The Art Project Candidate

On her show, Rachel Maddow has made a pretty convincing case for Herman Cain’s entire presidential run being a piece of performance theater. You can watch the whole clip (15 minutes) here, but I think the first three minutes and the Pokemon rip-off almost seal the deal on their own.

It’s a fun game. Ask yourself how far you think a candidate could push a campaign towards absurdity, and still retain substantial American support. What if he quoted Pokemon lyrics and prefaced it with a “a great poet once said”? What if he pronounced Uzbekistan as “Uzebeki-beki-stan-stan”? What if he claimed to have come up with a tax structure based off of SimCity? Would people still follow him? Would the media still pretend he’s legit? If the answer to all of those hypotheticals was yes (which it clearly is), what could he do next?

What if he wore overalls on the campaign trail and called it an homage to the heartland?

What if I insisted on back-up dancers singing doo-wop during his stump speech?

What he proposed establishing a new denomination of dollar bill (the $25?) and putting Crispus Attucks’ face on it?

There must be a line somewhere, a point at which the public will snap out of the surface-level infatuation, but clearly we haven’t found it yet. I don’t really believe Maddow’s supposition is true, but oh how hilarious if it were. And sad, for all of us.

Related Post: Notes on sexual hypocrisy and politics.

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