When Herman Cain told his staff Tuesday that he was doing a "reassessment" of his campaign after new accusations of adulterous behavior, many pundits saw it as the beginning of the end for the onetime GOP presidential front-runner. Maybe, or maybe not. But if his alleged affair with an Atlanta woman does prove the straw that broke the Cain campaign's back, it will say something troubling about the conservative donors and voters who until now have supported him: They're less bothered by his woeful lack of knowledge about foreign affairs than his apparent inability to keep his trousers zipped.
Cain's policy pronouncements, like those of most of the GOP hopefuls, have largely been a recitation of tea party talking points. One area of distinction is his "9-9-9" tax plan, which would eliminate loopholes and impose a 9% federal tax on sales, individual income and corporate income. We can understand why this plan would appeal to rightward-leaning voters, even though it is fraught with risks and would worsen the tax burden for the lower class. But another area in which Cain has stood out is his breathtaking ignorance of, and disdain for, key foreign trading partners and conflicts. A Cain presidency would be marked by rising hostility around the world, diminishment of U.S. international influence and frequent diplomatic breaches.