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Will Durst: A Scoop of Non-Vanilla

Satirist and Raging Moderate Will Durst weighs in on the flavor of the month, Herman Cain:

Q. Why is the GOP like a Baskin-Robbins franchise?

Bill Day / PoliticalCartoons.com

A. Because they’re both suckers for the flavor of the week.

Scientists have yet to uncover what causes Republicans to recoil from their own candidates like a tomboy from frilly underwear. Perhaps they’re commitment phobic. Or channeling the Christmas morning four-year-old in all of us, ignoring gifts already opened, only interested in the next package stacked in the pile. Maybe they need to switch to decaf.

It could have something to do with the party’s penchant for treating its stars like mushrooms, relegated to the shadows and fed a steady diet of compost, so when they do emerge into the light, the media glare reveals warts the size of Buicks previously indiscernible. That darn high-definition TV.

The newest fresh-faced frontrunner in the little contest the GOP likes to call “Anybody But Romney” is a rare Republican scoop of non-vanilla, Herman Cain. That’s right. An African-American is leading the Party of Lincoln’s presidential polls and no, we’re not sure if frost warnings have been posted in hell yet, but gloves and parkas are on the way.

Yes, we know the jokes. The term “Black Republican” is like saying guaranteed pension. Saudi Arabian delicatessen. KKK Diversity Scholarship. Dick Cheney’s Drum Circle Retreat. The Barack Obama Dynamic Leadership Seminar. You could hold the GOP Black Caucus convention in a phone booth.

Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner, PoliticalCartoons.com

Well, they don’t make phone booths anymore and the former CEO of Godfather Pizza is currently captivating crowds and being hailed as the Party’s new savior. Just like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Chris Christie, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump before him. You get the feeling Michael Moore could announce and assume top spot in the polls.

Cain says he wants to do for America what he did for pizza. The hell does that mean? Reduce us by half the way he did Godfather Pizza stores when he took over for Pillsbury? Make the country crispy, crusty and covered in cheese? Maybe he’ll recycle that old marketing motto, “Pakistan will sleep with the fishes.”

Cain is a straight-talking businessman whose boiled-down economic policy is a catchy: “9-9-9.” Targeted straight to the cerebral cortex of the average American voter. Three syllables. A 9 percent income tax, 9 percent corporate tax and 9 percent national sales tax. But he’s got to be careful, because a national sales tax not only puts him square in Tea Party crosshairs, it opens him up to charges of appearing European. Of course, in Germany “Nein, nein, nein,” takes on a whole new meaning.

He brags he’s the only candidate never to have held elective office, inferring that the Oval Office should be an entry-level position. Conveniently neglecting to mention he ran for President in 2000 and for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia in 2004, and lost both races. So, it’s not like he hasn’t tried politics before, he’s just not that good at it.

This is still Romney’s race to lose. Chances of a neophyte wresting the nomination from the human dial tone are longer than the third act of a bad opera, but it would be interesting to see Herman Cain win. Can you imagine racists going to the polls next November, having to choose between two black guys? Their little heads would pop right off.

Will Durst is a political comedian and columnist for Cagle Cartoons Inc. Read more of Durst's columns here.