Monday, October 31, 2011

Herman Cain: How Goofy can a President Be?

Herman Cain is in the news again, this time for allegedly sexually harassing a couple of his female employees some time in the way back. 

From Politico:  The sources — which include the recollections of close associates and other documentation — describe episodes [with Cain] that left the women upset and offended. These incidents include conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association’s offices. There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship.
While I've been waiting for the inevitable comparisons to the "high tech lynching" of  Clarence Thomas for similar behavior against Anita Hill and other female underlings in Thomas's workplace,  I've been trying to think of a way to put this whole thing into some kind of perspective without upsetting and offending my female compatriots.

Here's the best I can do:

Any woman who came of age in the middle of the 20th Century (that would be me) is now scratching her head wondering when the moment of high drama is going to come in this story.  It appears this guy Cain is possibly a creep who doesn't have the foggiest about propriety and good manners, let alone common sense.  Have you seen him in action as a so-called politician?   Have you seen him leering at the end of that goofy ad where his campaign manager slowly releases a mouthful of smoke?    Would it really shock you or even surprise you that he may have made suggestive comments to women who work for him?
 It doesn't shock me or surprise me or, frankly, even give me a moment's pause.  If I had a better memory, I could name you dozens of men I've worked with over the years -- some of them my bosses -- who have done the same things, not just to me but to every person who looked the least bit female.  I'll give it to you that there are men who take it as their right to go beyond innuendo and gestures, but that's a whole different ballgame.  So far all I've heard about Herman Cain's actions are the typically stupid, creepy, laughable pastimes of someone who deludes himself into thinking his position has the power to somehow make him desirable.  (Insert mention of "Mad Men" here.)

Good lord, people of the press, everybody knows Cain is an idiot.  Nothing new here.  Move along.

So let's get to why I can't get too excited about this new revelation about Herman Cain and his nasty mouth.  There are men out there in positions of power who want to take away every right women ever had to be equal citizens under the law.  They are working night and day to bust Roe v. Wade wide open.  There are already a number of states either in the process of, or actively promoting, bans on abortions.  If they're not working on outright bans they're sneaking around looking for ways to stall or discourage a procedure that has been declared legal in this country. (Mississippi is getting ready to decide if eggs are people, for God's sake.)

The House recently passed phony legislation that would stop most private insurance companies from paying for abortions, using the new Health Care law as the phony reason for the need to act.  It won't get past the Senate and they know it, but it can't hurt to send the message once again that, while our children are at risk,  being pro-fetus is where it's at.

 Rick Perry is proud of the fact that he defunded Planned Parenthood in his state, and his isn't the only one.

Mitt Romney wants to pretend he wasn't for legal abortions before he was against legal abortions.

Most if not all of the GOP presidential candidates are prepared to take steps to flat-out outlaw abortions in America. (Including Cain, who, even as I write this, is at the American Enterprise Institute using "genocide" and "Planned Parenthood" in the same sentence.)

If Herman Cain did what they're saying he did, it's a bad thing, sure, but let's get real.  While the press insists on resorting to the ridiculous in order to draw in the shallow,  real government-sanctioned sexual harassment looms large and threatens never to go away.

That's the big story.


  1. You're right to draw a distinction between the smaller bad stuff and the bigger bad stuff, but from a pragmatic viewpoint, the former still matters. The cause of banning abortion and generally dragging women's reproductive freedom back down into the Dark Ages is supported by a massive population of unpersuadable religious robots; sexual harassment isn't.

    If Cain won the Presidency, he'd get around to doing the bigger bad stuff pretty quickly. If the smaller bad stuff gives us a chance to make sure he never reaches that position, I'll take it.

  2. Absolutely. I agree. And it looks like he's a serial harasser. He never really had a chance at the presidency, no way no how. My point, perhaps too muddy, is that the press is having a field day with a story that really isn't much of a story when you consider the kinds of injurious harassment women have had to endure forever. Simply a reminder of press priorities.

    Thanks for commenting.


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