There was a time when parents would tell their children: "If you study real hard, you can grow up to be president." Now, apparently, the study part is unnecessary. In fact, if you're running for the GOP presidential nomination, it almost seems counterintuitive. Forget, even for the moment, Cain's alleged moral lapses. Even put aside his painfully embarrassing gaffe when trying to recall his opinion about the president's actions in Libya. That momentary Palinism was right up there with her infamous declaration of foreign policy experience based on Russian jets flying over her house. The real sin was his damage control statement: "It was a pause!" That's the thing with stupidity. It assumes everyone around it is just as stupid and can be fooled with something that looks and sounds like sincerity. It's like that old joke about a guy being caught in bed with another woman by his wife, yet swears it's not what it looks like, protesting: "who you gonna believe -- me, or your lyin' eyes?!"
To say: "it was a pause" is to assume that the people watching didn't see this fool's eyes roll back in his head as he pushed the water bottle around and squirmed in his seat to stall for time, while praying an actual thought would visit him. He even went to the point of beginning to formulate a sentence, hoping that a coherent thought, like a train caboose, might roll in behind it.
The problem with Herman Cain isn't that he may have hit on women when he was at the NRA. The problem isn't that he has no clue about foreign policy or macroeconomics and is trying to ride a backstory, a smile, a hat, and a dumbshit slogan to the most powerful job in the world. The problem is, much like Sarah Palin, that he knows he's unqualified, but he still wants the job. He wants it enough to stand on a debate stage and try to bullshit his way through. That makes it about wanting power and the ego-gasm of being president, along with a disdain for the electorate in thinking they don't deserve better. Not that it doesn't take a massive ego to think you could and should be president, but it must be tempered with equal parts intelligence, experience, and humility, qualities painfully absent in this guy.
At the end of the day Cain is a sideshow. No one thinks he's ever getting the nomination. But what it does reveal is a party so ideologically bankrupt and so filled with anti-Obama rage that they'll say anything, do anything, and support anyone who seems to have a chance of winning next November, despite the fact that they're rallying behind the policies that put the country in a ditch in the first place. They're basically saying to the entire country: "who you gonna believe -- us, or your lyin' eyes?" So, maybe it's not surprising that Newt is this week's poster boy. My guess is he's used that expression once or twice.