane comments better left unsaid. I have never felt the need to comment on another person’s height… or weight… or color… or anything else. But some people feel compelled to blab about anything and everything just to fill a conversation void. For those who do, the odds are higher they will say something better left unsaid.

  • Therealguyfaux

    I’m telling you, Burt, as well as everyone out here, that if we don’t organize some kind of protest on April 16th, 2012 (Tax Day next year and the day Massachusetts celebrates Paul Revere’s ride with a public holiday), via a National Sick Day or National Vacation Day for all those who have a tax liability (and can take the day without being fired), then the politicians will just blow off all calls to remember just who it is that pays the bills around here. Atlas had better start shrugging.