While Herman Cain rockets to the top in poll after poll after poll after poll, finding more support among anti-establishment conservatives, we're also witness to more and more of the Old Guard Republican establishment circling the wagons around Mitt Romney. Telling, isn't it? Following Tuesday's debate, The Washington Post inadvertently, or most likely purposefully, alluded to the distinction between the two camps as well (here and here). So, if it's Cain vs Romney, or rather 'principled conservatism vs the D.C. establishment', it certainly offers us an opportunity to further develop an earlier narrative into the contrast between these two candidates, their ideas and their endorsements.
To paint Herman Cain as having no experience in politics is just as disingenuous as the establishment setting Romney on a pedestal as the centerpiece of political experience, particularly in regard to the other candidates on the stage.
Aside from his father's governorship in Michigan and his failed Senate run against the late Ted Kennedy, Romney went on to accomplish winning the Massachusetts governorship, serving one 4-year term, before lauching his bid for the White House in 2008. That's it...one term.
Cain, who has also had his share of failed political races -- a brief 2000 presidential bid (going on to endorse Steve Forbes over George W. Bush) and the 2004 three-way Senate race to replace the retiring Democrat Zell Miller -- nonetheless played a significant role in defeating what could have become ClintonCare; which in turn, helped to land a spot as a senior economic advisor to the Dole/Kemp campaign in '96. Sure, no elected office, but certainly involved in politics.
Both are businessmen, self-made entrepreneurs; however, there are distinctions between the two in this regard as well. While Romney spent the brunt of his business career in consulting firms involved in management, leveraged buyouts and investments, more of a Wall Street executive if you will, the majority of Cain's business experience was spent as a Main Street executive from management and CEO positions in the larger food industries to smaller subsidiaries and chain businesses, as well as sitting on the board of a plethora of public and private organizations (all after his six year stint in the Dept. of Navy as a mathematician in ballistics!).
Among a myriad of questionably non-conservative issues plaguing MItt Romney, we've become quite familiar with his benchmark accomplishment as MA governor (that he continues to tout, even immortalized in fine art), as have senior Obama officials during the crafting of ObamaCare. RomneyCare sought to reduce the state's Medicaid spending, but what resulted was a mandate requiring nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy or obtain health insurance coverage or face a penalty, the creation of a new regulatory authority complete with waivers, raised taxes the moment it was signed, increased spending in cost alone, and a negative effect on jobs. Sound familiar?
Cain's campaign centerpiece lies within his self-described "simple, transparent, efficient, fair, and neutral" 9-9-9 Plan for economic growth. Over the short time of just the past week, we've seen a concentration of criticism, some positive and plenty negative, from both ends of the political spectrum, launched toward Cain's plan. Taking the negative first, the Left seems to argue that the plan won't generate enough revenue, while the Right is concerned that liberals will easily raise these percentages. Besides including incorrect assumptions towards various income levels or factoring this plan on top of the current tax code (which is a complete misrepresentation), both skeptics seem to dismiss that not only are we primed for variable uncertainty and tax increases under the current code, but that the end of the line doesn't lie within the "9's." The goal is to ease the system towards the truly transparent Fair Tax, and that's what inherently scares those beholden to the status-quo, even with two volumes written and dedicated to the creation of such a system, as well as debunking the myths, misstatements and flat-out lies about the Fair Tax. Nonetheless, Cain's 9-9-9 Plan has received a couple of hefty endorsements over the past 24 to 48 hours...we'll bridge this across the next section.
Romney has been racking up endorsements, with many big names to add as of late. Unfortunately, many of these names are synonymous with the Old Guard of the Republican establishment that degraded the conservative roots of the party throughout the dawn of our new millennium. After Tim Pawlenty exited the presidential race, it didn't take long for him to throw his support towards Romney. And a caravan of establishment staples and pundits have continued to follow ever since. We were all witness to the attention-starved New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's preemptive endorsement of Romney before Tuesday night's GOP debate; and the latest came shortly after, with the Mississippi RINO Thad Chochran and the old bull former Speaker Dennis Hastert leading the herd. Such stirring endorsements.
On the other side of the pendulum,Cain and his economic plan have begun to slowly churn out endorsements. While a good many of the talk show hosts are attempting to remain neutral seemingly until the first primaries, Dennis Miller has been one to come out and endorse Herman Cain, as well as headlined a fundraiser for the presidential hopeful. Among others, and actually just over the past few days, we've received conformation that a few numbers guys have joined the ranks of supporters for Cain's 9-9-9 Plan: one being House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, who said that he “loves” the idea of having “specific and credible” plans, like Cain’s signature 9-9-9 proposal, in the national tax policy debate; while the other is known as the Godfather of supply-side economics, Arthur Laffer!
The famed economist told HUMAN EVENTS that the proposal was pro-growth and would create the proper conditions for America's economy to expand and thrive again.
"Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a vast improvement over the current tax system and a boon to the U.S. economy," Laffer told HUMAN EVENTS in a statement. "The goal of supply-side tax reform is always a broadening of the tax base and lowering of marginal tax rates."
Added Laffer: "Mr. Cain’s plan is simple, transparent, neutral with respect to capital and labor, and savings and consumption, and also greatly decreases the hidden costs of tax compliance. There is no doubt that economic growth would surge upon implementation of 9-9-9."
So, there's a quick, yet focused, rundown of these two very different men who want to be president. And in contrasting the two, the opposing camps within the party couldn't be more distinctly defined and further apart. Considering the real opportunity for a conservative victory in 2012 with Principle and some 'teeth' behind it, I think I've made a relatively clear cut case as to why I'd rather not go with the watered-down choice. I'll always choose the conservative roots of the party over the establishment any time, any day.
Additional sources: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain
UPDATE: They said he wasn't a 'serious' candidate, he proved them wrong. They said he couldn't be a frontrunner, they were wrong again. They've said he can't beat Obama, especially without the $$$, Rasmussen begs to differ: Cain 43% Obama 41%. Meanwhile, Romney flips and flops towards the OWS mob's '99%' theme.