Herman Cain: Things aren’t always as they seem

It’s an old story:  A man and a woman meet at work and they hit it off.  They’re both married, although not to each other.  One lunch turns into two, two into three, and eventually they’ve got a pattern.  For years, they get together two or three times a week as regularly as clockwork, share daily emails, and call each other frequently.  Each makes the other happy because, in many ways, they are kindred spirits.  During their get togethers, they do not worry about their respective spouses.  Pretty sordid, huh?

Except it’s not.  I’ve described my decade-long friendship with my fellow blogger, Don Quixote.  Because we are each deeply committed to our own marriages, our relationship never veers from the enjoyably and respectably platonic.  Indeed, one of my favorite lunch companions is Mrs. Don Quixote, who joins us whenever she’s not at work.  She is a most delightful person, and I’m as pleased to count her among my friends as I am Don Quixote himself.  Don Quixote and I are just best friends, in much the same way two woman or two men share a purely non-sexual friendship.  I know I feel blessed to have this friendship, and I’m pretty sure he does too.

Fortunately, our family and friends know us well, which means that they know our values well, so I don’t believe there’s ever been the breath of suspicion hovering about our friendship.  But were either he or I to enter the public world and face the scrutiny of those who don’t know us, the evidence would be damning:  regular assignations, phone calls, emails.  It’s all there.  Our honest, righteous protestations of innocence would certainly fall on innumerable deaf ears.

As I write these words, I’m aware of very limited solid evidence to support Ginger White’s claim that she had a 13 year long affair with Herman Cain.  She’s pointed to phone calls.  He’s admitted them, but claims that they are innocent.  I also know that Ginger White doesn’t strike me as an exceptionally savory person.  One could take her spotted history to mean that she’d have no compunction about having an affair with a married man, or one could take it to mean that she has a somewhat strained relationship with the truth.  I don’t know.

And that’s the point:  the only two who know based upon the slender evidence available are Ginger White and Herman Cain.  One of them is lying.  I, however, am loath to convict a person based upon what could be, as Cain says, evidence only of friendship.  I happen to know a couple of older men, men in Cain’s age group and socio-economic stratum, who have gone out of their way for younger women, helping them financially or with work.  Both these men adore their wives and there never was evidence (or accusation) of any impropriety.  Both of them, however, clearly enjoyed the role of avuncular helper to an attractive, slightly younger, woman.  It was good for their egos, although it didn’t involve anything sordid.

I haven’t been impressed with the way in which Cain has handled these sexually based allegations — although, if one assumes these attacks are indeed smears (and, absent better evidence, I do), it’s virtually impossible to rebut them in an impressive way.  In the “he said/she said” battle that plays out over the liberal media, the conservative black man is always wrong.

Incidentally, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  Although I briefly considered Cain as a candidate, he simply doesn’t float my boat.  I like some of his ideas, I like his charm, I like his commitment to America, but he’s not the candidate for me.  The one thing I’m not going to do, though, is turn my back on the man because of unsubstantiated allegations that I know, for a fact, can be subject to other, entirely innocent, interpretations.

(Photo of Herman Cain by Gage Skidmore)

Penn State open thread *UPDATED*

For those of you who have things you want to say about the goings-on at Penn State (the sexual abuse, the cover-up, the firings, and the riots), have at it.

My take is that it’s worth contrasting this appalling sexual abuse with the claims against Cain. I know that a greater wrong doesn’t cancel a lesser one, but it should make any rational person look twice at the woman now claiming Cain’s monstrous crime was that he gave off a vibe.

UPDATE:  Here are three articles from today’s Investor’s Business Daily, all discussing different aspects of the allegations against Herman Cain.  I think this is an appropriate place for these articles, because of the nice contrast between Cain, a victim of modern anti-male, anti-corporate harassment laws, and Sandusky, an actual child rapist.  Again, Cain might have been a boor, but so far there’s not much else.

Will someone tell us what Herman Cain did?

David Axelrod’s pattern of sexual misbehavior

No-fly zone over Clinton, JFK sexcapades

UPDATE II:  Greg, at Rhymes With Right, introduced me to a post that sums it up as perfectly as any could:

These things should be simple:

1. When, as an adult, you come come across another adult raping a small child, you should a) do everything in your power to rescue that child from the rapist, b) call the police the moment it is practicable.

2. If your adult son calls you to tell you that he just saw another adult raping a small child, but then left that small child with the rapist, and then asks you what he should do, you should a) tell him to get off the phone with you and call the police immediately, b) call the police yourself and make a report, c) at the appropriate time in the future ask your adult son why the fuck he did not try to save that kid.


You know, there’s a part of me who looks at the actions of each of non-raping grown men in the “Pennsylvania State University small-child-allegedly-being-raped-by-a-grown-man-who-is-part-of-the-football-hierarchy” scandal and can understand why those men could rationalize a) not immediately acting in the interests of a small child being raped, b) not immediately going to the police, c) doing only the minimum legal requirements in the situation, d) acting to keep from exposing their organization to a scandal. But here’s the thing: that part of me? The part that understands these actions? That part of me is a fucking coward. And so by their actions — and by their inactions — were these men.

Read the rest here (and, really, do read the rest).

“Tea Party loves crazy more than they hate blacks.”

This is what passes for humor on the Left: Get a “celebrity” who’s been in prison for rape, has bitten off people’s ears, kicked strangers in the groin, is a high school drop-out and — oh, yes — happens to be black, and have him pretend to be Herman Cain in a parody that calls Tea Partiers racist (despite the absence of any evidence to that effect) and describes Herman Cain as an insane Uncle Tom. 

I’m coming to prefer Gingrich, but it doesn’t mean that any cell in my body approves of these heinous, racist, baseless, ugly attacks on Herman Cain, a man of stature and accomplishment.

Take the accusations against Cain seriously

Yesterday, I wrote a somewhat incoherent post to the effect that, while I’m willing to extend to Herman Cain the benefit of the doubt regarding the sexual harassment allegations, I refuse to find myself in the position of a Clinton supporter, circa 1998, sullying my own soul by trying to justify inappropriate sexual acts.  Bill Bennett says it better:

It is hypocritical in the extreme for those members of the media who didn’t take the charges and allegations against Bill Clinton seriously to be taking the allegations against Herman Cain that we now have as seriously as they are. Hypocritical is probably too soft a word, frankly.


I have watched long enough and held my tongue long enough to give him the benefit of the doubt, but can no longer say this is a witch hunt, “a lynching” to use his word, or any other euphemism. There are allegations out there that matter and they have stacked up. For we who led the charge against Bill Clinton on a number of related issues to continue to blame the media or other campaigns or say it simply doesn’t matter makes us the hypocrites as well.

As I say, all of this is bad for our politics and polity. If Herman Cain cannot stand up to these charges, if he refuses to, then he should step out of the race. A man big enough to run for president should be big enough to have a full and candid press conference on all of this — he wants us to elect him president after all, he’s asking us to trust our lives and the country’s life to him. This could be one of his finest moments and it could be one of his worst. But either way, he must confront the moment candidly and manfully.

Attacks on Cain reflect unspoken acknowledgment of conservative virtue *UPDATED*

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.”



Herman Cain’s magical campaign secret

Herman Cain (photo by Gage Skidmore)

I caught literally two minutes of Rush this morning, but I heard him say something very important, which I’ll summarize here to the best of my abilities:  Herman Cain succeeded in Florida because he’s the only Republican primary candidate relentlessly attacking Obama.  The others are so busy with their internecine warfare that they’ve dropped the ball.  Voters care much less about Perry’s this, Romney’s that, or Santorum’s nothing at all, than they do about what the Democrats are doing to this country.  Cain is the only person who seems to understand that fact and to be using the primary to answer voter concerns.

I think Rush is right.  (Isn’t he always?)

What do you think?

Herman Cain campaign ad

I’m a little concerned about Herman Cain’s manifest lack of foreign policy chops.  Nevertheless, it’s pretty clear that, for Americans committed to American exceptionalism, healthy and fair capitalism, fighting against Islamic terrorism, and strong borders, even the weakest Republican candidate is still going to be better than Barack Obama:

I continue to plan to cast my vote for Candidate ABO — Anyone But Obama.

No President Daniels in 2012 *UPDATED*

Do I mind that Mitch is out in 2012?  No.  Even though I understand that he’s a stellar government executive, with some good (although not great) conservative chops, I could not like him.  I would have voted for him on the ABO (Anyone But Obama) principle, but I wouldn’t have liked it.

Of course, 2012 is not helped by Krauthammer, a respected conservative commentator, essentially calling Cain a joke.  As it is, I’m hearing from more and more people — blog friends and people I talk to in the real world — who are impressed by Cain’s life experience, his personality, his skill set and his ethics.  While he may not have worked in government, his executive experience far exceeds that of past candidates, such as Obama, Kerry or McCain.

I’m watching Cain very carefully.  If he can get past a media that will subject him to a lynching that makes the attacks on Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice look like a picnic, I think he’s a real possibility.  The ticket would almost certainly have to be balanced by someone who has wandered through the government for a few years, and I’m still thinking John Bolton.

UPDATE:  Cain will have a problem with beltway thinking, nicely encapsulated in this paragraph by John Podhoretz (a commentator I respect and admire):

The candidate for president who best stands the chance of earning the gadfly-with-breakout-potential trophy is Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who went viral even in pre-YouTube days by confronting Bill Clinton at a health-care forum back in 1994. Cain did well with focus-group watchers after the first GOP debate in South Carolina. He formally announced his candidacy today. But the question now is not, Can Herman Cain win? He almost certainly can’t, and shouldn’t; he’s never held elective office and the presidency has not an entry-level position for anyone but Eisenhower, the victor of World War II.

I think it’s worth mentioning that we’ve had two entry level presidents, not just one:  Obama and Eisenhower.  Obama has been a disaster; Eisenhower was a success.  I think it’s not political experience that matters, it’s life experience, values and intelligence.  The former lacked it, the latter didn’t.  Cain is more of an Eisenhower than he is an Obama.

UPDATE II:  On the other hand, here’s a serious red flag “uh-oh” about Cain.  It turns out he has the same problem that bedeviled Palin in 2008:  he’s simply not au courant on hot topic political issues.  We know he’ll find his way to the right answer, but he’ll probably fall down the political well before he gets there.

Is Herman Cain the “star personality” candidate Republicans have been waiting for? And which GOPer do you like? *UPDATED*

Since I’m in California, which has always been a late primary state, and since California is now switching to open primaries anyway, it’s always hard for me to get very excited about primaries.  The fact is that I never feel I really have any say in them, since the front runners are already decided by the time the primaries get here.  I may like or dislike potential candidates, but I observe them rather passively, at least until the race’s outlines start to tighten up.

The current crop of candidates hasn’t given me much of a buzz.  I’ve always liked Romney’s intelligence and competence, but RomneyCare means I wouldn’t bet on him to win.  His robotic talking style doesn’t help either.  Ron Paul’s domestic libertarianism is becoming more attractive to many, but his foreign policy stands are not going to be hawkish enough for a people feeling besieged.  Mitch Daniels is playing Hamlet (an arrogant Hamlet, but Hamlet nevertheless), which is not endearing.  I haven’t been following him closely enough to know whether I like his policies or not.  Tim Pawlenty — well, I don’t know.  He’s awfully likeable, and pretty solidly conservative, but I don’t know if he has what it takes in a telegenic age.  But again, I’m being very vague right now, because I’m still not paying that much attention.  Newt?  No.  I can’t put my finger on it but, even aside from all the baggage, he simply doesn’t work for me.  Chris Christie?  I like him.  I like him a lot.  I think he’s an extraordinary speaker, and he’s shown that he’s a Happy Warrior with great political courage.  I’m worried, though, about the stories indicating ties to Islamists.  I’d like to see that develop before I embrace him as a candidate.  Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio?  Love ’em, but I truly don’t see them running.

And then there’s Herman Cain.  Up until about half an hour ago, I didn’t know too much about him, other than that he’s got a business background, solid conservative chops and a witty speaking style.  A half hour ago, though, I read Robert Costa’s Introducing Herman Cain, over at National Review.  An article like that makes you sit up and go “Wow!”  The man’s values and life history — his drive, his solid (as opposed to Marxist) education, his political consistency, etc. — are all very appealing.

I know that people are going to point to his outsider status — no political office, ever — as a problem, but his executive experience strikes me as equally valuable to what Obama brought to the White House.  As you may recall, Obama brought a failed social activist history (the dismal Annenberg Challenge), a part-time teaching job, and some senatorial experience that saw him voting present a whole lot of the time.  If Cain has the wisdom to surround himself with experienced political operatives, I’m sure he can do every bit as well compared to Obama as an executive, and probably much better.

I’m not jumping on the Cain bandwagon.  I’m just looking at the Cain bandwagon.

Since many of you have already started studying the potential GOP candidates much more closely than I have.  I’d really like your opinions about all of the potential conservative candidate (whether they’re touted as GOP candidates or Third Party candidates).  In fact, if your opinion has a lot of substantive information, both facts and your own opinions, I’ll probably elevate it to a post at Bookworm Room.  I may be passive out here in California, but I know a lot of you are in states where it matters.

UPDATE:  Can you believe that I forgot Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann?  The fact is that, while I admire both, even in a new media age I don’t see either surviving the unleashed savagery of the old media.  Independent voters will be so swamped with vicious lies that it will leave them with biases at a subliminal level.  I just don’t see either a Palin or a Bachmann candidacy working.

Also, I forgot to ask for you opinion about running mates.  For example, I see Cain as a strong domestic leader, but not a strong foreign policy guy.  Would it work to pair him with John Bolton or Gen’l Petraeus?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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