We have reached a stage in American politics where perception eclipses reality in many circumstances. While character assassination has always been a part of politics in general, specific methodologies have recently been developed in the past 50 years has been utilized to subvert the actual political process from voter intent to media-fueled appearance of impropriety.
With that said, there is a situation that is indicative of this very phenomenon. GOP candidate Herman Cain has been rising in the polls, becoming the highest poll ranking strong conservative presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan. With this obvious threat to liberal monocracy, Cain may very likely would become the GOP nominee opponent against the president with the worst performance in recent, perhaps all of, US history.
To that end, there is one singular goal: Stop Herman Cain, ANY WAY POSSIBLE.
In addition, there is a supporting goal: Ensure that Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee. But that is not nearly as important as stopping Herman Cain, which is, in fact, the Prime Directive.
Using that Prime Directive, we can now see with clarity every nuance of the saga of the process of assassinating Herman Cain’s character. Using sexual harassment and abuse as the instigation tools, the Left has been utilizing a very systematic method for sowing the seeds of distrust in the populace about his very presence.
Now we can look at the particular strategy the Left uses for this operation. What is their best chance to use the tools at their disposal for achieving the Prime Directive? When should it be utilized? Whom can the Left convince to become part of this operation? Where can this operation take place?
The advantage the Left has, at this point, is the need to negate specifics with many of the questions. Indeed, lack of specificity is PARAMOUNT in their strategy. With clarity comes targets; with targets comes responses in which it may become necessary to expend resources for damage control. Without clarity, there are no targets, which allows the seeding of “public discourse” relevant to Cain’s particular “indiscretions.”
The entire episode epitomizes the above tenets. Please note: the objective itself, Stop Herman Cain Any Way Possible, is NOT specified; if it were, the operation would become impossible.
In addition, we must also be frank: This is one operation cannot be overused for every little detail. It is like a huge weapon which can only be used once or twice. So when to use it?
Obviously, if they would have used it when Herman Cain was low in the polls, they would have had a much easier time to extinguish his candidacy. Although it wouldn’t have received nearly the same amount of press, it would most probably have rendered its effectiveness where it mattered: among the GOP voter base, who would not have wanted to elevate a “tainted” candidate. But this would only work if the Left had known Herman Cain would have become as popular as he did, which of course most people would not have that perception.
After all, Michele Bachmann could have risen. Same for Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and hell, even Newt Gingrich. To be blunt, there is no doubt that if one of those individuals have risen to the same level as Herman Cain, THEY would have been the target of such an operation. Perhaps interns in Perry’s governorship, employees of Gingrich’s conservative think tank, etc. No lack of potential operational targets.
So now that Herman Cain has risen in the polls, it is apparent to many people that he could easily become the GOP nominee. Therefore, the operation has intensified its scrutiny on his former life.
Unfortunately for them, he is not a politician. In addition, he has never had a hint of scandal associated with his life. He is highly popular among the base. Finally, he is someone who is the Poster Child of the Great American Success Story. Black, poor, growing up in racial segregation, but knowing that he alone could define his success, Herman Cain represents the Jack Armstrong ideal of success.
So how do you take someone like HIM down? Simple. The same way you did for someone who exhibited the same traits and took nearly the same route. Meet Clarence Thomas.
To achieve the Prime Directive, it is better to use the “drip, drip, drip” method of sensationalistic release, and let the bloggers do their inevitable embellishment. Facts are the ENEMY here. A scandal over a sustained period of time has the BEST chance of taking hold. Their primary purpose is to wear down the patience of the people whom are on the fence about Cain so they defect to other candidates, and a longer period of time gives them greater likelihood of defecting.
So here we go; how to take out a political mark (Herman Cain).
1. First, recognize the most opportune time. There are several stages to consider, each with their own pitfalls. After doing their research, they probably came to the conclusion that taking him out after he has sustained a solid, non-reversible rise in the polls was the best time.
2. Start from the present day and examine his career backward. If there is appreciable smoke in the recent past, that becomes the primary focus; otherwise the farther back events had occurred, the more unlikely Cain would remember it, and the better to obfuscate and extend the process (drip, drip, drip).
3. Create a template that establishes wrongdoing: sexual abuse, illegal immigrant hiring, racism, etc. Fine tune the template (for instance, “black man / white woman template”) to create a PRIMARY subject, along with SUPPORTIVE subjects.
4. Release ambiguous charges against the mark. In this case, sexual harassment, or anything that can be CONSTRUED as sexual harassment.
5. Once a time period has been decided, engineer the release of stories through obscure sources, such as a below-the-fold blog (like Politico). Knowing that a liberal-biased mainstream media would fan the flames of speculation, the process lets the situation simmer to an ever-encroaching boiling point (drip, drip, drip).
6. Ensure that your subject(s) do(es) NOT say anything that is contradictory to the Prime Directive.
7. Make sure that the information released is hints (or screams) of sensationalism, but make sure that there is no definable target. This is extremely important to establish the sustained release process.
8. Using Journolist, monitor the info release and see if other sources come forward. Ideally, someone will come forth with credible information; more likely, more ambiguous information comes forward.
9. Use the media to stoke the misinformation.
10. Constantly badger the mark with charges of “not making the record straight.” Remember, it is not the credibility of the subjects (specifically, their lawyers) making the charges; as long as there is a multiple amount, then that detracts from the veracity of the subjects.
11. Once the mark responds, attack EVERY aspect of the response for inconsistencies. Report inconsistencies as lies, which will NOW create the main focal point of the operation.
12. Gauge the reaction of the target populace. If the reaction does not hurt the mark, then increase the pressure. In this case, come up with a credible-appearing subject who can be identified and can take payments that cannot be traced through legal means.
13. Hire a lawyer or firm who can find and promote and pay the subject, as well as the lawyer’s or firm’s fee for representation.
14. Announce a statement and hold a press conference.
15. Engineer the subject’s statement so the subject does not directly answer any questions from the media without his or her lawyer.
16. Establish the credibility of the subject with affidavits that the press will not follow up on because of “attorney/client” privilege outside a court of law.
17. Make sure your subject goes on the circuit of NON-CONFRONTATIONAL shows. This fuels emotional temperatures.
18. The mark will be forced to respond again. Again, attack EVERY aspect of his response and report the inconsistencies.
19. Gauge the reaction of the target populace again. Hammer at the MAIN group that needs to be affected, the moderates.
20. Rinse and repeat until the target populace shows credible signs of being affected. In addition, keep on promoting the PREFERRED candidate, in this case, Mitt Romney.
This is basically the step-by-step process that has been utilized against Herman Cain.
Now, keep this in mind.
If it had been Rick Perry tied near the top, then HE would have been the target of the 20-step process to take him out. There would most probably have been interns or Texas state administrators who were slighted out of a job, or any of his associations, or business dealings prior to the governorship.
If it had been Newt Gingrich, they would have found any number of sources since he left Congress, or even IN Congress.
So how to fight it? Not a simple answer. I’m open to ideas.