Cain is an “American black conservative — an A.B.C.” who rejects prevailing wisdom among blacks about the racial state of play in America. He is a walking rebuff to the 400-year-old racism issue that continues to dog and drain this country. He lifts the burden of guilt from whites on the right and places it on the shoulders of blacks on the left — the ones still on “the Democrat plantation” and not willing or able to think for themselves. He is a fascinating sociological phenomenon but also an affront to some basic facts about the existence and impact of our racial reality.

Furthermore, he fits two prerequisites of the new right: he’s anti-intellectual and anti-establishment. He’s “real.” He’s a real guy with real passion who has had a real job but has no real understanding of government. Tea Party perfection.

And never underestimate the simple pleasure the right gets from supporting someone who so perplexes the left. Remember that lady from Alaska?

That is why, barring more accusers and more detail and more flubs, this “crisis” could help, not hurt, Cain with his base. It helps him more perfectly evoke the Christlike ideal among those on the right of persecution and perseverance. Claims that portray Cain as a predator and monster will be rejected out of hand. This isn’t really about him, but the idea of him. He could be the Teflon Pawn.