Cain pulled off a decisive win, garnering 52.6 percent of the vote and beating Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in her own backyard. Bachmann took a distant second place with 12.2 percent of the vote, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 11.1 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul attracted 10.7 percent of the vote while Texas Gov. Rick Perry got just 4 percent.
With all the usual cautions about the accuracy of polls and the volatile nature of a heated primary, this is the kind of story Cain needed, and Rick Perry didn’t.
Meanwhile, the Values Voters Summit was holding a straw poll in Salt Lake City on the same weekend. Ron Paul won that poll, with Cain coming in second, as the local ABC affiliate reports:
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is the top presidential pick of the thousands of social conservatives who are meeting this weekend, winning 37 percent in a non-binding straw poll.
Georgia businessman Herman Cain came in second at the Values Voters Summit in Washington with 23 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum placed third with 16 percent in Saturday’s straw poll among the Republicans’ White House contenders.
Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas tied with eight percent.
As ABC goes on to note, Paul “regularly fares well in such straw polls because his fervent supporters flock to the events to give him wins.” Straw polls in general are most useful as a barometer of party enthusiasm. It looks as if Cain’s doing pretty well with both social and fiscal conservatives at the moment.
One reason for the sustained excitement surrounding Cain is that he’s called out the Occupy Wall Street freak show in no uncertain terms. Liberals desperate for “their own Tea Party movement” have taken leave of their senses while trying to romanticize and mainstream these absurd protests, and currently suffer under the delusion that Cain will somehow hurt himself with middle-class Americans by talking tough about this whiny, unlovely, and increasingly violent “movement.”
David Magee of International Business Times writes up Cain’s appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation by treating Cain’s criticism of Occupy Wall Street like a head-scratcher:
One thing we can say about Herman Cain, the fast-rising Republican political star who has surged to the top of the GOP presidential nominee race in the past month: He isn’t out to try and please everybody, not even the fast-growing Occupy Wall Street movement.
Occupy Wall Street has gained momentum almost in exact timed accord with Cain, rising in the past month from seemingly nowhere to become entrenched as a strong political force in America, if not throughout the world. Yet Cain is quick to criticize the movement, calling protesters “jealous” Americans who “play the victim card” and want to take “somebody else’s Cadillac.”
The message is sure to resonate with Wall Street types, and bankers looking for a conservative to support in the presidential race.
(Emphasis mine.) “Not even?” One reason much of the OWS coverage is so bizarrely skewed is that the Left mistakenly thinks it has succeeded in destroying the American middle class, by making them hopeless dependents. They can’t understand why working Americans look at OWS and see an unappetizing gang of aggressive parasites, instead of fellow supplicants to the government that will make faceless rich guys “pay their fair share.” Besides harboring a general distaste for ugly mobs that block traffic, middle Americans know damn well they would end up paying for all the goodies the protesters are demanding.
The L.A. Times oddly chooses the word “virulent” to describe Cain’s tough talk to the protest mobs:
[…] But Cain, surging in popularity among many conservatives, seems to have had among the most virulent responses to the protests.
On CBS, Cain suggested that the rallies had been organized by labor unions to serve as a “distraction so that many people won’t focus on the failed policies of the Obama administration.”
The banking and financial services industries aren’t responsible for those policies, Cain said. “To protest Wall Street and the bankers is basically saying you’re anti-capitalism,” he said.
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who appeared on the program with Cain, offered a more measured response, but blamed the White House for the discord.
“There a lot of people in America who are angry,” Gingrich said. “This is the natural product of President Obama’s class warfare.”
Both Cain and Gingrich have good points here. Cain is on stronger ground by blaming the protesters themselves for falling prey to the President’s class warfare rhetoric, as well as the Democrats’ obvious attempts to manipulate them for political purposes. The core principle of the entitlement state is the refusal to hold people accountable for their choices, instead viewing them as Marxist class constructs who helplessly respond to the actions of power and money elites.
His rejection of that world-view, and the insistence on holding everyone responsible for their decisions, is one of the reasons Cain is doing so well. Freedom does not exist in the absence of responsibility. Those who would respect the freedom of others must hold them accountable. The overgrown children throwing a tantrum on Wall Street are tragically incapable of understanding that while the Left treats them as useful idiots and helpless dependents, Herman Cain is the one who respects them.
The “partnership” between Big Government and Big Business has indeed done a great deal of damage. How odd that anyone in America still thinks the solution is to empower politicians to address the business side of that “partnership.”