Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Public Caining: The Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Allegations

A few weeks ago, I wrote this after Herman Cain began rising in the polls. 
Btw, I thought Cain (or Santorum) would "shock the world" by running strong in Iowa, but it seems Cain's moment is now, and not four months from now. That means the media will be "vetting" him. In other words, they'll be seeking damning quotes from every disgruntled employee, disappointed corporate rival, and bitter stripper ex-girlfriend (I kid, I kid) that they can find. These are never our republic's finest hours. In fact, they are some of our worst as the elites among us broadcast rumors and innuendos as if they were dispatches from the Somme. Hope Cain is ready for it. I also hope he is ready to fight back in the manner of Clarence Thomas, rather than flinch away in the manner of virtually every other GOP politico unfortunate to have gone through this process. 
Can't say that this was a brave prediction. Any conservative with the popular touch, especially conservative women and minorities, are vetted and re-vetted every single day until their careers simply collapse under the weight of anonymous attacks and over-hyped gaffes. (needless to say, no liberal - from the president on down - could survive half as long as, say, Sarah Palin were they to receive the same media treatment as conservatives). We all know the game here. So long as Cain was a back-bencher languishing in single digits, no one cared. Once he started rising in the polls, the "vetting" began. 

The charge of sexual harassment is a serious one, of course, but the way so many liberals, and even many Republicans have flamboyantly recoiled at the charges underlies how silly sexual harassment as a concept has become. That's not to say that some women are not harassed in a "sleep with me or you're fired" kind of way, but I don't think it's out of line to say that we've learned a few things since Anita Hill testified on Capitol Hill. For one thing, women do lie about sex, contrary to the feminist claim that "women don't lie about this." If women have been willing to lie about being raped by prominent men*, then they will certainly lie about some sort vague "discomfort" around a man who just happens to be prominent enough to warrant a five-figure settlement in lieu of litigation. 

More important, I want to know who the women expressing litigious discomfort, and liberals chortling over conservative "hypocracy," are kidding. Yeah, men make unwanted advances, but they also make advances that are happily reciprocated. That's especially true of the classic powerful-man-with-harem who seems to be at the top of every power structure you can think of whether of nation states, multi-national corporations, or the local Taco Bell. Technically, it is "wrong" for middle aged men in senior management to date their nubile twentysomething underlings happens. A lot. And we all know this. Not only that, it's especially prevalent in "liberal" industries like the media, the universities, and Hollywood. (Not to mention left-wing politics. Everyone was scandalized when they learned that Gary Condit had been sleeping with Chandra Levy. Come on! That sort of relationship is practically a rite of passage for politically engaged progressive women).Sorry to drop so much cynicism about sexual politics in one paragraph, but to watch liberals put on their Serious Concern Faces over vague allegations of "discomfort" from ten years ago brings out the worst in me. 

For his part, Cain is fighting back: sitting for interviews, answering questions, and defending his honor. Give the guy credit for bravery. He doesn't know the identity of his accusers, the contents of the settlement agreement, or the allegations against him; but that hasn't stopped him. If he's been telling the truth, he has nothing to worry about. But, just one tiny bit of bad evidence and he's toast. 

* the official Free Will Position is that rape accusations against prominent men are simply never true. I would sooner believe that a prominent man killed someone, than that he raped them.  

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