Janeane Garofalo: Is someone paying Herman Cain to be a tea-party token?

She’s quite serious, which makes this clip blogworthy even though it’s just the latest in a long, long, long line of paint-by-numbers racial demagoguery from Garofalo on Olbermann’s show. Even the core criticism is recycled. Remember when she made the same charges about “Stockholm syndrome” and tea-party tokenism against Clarence Thomas a few months ago? You can see her roots as a comic in these segments — they’re essentially just “bits” in which she runs through her routine, the emcee grunts with approval, and the liberal audience cheers in appreciation of an old performer whom they think fondly of. She’s basically the Bob Hope of brainless left-wing race-baiters. In fact, watch to the end and you’ll see that Olby rounds off the segment with a sophomoric photo reel of Republicans eating corn dogs at the Iowa state fair. That’s very much true to the spirit of this “discussion.” What would a vaudeville act be without a dick joke?

There’s no sense complaining about how searingly demeaning this is to Herman Cain. Garofalo’s smart enough to realize that and obviously doesn’t care, and no doubt Cain’s built up a thick skin to it after years and years and years of similar insults from Our Moral Superiors. Instead, focus on the sheer stupidity of her idly wondering whether Karl Rove, of all people, might be paying Cain under the table to run for president. Does she really not understand, even as a casual observer of Republican politics, how bitter the relationship is between Rove and the tea party? Did she not do two seconds of googling before this to check what Rove has said about Cain’s candidacy? Even as a conspiracy theorist, she’s terrible. But good enough for “Countdown,” I guess. Click the image to watch.