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.