11/08/2011 03:39 pm ET | Updated Jan 08, 2012

Buh-Bye Pizza Guy

Herman Cain may or may not be guilty of sexual harassment, but he will certainly be taken down by it. It's hard to see how the pizzaman can refuse to talk his way out of accusations dating from years before he began his quest for a television show... er... the presidency.

Although the polling is apparently still working in Cain's favor, it can't last, and think about this: what else is there we don't know about? If Cain thought he'd skate through without having to deal with four, count 'em, four harassment settlements, what else is the Hermanator in denial about?


So. With Cain toast, it's worth looking at the other GOP prospects. Interestingly, there seems to be so little talent in the clown field this season that many of the frontrunners have resorted to cheap imitations of previous GOP luminaries.

Perhaps most interesting is Michelle Bachmann's epic tank. While reasons for her fall range from simply too many looney statements to too much micromanaging, I think the most probable is that her Palin schtick finally caught up with her. Even amongst the most fervent red-winged elite, no one likes a wanna-be, especially one with a husband in tow that seems, well, less fully masculine than those heartland voters would want to see in a potential First Dude. Voting for a woman would be tough enough given the whole fundamentalist subservient female gig. Voting for one that so clearly wears the pants probably reminds those redstate folks too much of the hated horrible Hillary.

Rick Perry, on the other hand, is a full-grown Texas swaggerman of the old school, complete with country accent and padded shoulders. It is to our collective impoverishment that poor Molly Ivins did not live long enough to take it to "Governor Goodhair" with the large baseball bat he so richly deserves. Yet, even without Ivins' razor-sharp pen, Perry has managed to destroy his reputation as serious contender all by himself with his drunken G.W. Bush routine and 6th grade debating skills.

Gingrich and Santorum, far from being imitations of former GOPer bigwigs, are former GOPer bigwigs, which is even worse. The only thing in Teapublican circles worse than politicians is former politicans, especially ones that have enough baggage to fill a decent-sized semi or two.

The Apostle Paul, like all extremists, will only attract a small percentage of voters, devoted as they may be. John Huntsman is, of course, far too reasonable with his stance on Global Warming (it's real and a problem), and far too close to Obama, (he worked for the big O), for the faithful red to stomach.

In the end, it is and was always going to be Romney. Romney with his RomneyCare so close to Obama's laws. Romney with his Mormanism thought cultish by fundamentalists, Romney with his previous liberality, Romney the poster boy for flip-flopping political opportunism.

In 2008, I hoped that Romney would be the candidate, as he would have presented an easy target. That such a creature should wind up the strongest candidate in 2012... and even more spectacular, that he should actually have a chance of beating Obama, speaks not only to the degradation of the Republican Party, but the incredibly weakened corner Obama has painted himself into. Given this reality, perhaps the president could do a little channeling of his own, and come up with the Rooseveltian moxie needed to move us out of the economic doldrums.

But I'm not holding my breath.