UPDATED: Oh, and one more thing, what Ann doesn’t explain is this: Why would Axelrod out this stuff now. Wouldn’t Cain be the dream candidate to run against?
Consider this from Ann Coulter.
Consider this from Ace.
I went to great lengths yesterday to withhold judgement waiting for more information. So, so far, we’re one, possibly two women completely disqualified as accusers.
Mind you, none of this changes my opinion of Herman Cain’s fitness one way or another. I don’t want him to be our next president and didn’t before this.
What does matter to me is the truth.
What does matter to me is that the press is grossly unfair and biased against ANY conservative. They’ll spare no expense to destroy conservatives (remember those 15K Palin emails?).
What does matter to me is that conservatives seem JUST FINE burning down other conservatives…see also Herman Cain when the spotlight wasn’t on him.
What Ann and Ace don’t address is this: Axelrod may have dug up these allegations. Two of these women may be suspect. Axelrod didn’t, though, manufacture these women ten years ago. Those allegation have been sitting there. Axelrod may or may not have just dug them up.
That’s where things are at now.
Some people have asked why are there allegations only from the time at National Restaurant Association. Well, he did live away from his wife at that time and he was a lobbyist not a CEO. So. Who knows?
We’ll see if other women come forward. So far, what we have learned a couple things:
1. One, or possibly two, accusers are suspect.
2. Herman Cain flails under pressure.
3. Herman Cain has a horrible staff.
The last two things don’t bode well. A CEO should make better executive decisions. Eh. What a flippin’ mess.
Have conservatives lost their minds? Am I really hearing talk show hosts picking apart women who have asserted that Herman Cain engaged in sexual harassment? Am I seeing bloggers and journalists trot down the race card road?
I have been utterly appalled this last week. Mind you, and before getting into all this, here’s some of my history: When the Duke LaCrosse story came forth and after examining all the facts, it was evident that the whole thing was preposterous and a disgusting false charge against innocent young men. So zealous about the case was I that two mothers of boys accused of the heinous crimes wrote me emails to thank me for standing for their boys.
The stench of sexual assault and harassment charges lingers around even innocent men and it is an objective evil when this happens. Not only are innocent men tainted for the rest of their lives with doubt, women who have been abused and assaulted fear charging their aggressor for being accused of making up the story.
False charges are an abomination.
True charges denied by a serial abuser are an abomination, too.
We don’t know all the details yet, surrounding Herman Cain’s alleged sexual harassment charges. Here’s what we do know:
So, on this backdrop, I’m going to tell you my story of sexual harassment. Why? Well, it damn sure isn’t because it’s helpful to my cause if I do. Thank God I’m 1) self-employed and 2) don’t give a poop what people think. Most women don’t have that luxury. Just leveling a sexual harassment charge can damage a woman’s credibility. She’s “difficult”. She will be trouble. So, women with legitimate complaints stay quiet. They want to move forward in the work world.
The reason that sexual harassment settlements are sealed are often for the benefit of the accuser, so her reputation isn’t destroyed by a vindictive work peer or employer.
Does that mean that there aren’t women who bring spurious and frivolous claims? Hell no. That exists, too. Obviously. I’m guessing it must happen a lot because the men of Twitter and talk radio have been venomous and utterly certain that all five of the accusers are vile skanks making up stuff to destroy an innocent, innocent man.
Some men aren’t innocent men. I know you’re thinking of your own behavior and thoughts and figuring your clumsy actions and stupid jokes qualified as harassment at some point. Maybe. Some guys have a pattern of being harassing jerks, though. One socially awkward moment does not a harasser make.
Anyway, since many of you reading this know me both through my writing and in real life, I thought I’d tell my story.
Newly married, recent college graduate, 23, and jobless, I took temporary jobs to live. You know those kids bitching at the Occupy Wall Street rallies? That could have been me. Instead, I worked minimum wage plus as receptionists and secretaries. A Theology degree won’t get you a job? The hell you say!
So, my second job after working as a receptionist at a trucking company (all the men were respectful, if crass) was at an architectural and engineering firm.
My new boss was Ken. Ken had a reputation. He had gone through something like 21 assistants in 20 years. Ken picked fights with younger workers. He came to work drunk after his five martini Friday lunches. Ken was old school.
Ken had a glass office. On two sides of his office, Ken stared out at his assistant. More specifically, he leered out at his assistant all day. It was disconcerting, to say the least. He didn’t have to say a word. He just eye-f*cked you all day long.
But that sort of behavior doesn’t rise to the level of harassment–well, at least it didn’t to me. Annoying? Yes. Disgusting to be stared at by a nearly 60 year old man all day long? Absolutely.
Then one day, Ken reached for something on my desk, after walking up behind me, and “accidentally” grabbed my breast.
I was shocked. I told one girlfriend and swore her to secrecy. Why? Because Ken was powerful. I needed the job and he had a reputation for firing uppity help. Plus, the local human resources guy was impotent and cowered before mighty Ken. Ken happened to own the biggest account in the company. He was, he thought, untouchable.
Around two weeks later, the corporate head of Human Resources, a woman, came to town for meetings. We happened to be in the bathroom at the same time and I told her what happened. She asked if I would be willing to go on the record. I said yes. She told me that they had tried to get women to go on the record for years, but they were afraid of Ken.
I knew all hell was about to break loose, but by this time I hated Ken and didn’t care. He was put on probation. Not fired. And as much as I disliked Ken, he hated me with a pure, singularly-focused hatred. He shot laserbeams through that glass at me. Hostile work environment? You betcha!
Now, you might say, “Melissa, he grabbed you, that’s assault! Why didn’t you go to the police?”
Back then, no one thought in those terms. He was just an entitled dick. The thought of going to the police never occurred to me. Even now, the idea seems laughable.
I just wanted Ken to stop. More, it made me really angry that he had gotten away with this for years.
Maybe I should have threatened a lawsuit. I can understand why some women did. As it was, I was interviewing for another job outside of this company and got out and had the satisfaction that the next woman who had to suffer with Ken wouldn’t have to worry (probably) about being abused by him.
What people now don’t understand is the way the work world used to be. Twenty years ago things were entirely different. There was a five to ten year transition where men learned and adapted to women being in the workforce –and not just in helping roles.
Twenty years ago, women were graduating with degrees and just starting to be peers to men, instead of subordinates.
Guys my age and younger have less issues. They’re used to working with women and having female bosses. The dynamics of the workplace have changed dramatically.
The world has changed and a lot for the better. Some things not for the better. But a woman in the work world does not have to deal with the bull women dealt with even a decade ago.
A friend of the former generation spoke of anger between the sexes–strident women and frustrated men. Now, men and women have far more flexibility and amicable relations.
When I see young men decry the spurious claims against Herman Cain and say that a $35,000 or $46,000 claim is small potatoes, I laugh. Really? Most of these cases were like mine and no money exchanged hands at all. That Herman Cain has two, TWO!, cases like this outstanding against him makes me think that there’s more than nothing to this story.
One woman bringing a spurious claim against an executive is absolutely plausible. Two? Come on. And now, there’s five women who have spoken out about harassment or certainly, highly questionable judgement?
It seems that conservatives would at least give these women a hearing before casting them into the lake of fire.
This case is nothing like what happened to Clarence Thomas. I’ll even give Anita Hill the benefit of the doubt and believe Thomas said something about a pube on a Coke can. That is not sexual harassment. It’s stupid. People are stupid.
Now, I recognize that everyone one of these women can be filthy, lying [fill in the blank epithet] manipulated by nefarious Democrat or establishment Republican or biased media sources to plot against a black conservative man.
Can we wait, though, to destroy these ladies until the whole story comes out? Herman Cain doesn’t think so. He’s in full nuke ’em mode.
I understand that Herman Cain can’t prove a negative.
What he can do is this: he can prove positive assertions wrong. He can go to the Hilton and release those room records and prove his accuser is a liar instead of asserting that she is one.
The Anchoress just wrote about what Herman Cain should have said today.
So, maybe everyone can just chill a bit?
Beyond all the media bias (and there’s lots of that), there are people involved. It would be appalling if these women were victimized twice–and at the hands of conservatives who know better.
1. I like Herman Cain.
1.(a) Well, I liked the Herman Cain who was giving inspiring speeches and firing up a movement. The blaming, obfuscating Cain? Not so much.
2. I do not want Herman Cain to be our President because of things like this. [I have openly endorsed Governor Rick Perry in the Republican primary.]
3. I can still like Herman Cain even if I think he mishandled the crisis.
1. The press is grossly biased. See also Bill Clinton and John Edwards.
2. The press was right to post the Cain case. It was news. Yes, the press is unashamedly hypocritical: Edwards was BIGGER news.
3. The press should be as bull-doggedly after the Democrats as they are the Republicans.
1. Sexual harassment laws are vague and can harm people.
2. Sexual harassment happens and is wrong when it does.
3. It strains credulity that four women are making up charges (just like it did with Clinton).
3 (a). Women coming forward in this day and age know that they will be destroyed by the media (left, and now, it seems, the right) when they bring forth charges against popular men. Why on earth would a woman come forward in this climate? Some say money or fame. Really? These women would likely be middle-aged now or mid-career and with kids. They have NO good reason to come forward in the face of this.
1. The left is far more racist and sexist than the right.
2. The left would bring these charges against ANY conservative, no matter the race or gender. They hate conservative ideology and especially their special-interest groups (blacks, women, other minorities) who embrace conservatism.
3. The race card should not be played. Period. Unless there is actual racism.
What bugs me about this whole thing is that conservatives are using liberal defenses they’ve long reviled:
1. Talk radio wants to destroy the traditional media so badly that the Big Three ignore how their posture negatively influences the conservative movement, ultimately. They end up sounding like they excuse sexual harassment. They end up sounding like they’re blaming the (possible) victims which is exactly the disgusting thing the press did with the women who came forth about Bill Clinton. It is wrong. Period. In addition, their fury at the media sounds like ardent support of Herman Cain as candidate for President at any cost. This is ridiculous and ultimately undermining of them.
2. People who support other candidates who take glee in this story should beware. Candidates who pile on with the media destruction of another Republican should also beware. The media loves destroying conservatives. Remember the media lovefest over John McCain? Slobber, slobber — until he became the nominee. The same thing is happening in the conservative political field now. The media, one by one, is systematically making it seem like all conservatives are awful. They’ll take a magnifying glass to little problems and blow them up into huge issues. It is distressing that people participate in this game because their favored candidate is spared. It is NOT okay.
3. Defending the indefensible is indefensible. It damn well DOES matter if Herman Cain or any other nominee sexually harassed or assaulted a woman or women.
I understand the fury at the press. After watching Jay Rosen in his journalism class at NYU where he discussed manipulating the front page of the New York Times to create a guy like Barack Obama and destroy conservatives like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, I wouldn’t be sad if the whole media system got nuked. Either that, or they should just out their biases instead of being deceitful, hypocritical moralistic destroyers of truth.
I get it. But hot damn, I haven’t been part of the conservative blogosphere six years to become the very thing I hate.
1. Be open about biases.
2. Print the truth.
3. Do not defend wrong.
“By any means necessary” works for leftists and it is destroying the fabric of our society. See the Occupy Wall Street folks? They believe that anything is fair game — children as shields, crapping on police cars, raping, stealing, breaking things.
We win nothing if we win this way.
Herman Cain is well-liked, an amazing speaker, he energized the Tea Party movement. He is loved. It seems he is also a flawed person.
The women who have stories, if they’ve watched this media storm, would be terrified to come forward. Remember what the feminists did to Monica Lewinsky? It made me sick.
Some people I very much respect are treading awfully close to this evil territory. A woman who has a true story to tell, shouldn’t fear being assassinated by conservatives. CONSERVATIVES. That is the provenance of the left. It should stay theirs. This is sickening.
Herman Cain punted the answer to a question from Jim Pethokoukis about some rather mundane detail of his economic plan. His staff person will answer it. This is the sort of thing that bugs me.
He was at American Enterprise Institute, specifically, to talk about his economic plan. One mildly challenging question. Punt. Even Jim didn’t seem to mind, so charming is Cain.
We’ve had three years of spectacle. Does no one hunger for substance?
Also, and aside: Herman Cain said that he knew nothing of the settlement after proclaiming that sexual harassment never happened. Later today, he went on to detail the behaviors of his non-sexual harassment that he didn’t know there was a settlement for. He also remembered that there was a settlement.
The key is to understanding is to not ask questions.
UPDATE: Also, he doesn’t recall if he asked a woman to his hotel room. Oh, come ON!
For those who are bringing up Jon Edwards’ love child, know this: As vicious as the media is to conservatives, I want them that brutal to liberals.
Politicians, are, by their very job descriptions, kept honest only through abject, paralyzing, goose-bump inducing fear.
The solution to a lax media on the left isn’t laxer media. As long as the quest is for truth and that trumped up b.s. isn’t used to smear a candidate, the time to know is NOW.
We do not need to find out when we have a nominee that the nominee has serious, or questionable flaws.
I hope all this about Herman Cain is trumped up. I want the biased, shameless media brought low by their double standards.
The Republican front runner should be able to answer a straight-forward question about his economic plan. Or a spurious sexual harassment claim.
Herman Cain ran a pizza company. He was chief executive, after working his way up, of a Fortune 500 company.
I’ve decided that tomorrow, I’m going to be CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. But, Melissa, you protest, you have no experience! I beg to differ. Consider:
1. I like pizza. A lot.
2. I run a business. Sure, it’s a small business with a couple of employees, but…what?
3. I know people who own stocks. Heck, I own a little myself. Dealing with stockholders should be no sweat.
4. I know what franchises are.
5. I’m a people person.
6. I work hard.
I figure that if Herman Cain can be a CEO of a company so can I.
Absurd? Of course. Being the CEO in the food service industry doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, Herman Cain himself says that he started at the bottom and worked his way up.
It’s arrogant on my part to think that I could just jump into the job and more importantly, succeed, from day one. It diminishes the hard work, skill and understanding that’s imparted from being immersed im the business.
Herman Cain wants to be President of the United States. He has never done these things:
1. Held elected office.
2. Served diverse constituencies with conflicting demands.
3. Run a successful campaign.
4. Hired ground game campaigners in any state, even now.
Here’s the thing, I don’t think so little of Herman Cain’s role as CEO at Godfather’s Pizza that I believe “anyone can do it”. That’s simply not true. Not anyone can do it. Otherwise, anyone WOULD do it.
I also don’t think so little of the United States Presidency that I believe “anyone can do it”. Exhibit “A”: Barack Obama.
This is where some people wax philosophical and say things like this to me, “Melissa, I don’t think the presidency should be out of reach for the average person.”
Newsflash: Our Founding Fathers were not “average people”. They were extraordinary people. Accomplished. Seasoned. Leaders in thought and action and political philosophy and acumen.
I understand that the Presidency has been diminished by some of its holders. That doesn’t mean that standards for office holders should be thrown out. No, we should expect more.
Some of you will think I’m picking on Herman Cain, but really, executive elected leadership is so important that my criterion eliminates people like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and even Newt Gingrich.
It is easy to appeal to a district who is often relatively homogenous ideologically. And yet, Herman Cain hasn’t even done this. He hasn’t run a small campaign–and even small campaigns can be fraught with difficulty.
Governing is not the same as being a boss at work where people are being paid to do what you tell them to.
I wouldn’t be so hard on Mr. Cain if I felt that his campaign was being run efficiently or seriously. I am getting increasingly pissed off, though, because a lot of people I like and admire are being played by the Cain campaign.
When I see that Herman Cain is in Texas to do his book tour (he’s been in my neck of the woods twice in the past two months that I know of and will be here next week again), I’m incredulous. This is the most important election in a lifetime, maybe more, and he’s fooling around giving inspirational speeches and selling books in unimportant primary states?
When I hear that key activists in battleground states haven’t been reached out to by the Cain campaign, that tells me that he’s not running for President. He hasn’t even wrapped up Tea Party folks who know and love him, to work for him?
I see the charming smile and the easy way Herman Cain has with people and see a natural politician. His lack of experience and, based on his actions, lack of desire for the presidency, angers me.
Too much is at stake to be fooling around during a presidential campaign so you can get more speaking engagements and sell self-help books.
Cain followers, please demand answers of your candidate. He shouldn’t be just talking the talk, but walking the walk. That means setting up a nationwide network that will help him win the election should he get the nomination.
Either Herman Cain gets serious, or admit this: He is the perfect foil for Mitt Romney.
As it stands, a vote for Herman Cain is a vote for Mitt Romney. And, as far as I can tell, that’s exactly the opposite of what Cain backers want.
Herman Cain knows how to give a great speech. He was also a delightful man to interview. Mr. Cain sat with Tabitha Hale and me for a few minutes. We had a great conversation on Saturday afternoon of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. He discusses God’s will for his life. He also talks about Republicans attracting people of color. He answers the question about whether racists dominate the Tea Party movement:
Herman Cain Might Run For President
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