Allen West: Cain's a "Distracter" and "We Should Move On"

Allen West: Cain's a "Distracter" and "We Should Move On"

Allen West: Cain's a "Distracter" and "We Should Move On"

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 30 2011 10:39 AM

Allen West: Cain's a "Distracter" and "We Should Move On"

The most prominent elected black Republican in America goes on Morning Majority, gets asked about Herman Cain -- black Republicans seem to get questions about Cain -- and drop-kicks him with extreme prejudice. "I think that really, beyond reassessing his campaign," he says, "he probably needs to understand that he is a distracter for what's going on right now and we should move on. That would be my advice to him, if I had the opportunity and he asked me."

What makes this really interesting is that West ponders Newt Gingrich's personal "baggage" in the very next minute, and he turns that question back on Barack Obama. "One thing that really perplexes me," he says, is that "no one talked about a lot of the associations that President Obama had. No one talked about a lot of the things in his personal life -- the drug use, and things along that line. And now, all of a sudden, there's that duplicitous hypocrisy that they want to bring on the Republican candidate."

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That's something West could just as easily say about Cain. But he's not saying it. Reading between the lines here, and thinking about how many times West must have been asked about the rise of Cain. Over the last month, Cain was basically calling for solidarity from conservatives, portraying himself as another independent black man being torn down by liberal racists. West indulged that in at least one interview. "Conservatives minorities scare liberals," he said, "because we come from a background where we're not supposed to be this way. We're supposed to be part of this liberal plantation they built in the 1960s and 1970s."

But the drip-drip of Cain scandals makes it tougher to argue that he's being treated unfairly by a racist media. Matter of fact, he may have exploited conservative sentiment to blow off the stories. At some point that becomes an insult to black Republicans. Maybe we've gotten there.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.