The Herman Cain harassment charges

Uh, oh — Rush Limbaugh and I agree about something. Quick, Robin — the antidote! It’s on your utility belt, you young fool!

Actually, not quite — but I do see he said something that may sound superficially like something I said. Earlier this morning, I wrote,

Yeah, I heard that. NPR interviewed the Politico guy who broke the story. As he mentioned having learned about this the last few weeks, I got to wondering: Who brought his attention to it, and why?

Well, the obvious guess would be his recently-threatened opponents. But I got to think about how if that’s the case, it seems like a case of overkill. Instead, his opponents should pony up money to air his videos everywhere, and as America gets totally wierded out, their Herman Cain problem would go away on its own.

I thought that, and I also thought, here we go again, with white men perpetuating the story about how black men just can’t leave women alone…

… as though white men can or something…

Then, later in the day, I saw that Limbaugh had said,

The Politico and the mainstream media has launched an unconscionable, racially stereotypical attack on an independent, self-reliant conservative black because for him that behavior is not allowed.

So you see, not quite the same thing. I wasn’t criticizing Politico for doing the story. It’s just that, as a longtime editor, one wonders where the story originated. And one puts the fact that all of a sudden Cain’s a threat with the fact that all of a sudden, this is out there. It doesn’t matter; the story is still a story, whatever the motives of the sources. And my evocation of the Clarence Thomas, high-tech lynching charge was just an added throwaway to set up the next line.

I think Rush actually means it. And for that matter, on a certain level, I mean it, too — in that I hate to see this happen to another prominent black man. Weird how it does seem to be the conservatives among that demographic group…. I also hate that I sort of believe it, because it would mean those women were subjected the boorish behavior. But hey, I don’t know what happened.

Anyway, consider this my backhanded way of giving y’all a place to write about the allegations reported by Politico.

Now I need to run. I’ve just got time to put together a Mark Block costume. I figure all I need is a pack of smokes…

10 thoughts on “The Herman Cain harassment charges

  1. Brad

    Whoa! In double-checking that, I see that the Rush Limbaugh/drug abuse story broke on the day I turned 50.

    Exactly 10 years before that, on my 40th birthday, the Battle of Mogadishu occurred.

    I’m not sure what happened on my 30th.

    I’m not saying that means anything; it just jumped out at me…

  2. Doug Ross

    According to Cain, one of the women complained about him holding his hand at his chin level and saying that the woman was as tall as his wife. That was the “non-overt gesture”…

    If THAT gets you a five figure settlement, it just proves what a hopelessly litigous country we have.

  3. `Kathryn Fenner

    “because for him that behavior is not allowed.”

    Um, sexual harassment isn’t allowed for anyone.

    –and before we get started on Bill Clinton again, these women were not consenting (although I do understand the argument that no intern or other significantly subordinate person can actually consent–these women in no way consented, if their allegations are true.)

  4. `Kathryn Fenner

    “If THAT gets you a five figure settlement, it just proves what a hopelessly litigous country we have.”

    I sincerely doubt THAT gets you a settlement of any amount.

    My thoughts, and thats all they are, since only the parties involved really know what happened, are along the lines of Lady Bracknell(“To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.”)–one allegation could be a loony, two looks like a pattern….

  5. Phillip

    “in that I hate to see this happen to another prominent black man. Weird how it does seem to be the conservatives among that demographic group.” Because such allegations were made against a grand total of, um, two? There ARE other African-American conservatives out there, you know, and I’m not aware of any others that have ever been accused of any similar charges. Then, there’s Mel Reynolds and his scandal and then Jesse Jackson was recently sued for sexual harassment. So, to the extent that “prominent black men” are ever accused of such things, those accusations have not been limited to black conservatives by any means. Then, think of all the sexual harassment and related accusations, justified or not, leveled at white politicians of all political persuasions, Democratic and Republican, and how much press those scandals get. It’s ludicrous to think Cain is being singled out because he dares to be a conservative African-American. That’s Rush-style logic. (This has nothing to do with whether there was anything to these allegations).

    Truth is, if there is a motivation for planting a story like this, it would be much more likely to have come from a rival GOP camp as Cain continues to retain strength in the polls.

  6. bud

    Typical Limbaugh. He doesn’t know the truth. But that doesn’t stop him from attacking the so-called MSM.

  7. Brad

    Phillip, I wasn’t talking sex scandals; I was talking about harassment charges in the workplace. And Jesse Jackson’s didn’t exactly occur as he was about to grab the brass ring on the national level — which I guess is why it didn’t occur to me.

    I still assert — prominent black conservatives are still sufficiently anomalous that this is interesting.

    As for who brought it to light — do you think I care? I’m not flinging blame. I’m not Rush Limbaugh. I just thought it was interesting.

  8. `Kathryn Fenner

    Rush is doing the classic deflection maneuver–let’s not talk about whether Cain did the acts or not; let’s talk about the motives of the press in reporting about the events.

    Funny how he wasn’t all over the motives behind the Whitewater fishing expeditions.

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