You might not know it, given the absence of media interest, but there's been an amazing development on the nation's political scene. The racist, bigoted GOP, a party populated by racist tea-partiers and their ilk, have catapulted Florida businessman Herman Cain to a 20 point lead over his next closest competitor for the Republican nomination for president.
How can such a thing be explained? How can it be comprehended? It contradicts every narrative promoted by the left for the last four decades. Herman Cain, for those who may not follow these things (shame on you) is a black man, the son of a poor black father and mother, which makes him, in the liberal way of thinking, blacker than Barack Obama whose ancestors, unlike Cain's, never endured slavery, or Jim Crow, or even lived through the Civil Rights era.
I don't know how long the enthusiasm for Cain will last, but it certainly does give the lie to the progressive narrative about tea-party Republicans. How does a staunch liberal cope with the collapse of a major pillar in his worldview, how does he hold together (to paraphrase Marx) when all that is solid in his noetic structure melts into air? How does one keep one's sanity when every entrenched dogma about one's enemy to which one has unquestioningly clung throughout one's life is shown to be an illusion? How will liberals like Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman ever reconcile these two facts: Republican conservatives are inveterately racist, and Herman Cain is, at least for the moment, their champion.
And what about anti-semitism? Surely conservatives are by nature anti-semitic. But then how are we to explain the strong Jewish vote for the conservative GOP congressional candidate rather than the Jewish Democratic candidate in New York's 9th district special election to replace Anthony Weiner?
"But," we can hear our progressive friends insist, "look at the tea-party. There's real anti-Jewish bigotry there. Just listen, for instance, to this man at a tea-party rally spewing his anti-semitic contempt onto an elderly Jew":
Oops. Wrong video. That was recorded at the Occupy Wall Street protest and the young man was no tea-partier. "Oh well," our liberal interlocutors will say, "we're sure there are anti-semites in the tea party, and the fact that they haven't shown themselves is just proof of how devious they are."
I wonder, if someone at a tea party rally had acted the way this guy behaved toward that man, how the media would have reacted? What conclusions would the folks at MSNBC have drawn about the dark evil lurking in tea-party hearts from such a squalid exhibition of bigotry and incivility?
Never mind. It's a silly question.