The Herman Cain campaign today released “9-9-9 The Movie,” an attempt to reassure conservative critics and convert independent skeptics to Cain’s much-mentioned economic plan. Among others, Politico and ABC reporters are already busy deriding it, wryly comparing and contrasting it with earlier admittedly weird and arguably insubstantial Cain campaign spots.

First accounts of the video from these news outlets feature subtle, tempting and remarkably similar sentences like these:

“It’s the kind of thing that Cain fans may enjoy, that Cain detractors will laugh at, and that shows, in any case, how little Cain’s message has evolved since the summer.”

-and-

“It’s the kind of thing that Cain backers can e-mail out to friends and family as an easy-to-follow primer on how they believe 9-9-9 would work.”

In other words: Close, but no cigar, Mr. Cain. This doesn’t do the defensive trick and fails to fool anyone into thinking 9-9-9 is anything more than amateur policy-making.

MSM disapprobation makes me want to like the video. But as Ann Coulter once said: Just because liberals accuse you of being stupid, it doesn’t mean you’re smart. I’m inclined to agree with the consensus here: The video doesn’t really answer the concerns about 9-9-9, most especially the criticism that the plan just adds a national sales tax on top of local and state sales taxes. It does, however, have a very nice Schoolhouse-Rock-like aesthetic and, at the very least, effectively makes the case that we need tax reform. For that, though, I’d look to Paul Ryan before I’d look to Herman Cain.