Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash: Michael Jackson’s kid-touching, Herman Cain’s blonde problem, and Rick Santorum’s rope-a-dope

Matt Labash Columnist
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Editor’s Note: Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here

Dear Matt, do you care about the Michael Jackson verdict? – P. Hilden

I would’ve cared a lot more if it had been a “guilty” verdict, convicting Michael Jackson of touching trusting children below the belt. I understand Michael Jackson grew up around all sorts of horrors: an abusive father, a pet rat named “Ben,” La Toya. But none of those things are an excuse for a grown man to have slumber parties, then to use children as his personal sock puppets. So I wasn’t exactly overcome with grief when his doctor put him down. Just because you’re the King of Pop doesn’t entitle you to such behavior. If you want to get away with those kinds of shenanigans, you should at least go through the proper channels by getting a job at the Vatican or becoming a coach at Penn State.

I am male. I have never met Herman Cain, nor has he ever acted in an inappropriate sexual manner towards me, ever. I would like to start a group of persons that have not been harassed by Mr. Cain (although it appears as time goes by that it would be a rather small group). Would you consider joining? I’m having trouble finding members.  – Ron K.

Will there be snacks and a liberal-media-bias discussion group? I would love to join. But can’t. Herman Cain once grabbed my ass. I didn’t say anything about it at the time, however, since it was consensual after the fact. I’m not proud, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for his big, strong man hands. He kneaded me like Godfather’s deep-dish dough.

Matt, So much has been made of the fact that Herman Cain hits on blonde white women.  Does blonde mean whiter?  –  Janice K.

Wow. I’m so glad you sent this. I was just sitting here thinking that it’s been ages since a reader sent a racially-loaded question that would earn me enmity and sacks of hate mail no matter how I responded. So this is quite the godsend.

Now that liberals and conservatives alike are in a rolling death-match to jockey for victimhood status, crying racism or sexism every time there’s a news development that displeases them,  allow me to join in the bad-faith fun by suggesting that the Herman Cain blonde-woman critique is the perfect victimhood hat trick: it’s racist, sexist, and hair-ist.

Yes, some commentators like MSNBC’s Toure, a pundit of such prowess that he doesn’t even require a last name (or is it a first name?), say such things as, “It’s yet another blond white woman who’s accusing him of doing and saying things that are inappropriate. The instinctual fear in America of black men being sexually inappropriate or dominating with white women is very, very deep. And when is this going to start to come out? People start to feel this on a deep level. ‘This is wrong. He keeps going after our women. We don’t like this.’ That is going to definitely {be} a problem.”

As of yet, however, there is no evidence that purportedly racist GOP voters, despite Toure’s sage predictions, are feeling the need to guard their white women. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ann Coulter, a white woman, has called Cain’s treatment at the hands of liberals a “high tech lynching.” (Coulter will see your Mandingo allusions, and raise you some Klan imagery, Toure.) And according to a USA Today poll, a full 42 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they’d consider supporting a candidate who’d been proven to have sexually harassed employees. So that ought to prove how open-minded the GOP electorate is.

Which is cause for Democrats to go apoplectic, so long as they can feign amnesia about how they behaved during news of Bill Clinton’s alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick, and his other assorted pawings. But charges of racism and sexism aside, hair-ism has reared its bottled-blonde head. Cain detractors refer to accuser Sharon Bialek’s blondeness to amplify the Toure stereotype of the African-American predator coming for your virginal white daughters. While to Cain partisans, Bialek’s blondeness is pejoratively referenced, intended to connote licentious sluttiness, on-the-make-ness, flakiness,  etc. It’s much the same way, in fact, that Clinton defenders used to defame his paramours like Gennifer Flowers or Dolly Kyle Browning.

If Bialek’s charges are accurate, and as of yet, no proof has been offered to suggest that they aren’t, the blonde slurs are unfair. Not only to Bialek, but also to Herman Cain. Yes Bialek is blonde, and yes, Cain’s other known accuser, Karen Kraushaar, is blonde as well, though more on the dishwater side of the color spectrum. But getting back to your original question, it’s way too premature to allege that Cain only targets blonde women. Until the rest of the accusers show their hair, we cannot rule out that Cain likes brunettes,  too. And it would be hair-ist to diminish their whiteness when they haven’t even yet spoken. They very well may, in fact, be even whiter than Bialek. So let’s be fair to all parties, and not put the cart ahead of the horse.

After the last debate, I think the new darling of the Right is going to be Rick Santorum. I believe he’s using a famous strategy called the rope-a-dope.  He’s letting the heavy hitters punch themselves out and he will come in and win the nomination in the last round. What do you think? – Vic

I think your name isn’t really “Vic.” I think it’s “Mrs. Santorum.” Also, Mrs. Santorum, I think you’ve been drinking. Also, I think I have a better chance of winning the Republican nomination, and I’m not even running. And if called upon to serve as a write-in, I will respectfully decline. Being President of the United States is no place for an honest man. Which is why I would be unelectable.

I would tell voters what they want to hear: that I would eliminate all extraneous federal government agencies, that I would cut taxes while balancing the budget with my 1-1-1 plan, that I would make sure every American had the job of their choice and was paid overtime for it with guaranteed vision and dental coverage, that I would eradicate cancer and alleviate lower back pain, and that I would invade Canada so that we could seize their natural resources and explore alternative forms of energy, powering our fuel-efficient automobiles with seal fat and poutine.

Then I would tell them that I was kidding, and that they shouldn’t believe everything, or even anything, they hear from a politician in the thick of campaign season.  America is now 235 years old. Time to grow up and act our age, voters. We have another whole year of this nonsense ahead of us. So let’s treat these proceedings with the seriousness they deserve. Which is to say, not much.

Matt Labash is a senior writer with the Weekly Standard magazine. His book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys,” is now available in paperback from Simon and Schuster. Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.