Skip to comments.(Vanity) Unasked Questions: Herman Cain and Sexual Harassment
Posted on 11/08/2011 4:18:17 PM PST by grey_whiskers
In the past week, ever since the first allegations were made public by Pollutico, GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain has been facing a crescendo of questions about misbehavior in his past. The funny thing is, even though the original allegations were made by "unnamed sources" -- which is usual liberal-press-speak for "I made it up" -- they were treated as serious issues. The second funny thing is that, even though the original allegations were of "offensive gestures" of a "non-sexual nature," the scandal has morphed in little more than a week to reports of FIVE cases "of sexual harrassment" in which two "settlements" were made.
Does anyone remember Anita Hill? And the high-tech lynching of Clarence Thomas? No, I'm not going to play the race card. I'd like to point out the inconsistency between THE POLITICIANS then and now.
In the Clarence Thomas affair, you may recall, Anita Hill had accused Clarence Thomas of making off-color jokes to her about a pubic hair found on a soft-drink can. Left unstated were several pertinent facts:
1) that as a black woman with an Ivy League Law degree, she was "untouchable" and nobody would have been able to fire her in that day and age except if she had been caught in flagrante delicto with Ronald Reagan on the steps of the Supreme Court building.
2) that even *after* the supposed harassment, she followed Clarence Thomas around to two or three jobs.
And yet...and yet, even with these disqualifiers, a number of Democrats championed her cause.
Where are all the Democrat heroes of the female cause giving voice to their support of Cain's accusers?
And another (all to obvious example), speaking of Democrats.
What about Clinton?
No, not Bill.
She's the one who lightly spoke of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" against her husband -- even though she had helped lead the 'bimbo eruption squad' -- until news of the stained blue dress appeared.
And then, with a deftness worthy of David Copperfield, she pirouetted into Victorian femininity. As she wrote in her book, upon hearing of Lewinsky, "...gasping for air, I could hardly breathe." One would be hard pressed to recognize this shrinking violet as the foul-mouthed ashtray hurler we had all come to know and loathe.
So -- a couple of points by way of comparison to Hillary.
1) Having posited a "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" -- even though it is clear now that she believed no such thing -- are any of the press willing to entertain the concept of a "Vast Left Wing Conspiracy" ?
2) Can anyone take one look at Hillary's eyes ; or Elliot Spitzer's wife, or Jonathan Edwards's wife ; and compare them to Herman Cain's wife, and suggest for even a microsecond that Cain is guilty?
3) Speaking of guilty wives, and Hillary, what about Huma Abedin? Long rumoured to be a paramour of Mrs. Clinton, she was paired off in one of those D.C. marriages of convenience and left center stage.
Does anyone remember to whom she was wed?
Why, yes. How very interesting.
She married Anthony. Weiner.
The one who had to resign after his name matched his actions a little too well.
The Congressional Flasher in a Raincoat.
"Say Hello to My Little Friend."
And does anyone remember the response of the press, with multiple independent witnesses, and literal, self-incriminating, PHOTOGRAPHIC evidence?
"Give him a chance to clear himself."
Funny how Jesse Jackson (child out of wedlock) isn't defending you, Mr. Cain ; nor the Congressional Black Caucus.
It's a funny double standard, isn't it?
But then, that's the same way it has been for well over a hundred years with the Democrats.
White and Democrat = Even if guilty, circle the wagons.
Black and Republican = Even if innocent, Lynch Mob.
Give 'em hell, Herman.
I would've voted for Sarah, until she declined to run (God alone knows what they threatened her family with).
But I will back you ALL THE WAY.
Notice how all the anti Cain threads shut down once confronted with zero’s gayness factor. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Those who bring false charges about a conservative candidate in regards to his sexual encounters will continue to confronted with zero’s gayness and why the media has a double standard. CAIN ... full court press for the win. Because Cain can address and handle the fake media.... whereas zero’s gayness cannot. No wonder he fled the country, even he can connect the dots and knows that his gayness will eventually make it into mainstream now that these whack jobs are going after cain.
Thanks for the ping, dear grey_whiskers!
First, I don't regard any of the Presidents who cheated as especially good Presidents, including Eisenhower. So, we must conclude we are virtually certain to get a mediocrity (at best) if we pick a cheater, but only likely to have an awful one 1/3 of the time if we pick a non-cheater. I have to go with the 2:1 odds.
Second, regardless of the size of a man's ego, an inability to control his sexual appetites when it endangers his career and more importantly the most important relationship in his life does matter. Being in command of things -- especially yourself -- is an important aspect of masculinity, unless you're a boy. I don't want another boy President.
Heraclitus had this right 2500 years ago: Character is destiny.
I was always darkly amused at the claims that Bill Clinton's job as President, not his urges, were what really mattered. Anyone who has ever had a skirt-chaser as either an employee or a boss knows perfectly well that it's a full time job, and the man's career is really just a hobby in pursuit of the next ankle-twist. So, the question in 1998 should probably have been did his indiscretions affect Hillary's ability to "run the country" -- an idiotic exaggeration if ever there was one -- because Bill certainly could not have been.
Third, you determine on the basis of body language that Herman Cain is lying. OK, well... that job is already taken on Ted Baxter's show, but maybe you can make your name "with the folks" by reading the entrails of a goat on Wednesday evenings.
Please be serious.
Even if we stipulate that body language can be used as an indicator of deception for the purpose of advancing this silly discussion, there's no real specificity in the technique. Maybe Cain didn't quite believe his claim that the severance package wasn't a payoff, because he doesn't want to admit there was a payoff. A lot of people don't understand that corporations will do a calculation and gladly pay $50,000 to make a liar go away, and Cain may resist admitting to a payoff that he knows full well was a payoff for that very reason. But in any event, body language? Really?
Fourth, Republicans created this mess for themselves; there I will agree with you. Since the common law, the legal fiction applied to injuries has always been that of a "reasonable person." For reasons beyond the understanding of any sane (let alone reasonable) person, there is no reasonable person standard in sexual harassment jurisprudence or settlement. What constitutes harassment varies with every individual and circumstance. This is a source of endless mischief and downright evil, and -- it goes without saying -- a tremendous gift to ambulance chasers and publicity whores such as Gloria Allred.
All that said, please note that no credible witness has yet appeared. It's not necessary to circle the wagons in defense of Cain on the basis of the everybody-does-it defense quite yet. I don't need to read body language to know that the media lies, and as long as no blue dress appears, I'm going to take Cain's word over the claims of anonymous sources, known prevaricators, and outright liars.
It's a veritable mess. Sure the media and Dems are very biased and unfair...it's disgusting.
But I am not pleased with conservatives parsing and excusing here either.
I mean I have seen folks here I normally respect claiming that the judgment stick by which to measure is if a conservative candidate's transgressions add up to or surpass those of Bill Clintons’?
Geezuss...by that benchmark then anything goes...
I did not like Cain's vague memory at first and then his parsing over and over.
I do think it's admirable that he fights back...that is in his favor.
But I ask myself is this all we have..to back a so called social conservative with this much “smoke” around him going into a possible general with Obama...or worse..Hillary?
Contrary to freepers views that this is commonplace...no it isn't. I have been family owner of businesses with 1000s of employees and not once any of this.
I personally do not cotton to boorish behavior like is alleged against Cain..sorry
It appears that we still do not know all the truths but my instinct tells me too much smoke..and I'm just not a supporter. It seems in today's world candidate supporters simply tolerate anything...maybe even the proverbial dead girl or live boy...for sure Dems can survive a live boy can't they?
If he wins I would support him against Obama reluctantly.
This is not a popular view here ...so be it. I was critical of Palin whom I adored when I disagreed and that was frowned on here too by zealots..many of whom are now Cain folks.
I think most disturbing is to a man and woman...listening to talk radio rationalize it all...they all sound like Carville with Bimbo eruptions
yes...I did think Allred’s “victim” was very flaky..no doubt.
but I don't think the two settlements we know of so far were paid just for the hell of it either
it's just a damned mess..like I first said..very disappointing...helluva primary with my girl sitting on her butt and me looking at Gingrich with moon eyes...color me not very enthusiastic with any of them...and with Obama on the damned ropes too..
Initially, in both cases, the accusers were anonymous and their charges were nonspecific. There were initially three accusers in the Thomas vs. Hill circus; two were simply so thoroughly lacking in credibility that even the Lefties wouldn't subpoena them. Hill herself preferred an anonymous ambush, but when it became clear that nobody would buy a story without a face, Sen. Paul Simon's wife leaked her name to Nina "The TotebagTM" Totenberg, who "outed" her, forcing her to appear.
In the instant case, when it became clear that repeating the same anonymous, non-specific (and in one case non-sexual) charges -- even hundreds of times -- would not bring Cain down, the legal world's premiere attention whore conveniently appeared, client in tow, to put a face to the "crimes. "
In both cases, the press inflated the charge to "sexual harassment," as rapidly as possible, although the original accusers did not claim even this incredibly nebulous standard of behavior. Anita Hill herself, in her opening statement said, "I want to stress that sexual harassment is different for every woman and every claim, and I am not accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment." One of Cain's accusers charged him with making an "inappropriate non-sexual gesture" [which prompted most of the males in the audience to make an inappropriate mono-sexual gesture which consists of pumping the fist of one hand repeatedly sideways.]
There were problems with the actual facts on the ground in both cases, which did not stop the press from continuing to advance the narrative as if it were true. In particular, the timeline of the "corroborating" witnesses is extremely suspect, then and now. Susan Hoerchner's repeated changes as to the time and identity of Anita Hill's alleged harasser were so transparently altered that veteran prosecutor Arlen "Snarlen Arlen" Specter went as far as to accuse her of "flat-out perjury."
Actual crimes and actionable events have statutes of limitation for a reason. Memories fade and evidence deteriorates. Like Thomas, Cain is being accused of boorish -- maybe even criminal behavior -- but except in a single case with an entirely incredible claimant, we have no reason to believe that any of it is true.
I've no opinion yet on what I think of these allegations, except to say, I don't agree there is a double standard here with respect to Clinton and a possible Republican nominee. The claims made against Clinton involved specific women at specific times and places with specific charges. So far -- except in one case in which I simply do not find the accuser credible -- there has been no specificity whatever. I'm just not willing to disqualify one of our guys on the basis of so little substantiation.
If there is more substance to these allegations than currently appears, as I think I made clear in my post, I'm with you; I would want another nominee and would vote for Cain (in that case) in the general election only because I fear for the Republic's survival if 0bama has another four years (and, likely a legacy of 30+ years of liberal Supreme Court dominance as well.)
So I can't rationalize NOT voting, as some FReepers have with the prospect of a Romney candidacy. I'm voting for our guy, I'm giving money to our guy, and I'm working the GOTV effort for our guy. We are literally staring into the abyss. What stares back is a darkness that portends the end of the "last best hope of Earth." I wish we had better choices, but, as a wise man once said, "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had."
There is more to go on than just body language, although not too much.
The most important thing to go on is the existence, indeed the pre-existence, of documents which reflect that the allegations were made long before anyone could have expected Herman Cain to run for political office.
It is true we do not know the nature of the allegations and, because of the overbroad scope of the law, it is possible that allegations of the most trivial nature might constitute their contents. But there are three such collections of allegations and the odds are that they are not all trivial.
It is possible that the allegations were settled for money merely to dispose of them as nuisances, but, again, not likely that all three fell into that category. Especially is it unlikely because they were sealed, indicating that one side or the other felt that the contents would be damaging. Odds are that the side felt most threatened by the allegations contained in the documents was The National Restaurant Association. If the allegations were trivial the association had nothing to hide. If the allegations were egregious the association would have acted to protect its image. Those considerations do not apply to the women who, at most, might have had an interest in avoiding embarrassment but not guilt.
We do in fact have a credible witness, credibility is a subjective value, and I find Bialek to be more credible than Cain. That judgment is based on many factors besides body language but it includes motive to lie and, clearly, Herman Cain has a more potent motive to lie. He is motivated to become the most important and powerful man in the world. I cannot perceive any personal aggrandizement which she might reasonably have expected to gain by insinuating herself into this scandal which could possibly compensate her for the calumnies which she must have known she would sustain. In determining this, we must conclude that one of the two is lying; we cannot simply attack Bialek in the abstract but in relation to the credibility of Cain and weigh one against the other.
We have Cain's less than credible handling of the scandal, his backtracking etc. You have felt constrained to defend it and that is only illustrative of its weakness. So far, his public statements on the matter have been far, far less credible than Bialek's. Bialek's credibility must be judged relative to Cain's and vice versa. He does not come off well in comparison.
Now we have another woman who has gone before the world and said that she would publicly comment, conditioned on the participation of the other two anonymous women. So we have women, we have documents, we have motive, and, yes, we have body language. Drip, drip, drip.
I do not maintain that the evidence is overwhelming but it is certainly in preponderance against Cain. My conviction is that it will get worse.
As the evidence against Cain mounts as it did against Bill Clinton, his supporters will be forced into ever more and more ludicrous rants which damage the Republican brand and improve Obama's chances in the general election.
As and when that scenario emerges it will be appropriate again to ask yourself whether we are painted into this corner because we persist in associating adherence to cultural mores about sex with effectiveness of a chief executive. Maybe it's a question of something we believe because we have always believed it.
As for the rest of your reply, one course of action most certainly would be to resort to more and more contrived and convoluted defenses, should a credible witness ever appear. But I won't defend that course, because I will not embark on it.
Good character is defined within the culture by commonplaces upon which we all agree, and those whose egos place them above even the minimalist standards of the early 21st century are dangerous. The betrayal of one's wife and family for the sake of ego gratification is not on par with wearing white after Labor Day or running through the classroom with scissors. It's symptomatic of immaturity (at best) and sociopathy (at worst.) Neither of those traits aligns favorably to a nation originally dedicated on the altar of sacred honor.
What seems to have completely escaped the attention of most people since the original charges were leveled, is that NONE but the very last one from sharon bialek were “sexual” in nature. That was stated very clearly from the first foray into this witch hunt. Specifically, the complaint that resulted in the severance package was of a completely NON sexual nature...yet now it is being called a sex scandal. The press very deftly evolved these charges into the sexual realm with absolutely NO evidence whatsoever...and PLENTY of evidence to the contrary.
Shame on us for continuing to play this game of dishonest semantical ‘gotcha’ against a good man.
last paragraph is spot on...better than I could say it..
Every court including the United States Supreme Court has affirmed the desirability, indeed in some instances the indispensability, of providing the trier of fact the opportunity to weigh credibility by judging the demeanor of the witness.
I judged the demeanor of Herman Cain in his interview with Greta and found him less than credible. This is precisely what jurors in American court rooms are asked to do by judges every single day.
Sorry this is in pieces. I meant to reply and forgot it.
I have never been accused of sexual harassment, but I have had some experience with settlements, and I would dispute this claim very strongly. In my experience, almost ALL settlements are sealed in the present legal atmosphere. The reason for this is that the idea of giving the plaintiff's bar any indication of what sort of action might be settled is damaging per se. Particularly regarding intellectual property or personnel matters, you really do not want potential litigants to know exactly how easily, or for how much, you might be willing to settle. The threat that you will actually go to trial has always got to be on the table, and you lose the element of tactical uncertainty if you give any indication of where your threshold is (not just monetarily.)
This was almost universally true in my corporate past. It is quite generally true in my self-employed present: this is a precondition of contract for commercial liability insurance. The issuer has a clause which says I may not disclose the amount or circumstances arranged by the insurer on my behalf.
In the context of a television interview, those things are absent, and it's too easy for an adept (actor, newsman, professional politician) to manipulate, or for a tyro to appear uncomfortable.
Rubbish. Even a sociopath like Bill Clinton strives to maintain his reputation through all his lies. In a country as broad as the United States with a population as big as 300 million there is surely place and scope enough for Bialek to hide her bad reputation in anonymity. She chose to go the other way.
What can she gain? Somewhere between $10-50,000 for selling her fabrication to the National Enquirer. Not a bad gig in exchange for nothing more than the embarrassment of being eventually exposed as a liar. Her past behavior makes it clear that this would not trouble her in the least.
This is simply not persuasive. If her motive were greed to gain money on the sale of the story, any sentinent person would know that she cannot sell it after she gives it away. She would flak the story first. After she gives it away, as she has, she has nothing left to sell. Further, she would be aware that the embarrassment will be more than "nothing" it would be intense, unrelenting, and nationwide. Even Gloria Allred would be ethically bound to tell her of the intense scrutiny she was inviting. She had the history of Clinton's bimbo eruptions to go to school on.
She has a history of welshing on her debts, including declaring bankruptcy twice.
True but irrelevant.
Her current fiance had never heard of these charges -- which constitute sexual assault -- before last Friday. You really believe that's likely? I don't.
I believe that is quite likely. I imagine Bialek found the encounter humiliating and did not wish to recount it. More, she might have been sensitive to placing her boyfriend in an awkward position by defining the humiliation too clearly. She might not have wanted to jeopardize her relationship with him. We know that victims of sexual assault, which this in fact was if it occurred, are oppressed by feelings of shame and often remain silent. In any event, she described the incident to her boyfriend in general terms. All, quite credible.
I take your point respecting the practice of sealing settlements.
The demeanor of a witness on the stand in a court is judged by relatively few eyes but the demeanor of an interlocutor who submits himself knowingly to examination on national television must know that his demeanor will be judged by millions of eyes. His whole future rests on the outcome. In any event, Herman Cain who reportedly conducted his own popular radio program and who has made literally thousands of speeches is no neophyte and knows all the tricks.
Herman Cain certainly looked uncomfortable but he is no tyro.
Finally, I've enjoyed this exchange with you but I wish to have your thoughts on redemption. George Bush, for example, was redeemed from his alcoholism. I believe Nathan Bedford Forrest, as described on my about page, was redeemed from his racism and disbelief. I sometimes get the impression that social conservatives who should be the first among us to believe in redemption will not do so when the evidence supports repentance. Certainly, the left does not believe in it so they reject the sin as sin in the first place. Thus, they gain another advantage in their secular war against us.
Mr. Cain has handled this like the gentleman I believe him to be. As more comes out, "troubled" might be a masterful understatement. It looks as if the latest accuser went from lawsuit opportunity to lawsuit opportunity looking for the jackpot.
The question becomes one of what is being excused. When the standard for "Harassment" is one of a person "feeling uncomfortable", that is pretty difficult to anticipate, much less define. Sure, there are certain actions and behaviours which we can anticipate would make almost anyone "uncomfortable", but it is the anticipation of the thinnest skins out there that makes the workplace a veritable minefield.
(It is my belief this was perpetrated upon America, not with any sense of decorum, but to inflict chaos on the workplace and inhibit efficiency, which it has done.)
Without (credible) specifics, there is nothing to excuse.
Contrary to freepers views that this is commonplace...no it isn't. I have been family owner of businesses with 1000s of employees and not once any of this.
You have been fortunate, indeed.
I personally do not cotton to boorish behavior like is alleged against Cain.
Nor do I, but without even credible allegations of the specific behaviour considered boorish, I have no need to excuse anyone. The initial reports were that there was nothing sexual involved, reports which have morphed in the reporting of the 'story' into (the same) numerous women alleging sexual improprieties. While Cain's reaction appeared to be one of more confusion on the issue than dissembling (to me), if the earlier 'settlements' were done without his knowledge, if the one investigation showed no wrongdoing, there is no 'there' there, and nothing to be confronted with except vague allegations made from whole cloth by the (leftist) media, and with timing which is suspicious in and of itself.
Before anyone attempts to excuse wrongdoing by holding up anyone else's wrongdoing as a standard (something I do not agree with--two wrongs do not make a right), let's find out what, specifically, is being alleged.
The only person who has come forth is well scripted (she read her 'account' from a crib sheet), is of questionable veracity, and has a history of financial disrepair and such suits, and yet did not sue Cain when this allegedly took place--nor did she report it. Hmmmm.
As for the bemuddlement the press has made of the other alleged allegations, without specifics, I'm not buying either the timing, nor the sources.
If the MSM want us to toss yet another candidate on the pyre, they have to come up with better than that.
but I don't think the two settlements we know of so far were paid just for the hell of it either
Nor do I. I have seen a friend lose his business fighting such specious crap, and I know it would have been far cheaper for him to negotiate a 'settlement', a payoff, if you will, but he refused to do so because it wasn't right --there had been no wrongdoing. The lawyers have eaten all he built and the matter is still not settled.
It is far cheaper to pay them even if there has been no wrongdoing than to fight.
Ugly, but reality. One more reason to run a background check on any potential employee, and even that is no guarantee you won't get hit with someone playing 'lawsuit lotto'.
She filed on her next job, too. Looks like that’s how she lives the high life - at someone else’s expense.
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