The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's no "bimbo eruption" but...

Let's talk about Herman Cain. The guy came out of nowhere, a businessman with no real political experience, and has moved up in the polls to lead the race for the Republican nomination. Plain speaking, with a bit of a "in your face" style with the media, he has defied the conventional wisdom.

If you pay attention, you will note a trend in these nomination races. A candidate moves up in the polls to lead or challenge the leader, and the media finds dirt to expose. Yes, it also happens to Democrats but they have no contenders for the nomination so the only game in town is on the Republican side.

Whether these stories of past wrongdoing are true or not won't matter in the long run. Enough people, enough "likely voters", will believe them and that will likely derail the target's chances. Not always, though, and I point to the Gennifer Flowers stories that popped up during Bill Clinton's nomination run as a recent example. At first, it was all denials and then followed the defamation of the character of the "accuser" and any other woman who has a similar story. At least, that's the way the Clinton story played out. A well organized campaign by staffers who knew the truth and developed a strategy to counter the damage.

I don't believe Cain has that kind of staff. He also does not have the media on his side. He will not get a pass on this, as Clinton did. Instead, he will get hounded and the more he demands the media not badger him with questions on it, the more they will badger him with questions on it. And that isn't because the media wants the truth, it's because they think it (the story) will attract more readers and/or more viewers. That's the way it works.

Sex scandals work well to topple frontrunners in Republican politics. Not so well in Democratic politics. Limbaugh calls sex scandals "resume enhancements" for Democrats. That's only been true since Bill Clinton, I think. But Republican voters are more puritanical, they want candidates that live up to an ideal. Unrealistic but that's the way it is in the GOP.

So this may be the beginning of the end for Herman Cain.

I would like to point out that I have sexually harassed women. I admit it. Wives, girlfriends, and a few female friends. Even the occasional barmaid or waitress. If you count flirting as sexual harassment. Or if you count someone overhearing a bawdy joke. Or a touch of a shoulder. But I was never in a position of power where there might be sufficient resentment that I would be charged civilly or criminally. If I offended woman, and she let me know she was offended (either verbally or by actions), I would apologize.

But I can guarantee you that if I ran for office, it would be found out, dragged out into the open, and I would have to deal with it.

Perhaps that is as it should be.

On the economic front, Greece is being seen as a key to the economic health of the European community. My prediction is that the referendum will fail and the Euro will teeter on the brink of collapse because of it. If Greece fails, Italy or Spain will follow soon after.

An interesting week, wouldn't you say?


The Chubby Chatterbox said...

I have little against Herman Cain, other than the fact that he isn't ready for the scrutiny that comes with playing politics in the Big Leagues. Anyone can be accused of sexual harassment--this once happened to me for quoting a line from a PG Bill Cosby album back in the day--but it is truly remarkable that Mr. Cain, given a heads up warning about this, was so little prepared. He obviously needs battle-hardened veterans in his camp, and he needs to listen to them. Not that I could ever vote for him.

Douglas4517 said...

The point of my post was not about Cain, or his lack of preparedness for this (which is a valid point), but about the "knock down the `top dog'" actions of the media. I recall the 1972 election campaign of Richard Nixon (whom I despised) and the various ways that his potential opponents were denigrated or knocked out of contention during the Democratic primaries.

It doesn't matter if the allegations are true or false, if the charges were baseless or warranted, the taint is there and that was the goal.

It may be that this is simply how politics is played now and that it is for the best, that we get the best candidates that way, but I suspect that is not true. I suspect that we get the candidates the media wants instead. And, to my mind, that's not good.

T.C. said...

Did Jack Kennedy get a pass? Sounds as if harmless commentary can pass off as harrassment these days.

The Cain story sounds suspicious. But hey...

Douglas4517 said...

Actually, yes, JFK got a pass. In fact, the press knew about his affairs and suppressed any reporting of them.
The only story on Cain that sounds suspicious is the one where he allegedly took a woman to his apartment and she spent the night. It could have been innocent and nothing happened except she slept off a drunk or it could have been more. In either case, it was a dumb thing to do at the time.