He knows, doesn't he? It would be pretty hard to miss. So yes, I'm quite sure that Herman Cain knows that he won't be president, won't be the nominee, won't get to point at Obama face to face and scream, "Look! Look! I'm blacker 'n you!" Regardless of what victories he may score in meaningless polls and penny-ante endorsements, it won't happen. Try to find a picture of the man looking relaxed or even slightly upbeat. No, he's always got the expression you wear when you smell something putrid, hope it's not you, and really hope that no one blames you either way.
So what's with the raw meat he throws at Muslim haters? Sure, saying that communities can ban mosques 'cuz they feel like it is a great way to show that you've skipped over all the faggoty passages in the Constitution, but is it a path to victory? Of a sort. It's almost inevitable that when the chips are down, the GOP will hand the sash to Mitt Romney. Rick Perry if they're feeling bold. But win or lose, these guys will never go far enough in pushing the Christians-on-top agenda. Especially not Romney, who a lot of the base don't believe is Christian himself. Cain will always have run, and no one can take that away from him. And he will always have run the most hardcore anti-Islam campaign. Which means that for right wing groups who believe in the uniqueness of Muslim evil against all opposing evidence, Cain will always be a welcome and well-renumerated speaker. In the English language, nothing can match the sweet melancholy of the words "if only."