Herman Cain and the Confused Right Wing Crazy Machine

The constant drone of "it's a liberal conspiracy!" is laughable.

The news broke on Sunday when the website Politico reported that Herman Cain settled 2 sexual harassment suits in the 90’s while he was head of National Restaurants Association. Mr. Cain has followed the standard for all political figures caught with their pants down (pun intended) – deny, deny, deny, then admit. At this point, it seems that these allegations are completely true, though the circumstances behind the actual accusations remain unknown. One thing is for sure, while the reporting of the lawsuits may be politically motivated, the original accusations certainly weren’t, as they happened well before Mr. Cain had any political ambitions.

What this says about Mr. Cain’s character is in the eye of the beholder. His supporters will certainly insist that the original accusations were baseless attacks motivated solely by money. His detractors (myself included) don’t really need any other evidence that he’s a ridiculous excuse for a presidential candidate – the hopper is already pretty full on that count.

But what’s truly fascinating is the way the Right Wing Sock Puppet Gallery shifted into overdrive. Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, and Sean Hannity quickly went on air to decry the “liberal media” for the attacks. The extent these people will twist reality is quite stunning – that he was “set up” by the liberal media and that liberals are threatened by a black conservative.

The language these people use is pretty over-the-top: Coulter said, “Our blacks are so much better than their blacks.” Classy, no? Hannity insists that this is another “high tech lynching” that liberals are apparently so famous for. Limbaugh shrieked that “‘mainstream media’ goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative.”

This is absurd on so many levels and speaks more to the paranoid delusion of the right than anything else.

Politico is hardly an arm of the ‘liberal media’ (whatever that is). Their CEO (Frederick Ryan) serves as chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s board (damn commie!). When the right screams about the ‘liberal media’ or the ‘mainstream media” what they mean is anyone who writes anything they don’t like.

The argument that liberals are afraid of Herman Cain is quite a stretch. Ask any Obama supporter which candidate they would prefer face Obama in the general election and Cain will undoubtedly be at the top of the list. It would be like a liberal dream come true to have someone so eminently unqualified, so obviously unserious, running for president in 2012. Really, we are drooling at the prospect.

And the obvious inference to Clarence Thomas is equally suspicious. This story is not like Clarence Thomas’s. In that instance, a woman came forward at a seemingly opportunistic moment to make a charge that she had never made before. In this instance we are talking about a matter of record – Herman Cain was sued for sexual harassment and paid at least 1 and maybe 2 women to settle, which he now admits. These are facts.  It is certainly well within bounds for a front-runner in a presidential campaign to have his or her background scoured. Who leaked what to who and why doesn’t really matter when the story is true.

The reality of this is that there can be almost no doubt that it is the republicans who are threatened by Cain’s candidacy. Given that Cain has received zero support from any major political figures in the Republican Party (contrast this with the legions that have lined up to endorse Perry or Romney), there can be no doubt that Republican leaders don’t want Cain running against Obama. Luckily for the nation, there are still some conservatives who are not enamored with the anti-intellectual radicalism of the Tea Party. But they are getting increasingly frightened and desperate at the prospect of a Cain candidacy. The ‘establishment’ conservatives have been on a full anti-Cain press for a couple of weeks now, yet Cain remains the front runner. And he’s doing it without really campaigning in the early states, which makes the Republican Party in Iowa and New Hampshire nervous that they are becoming irrelevant.

Liberal media hit-job? Not quite.

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Nick Muson November 03, 2011 at 07:44 PM
That's enough Kyle, if you want to have a ridiculous argument with nobody about who's more racist then write your own blog.
Kyle Martinowich November 03, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Lovely Nick Muson uses his time to go to the personal board of a fellow poster and attack him with such lines as: 6:36pm on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 "Once a troll, always a troll." 12:42pm on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 -"I think you should try a little harder to actually say something rather than just being a troll" Please everyone should go to his page and review his comments on Blogs. Most are direct personal attacks calling people who disagree with him "Trolls". You have nothing substantive to say so you follow the liberal guidelines of Saul Alinsky: Alinsky's Rule 12: Destroy the Individual RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
Kyle Martinowich November 03, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Your not talking about Racism??? "The language these people use is pretty over-the-top: Coulter said, “Our blacks are so much better than their blacks.” Classy, no? Hannity insists that this is another “high tech lynching” that liberals are apparently so famous for. Limbaugh shrieked that “‘mainstream media’ goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative.” This is absurd on so many levels and speaks more to the paranoid delusion of the right than anything else." When you say "This is absurd on so many levels and speaks more to the paranoid delusion of the right than anything else." What is absurd, it seems to me that you are refering to them saying that the Liberal Media inst being Racist? No?
Belleville Sentinel November 03, 2011 at 08:04 PM
A very apropos observation from Michael Moore from his October 27, 2011 appearance on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann": Moore: You've got these nine Republicans running, all right? And, of course, we all laugh, and there's the joke about -- you can make about each one of them. And we know that our fellow Americans, at the end of the day -- they're not going to go in the voting booth and vote for crazy. Even though they might be upset at Obama, they're not going to go crazy. So, it begs the question then. If this is the party of the rich -- the Republicans -- if this is the party of wealth and Wall Street, the party that brought about the crash of '08, why don't the wealthy -- why aren't the wealthy -- making sure they have a Republican that's running that's gonna win? It doesn't look like they're concerned at all about making sure they've their man on the Republican ticket unless -- unless they believe they've got their man on the Democratic Party ticket? OLBERMANN: Yeah
Kyle Martinowich November 03, 2011 at 08:04 PM
Nick, "Where are all these holes you are talking about? What other factual errors? Is that the best you can do?" The best I can do? You wrote the article, not me. When you say "What other factual errors" you are admitted you are wrong. I should not have be the one to point the errors out. You should re-write or update the article YOU wrote Nick. Its not my fault your story is factually incorrect.
Nick Muson November 03, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Why do you know my private posts to another user, Kyle?
Nick Muson November 03, 2011 at 08:27 PM
So Kyle, you read my post, and your only response is "Liberals are the racists! Liberals are the racists! Liberals are the racists!" Great. Good for you. Point made. A news story comes out about a factual issue regarding Cain, and all you can do is scream about racist liberals, just like Rush. You are who I am writing about.
Nick Muson November 03, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Kyle, I am not telling you to stop posting, but I am telling you I am done responding. And 'troll' isn't much an insult. No one said I was nice or "lovely".
Nick Muson November 03, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Very clever. Are you a troll or do you have something to say?
Nick Muson November 03, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Who has disagreed with me, Jason? No one has. None of the posters seem to have the slightest clue what my point is. I am still waiting for an actual argument about anything besides how evil liberals are. Do you people know what a 'troll' is? It means you come to a thread just to antagonize, not to actually say anything. Have you said anything, or have you just come here to be cute?
montclairdad November 03, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Of course not, dream as many dreams as you'd like. I know I allowed myself to dream in '08 - and all I got for it was a nightmare. Whether it be Obama, Congress, banks - whatever. And sorry you weren't looking for "tired old Obama insults." Wish I could give you some "tired old Obama" flattery, there just aren't any available. I'm allowed to curmudge too you know. (Yes, I may have just made up a verb. Sorry.)
Lauren Bright Pacheco November 04, 2011 at 12:48 AM
From some of the above comments it would seem that some people seem to think the so-called liberal media traveled back in time and created events in which multiple women were harassed to the point that they were paid out and/or forced to sign confidentiality agreements in exchange for silence - BECAUSE of Cain's actions and the position he held within The National Restaurant Association . Between Mark Block and Cain, you've got the perfect smoking gun of unscrupulous American politics at its worst...and quite the depressing mess. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/mark-block-cains-smoking-aide-has-troubled-past/2011/10/28/gIQAte20PM_blog.html Racism in this country still seems to chafe. Sexist behavior?! Not so much...that's just politics as usual.
montclairdad November 04, 2011 at 10:38 AM
"Racism in this country still seems to chafe. Sexist behavior?! Not so much...that's just politics as usual." It's funny, because I don't see near the outrage (if any) when that sexism extends to how GOP women - Palin, Bachman, O'Donnell - are covered and portrayed. (For the record, not fans of ANY of them. Simply commenting on the hypocrisy.) Oh, that's right, because the left doesn't like them, so it's fair game. Kind of like how bullying is such a terrible, terrible thing, unless it applies to mocking a certain portly NJ governor. Then - as in the case of GOP women - the kindly, progressive, forward-thinking left-leaning media has no problem opening fire. Please, let's not try to pretend that such things are dealt with fairly in media, because we all know they're not.
Nick Muson November 04, 2011 at 02:28 PM
"I don't see near the outrage (if any) when that sexism extends to how GOP women - Palin, Bachman, O'Donnell - are covered and portrayed." montclairdad, I don't disagree with you that the left can be rightly accused of hypocrisy in many many many ways. However, I challenge you to provide actual sexist quotes from actual liberal media sources. I am willing to venture that close to 100% of your examples will have to come from stand-up comedians or fringe leftists. I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what racism and sexism is, on the right. Making fun of a woman is not sexist, unless what you're making fun of her for is being a woman. Like, you know "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?" (Rush, Dec. 2007). See how easy it was for me to find of an actually sexist statement from the Lord High Executioner from the right? Let's see your examples, I'm open minded.
Kevin November 04, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Here's some quotes from Media matters from when Palin was picked for VP. http://mediamatters.org/research/200808290010 Also some from the Womenactionmedia .Org: http://www.womenactionmedia.org/2011/07/01/sexist-media-coverage-male-voices-a-call-to-arms-for-2012/
Nick Muson November 04, 2011 at 04:03 PM
The first link, Kevin, is not very strong evidence of sexism. I see your point, but it's still pretty weak. Wondering whether she should be running for VP when she has an infant with DS is not the same thing as saying women should be at home taking care of babies. But like I said, I see your point. The second link is complete hogwash, however, with only a single Olbermann quote followed by lots of assumptions about how liberals think and feel. And the Olbermann quote? O'Reilly says that liberals hate how "hot" conservative women are, and Olbermann responds with "they're not that hot", and that's evidence of liberal sexism to you? I don't read it that way at all. I read it as Olbermann making fun of what a neanderthal O'Reilly is.
Fran Hopkins November 04, 2011 at 04:12 PM
I think all fair-minded people owe Mr. Cain the benefit of the doubt until someone actually comes forward with facts: names, dates, documents, details. So far, we have none of these things. Anyone can accuse anyone of anything. It certainly doesn't make what they say true.
Nick Muson November 04, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Fair enough, Fran, but let's agree on what are accusations and what are facts. The original accusations remain unknown, and on that count you are mostly correct. But at least 2 women were paid settlements after accusations of sexual harassment -- this is a fact, and the way the right and Cain has handled this has been pretty clumsy and predictable. Here's a funny riddle for all the Rushbots out there (not accusing you of this, Fran): Herman Cain himself said he is pretty sure that race was a factor in this story being leaked, but then he accused Perry's campaign of the leak. I think Herman Cain just called Perry a racist!
John Lee November 04, 2011 at 07:11 PM
"I think all fair-minded people owe Mr. Cain the benefit of the doubt until someone actually comes forward with facts: names, dates, documents, details" Let's review. Accusations were made, the accuser was paid off. Herman Cain admits to the payments. The only doubt is why anyone would still support the guy. (Great Op-Ed btw)
Don November 04, 2011 at 09:08 PM
Sounds like a typical right wing attack scenario. This kind of accusation often makes the national media with no fact checking done on it at all. Keep that possibility in mind. Even if its true, is alleged (not vetted in court) "sexual harassment" (which is sometimes made up or intentionally misconstrued, just as it is sometimes (*often* true.) worse than crafting a healthcare plan that's DESIGNED TO FAIL (Romney with Romneycare, see http://www.pnhp.org for more info ) or executing numerous people who have had exonerating evidence that clearly established their innocence, and knowing that, but doing it anyway? (Perry in his current position in the Texas state house)
Fran Hopkins November 04, 2011 at 11:45 PM
I still believe in waiting for actual proof. Cain didn't make any payments, the Restaurant Association did; and Anonymous Woman's lawyer said today that Cain had already left the NRA before the settlement agreement was signed (by her and the RRA, not by Mr. Cain). Companies pay money to make things go away all the time when it's more cost-effective to do so. It doesn't establish guilt (or innocence).
Don November 04, 2011 at 11:46 PM
People who once identified enough to register as "Republican" voters, are just as fed up as people who once registered themselves as Democraic voters. Everyone is fed up but the system allows them so few vehicles to express their anger that voting for someone like Cain is perhaps the only thing they can do shy of staying home. Voting for the other party is not as productive as voting for someone who is outside the system. People can't revolt. They cant get a solution. They are only offered Coke, or Pepsi. So, they vote for Cain. Its like solidly Democratic Massachusetts voting for Scott Brown. It says nothing about Scott Brown, what it says is that people are ANGRY. THAT is what the omnipresent spinmeisters are trying to spin us away from realizing.
BlackMaybe November 07, 2011 at 03:41 AM
So I came to my local site to see news about the Power fiasco from last week and I stumble upon this highly entertaining dialogue and I'm seeing a pattern developing on all sites I go to now about this topic. I see why the Koch brothers and conservative echo chamber is backing this highly unqualified pizza guy!!! ....It's not us, it's them, no its not, it's you, no its not!!! LOL
Don November 07, 2011 at 12:36 PM
Yup... I agree 100% Fran
Don November 07, 2011 at 12:39 PM
My opinion of Palin(!) and Bachman has nothing to do with their sex. Its mostly the hypocrisy (and the lunacy that a national party would pick either of them) Bachman strikes me as robotic, zombie like, and especially, mean spirited, Palin is so insanely narcissistic one has to wonder, is she even real!
Don November 08, 2011 at 09:32 PM
'You want a job, right?' - Herman Cain When that statement of his was revealed, I think Herman Cain just dropped off of a lot of people's radar screens. The US is really becoming a lot like the Third World in the way that desperate people are being taken advantage of by the powerful. Nothing says it better than those words by Herman Cain. F*** you, Mr Cain. If he is the best the GOP has to offer, I think its time for the GOP to call it quits, dont you?
Nick Muson November 08, 2011 at 10:05 PM
Don, I'm still putting my money on the Rootin'-est Tootin'-est Pistol Packin' Hockey Mom making an 11th hour entry one way or another. They'll go completely bat-chip insane and she'll get the nomination.
Don November 08, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Palin? no way could she win.. ever..
Kevin November 09, 2011 at 12:48 AM
Palin is making too much money now to consider another campaign. If the economy doesn't turn around I think the 11th hour entry to watch will be Hillary for the Democratic nomination.
Don November 09, 2011 at 03:32 AM
Palin is such an idiot even my Republican friends, who only very rarely diss fellow Republicans, make jokes and roll their eyes about her. That's bad. Whatever support she has it isn't with the kind of Republicans I know. Maybe she does around here. I supported Hillary because I thought she was the smarter of the two candidates. I felt Obama was far enough to the right of Hillary to be disturbing, which has proven to be true. For example, "his" healthcare "plan" which he borrowed from Massachusetts, can't possibly work. It was booby trapped from the beginning because it puts maintaining the insulation between politicisna nd responibility above affordability and quality. Thats bad. Really, the drug, insurance and hospital corporations won the minute they got Obama the nomination. Really, that huge black hole of medical costs is an even bigger noose around each Americans neck neck than the huge military spending we are wedded to. Its a MINIMUM of $250,000 around each of our pockets, but I think that given the time value of money, the real value of a single payer national healthcare plan would be more like half a million dollars for each and every one of us. They would rather continue this system we have not been able to afford since the 80s or 90s, than have Americans be able to afford to have children, drive or retire. Its a systematic war of plunder on American families to replace the plunder of other nations that the US multinationals can no longer get away with overseas.


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