Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cain's candidacy sunk by unproven sex allegations

Herman Cain's presidential candidacy was given the last rites yesterday, and the funeral home is on standby to come and get the body. That should be a concern to all persons of good will.

 Another woman--this one, a 46-year-old unemployed, at least twice divorced, single mother named Ginger White--has crawled out of the woodwork to go on television and claim she had a 13-year-consensual-affair with Cain. Cain denies it.

Ms. White's motivation for coming forward to destroy a public man is known only to her, but like one of Cain's earlier accusers, White has a history of financial troubles, with a threat of eviction for non-payment of rent just two weeks ago. She's had liens filed against her dating back to 1994--eleven liens have been filed against her since 2009, nine in 2011 alone. The owners of her apartment complex have sued her for non-payment of rent nearly every month since the beginning of the year. Ten years ago, she filed a sexual harassment claim against an employer, and the case was settled. She filed for bankruptcy in the late 1980s. In January, there is a scheduled court date in an unrelated civil suit filed against her by a former business partner, Kimberly Vay, who alleges that White stalked and harassed her.

The previous woman to come forward and lob accusations against Cain, Sharon Bialek, claimed she was "too embarrassed" back in 1997 to report that Cain had sexually assaulted her then. Yet, mirabile dictu, somehow she overcame her embarrassment and plopped herself in the center-ring of a media circus next to grandstanding feminist lawyer Gloria Allred to tell all the world about her alleged ordeal. This was just weeks after that same woman was spotted hugging the man who supposedly sexually assaulted her fourteen years ago. Bialek's sordid narrative raises questions about whether she was the aggressor in whatever sexual dalliance might have occurred, http://www.libertymusings.com/blog/?p=885, and otherwise reeks of opportunism given her chronic financial problems, including dual bankruptcies, liens against her property, a paternity lawsuit, and multiple civil actions. If Bialek is telling the truth, she allowed a sexual assaulter to prey on other women for 14 years, all because she didn't feel like reporting it.

And there were the women who filed and settled sexual harassment claims against Cain based on sketchy incidents that supposedly occurred in the 1990s.

Despite having a lead in the polls even after several accusers had made allegations against him, Cain faced an uphill battle to win the GOP presidential nomination under the best of scenarios. He has never held elected office and has a penchant for positing simplistic and dubious solutions for complex policy problems.

But, now, the sex allegations have taken their toll, and Cain's support among voters, especially women, has plummeted. His policy positions have become irrelevancies to Americans, and America's ratings-hungry news media, who prefer to revel in their favorite-of-all spectator sports: watching men--good men included--be destroyed by sex allegations.

Some zealots who insist that women don't lie about sexual misconduct say that focusing on the legal troubles of Cain's accusers is irrelevant and misogynistic, that it's not fair to insist an accuser be a "perfect" victim to be taken seriously. They are not just wrong to asssert this, they are dishonest and unjust. It is impossible for Herman Cain to "prove" his innocence in connection with these allegations absent direct evidence surfacing that White, Bialek, or the others, are lying, and such direct evidence is unlikely.  The allegations are purely of the "he said/she said" variety. Therefore, the character, the possible motiviations, and the legal pasts of the accusers are all relevant.

Some will say, "What are the odds that all these women would come forward if nothing happened?"

Perhaps the better question is this: "What are the odds that the two accusers we know a lot about, White and Bialek, would have such checkered pasts?"

Here's the bottom line: Cain's candidacy is all but finished, and that's wrong. It's wrong not because I favor Cain. I don't. It's wrong not because Cain is innocent. I have no way of knowing that, and neither do you.

It's wrong precisely because Cain has no way of proving his innocence even if he is innocent. When a sexual assault allegation was made against Al Gore last year, I made the same argument.

Still, our PC culture insists that Cain must be sacrificed. It is a longstanding, and grossly unjust, tradition in America that, when it comes to men and sex, especially public men and sex, the allegation is its own conviction, even allegations of ancient wrongdoing. This tenet has been heavily reinforced in recent years with the politically correct canard that insists "women aren't believed" when they report rape even though it's exactly the opposite: women are instantly believed. But instead of urging everyone to be wholly objective about the accusation, to be compassionate with the accuser, and to not assume the guilt of the accused, we are taught that it's somehow wrong not to instantly believe any woman or child who cries rape or alleges sexual misconduct, even if that means assuming the man or boy they accuse is guilty.

In one sense, it's difficult to blame the American people for being wary of Cain. They have no way of knowing what happened, and they want to elect a president of good character.

But in another sense, we are the grinning vigilante mob in Duluth and a thousand other places, posing next to the lifeless bodies of young black men hanging from trees for no reason other than that a woman cried "rape." Another man has been destroyed based on nothing more than accusations. When will good people stand up and say, "Enough!"?