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Greetings, Constant Readers.  We at the Flashlight usually find Rachel Maddow’s voice grating and her theories trite, but yesterday she finally started making some sense.  Her latest theory?  That baffling Republican frontrunner Herman Cain is not a politician but a performance artist, whose campaign is marked by a string of supposed gaffs “that is not found in nature.”  I’m sure we all remember that Cain’s mantra, which he used most famously in August’s presidential debate, turned out to be from the theme song to the Pokemon movie.  And the source of Cain’s 999 tax plan?  Why, the popular video game SimCity.  But here’s the problem, Constant Readers: Maddow delivered her theory with a smile wry enough to betray the truth.  This lambasting of Cain is just the latest in her attempts to undermine the political right.  She no more believes Herman Cain is a performance artist than she believes he might sprout wings and fly.  But we at the Flashlight do believe it, Constant Readers.  At least the first part.

Is it really that far-fetched?  You need only read Jerry Mander’s “Four Arguments For The Elimination of Television” to be reminded that the invention of television redefined what it was to be a politician, and changed the face of the modern political campaign forever.  How perfectly ironic would it be if Cain was secretly a liberal plant, injected into the Republican presidential race by the far left to discredit the entire party, only to have his satirical campaign embraced by thousands who, despite all logic and common sense, refuse to see Cain’s slow-motion smile at the end of his absurd campaign ads as a knowing one, begging the viewer to get in on the joke.  Or is it something altogether more meta, with whoever’s pulling Cain’s puppet strings trying to shine a light on the absurdity of the whole process by seeing just how far a political joke like Cain can advance in the race for this nation’s highest elected office.

Has MSNBC’s inveterate liberal political commentator finally stumbled upon a story worth talking about?  Time will tell, Constant Readers.  Time will tell.

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