About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

UPDATED: Cain's No Win Situation And A Response From LD Jackson

In my post of a few days ago, I bloviated on the sexual scandal surrounding Herman Cain. In that post I criticized an article written by LD Jackson in his blog at Political Realities. Mr. Jackson has been kind enough to respond to my post. To give his response the attention due it, I reproduce it below:

Just to be clear, I wasn't trying to be unfair to Herman Cain with my post. However, I do think he has handled these allegations very poorly. He has danced all around them, issuing denials on one part, and then saying it was no one's business, refusing to answer questions about them. In short, he has started acting like the politician he says he isn't.

As for him providing proof if he isn't guilty, I didn't expect him to do that for the allegations of sexual harassment. I felt like I gave him the benefit of the doubt and only wrote once about them, to the point of how the campaign handled the accusations. (Very poorly!) With this latest allegation, I felt it was time for Cain to stop avoiding the issue and prove, once and for all, if he was guilty or not.

I didn't expect Cain to tape the visits between himself and Ginger White, but one would think he would be able to corroborate his story, in some fashion. Instead, we have more denials and then he admitted his wife didn't know about his relationship with the woman.

As to the idea that we want our politicians to be saints, let me say this. I don't expect them to be perfect, but I have real trust issues with anyone who would lie about something of this nature. If they can not be trusted to be faithful to their spouse, then how can we trust them to lead our country?

As I stated in my original post, I greatly respect Mr. Jackson. I simply have an honest disagreement with his position on this particular matter. I continue to have three major issues with this entire episode.

First and foremost, there is absolutely no hard evidence of any Cain sexual impropriety. All we have at this point is unsubstantiated allegations. Speculation, based on allegations, is little more than gossip or rumor.

Second, a man has two options when accused of sexual impropriety, assuming such allegations are completely false. He can issue a flat denial, which Cain has done, or he can present hard evidence which bears on the particulars of the allegations, such as provide hotel receipts, phone logs, testimony of friends, etc. Either way he is trapped in a no win situation.

Cain's flat denial is as plausible factually as the women's allegations, yet people tend to impugn his denial because it doesn't jibe with their preconceived notions of "normal" behavior, or "what they would do" in a similar situation.

On the other hand, if Cain had attempted to prove his innocence, critics would have attacked his "evidence" as circumstantial, contrived or suspect.

Moreover, short of an honest confession, a man accused of sexual impropriety, assuming the allegations are true, has but the same two options available to him if he wants to lie about the impropriety: he can issue a flat denial, or he can present circumstantial evidence which attempts to refute the allegations.

The end result is clear. An innocent man accused of improper actions behind closed doors is in a no win situation because he is assumed to be guilty in the court of public opinion.

Third, speaking of the court of public opinion, the judge and prosecutor in this court is the media. A sexual scandal depends entirely on the media -- internet blogs included -- for traction. Political operatives know this well. If the media happens to be sympathetic to their political cause, these operatives can count on their side of the story -- the allegations -- receiving the vast majority of publicity. The operatives know that publicity is all that is required to stoke a scandal. As soon as the story is out there, tongues will begin to wag and armchair jurists, steeped in personal experience and dime-store novels, will eagerly form their own verdict.

The characters involved in Obama's political campaign are proven experts at stoking the fires of scandal. They are nefarious, unprincipled and believe that the ends justify any means. They understand well that most conservatives and Republicans are as principled as LD Jackson ("I have real trust issues with anyone who would lie about something of this nature. If they can not be trusted to be faithful to their spouse, then how can we trust them to lead our country?") I believe that when conservatives and Republicans prematurely speculate on a scandal, based on their principles, they play into the hands of the scandal mongers.

Herman Cain is toast, guilty or not. The scandal mongers have won this preliminary bout with a second round, below-the-belt knockout. I firmly believe they are not finished. I firmly believe we will see more of the same in the main event.

Of course, honest men may disagree about this. Thanks to LD Jackson for expressing his honest opinion.

UPDATE: As of this morning, Cain is officially toast (H/T Drudge Report). He has announced he is suspending his campaign. Score one for the bad guys. It will be interesting to see if the media, not to mention Politico, continues to probe Cain's sex life in an attempt to get to the bottom of this earth-shaking story. 

Something tells me we'll never hear or read another word. So everybody out there who jumped to conclusions about Herman Cain (pending disclosure of the full "truth") are apt to be suspended in mid-air from now till the end of time.


LD Jackson said...

For what it's worth, I wasn't trying to jump to conclusions about Herman Cain. I only wrote about the situation twice before he made his announcement this morning. I truly am sorry to see the man go out in this fashion. I would have much rather see an honest debate about the issues, instead of trash like this.

CRay said...

... It’s a very sad day for our country ….

I feel the same way as I would if my wife and I were just involved in a “driver by shooting” -- and the windows of our house were just blown-out by some unknown shooters..

There’s nothing different here .. except now we’re talking about a full blown attack to assassinate a rival’s character.

When John Edwards was running for president, it took over four months for that horror story to quietly and slowly leak out to the public and they had bucket loads of "real deal" information like: papers, recordings, witneses, video, etc …. and even then, it was buffered and covered-up every night by every liberal TV and paper reporter between Toledo and Tibet….

But with Herman Cain, his attacks started at 8AM and was exploding by noon and it was fed to death to the 6PM news boys …. these same reporters and the low lifes at MSNBC made it a point to “make” the news every night – "not report it"….. no facts, no figures, no copies, no pictures – just voices.

When you have people like Martin Bashir spending 50 minutes on the air calling Herman Cain trash and scum last week, and girly boy Lawrence O’Donnell doing interviews and calling Herman Cain “the worst reflection in the black cess pool of life..” — you know we are all in trouble when pundits like these two can make pathetic statements like that.

Herman Cain has brought a whole new level to the American political landscape …. he wasn’t a politician, just a guy from Atlanta ... so for the very first time, we, the voters, are now talking about issues that have laid hidden and buried for many years —- after today, the rest of the field will only debating the echo and the shadow of what Herman Cain has just brought into this new political arena.

The question is: what was everyone afraid of.?


Sherman Broder said...

Good comments.

I think we know what the answer to that question is, CRay. The elite has power, prestige and money locked up in the Washington establishment and they're afraid of anyone who might know the combination to the lock. It's the same reason why "they" hate the Tea Party. Well, hopefully, the elite's party will be over soon and the people will be in charge again.

LD, I understand where you're coming from and I didn't mean to be critical of you personally with my comments. It was the media situation and the politics of the entire episode that got me down.

Unfortunately, it seems the mudslinging won't end with Cain. Apparently Pelosi has telegraphed the smut they're about to through at Newt.

Sad the media is complicit. Sad Americans eat this stuff up.