Herman Cain’s rise to the top tier level of GOP candidates in the presidential race is fueling apprehension on the left.
Cain's surge in national polls has catapulted him to the slot just behind frontrunner Mitt Romney as Republican presidential aspirants head into tonight's debate.
There have been numerous attempts from the opposing side to smear the tea party and countless efforts on the part of various liberal factions to sully the GOP with charges of racism. Apparently, the idea of an African-American conservative runs counter to the template that the far-left has worked hard to create.
One explanation for Cain's political ascendancy was floated by actress-comedienne Janeane Garofalo, who recently suggested that Cain was merely a decoy on the right to deflect racist charges that had been flung the GOP's way. Her explanation went viral and was subsequently picked up by the left-of-center blogosphere.
In an appearance on Current TV’s “Countdown,” Garofalo told Keith Olbermann, “Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same.”
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell tried to characterize Cain as being less than an authentic African-American by making the accusation that he had sat “on the sidelines” during the civil rights movement.
In an interview with Joy Behar on HLN, singer Harry Belafonte called Cain a “bad apple” who has no authority to talk about “the pride of people of color.” Belafonte was commenting on Cain having said that he doesn’t see racism “holding anybody back in a big way today.”
Princeton professor Cornel West told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux that the Godfather’s Pizza CEO should “get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge the evidence is overwhelming.”
Cain quickly demonstrated that he intends to respond aggressively to such attacks. He dealt with Belafonte’s comment in an interview with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel.
“I left the Democrat plantation a long time ago,” Cain said. “The only tactic that they have to try and intimidate me and shut me up is to call me names.”
Further chastising West, Cain said, “That's the difference between someone who has spent their life in academia and someone who has spent their life in the real world. I've been in the real world. He's been in academia. So he's back on this symbolic stuff.”
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