Herman Cain, the Self-Proclaimed “Koch Brothers’ Brother from Another Mother,” Drops Out of Race: Comedians and Democrats Praying for Newt

The Onion’s Rapid Response team immediately ran this headline: “Rumors Of Extramarital Affair End Campaign Of Presidential Candidate Who Didn’t Know China Has Nuclear Weapons.”

Understated, not even mentioning the Libya interview. Oh, have the standards changed. To think that Gerald Ford’s mistake about Poland not being under Soviet influence was thought at the time to be a record-breaking foreign policy gaffe. How about Perry failing Government 101 by claiming the other night that he would use an executive order to repeal legislation passed by Congress and signed by a President?  Records are being shattered all over the place.

First, Cain’s lovefest with the Koch Brothers. The Brother from Another Planet declares, at his campaign’s pinacle, “I am the Koch Brothers’ brother from another mother.”

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“Sing Off” fans, have a listen to Cain’s swan song:

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So, he is at peace with himself, his wife, and God, but apparently not the Koch Brothers (in the last 30 seconds: “it’ll be hard to raise the necessary funding.”) And what’s with false and unproven allegations causing it? “False and unproven?” (“I didn’t do that. And you can’t prove it” is pretty funny.)

One of the things I find astonishing is that he had absolutely no field operation or ground organization whatsoever, and was the leading contender for the nomination so late in the game.  Like almost zero staff in the field.  This is new in presidential politics. It has never happened. And you can’t write this one off to the social networking and new media creating a virtual ground organization on the internet.

Sure, the Blue State Boys used new media to get Obama elected, but did so with a combination of grassroots and Chicago-style field operation. Cain being in the final group pretty close to the beginning of the primary season, let alone being the frontrunner for a good while there (until, um, he received a little scrutiny) could not have happened before Citizens United allowed (as in, actually made legal) the money laundering relationships between non-profits, wealthy and privately controlled special interest advocacy groups.

A quick look at the flow of money to candidates, especially in the case of a former frontrunner with no traditional campaign organization behind him, makes it crystal clear that Citizens United is what made Cain the Koch Brother from another mother.

And the new ways that money has been infused into politics in recent years also goes a long way in explaining the most anti-environmental congress in history, and what is beginning to undo the entire structure of  environmental law in the United States, including the very existence of the EPA. 

The only way to fight that much money is the way Obama’s election campaign did in 2008: voter turnout. But the GOP has thought of that. Actually, state governors and representatives had it spoon-fed to them by the Koch-funded AFP and ALEC. Besides gerrymandering districts to just those groups that turned out in force to elect President Obama, and doing so sometimes in ways so crude in its goals and execution, conservative courts have already overturned them, ALEC has additionally led a massive voter suppression movement to disenfranchise the very same groups from even voting. If you think this is paranoid, read the ALEC model legislation (It is attached, with notes from the Center for Media and Democracy), the Brennan Center Report, and the court case rulings that have blocked some of these moves in earlier Say What?” posts. The voter suppression stuff is serious and well-planned.

The Next Big Thing: An Open Letter to Bill McKibben and Joe Romm About Why Every Environmentalist Should Occupy a Voting Booth, with an update here

and

The 99% Movement and Environmentalists: Economic Justice, The Echo Chamber, and Really Old Problems With Democracy

and

Your Scorecard: The 110 Anti-Environment Votes in Congress This Year

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About Scott Brophy
Scott Brophy is a philosophy professor whose work is focused on the intersection of philosophy and public policy, especially on environmental issues, law, and education. He has also taught philosophy of science, logic, and the history of philosophy. He has served as a consultant for educational programs and schools throughout the U.S. and abroad, and as an adviser to several philanthropic foundations.

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