Herman Cain plays his race card amid no Dickens of a time for the GOP

Give me a break.

I’m not talking about the 80s TV sitcom starring Nell Carter as the African-American housekeeper for a widowered cop and his young kids. That was “Gimme a Break.”

No, I’m talking about giving me a break from Herman Cain, the African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination, and his selective use of the race card. Cain disparages the race card when it is used to suit the purpose of liberals – or those who are against him — but when it is to his advantage he will deal that tired old card from the bottom quicker than you can say “Black. Jack!”

Of course, with his unexpected political fortunes stumbling rapidly downhill as the ghosts of alleged harassed women past come out of the woodwork you would have to expect the wily Godfather of Pizza to pull something which will deflect the blame. First, Cain chose to point to Good Hair Perry as the party responsible for dropping the dime on him. Then Cain didn’t blame him. Then he did. Cain could certainly hold his own in a “Flip-Flop Off” with Mitt Romney. Oh by the way, remember how Cain’s nose got out of joint over the sign at the Perry deer lease in Texas? The one that was named “N*****head?”

It now seems the Godfather is ready to invoke the Holy Grail of conservative race-baiting with a new political ad that will recall the Senate hearing in which Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — then being confirmed for his life-long judicial seat — uttered the phrase: “High-tech lynching.”  Thomas was the first prominent black political figure — and yes he is a political figure — to tell his fellow African-American conservatives that they can have their cake and eat it too. It is all right to rail against blacks who support Democrats as lazy or “brainwashed” or waiting in the welfare line, and still call attention to a conservative’s own blackness and their past evolving from the days of human bondage.

The Republican Party has become perhaps the best institution ever at using hypocrisy as an art form without thought or remorse. So why would it not be okay for Cain or his fellow black conservatives to say whatever they want to say whether it follows any lines of logic or not?

It would seem that the best way for any politician to get past something such as that allegedly unearthed in Cain’s history is to meet it head on and profusely apologize. Remember Bill Clinton? The American public is one of the most forgiving bunch of people that have been seen unless you kill a couple thousand of their fellow citizens at once, or you preempt the climax of an exciting televised football game with the movie “Heidi.”

Even if Herman Cain is some kind of serial sexist pig he could still stop his campaign, undergo therapy and eventually be rehabilitated in the public eye. Maybe Herman and Tiger Woods should hang out together for awhile.

Regardless of whether Cain did or didn’t harass women during his career as a businessman really makes little difference to the GOP nomination race in the end. While somewhat surprised to see Cain’s stock rise as it did in polls before his latest troubles emerged, I still stand firm in believing Cain has a black snowball’s chance in hell of winning the nomination or even being chosen as a running mate for Mitt Romney the eventual GOP choice. I see no way that Republicans will nominate another black man for a run at the presidency seeing the amount of hatred conservatives have for Barack Obama. Still, the choice for Republicans is less than bright as things stand. I even heard it expressed that many GOP-ers would just as soon reelect Obama than vote for any of those running on the GOP ticket now. The rationale is that the conservatives can verbally beat Obama like a drum for four years while hoping they can find someone to run after his final term is up.

There are dangers in such feelings though. If a Republican is not elected president and the party loses a substantial majority in both the Senate and House, there could come that Whig moment I feel as inevitable and have predicted over the years. Whether the next presidential term are money years for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity might also be the time a death knell is finally sounded for the Grand Old Party.

Such a prediction I would not like anyone to hold me to, simply because I might be wrong. But one must admit the 2012 presidential race ain’t a Dickens of a time for the Republicans. It’s not the best of times. And it is more likely the worst of times.