I’ve kept pretty quiet about the allegations against Herman Cain. As I blogged at the beginning of this news story, the fact that the charges go back to the era following the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ellison v. Brady (9th Cir. 1991) 924 F.2d 872, means that they’re inherently suspect. By doing away with the “reasonable person” standard, and substituting a “reasonable woman” standard, the Ninth Circuit opened the floodgates for endless claims by women who took offense if a man complimented their haircut or said hello to them. These claims existed side by side with genuine claims from women who were subject to traditional sexual harassment: have sex with me or lose your job. I’m also suspicious because Gloria Allred is suddenly in the picture. She has a knack for showing up whenever she can to destroy a Republican.
Having said that, I do not want to find myself in the ethically compromised position of a Clinton supporter back in 1998, when we were trying our damndest to explain away entirely unacceptable, indecent, and credible accusations. If there’s nothing but vague accusations of winks and looks, I’m siding with Cain. If there’s more, I’m dropping him.
And as to the latter, Andrew Klavan confirms that we conservatives are doing the right thing — and that liberals are paying conservatives a backhanded compliment — when we expect more of them than base liberal behavior. Thus, after discussing the media double standard that always attaches to sex scandals (excusable if a Dem does it; inexcusable if a Republican does), Klavan has this to say:
And yes, it’s unfair. But there’s a reason it’s unfair—a reason it should be unfair. There’s a reason we right wingers vet our candidates while the left adulates theirs, a reason we condemn our miscreants while the left elevates theirs, a reason our news outlets cover stories that the left covers up.
The reason is: we’re the good guys. We have to do what’s right. The left doesn’t. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. It’s the price you pay for defending what’s true and good, the price of holding yourself to a high moral standard. Our politicians have to be better than their politicians. Our journalists have to be more honest. Even our protesters have to behave with decorum and decency—and still suffer being slandered—while theirs can act like animals and commit acts of violence and lawlessness and spew anti-semitic filth and still find themselves excused and glorified.
There’s a reason the bad guy in movies is always chuckling darkly while the hero frequently finds himself with a laser beam cutting a path toward his vitals. The world is a place that has to be fought for and wrongdoers hold high power in every field. Liars wear ties and sit behind desks and tell us “That’s the way it is!” while drawing seven figure salaries from mainstream corporations. Truth tellers—the Becks, the Limbaughs, the Coulters, the Breitbarts—have to create their own venues while dodging brickbats and charges of bigotry and meanness and insanity.
Herman Cain is going to have to run the gauntlet, not just of a racist and dishonest left that wants to destroy him but of a fair-minded and decency-loving right that wants him to come fully clean and let the voters decide how we should proceed. The fight for truth, liberty and morality requires sacrifice and self-examination. The self-righteous quest for power over others does not.
The world is just as unfair as you think it is. You’ll never catch the devil hanging on a cross.
To which I can only add “Amen!”
UPDATE: Once upon a time, when SNL was periodically funny, it correctly identified the problem. (And to the list at the end of the video, I’d add “Don’t be a Republican, especially a black Republican.”