Bells are Chiming for Victory

Here’s the Cain campaign innovating once again, this time by capturing the key sad-eyed middle-aged white male demographic. Watch it all the way through, it’s worth it. (via Fallows)

In the comments on yesterday’s Cain post, I was accused of insufficient gravitas in my analysis of the Cain campaign. I realize that there’s a high standard of serious political inquiry here at this learned journal, so today I’m summoning my inner Cronkite when examining the Republican field.

Whatever you might say about my man Herman — and Bieber knows you can say a lot — you must remember that the race he’s running is to be the alternative to Mitt Romney. His key competitor in that race is a man who makes Herman look like a combination of Ronald Reagan and Seneca the Younger, the Governor of the great state of Texas. Perry just dropped his turd of a tax plan, and its an impenetrable combination of stupidity and complexity (via KD):

On Tuesday I will announce my “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan to scrap the current tax code, lower and simplify tax rates, cut spending and balance the federal budget, reform entitlements, and grow jobs and economic opportunity.

The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

First, that name is so bad that it makes me wonder if Bob Shrum is advising Perry. Second, he’s going to “scrap the current tax code” by keeping its most widely used exemptions and deductions, and by letting people choose to use it to pay their taxes? There’s some simplification we can all believe in. And, considering that the plan includes more details about the estate tax and Sarbanes-Oxley, can you imagine a tongue-tied semi-illiterate like Perry actually explaining it during a debate?

So, to those of you who say that Herman has one eye, I say that he’s running for leadership of the kingdom of the blind.

Also, too: you have to love the Reaganesque quality of Herman’s fascination with the number 45.






60 replies
  1. 1
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

    Wow. IANAAccountant, but even I can see what a shitshow failparade that “plan” would be.

  2. 2
    smelter rat says:

    We all know the right answer is 42

  3. 3
    Don K says:

    Um, so how does it simplify anything if you have to compute your taxes twice, with (evidently) different definitions of taxable income (computation of which is what’s complex about the current system)? Just askin’.

  4. 4
    Mark-NC says:

    The plan IS in fact simpler.

    The losers get to keep their loser world & the rich get to drop their taxes down to 20%.

    A perfect Republican plan!

  5. 5
    gnomedad says:

    He forgot to take a sip of beer. Where the hell is the producer?

    Seriously, though, although this spot is lame enough to believe otherwise, every second of a short commercial spot is carefully planned. So that drag was designed to appeal to someone. I’ve got it: Obama wants to take away your cigarettes! Hypocrite!

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    Please explain to me where United went. When did we change our name? Mr. United please come home.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    Wait, is no one going to comment on the “sad eyed loser” clip of a campaign manager so nervous that he practically collapses from anxiety and then has to smoke a cigarette after doing the spot? I really thought he was going to swallow his own tongue by accident while saying-or sighing–that Cain would “put the U-nighted back in United.”. Also, he must be a midwesterner–only they say “wunt” instead of “wouldn’t” and are so incredibly diffident. And what’s with the party of one feel of “I am America” playing over a single guy shifting from foot to foot in a public space like an anxious flasher? i

    aimai

  8. 8
    Kirbster says:

    I love how GOPers never focus on the content of statutes, but on the number of words or pages therein.

  9. 9

    Local news bot said Perry’s 20% tax was “voluntary.” Do not know if that is accurate or not.

  10. 10
    Donut says:

    I am incredibly freaked and creeped out by the combination of the “I am America” song, the cigarette drag (nice teef, smokey), and the way too prolonged chuckle-stare emanating from Hermie. And WTF is with the semi-profile camera angle???

    That was weird and fucked up on the “Mike Gravel-stares-at-the-camera-then-tosses-a-stone-into-the-water” level. I mean, Democrats at least were able to weed out their crazies very early in the process. Herman is…going to linger, like the foul odor my two-year old’s dirty pull-ups carry if they sit in the trash can overnight.

  11. 11
    gnomedad says:

    Cain: “Our tax code is the 21st century equivalent of slavery.” He went there.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    @Southern Beale: You can decide if you want to pay 20% or use the current system. It decreases taxes on the wealthy and unearned income is not taxed. In order to pay for the decrease in revenue, he plans on cutting everything I guess. He also privatizes Social Security for those under twenty-five.

  13. 13
    vtr says:

    Isn’t Cain’s grin at the end a bit creepy?

  14. 14
    Steeplejack says:

    I thought the cigarette was a dog whistle to the X-Files Cigarette Man demographic, letting them know that the Cain “campaign” is a Syndicate front, designed (as always) to keep the American people from learning the truth the Truth!

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @gnomedad: Depends on the meaning of slavery. I am so tempted to send the candidates a dictionary.

  16. 16
    gnomedad says:

    “Hmm, can we make something just stupid enough for liberals to take it viral, and still appeal to the target demographic?”

  17. 17
    cleek says:

    @JPL:
    as Drum points out, the genius of making it voluntary is that he avoids the problem that Cain ran into: Cain’s plan raises taxes on someone. if there’s a choice, you choose the lower.. so nobody’s taxes go up, they can only go down.

  18. 18
    ET says:

    I can’t decide about Cain.

    1. He staff is amateurish.
    2. He really is on a book tour.
    3. This was a vanity campaign by a rich guy.
    4. He is as surprised as everyone else that his numbers are so good and because of that he was ill prepared.
    4. Ill prepared. Period.
    5. Any and all of the above.

  19. 19
    Donut says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Thank you for explaining that. Your thought actually makes sense.

  20. 20
    debit says:

    That video ranks right up there with John McCain’s wall of lime green speech for unintentional awfulness. Okay, it’s not demon sheep bad, but close.

  21. 21
    Nora says:

    Wow, that may be the worst campaign commercial I’ve ever seen. What’s with all the cuts? Why does the campaign manager never say a word about what Can stands for? Yeah, duh, you’re his campaign manager, you’d better believe in him, but why should the rest of us who aren’t getting paid to do so? And the cigarette thing: either he’s trying to show you that doing this commercial was so sexually satisfying to him that he had to have a cigarette afterwards (eww), or he was so nervous that he had to take a puff to get through it (but in that case, you wouldn’t have to use that bit of video in the actual commercial).
    And Cain’s slow creepy grin at the end makes me think of Guy Fleegman at the end of Galaxy Quest.

  22. 22
    Alex says:

    Another Herman Cain ad — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ-WTFA2vXY — this one is singing God Bless America over news footage of 9/11. Slightly creepy… until you notice that he kept the audio of the news footage in the video.

    His most recent ad is where he explains 9-9-9 will break the bond of tax slavery and allow everyone to proclaim “Free at last, free at last”.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    The Today Show people said it had been pulled from Cain’s website, or something like that. I wasn’t paying attention to them, just caught it in passing.

    I love the ad. The sad eyes, the smoking, the wacky head moves, topped off by Cain’s evil grin + cackle at the end. It’s made of awesomeness.

  24. 24
    cathyx says:

    Do smokers have good judgement?. I don’t think so.

  25. 25
    4tehlulz says:

    I though Graham Chapman was dead.

  26. 26
    cathyx says:

    Apparently this is a real ad for Herman Cain too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....unZM466rK4

  27. 27
    kay says:

    I’m still getting used to the idea that we have a presidential candidate who was an actual lobbyist.

    Not close with lobbyists. Not purchased by lobbyists. A lobbyist.

    And, best of all, he’s the “maverick outsider” who is going to “change” Washington. This is a new low.

  28. 28
    prufrock says:

    Also, too: you have to love the Reaganesque quality of Herman’s fascination with the number 45.

    Hey, it’s a dynamite taste.

  29. 29
    RSA says:

    Is Cain’s campaign manager doing a pre-Halloween John-Astin-as-Gomez-Addams impression? That makes more sense than to think he’s doing a political spot. And with that creepy smile, Cain seems on board with the idea.

  30. 30
    gnomedad says:

    @cathyx:
    “This is the story of the Herman Cain …”

  31. 31
    Shalimar says:

    @gnomedad: In Herman’s world, slave owners were the real slaves because owning plantations tied up capital they could have used to invest in other more lucrative endeavors.

  32. 32
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    On Tuesday I will announce my “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan

    Wait a minute…

    I thought we were all supposed to “Duck and Cover…”

    Or was that “Drop and Roll”?

    Or was that “Donald Duck on a Kaiser Roll”?

    Srsly… one is getting the feeling… that more and more self-identified Republicans are finally reaching the point where they’re embarrassed by what their party has become…

    Good for them…

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Too bad John Cassavetes isn’t still with us. He could have had a whole second career doing campaign commercials.

  34. 34
    Mark S. says:

    and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

    Shit, would anybody in the 99% owe anything with that huge of a deduction? Would Erick Erickson?

    I can’t wait for someone to score this. This plan will make 999 look fiscally responsible.

  35. 35
    Lojasmo says:

    What the fuck? Who let that video escape?

  36. 36
    xian says:

    Personally, I think the only progressive way to ever cut income taxes is to increase the standard deduction, so you cut from the bottom up. Cutting the highest marginal are always rewards those at the top.

  37. 37
    Hoodie says:

    That was creepy. The needy and nervous white guy/leering Herman Cain has a bit of a Last King of Scotland vibe to it.

  38. 38
    Mino says:

    @Donut: I agree, that was sick, in a good way. First the smoker(I laughed) and then that knowing smirk. I think he showed the con, knowing most(all) of his voters would never get it/refuse to get it.

    Or maybe I’m giving him too much credt. I can’t decide.

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL:

    By “send” I hope you mean “hurl at their heads with intent to cause injury”.

  40. 40
    MattF says:

    @vtr: Um, a bit. As in WTF-A-BIT.

  41. 41
    Mark B. says:

    They one point in the video where he shook his head back and forth like a nervous filly, I expected him to neigh. There’s something wrong with the dude. Maybe the three minutes he had to go without a cigarette for the middle portion of the video made him freak out.

  42. 42
    Mino says:

    @Mark B.: Uh, maybe his excitement over Cain required a post-excitement cigarette.

  43. 43
    Mino says:

    Actually, that cigarette is going to get this ad a lot of free plays as folks clutch their pearls. Smart.

  44. 44
    jheartney says:

    Bizarre. The sound seemed as if it came from a cell phone recording (I kept expecting to hear a jet flying overhead), the delivery was, shall we say, unpolished, and the choice of spokesman impenetrable. I thought the cigarette drag at the end was a nod to the candidate’s mafia-themed company, to the extent it represented anything conscious.

    Mostly I feel sad for this once-great country, where the nomination contest of the highest office is now a competition among ridiculous buffoons.

  45. 45
    bjacques says:

    Romney’s tax plan will be the Flip Flop Fly.

  46. 46
    Mark B. says:

    Yeah, chain smoking indicates to me … drug addicted loser. Good choice for a spokesman. [clutches pearls]

  47. 47
    Bnad says:

    Is Herman Cain getting ready to molest 10 year old me at the end of that ad?

  48. 48
    cmorenc says:

    @aimai:

    Wait, is no one going to comment on the “sad eyed loser” clip of a campaign manager so nervous that he practically collapses from anxiety and then has to smoke a cigarette after doing the spot?

    Actually, it looked much more like a joint he was taking a toke off of than a cigarette, so much so that I fell out of my chair laughing when I saw that.

    As if his “message” was “See! Even old hippies like me who’ve cut off their ponytails think Cain is cool.”

  49. 49
    Nutella says:

    MJ identifies the smoker as a crook from AfP.

  50. 50
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steeplejack:
    Strangest political ad I’ve ever seen. Absolutely content-free. Generic script that could have come from anyone’s campaign. I didn’t even hear Mark Block recite The Hermanator’s campaign slogan (what is it, anyway?) or see it onscreen at any point.

    To extend Steeplejack’s X-Files comparison: if Block looks like a sad-sack Cigarette-Smoking Man, the candidate himself looks like Assistant Director Alvin Kersh, the vaguely creepy clack dude who rook over as Mulder and Scully’s boss in season 6.

    I like Cain’s taste in campaign staff. ABC News doth note:

    According to a recent Daily Caller profile, Block was “banned from politics in Wisconsin for three years and forced to pay a $15,000 fine after being accused by the Wisconsin State Elections Board of violating election law in 1997 as campaign manager to state Supreme Court Justice.”

    And then there’s the bit where Block says:

    “We’ve run a campaign like nobody’s ever seen but then, America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.”

    Per TPM, America has never even seen Cain’s campaign org, if he really has one.

  51. 51
    Mino says:

    An even more bizarre one was uploaded to Cain’s Youtube site. At first I thought it was the same guy, but it’s a new one. And he’s even stranger.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSlC7BxmSqY

    Is he punking us?

  52. 52
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Ladies and Gentleman, your GOP front runner!

  53. 53
    Kola Noscopy says:

    I realize that there’s a high standard of serious political inquiry here at this learned journal…

    hahahahahahaha…

    This is the the most astute wry observation you’ve made in some time, MM. :D

  54. 54
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Mino:

    Is he punking us?

    There was a time in America when a man was a man… a horse was a horse… and a man on a horse was just a man on a horse… unless he carried Yellow Flowers.

    Ya think?

    This ad is better than Demon Sheep! But what kind of dogwhistle is yellow flowers?

  55. 55
    Nutella says:

    @Mino:

    Nice chicken, honey!

    Does this mean we can count on Herman to keep on fucking that chicken? Inspiring!

  56. 56
    philowitz says:

    I can only infer that Cain is using the pretense of a presidential campaign to promote his name and raise his book sales and speaker fees—maybe get a million dollar Fox News gig, like Palin.

    My thoughts on this are here:
    http://possibleexperience.blog.....paign.html

  57. 57
    Citizen_X says:

    Shouldn’t there be the sound of Eeevil laughter at the end of that clip? “Cain. President. 2012.” “Muh ha ha ha haaa!”

  58. 58
    Admiral_Komack says:

    That is a dumb-assed commercial.
    The tobacco industry might like it, though.

  59. 59
    AA+ Bonds says:

    That is a terrible name for a proposal and it won’t catch on for him – three verbs = death.

    If you have to worry over the serial comma, then you fucked up

  60. 60
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Mitt Romney is now the enemy though

Comments are closed.