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Don't think twice, it's all right. (Regarding Herman Cain)

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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 10:17 PM
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Don't think twice, it's all right. (Regarding Herman Cain)
I suppose there aren't too many ways to proceed with a political campaign in the face of several charges of sexual harassment, but Herman Cain is certainly finding one of the more distasteful ways of proceeding. His campaign is choosing to answer the accusations by smearing the accusers (http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/11/10/366144/cain... / ) .

Well. That's unattractive, to say the least.

The point of the tactic as a tactic seems suggestive of the machinations behind the choice. The incidents in question occurred during the 1990's, and in two cases, resulted in settlements. Whether the charges are valid or not, that the women in those cases reported their complaints and received settlements before Cain became anything like a political force is simply documented fact. In the other cases, the matters were at least discussed with other people contemporaneously, not several years after the fact. Cain's public approach has been one of total denial, with some shifts as more details become known.

A fairly experienced political hand, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, made some very good advice--"Get the facts out" (http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/11/10/366144/cain... / ) . And this would be very good advice for many reasons--for one thing, the best way to take charge of a story is to get out ahead of it. If he provided what details he had before the story became a big deal (in that 10 day period before the Politico article broke), it might have neutralized some of what was to come because he would have looked like he took responsibility for himself, had some issues, and that that business was behind him. Getting all the cards on the table means nothing else comes up to bite him, because nothing drags out a scandal like the slow, painful, drip drip drip of additional information reminding people that, well, you didn't have all your cards on the table.


That certainly isn't what Herman Cain did or is doing. Now, it could be that he finds the issue of who groped who or who abused power with what employees just terribly beneath the important message of his campaign, which seems to be that a half-baked flat-tax scheme will fix everything. Or, maybe he has the worst campaign adviser. Ever ( http://taylormarsh.com/blog/2011/11/mark-block-being-ma... / ). And no one is telling him that honesty is a better policy.

Or maybe, putting all the cards on the table would make him look so much worse it isn't even funny. That might tend to make someone want to not have a story out there. And it might explain why his campaign is choosing to actively silence any further potential accusers from coming forward--it's because they fully expect there will be more.

And what would deter accusers? Why, the politics of personal destruction, naturally. The campaign (which, as I'm sure all adults out there must realize, functions like an extension of Herman Cain's beautifully outsize personality) will simply threaten to smear the reputations of anyone who comes forward to hell and back. Because that's what they deserve for trying to stop the mighty Cain campaign from going forward about it's cynical business of promoting a candidate who doesn't seem to know what he's talking about--unless of course, they aren't lying, and aren't doing it for money, and he really is kind of a lech.

And if no more accusers come forward, the harassment scandal can't possibly get worse. And somehow, we won't all turn from it to whether he was involved in a mini-Enron situation ( http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/05/herman-cain-aqu... , whether he didn't really turn around Godfather's Pizza (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_26/b423... ) , or whether there was something else about his management style besides being a "hands-on" kind of guy that had him leaving the NRA early ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-11-03/cain-acc... ) .

I mean really. As if he needed to manage any other scandals!
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