Midnight train to Georgia, cont’d

Anyone thinking that Herman Cain may have been wronged by the woman who has stepped forward to discuss their recently ended 13-year affair may want to take a look at the statement released yesterday by Cain’s attorney to the local Fox affiliate that broke the story. It is a statement that Cain supporter Erick Erickson fairly characterizes as “the guiltiest-looking no-comment statement in the history of politics” while helpfully emphasizing the “especially hilarious parts”:

Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13-year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault – which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.

Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults – a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public’s right to know and the media’s right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one’s bedroom door.

Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media.

Erickson comments:

One of two things is true about this statement. Either Mr. Cain and his attorney are basing their views on what is an appropriate subject of media scrutiny for political candidates on the way politics work on another planet (perhaps another galaxy, even), or they are basically trying to telegraph to us that he completely did it. After following Cain’s campaign for the last several months, I would say either is equally likely.

Thank you, Mr. Erickson. Unlike some conservatives, you have altered your judgment in conformity with the reality principle. More power to you.

I want to make two simple points. First, in retrospect we can see that Cain is an old-fashioned kind of guy. He doesn’t have a high bar for the women he seeks out and he persists in an old-fashioned kind of way when he gets “no” for an answer. Thus the sexual harassment charges. And of course he doesn’t always get “no” for an answer. Thus Ginger White and her checkered past.

Second, conservatives who see the hidden hand of the Democratic Party in taking Cain down are deluding themselves. If Democrats had this material in hand ready to use at the most opportune time, wouldn’t the most opportune time have been somewhere down the road, after Cain had actually secured the GOP nomination? Whoever unleashed the barrage against Cain has saved the GOP — to use the fashionable liberal adjective — from an unsustainable candidate. And my guess is that there is more ammunition wherever the barrage has come from.

At any rate, that is my assessment. I may be wrong, but I offer it for what it is worth.


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