Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is Herman a "Sugah" Cain?

Well, few can say with certainty.

If Herman Cain is innocent of the accusations of sexual harassment and marital infidelity, only he knows. If he is guilty, then only he and the women involved know

At any rate, he "suspended" his presidential campaign owing to the "distractions" caused by the accusations and the pain caused to his wife, family, and supporters.

When Sharon Bialek and Karen Kraushaan first issued their accusations, two very predictable reactions occurred.

First, the mainstream media played it to the hilt. It accepted the charges at face value without the slightest bit of skepticism. Consequently, it made no serious attempt to investigate the background or possible motives of the accusers. It offered brief reports about the Rick Perry campaign as the source of the original "leak" that eventually brought out the accusers, but not much else.

Second, conservative supporters rallied around Cain without the slightest concern that the accusations might be true. For example, Ann Coulter wrote columns  here, here,  and  here.  Supporters of Cain and conservatives in general have exhibited the skepticism about the claims missing from the mainstream media. In addition, conservative defenders of Cain rightly note the disparity between the media's response to Cains accusers and its response to Clinton's accusers back in 1996 and it total obliviousness to the John Edwards.

While no doubt the media regularly exhibits a double standard, until recently the cases differed. Cain was accused a sexual harassment, something that violated most private companies standards of acceptable conduct and in some cases is illegal. Clinton was  accused of marital infidelity, which, at least in the eyes of liberals, seems far less offensive.

Of course, marital infidelity presents its own problems and is not just a harmless private indiscretion. Although everyone knew Clinton was a serial adulterer, voters put him in the White House anyway. They assumed he would not dare continue his behavior in the Oval Office. Well, we eventually were treated to that horrible spectacle involving Monica Lewinsky. Of course, to Clinton supporters the problem was not Clinton's moral viciousness, but Kenneth Starr and Monica Lewinsky, the Devil with the Blue Dress  on . . .  and off.

Now the accusations leveled by Ginger White that she had a thirteen year affair with Cain simply complicates the candidacy even more.  Rumors of marital infidelity will sit less well with core supporters than accusations of sexual harassment. And when added together with the sexual harassment accusations, White's charges create doubts about the man's personal character that are at odds with the image projected by his presidential campaign.

He made the right decision to "suspend" his campaign, right for his family, and right for his country.


CW said...

Cain’s biggest problem is that there’s a reasonably broad selection of candidates to choose from who are considered on par with him as far as his qualities as a candidate go. So – all other things being fairly equal – why go with an accused adulterer when you can have pretty much the same thing without the adultery?

If the accusations had come out AFTER Cain won the nomination and it was a contest between him and Obama, the story would be totally different. Then it would be a choice between an adulterer (Cain) and a hard-core, anti-American leftist (Obama), and that’s a whole different story. Had it come down to that, republicans would have had a problem. It would be hard to elect Cain after having made Bill Clinton’s infidelities a focus of the campaign against him.

The lesson is this: Whatever your REAL reasons are for being against a candidate, keep that as your main focus. If republicans had let the democrats deal with the problem of Clinton’s philandering and stayed focus on keeping him out because he’s a liberal, they would not be facing the prospect of appearing to be hypocrites now.

V.L.Ewell said...

Good observation on Cain's "biggest problem." It is not a very good situation for Cain if one of the few things that distinguish him from those other similarly qualified candidates is his infidelity.

We may yet see the dilemma you pose in your second observation if Newt Gingrich wins the nomination. If it comes to that, we will have to remember this: in choosing a husband and father, we might best go with Obama. But in choosing a President, we might have to hold our noses and vote for Gingrich!