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In the relativistic polarization of the current political climate there's no agreement on any set of facts. Regardless of the issue involved a process remarkably similar to jury selection takes place and the two sides march inexorably backwards to the first principles of their respective realities. Pick the right jury get the right verdict; gerrymander the election boundaries to predetermine the election; suppress voters to increase your odds; bind legislators with external pledges to nullify avenues for compromise; and whatever the subject, lie, spin, obfuscate, change topics, and abandon principles to get re-elected, get off... win. It's disgusting.

Nothing is more emblematic of how poisonous this has all become than Herman Cain's behavior regarding his harassment settlements. I don't believe Mr. Cain's protestations of innocence-after-the-fact but I'm equally disappointed in the media... a media, even given its accepted partisanship, leaves me dumbstruck at its inability to articulate insightful questions.

Cain claims the "accusations" are baseless and fabricated, but no one seems capable of staying focused on the fact settlements were made, and Cain was unquestionably party to them.

There's already plenty of comical contradictory evidence from Cain's own mouth that proves his selective memory defense is nonsense, but why is the recall of twelve-year-old events important?

If we accept his word that he was innocent of the behavior that led to the settlements, it follows he would be acutely aware of every detail. Why? Because being wrongly accused of sexual harassment triggers an intense process of review and reflection where honor and necessity demand a detailed reconstruction of words and actions. Were Cain actually innocent, the stakes for a high-profile Washington lobbyist (which is what he was at the time) were considerable.

Organizations settle harassment claims when their internal investigations or the legal discovery process makes it apparent they'll a) lose in court or b) spend a lot more money defending themselves than it will cost to settle. When the individual charged with the harassment is a proud, principled man like Herman Cain I find it improbable to believe he would choose to settle a baseless claim.

Remember these proceedings are intensely personal. Any assertion that a person so accused would simply defer to counsel and think nothing more of it is implausible. If Mr. Cain was in the right, would he not bring the full weight and resources of the National Restaurant Assoc he led to bear on the matter?

However let's entertain the possibility that he was asked to swallow his integrity for the sake of organizational and PR expediency to settle. Is it believable that a man of Mr. Cain's character would stomach another "unjust" settlement? Who could possibly convince him to suffer that kind of character humiliation a second time?

The only circumstances I could imagine where forgetting these two settlements would be possible is if this happened routinely to Mr. Cain. Since that couldn't possibly be true, his initial answers and subsequent accusations just don't add up.

If Mr. Cain is a principled man here's what his first utterance on the subject would have sounded like.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in response to your questions regarding the two settlements made by the National Restaurant Association regarding claims of sexual harassment leveled against me in the 90s, I'm happy to see both matters reopened and I'm acutely aware of the details. Am I guilty... no I am not.

At the time I was vehemently opposed to the advice of legal counsel that we settle the claims during my tenure as CEO of the NRA. The settlements were made in the interest of organizational expediency and PR. I am prepared to defend my integrity against these claims and wave my right under the non-disclosure provisions of those agreements in the interest of setting the record straight. I hope the NRA releases the women in question from their obligations so I can reclaim my honor and refute their baseless accusations. In other words I want my day in court.

Have we heard anything like this from Mr. Cain? We have not. Instead we have a disingenuous round of finger pointing that denies the facts that ARE on record, and insinuates there's a vast conspiracy at work to fabricate more. The regular cast of apologists, liars and paid experts is rolled out to erase history. It used to be that we were judged by a jury of our peers, these days it seems we're only accountable to the jury we choose.

It's a sad, pathetic indictment of our system that truth is just another political commodity.

Media please concentrate on the settlements as fact and not accusations. Why did the NRA decide to settle? What was the timing of the two settlements; were they in close proximity to each other? Did the two women work at the NRA concurrently? Did Mr. Cain object to the settlements? Did either or both of the complaints lead to legal discovery or was the decision to settle arrived at after purely internal investigations?
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Comment Preferences

  •  The Clarence Thomas Card? (0+ / 0-)

    Herman the Vermin should not play the Clarence Thomas card; you know that high tech lynching line.

    Apparently Clarence Thomas didn't receive enough scrutiny, after all look what we got with Clarence Thomas, with a big, big assist from Arlen Specter.

    A case could be made regarding Herman the Vermin that just like Clarence Thomas, Herman the Vermin will be a lazy, free loading, do nothing, say nothing, know nothing tramp, sucking of the teat of all Americans.

    Now THAT is reason not to support Herman the Vermin.

    •  Clarence Thomas should cut Ms Hill a check, daily. (0+ / 0-)

      Her accusation allowed Republicans to shift the confirmation hearing debate from "is this man qualified?" (consensus: manifestly not) to "can you prove this man said these words to this woman without a doubt?"

      As for Mr. Cain, yes, if he were innocent, he would remember being falsely accused. He would have no reason to arrange to "forget" it.

      grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

      by khereva on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:03:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lies are hard to remember. Truth--not so much. (0+ / 0-)

    "Repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed." --J. Steinbeck

    by livjack on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:31:40 PM PDT

  •  One possibility (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeloDramatic

    "The only circumstances I could imagine where forgetting these two settlements would be possible is if this happened routinely to Mr. Cain. Since that couldn't possibly be true, his initial answers and subsequent accusations just don't add up."

    Considering that there might be a third woman, and that a conservative talk show host complained about Cain's behavior towards female staffers, it's quite possible that Cain really doesn't remember the details because he's made so many unwanted advancements to women in his employ that he's forgotten the details of what went on.

    •  since that couldn't possibly be true (0+ / 0-)

      tongue was firmly in cheek when I wrote that. Still when a harassment charge surfaces, no matter how thick your political skin, it's not something you'd forget... even if you are a serial harasser.

    •  If you had any doubts about Cain's veracity (0+ / 0-)

      it should have been settled when he claimed he has "never" done anything inappropriate. I do my best not to offend people (unless they really need to be offended), but I am sure that I say or do something inappropriate more frequently than I'd like to think.

      My theory is that either (a) Cain's treatment of women is "normal" for him; we may think it's harassment; he thinks it's just  how everyone behaves or (b) he's well aware that he has crossed the line into harassment and even abuse, but believes he has some immunity because of his importance in the world.

      In either case, he's unfit to hold elected office, or management roles in reputable organizations.

      Incremental change frightens excremental minds.

      by cassandracarolina on Thu Nov 10, 2011 at 10:20:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nein means nein, Herman. (0+ / 0-)

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:53:55 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't agree more. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeloDramatic

    As I wrote in Seneca Doane's thread the other day:

    I was falsely accused…

    …of sexual harassment. Well, actually it was of "creating a hostile work environment" and it was by a female, and in the FAA at the time, harassment complaints that crossed the gender boundary were automatically categorized "sexual harassment" even if there was no "sexual" component.

    It was seventeen years ago. It went away (because it was baseless) but every aspect of the case and the process is still crystal clear in my mind. Maybe I have a better memory than Cain. Maybe my life wasn't as complex as his. Still, I find it utterly unbelievable that he has no idea of the details or what happened.

    No, I don't have the benefit of the doubt for him as he's handled it thus far. He knows exactly what happened or didn't, with whom or not, and how it got resolved. CEO of an organization or lowly grunt at the government trough—those kind of things stand out.

    Seneca rec'd it, so I must not be far off in my thinking.
  •  I would remember every detail (0+ / 0-)

    of a false accusation like this, never mind two.  And Cain was not some low-level supervisor, he was the CEO!  The CEO agrees to settle two wholly false claims and pay for non-disclosure, and he couldn't remember it for ten days after Politico told him the story was coming out?  Not possible.

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