A Super PAC behind Herman Cain has produced a new video claiming that Cain is the target of a racially-motivated smear campaign akin to a “high-tech lynching.”
The video blasts the media for focusing on the allegations, and argues that “liberals,” unable to tackle Cain on the issues, resorted to personal attacks to destroy his candidacy. To cap it off, the video closes with footage of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings, in which Thomas assailed the sexual harassment charges levelled against him as, “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”
Thomas effectively shut down criticism against him — at least from the right — by going after his interogators. And even today, he remains mythologized by some conservatives who firmly believe that he was the subject of an unfair smear campaign.
Though many commentators seized on the comparison between Cain and Thomas early on, Cain’s campaign avoided drawing such an explosive parallel. Even now, Cain’s team isn’t directly linking Cain to Thomas — the new video was produced by Americans for Herman Cain, a super PAC that legally cannot coordinate with the official campaign.
However, the Cain team has gone on the offensive over the allegations, accusing the media of treating him unfairly. And, just as with Thomas, that strategy appears to be effective in rallying the party base.
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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