The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

So … How Was Your Monday?

Posted on | November 8, 2011 | 103 Comments

Mine could have been better, as I was compelled to endure the mortification of reading these sidebar headlines at AOSHQ:

Iowa social conservatives, who are practically Kos diarists, urge Cain to clear the air.

Haley Barbour, who only became a conservative, like, this morning, advises Cain to get all the facts out.

Johnny-come-lately conservative Bill Bennett, who is just seeking liberal approval, urges Cain to come clean

The predicate of those gags, of course, was Ace’s previous assault on Rush Limbaugh for having asserted that all rock-ribbed True Conservatives are standing strong with Herman Cain. So Ace is in the Gloat Zone, which isn’t exactly good news for Herman Cain and therefore was also enough to make my Monday especially Monday-ish.

So . . . what are we to make of this weird little story?

A former employee of the United States Agency for International Development says Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain asked her to help arrange a dinner date for him with a female audience member following a speech he delivered nine years ago. . . .
“I couldn’t swear that he had some untoward intentions, but we all thought his tone was suspect and we didn’t feel comfortable putting him in touch with that woman,” Donella recalled.
“I think [Cain] should not be a serious candidate for the presidential nomination because of what I’ve seen,” said Donella, an independent who said she voted for President Obama in 2008 and probably will again next year. “He’s not a person I would want running the country.”

You see how the Penumbra of Suspicion envelops everything at this point, and causes us to ask how the shadow can possibly be lifted. Whereas last week, I could shrug at the Cain critics who were carping about what they saw as the ineptitude of Team Cain’s response, now I’m wondering: What would a “good” response look like, given the changed nature of the story? Is any “good” response really possible?

See, it was one thing to hear people criticize Team Cain’s media strategy, because there isn’t a Republican operative above the rank of intern who doesn’t consider himself an expert on media strategy. That kind of carping is therefore routine and expected, and I could play the same game, if I wanted to degrade myself to the status of Wannabe GOP “Media Strategist.”

Squawking from a bunch of dime-a-dozen assholes doesn’t bother me much. What started bothering me late last week, however, was the hunch that all the clever media strategy in the world might be futile, and that the fate of Cain’s campaign was really not contingent on “strategy” at all. If I were in a position to advise Cain at this moment, the only thing I could advise him is to pray.

Pray real hard.

It is not generally my practice to preach here. Yet there are times — and this is one of them — when I’m reminded of the awesome sovereignty of God. It’s a Calvinist kind of thing, and it takes an enormous amount of faith in the Almighty to grasp it. In our secularized culture, people tend to look at you like you’re crazy when you start talking about God’s sovereignty, and His power to work His will.

Nevertheless I do not hesitate to say that if it pleases God that Herman Cain should be destroyed, no mortal power can save Cain. Yet if it pleases God that Herman Cain should be preserved and uplifted, no mortal power can destroy Cain. Therefore, if Cain is true to his professed faith, then in this dark hour, he must be praying mighty hard, and thinking of a stanza in an old gospel hymn, “Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I’ve come; and I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.”

Having followed Herman Cain’s campaign since before there even was a campaign, I am struck by the fact that here we are — now just eight weeks away from the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses — with the long-shot underdog atop the national polls, where none of the political experts ever thought he would be. And I think any Christian must find this truly miraculous.

But for what purpose has such a miracle been wrought? If it has pleased God to bring Herman Cain this far, has he only been lifted up so that he might now be cast down? God moves in mysterious ways, and we cannot presume to know God’s plans and purposes. Yet if there is to be any hope for Cain now — when everyone thinks he’s doomed — that hope can only be for him to put his faith entirely in God.

So I’m willing to have people look at me like I’m crazy for expressing my belief in God’s sovereignty, and in His power to save whom He will, no matter how hopeless matters may seem to us, or to Brit Hume:

By all ordinary political logic, Brit Hume is right: It’s utterly hopeless. But if Herman Cain’s presidential campaign does somehow miraculously survive this crisis, you can be sure it wasn’t because of advice from “media strategists.”

Republican “media strategists” are mostly doomed to Hell, which is already overcrowded with Democratic lawyers.


103 Responses to “So … How Was Your Monday?”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    November 8th, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    Uh, she claims she’s a registered Republican in a state (Illinois) where you don’t register a party affiliation.  That point destroys her credibility, it doesn’t enhance it.

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    November 10th, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    […] morale is a major challenge at times for any blogger and, as I said, the Bialek press conference made my Monday especially Monday-ish. If the takedown of Cain succeeded, what the hell was the purpose of going out on the road for 35 […]

  3. ‘Pray Real Hard’ | Herman Cain PAC
    November 11th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    […] If I were in a position to advise Cain at this moment, the only thing I could advise him is to pray. Pray real hard. […]