Allegations like this happen as often as Silvio Berlusconi changes 17-year old mistresses and these are no different. For good or bad, it’s the cost of doing business in an overcharged, toxic, and hyper-rancorous political environment.
Cain’s confusing, changing explanations only help Newt and the rest of the Republican neerdowells. If a man admitting to multiple affairs and Governor Goodhair can easily criticize you, something is terribly, terribly wrong in Cainville. That whole upside down 666 tax plan is just icing on the crazy cake.
Cain has two classic defenses against the allegations – attack the accusers and blame everyone else, but especially the media.
As his poll numbers show, attacking the accusers was a non-starter. Attacking fellow candidates and the opposition party didn’t help either. Hardcore Cainiacs still see him as a martyr and the opposition used his bad news to their advantage. But attacking the media is a minor winner, if only because they’re the only people as dissed as politicians.
Cain claimed a media vendetta when the sexual harassment charges surfaced. He whined about media smears, despite the fact the story had some obviously legitimate substantiation.
Like Sharon Angle, Cain sees the media as a personal PR organ he can muzzle for asking questions he doesn’t want to answer. Regardless, the harassment story was legitimate. As Cain’s lawyer said, it involved a possible crime. While not criminal, it outlined a possible pattern of hypocritical, non-family values that’s especially important to conservative voters. And, his incompetent handling of the mess might best be described as, “You shouldn’t kick a man when he’s down. But, it’s OK if he kicks himself.”
On the affairs, however, Cain’s lawyer has a good point. “This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault – which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate,” Cain’s legal wrangler said. “…this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults – a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office, or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life.”
Bravo Mr. Lawyer. Kinda.
I subscribe to the idea that what goes on behind closed doors, stays behind closed doors. It’s not anyone’s business what closeted skeleton he’s sleeping with.
Cain apparently shares my view – although I’m sure his view differs if Rick Perry stumbled on the street only to find his penis caught in some woman’s vagina. But just because it isn’t important to me doesn’t mean it’s not a legitimate story for the media and the rest of America.
The Hypocritical Yardstick
Admittedly, my laissez-faire attitude toward private sexual activities is a minority position. All those folks that use personal behavior as a yardstick are entitled to hear about the allegations as are others he pilloried for their private behavior. For them, the story is no less important than the other cockamamie planks in his campaign. In other words, the public’s right to know trumps his right to public privacy. If he’s as smart as he thinks he knew that from the git-go to expect a big reveal. Not exactly the type of naiveté one would like in a President.
Cain should’ve seen the handwriting on the wall during his campaign reevaluation. Whether he actually did these things or not is now moot. He bungled the damage control. Perhaps he should’ve hired Clinton’s Bimbo Patrol for lessons in how to do things. If he did do these things he was astonishingly stupid to run for office and think the allegations wouldn’t surface. After all, that’s what happens when you screw people (pun intended). They’ll turn on you. Like the legions before him, he sh*t in his mess kit and is paying the price.
Cain is now a cold pizza for breakfast, all hard cheese and tasteless sauce. No amount of whining, blaming, or perhaps even the unlikely appearance of irrefutable proof will change that.
Cain should sit on the sidelines, have a glass of warm Tea Party Brand Tea, and eat a slice of Godfather’s best.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!