I may be in the minority, but I don’t think Cain’s history of sexual harassment is going to hurt him at all with the GOP, and the insanity of the Republican party will really work to his favor in the short run, at least. Half of them have convinced themselves that this is just a liberal media hit job, and the rest of them think women are property, so I really don’t expect him to lose any support over this. If anything, in the short term, I expect him to gain ground. Wingnuts love crazy shit. It doesn’t matter if Cain has made any number of differing and contradictory statements about what happened, the fact that Cain is not handling this conventionally is all they need. They love a good show, and to them, Cain is fighting back! He’s not taking it! Plus, did you see him show them at the Press Club what he is made of when he broke into song?
So yeah, I don’t expect this to hurt him at all in the short term. What might hurt him is repeated gaffes like the China nukes screw-up or the multiple flip-flops over abortion last week. But abusing women? Hell, that’s the whole reason some Republicans get elected.
*** Update ***
This is what I mean:
The GOP presidential candidate was a bit touchy Wednesday when questioned by reporters about claims he sexually harassed two women in the late 1990’s during his time as head of the National Restaurant Association.
“Don’t even bother asking me all of these questions,” Cain said to reporters.
Then the conservative businessman raised his voice.
“Excuse me,” Cain yelled. “What part of no do you not understand,” he asked.
The incident occurred inside a Northern Virginia hotel where Cain met with a group of conservative physicians.
You and I see that and see a guy a bit defensive and cranky because he has to address some past wrongdoings and doesn’t like it one bit.
Wingnuts see that and think “I love how Cain is standing up to the lamestream media. In your face, bitches!”
These folks are just wired differently.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
I hope this doesn’t slow the Cainmentum. Anything that keeps guys like Cain and Perry around longer is fine by me.
Media response: Bill Clinton. Ergo, both sides do it, QED.
I think you’re right, John. The Herminator will show that another “high tech lynching” cannot stand. He’s fighting the establishment, man!
Seriously, it meets the number 1 wingnut criterium – it pisses off liberals (or at least THEY think it does) – so no harm, no foul.
I agree with this. The GOP has gone completely aphasic about the general election. They will not stop till they have the least electable, but purist candidate they can get.
Deep thought: if there was currently a white Dem president (say a Joe Biden or Sherrod Brown), would there be any chance that a black man would be the GOP frontrunner?
I love the idea that this is a liberal hit. If Cain somehow actually winds up being the GOP nominee, Plouffe and Axelrod are going to give each other a high five so loud you’d be able to hear it on the Moon. And that doesn’t even make sense.
I seriously doubt you’re in the minority. Half of the hysterical laughter is watching the stained dress horrors brigade go to the mat for a raunchy pizza guy pretending to be presidential material. Dignity of the Office!
ETA: I’m telling you, the religious right now whimpering for the good old days when stewardesses were sexy and women knew how to shut up and listen to innuendo in the office is oddly delish.
OT, but Marie Le Pen, French ultra-right-winger, who likens Muslims to neo-Nazis, is in the U.S. and will meet to discuss Franco-American relations with Reps. Ron Paul (natch) and….Dennis Kucinich!
Villago Delenda Est
It only proves that the vile politically correct liberals are out to get our proud man Herman.
Even if he missed that big explosion thingy at Lop Nor 47 years ago…
I don’t know … this woman comes out and she’s white … and pretty and blond … all bets are off.
Which tribalism will trump the other?
Apropos of nothing, here, courtesy one of the wingnuttiest talk radio stations in the OKC metro (and that’s a real accomplishment, let me tell you)
The comments are the usual right wing cesspool, but needless to say all the true believers have suddenly turned on their beloved KTOK for this supposed slander that will not stand!(tm)
@Pillsy: Chewbacca lives on Endor and That. Does. Not. Make. Sense…so you have to vote for Herman Cain.
I don’t think it will hurt him because he isn’t a serious candidate anyway. If he were a real candidate for the nomination this would be a big problem regardless of what the teabaggers think. The non-idiots in the Republican Party (and they do exist) are the ones who control the money and this would hurt Cain with the money people because it hurts his chances of beating Obama.
Not going to hurt him? Shit, this is going to get him the nomination.
Agree, and so far there’s no indication to the contrary – at least among “the people”. As far as “the media” (aka Fox), well, I think they’re still in ratfcking mode. Wonder when the regular Cain-supporting viewer is going to get cognitive dissonance (and realize it?)
@dan: of course, if she is 15 years older than when it happened, and not as attractive, the wingers protecting Cain will help kill the women’s vote for the entire GOP. Could get very ugly.
The outcome never has anything to do with the accusation. It’s a competency test, not a moral one.
What matters, always, is how competently they handle the situation. A really damning story, handled well, will have little impact. A minor story, handled poorly, will destroy you. The nature of the story is immaterial.
Clinton handled his Monica situation poorly, but he handled the accusations against him before that well. Cain is handling this situation poorly. A simple ‘Yes, I did something that I intended to be innocent, but in fact offended the other person. The situation was resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. I learned from it and it hasn’t happened again.’ probably would have made this a 2 hour news cycle.
It’s no longer about the story, but about the degree to which Cain is willing to lie to the media, and so the media, being the victim of that here, is going to dig into the story to demonstrate both the magnitude of the lie, and the consequence of the lie. That’s how you fail the competency test, because now every little thing that comes along, the media is going to take a different attitude toward. The job for Cain’s opposition just got a TON easier, because now anything brought to the media will be treated more credibly than before, and that is 100% the fault of Cain.
If the woman who wants to come forward is white, then I’m not sure how that’s going to go down, but white or otherwise, I hope she knows she’s going to get a countertop inspection.
But don’t forget Perry! Apparently, he wasn’t actually drunk while giving that rambling speech over the weekend.
No doubt, since most of his supporters seem to be a big slice of the 27 percenter tea tard faction, which in itself absolutely blows my mind. But usually, where there are multiple cases, or victims of this kind of behavior, there are even more to surface. Bill Clinton might have been the first black president, But Herman Cain is shaping up to be the first black Bill Clinton
If his ignorance of China having nukes can’t hurt him, then treating 2nd class citizens poorly is a probably seen as a plus.
The GOP Primary voters are insane, I would bet the Waffle House Four are registered to and voted in GOP primaries most of their adult lives.
Ann Coulter has already weighed in and told us that “her blacks” are the best, and Herb is one of them.
The financial stuff is far worse than the harassment stuff.
But, though I think the harassment charge isn’t that big a deal, some of the shit he said recently, like calling it racist, is going to put a hole in his boat.
Also, obsoleted my comment before I wrote it.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Yes, a liberal hit would be in October next year when the GOP was truly stuck with Cain as the candidate. This is far to early for a self destruct. Most likely this is from his own side, but then again to conservatives anything they don’t like is “liberal”
The day Herman Cain wins the GOP nomination is the day the Obama campaign should return a dollar to each of its donors.
“Here you go, folks, we don’t need that much now.”
Only if you are a Democrat. It only applies to GOP candidates in a general election. The GOP primary voters could give a crap about sexual harrasement.
Takes one to know one I guess.
Bill E Pilgrim
I’d take that bet.
“I don’t know anything about it, okay I remember something but if there was any settlement I wasn’t involved, okay we settled but it was really just a termination package of a few month’s salary and it was one misunderstood gesture, okay it was a year’s salary and she’s claiming “multiple instances” over many months but she’s lying..”
He clearly thought that just starting at the end of that trail would have been damaging or something, but this has been worse. Right wingers don’t care about harassment but they know a sinking clown when they see one. Maybe not yet but soon, I predict retreat, suspension of campaign forever, and legendary GOP victimhood status.
Can’t say for sure of course though, and you may be right. I’d prefer your way, I’d actually prefer it if he became the nominee, but nah gah happen.
Alog with the finance violations it will hit him with the money people, and the ones who are pretending to be sane. Loss of the money people will kill him in the fairly near future.
My prediction all along was that this would have a “Herm can’t keep his hands off the white wimmins” angle.
Much as I’m enjoying The Cain Matinee, the popcorn will come to an end and so will he.
@mistermix: “The financial stuff is far worse than the harassment stuff.”
Martin’s comment @ 17 says no. The Cain campaign has probably hangdled the financial story much better. They will say that they are investigating and so forth.
The Cain campaign had 10 DAYS to figure out what to do on the harassment news. Unfortunately, that was when Cain chose NOT to allow any of his staff to speak to him. Simon says and all that.
It clearly is having less effect than a similar case for a democrat, but it is still worse for Cain than the financial news. So far.
Gin & Tonic
Not one person in ten thousand will even know about the China fuck-up, and nobody, but nobody will give a shit. Even fewer people will give a shit about the campaign finance thing.
Yup, Cain would be in deep doo doo, if he had helped the poor even once. Lecherous groping is an Olympic sport on Planet Wingnut. Though, like every other kind of bad behavior in that world, he will lose a few points for getting caught.
No, actually it does work both ways, but the rules are different on each side.
Yeah, the GOP primary voters couldn’t give a crap about sexual harassment because the GOP doesn’t give a crap about certain kinds of sexual harassment. Cain could even have turned this in his favor if it really was an innocent thing and he could paint this as PC-run-amok. But the evidence better be there for that. But now it’s too late. He’s blown it. Even look at what soonergrunt posted as evidence:
It no longer has anything to do with the incident and EVERYTHING to do with Cain’s handling of the situation.
Doesn’t surprise me at all, it’s just the transition of wingnuttery into a completely closed system. Herman Cain is a complete abstraction, the distilled essence of wingnut attitudes about race. The things he actually says or does have become irrelevant. The GOP now deals exclusively in symbols. Kind of like those who were breathlessly announcing that Tim Tebow “has something special” after a fluke win over one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Whoever coined the term ‘lamestream media’ deserves to be tossed off a bridge (even if it’s a bridge to nowhere).
Wouldn’t it be great if after having their ass chewed by the right (and by Fox), Politico turned and started committing actual acts of journalism?
Maybe this will clue them in that they don’t want to be the ones to put the Tea Party into any more power.
@gbear: I agree.
It was Palin.
Unfortunately, I think you’re correct that the sexual harassment issue will only firm up, rather than weaken, Cain’s base of support among tea party wingers for much the same reason back in pre-Tea Party days, Clarence Thomas got a pass from conservatives over Anita Hill. They believe he’s the victim of a hit job by the liberal-biased media precisely because of who he is and what he stands for.
This makes the probability that team Rove is who is most likely the ones behind planting this issue all the more impressive for its sheer Machiavellian cleverness. So far, whoever was ultimately behind raising this story has left no fingerprints that can successfully be traced back to them, and the suspicion has been successfully deflected to opponents *other than* Rove (or Romney for that matter). Rove is a cancerous political scumbag, but the sheer perverse cleverness of his m.o. (which the above pattern fits) is as breathtakingly amazing as it is disgusting and amorally sociopathic.
@catclub: Well, what remains to be seen is whether the media will pivot off of this story and test him again with the financial stuff. Hey, if he’s willing to lie about one thing, maybe he’ll lie about two.
And again on the financial stuff, Cain can play it to his advantage – “Oh, the campaign finance rules are a nightmare, nobody can figure them out, government has made a mess of all of this” and as long as he goes in straight, and doesn’t allow it to become a question of his competence, he can keep it as a political issue, of government run amok, of trying to suppress the rights of individuals to support their candidates by way of arcane rules, and so on. Now that too may backfire on him because Block has been accused (and reprimanded) of this before, so the media can again turn it into a competence issue, but it entirely depends on the manner is which the accusation is handled.
And fairly, that is indeed part of politics. The US fucks up and we need to handle our fuck-ups competently. We can’t go in and start accusing Canada of some bullshit only for them to come back with definitive evidence through the media that they didn’t do what we accused them of and that we knew at the time they didn’t do it. It all comes unhinged then. This is a fair test of politics, IMO.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Gin & Tonic: Totally agree. I think being proudly ignorant about anything beyond Miami yet running to be the political leader and Commander in Chief of the United States is not only tolerable to them but a badge of honor.
That’s why they’re fighting the harassment charge instead so hard, because they know that one can sink him. They’ve used it themselves.
I’m on record. I had the same take on this from the moment the news broke. Was wondering why so many in tweet stream were crowing about the end of Cain’s campaign. It was obvious it would help him. Wouldn’t be surprised to find out he leaked the thing himself just to capture the news cycle and raise funds. His base doesn’t believe sexual harassment exists. They always blame the woman for having no sense of humor.
And, via AP, here comes a third one.
Villago Delenda Est
It existed pre-Palin.
SCLM has been around for at least 15 years, particularly after the vermin of The Village went after Clinton whole hog not only on the utterly lame “scandal” called Whitewater, but the even lamer Lewinskigate thing.
The only kind of sexual harassment the GOP hates is when a Dem does it. If a good, god fearing GOP man does it, it was “her” fault.
As to whether this has legs, TPM has a post from a third party observer (who yes, does polls for Romney) who said he was there and Cain better hope she doesn’t talk.
AND there is now a third woman, according to TPM.
@dmsilev: If that’s how he talks when he’s stone-cold sober …
@Villago Delenda Est: Damn.
Well, can we throw Palin off a bridge anyhow?
Bill E Pilgrim
Okay with a third one now, I give it a week. I would actually bet on that.
@Amir Khalid: Well, to be fair, the story just said that Perry wasn’t drunk. Nobody has yet ruled out being stoned, riding a glue-sniffing high, dropping acid, etc. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Nein, nein, und nein. These white women are always sexually harassing the black man – and you know why. They are the real sexual harassists. Let me be clear: this is all a high-tech castration, mark my words.
Let’s not confuse intensity of support with breadth. The people who were already reasonably committed to Cain are not about to change their minds based on this; their reaction is to send money and circle the wagons, because their guy is under attack. And Cain — proving that he’s a novice — thinks this is a good sign for him.
But the people who haven’t committed (and even in the Republican primary, that’s a lot), and who might otherwise have been wondering if maybe they should give this guy Cain a chance, are going to be put off by the charges and/or the incompetence with which the whole affair has been handled.
And as for the general electorate? Well, he was never going to get that far, and this isn’t going to help with them.
Is anyone else struck by the awesome irony of this expression, from a man credibly accused of sexual harassment?
@dmsilev: I dunno. I think it would be more damaging to his chances if righties found out that’s the way he talks while stone cold sober.
that is, indeed, awesome.
So, I’ve lost track. Whose turn is it to be the next not-Romney? Newt? We’re rapidly running out of clowns here, people.
Gotta disagree, Cole. I know that comes as a surprise to you, but…
…the lamestream media is lame because they are overpaid mean girls who ignore important shit like WMD lies, torture, and rendition, and focus on alleged sex scandals because it makes their special places get tingly and because it is EASY.
I kinda like that Cain tells them to fuck off.
Villago Delenda Est
For the offense of calling Katie Couric’s very low velocity softball query on her reading habits a “gotcha” question, I think is more than sufficient grounds for finding a large structure over water to eject her from.
the fake fake al
I think we may be on to something here. For years, dems have complained that Fox and Rush focused only on Obama. Dems wondered how they could break anti Obama news cycle. Well, seems scandal in their own ranks may do the trick. At gym last night, Attack Obama TV actually spent a lot of time on Cain. We have a dozen GOP hopefuls, seems we could string this out til spring at least. Breadcrumb the leaks until the election. GOP has perfected that. Of course, it was the GOP who leaked this info, so maybe the dems still have not learned.
The Moar You Know
Will it hurt him? The answer lies in the answer to this question:
Is she white or black?
If she’s black, it’s another Anita Hill situation and the GOP voters won’t give it one single thought.
If she’s white, he’ll be polling in sub-single digits by nightfall.
That’s how that tribe rolls, y’all.
I still wonder about another thing: politico never found that on their own. Now who did give them the material, Perry or Romney?
I think Romney, the Perry campaign seems to incompetent.
Yup. Was coming here just to comment on it.
I’m reserving judgment until it is determined that the women are black. If any of them are white, it’s a whole notha story.
The GOP is the party of “Hide yer white women” after all.
@The Moar You Know: beat me to it.
Ron Paul pulled out of the meeting. One good point for him.
Apparently, she wants to visit OCCUPY WALL STREET… what the FUCK? This is the same woman who clapped and cheered for the British tactics to suppress rioting.
@Chris: Um, actually it’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, and he’s a he. I know, I know. But what do you expect from those cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys?
@Mary: So was I. Herman Cain sure doesn’t like how it feels to be badgered after he has already firmly turned down a request, does he?
@The Moar You Know:
There are now three women, the chance that they are all black, unless Cain explicitly hits on black women only, is pretty small. (13% of the US population is black, three people at random all being black is 0.22%. I don’t expect the NRA to do any positive discrimination in hiring).
No, the daughter. Inherited the family business.
That’s what she said.
The party of accountability! Oh how I love to see Republicans refuse to own up to anything. You’re only accountable in this economy/society if you can’t afford an accountant.
they need to come forward. and once they see it that they are all Snowflakes (here’s the thing, Black women don’t get SETTLEMENTS in Corporate America – they get fired for bullshyt reasons when they stand up for themselves).
yes, I wanna see them defend Cain for harassing 3 Snowflakes.
He actually asked “What part of no don’t you understand”? The man who has apparently sexually harassed women to the point that they left their jobs with a settlement actually said “What part of no don’t you understand”.
@Gin & Tonic:
Yup. We’re all cool and into it here at BJ. But G&T is right. Average voters won’t give a rip about the China comment or the finance mishandling. OTOH, it may slow the campaign cash, which could shorten the grift just a bit.
Howard Fineman just said the same thing so he must have read your post.
Dude, the daughter. Marine. Background: she’s been trying to “clean up” her party’s image after her dad irreparably ruined it by denying the Holocaust, pushing for amnesty for WW2 collaborators, and accusing the former president of being controlled by “international Jewish interests.”
It’s a hard image to clean up, I admit, especially when your “recanto” isn’t even remotely sincere, and you know it, and your followers know it, and the rest of the country know it. But it does give cover to some “respectable” racists who agree with the Jew-bashing and the immigrant-bashing, but find the old FN to be a little too shrill, a little too working-class and oh yes, a liiiittle too unpatriotic. (You know, being that the last time we put a bunch of antisemites in charge, they did a four-year stretch as Nazi Germany’s bitch, and that’s generally frowned upon in modern society).
And that, in turn, sucks some votes away from mainstream parties, which forces them to pay a little more attention to your “issues.” Which is what they’re going for.
Jay in Oregon
Imma let you finish, but I wanted to say that THIS IS THE BEST QUIP OF ALL TIME.
History of sexual harassment? Do we have any facts about this yet?
What an odd speculation. Maybe you intend this to be deeply conspiratorial, but I find it insulting to Americans and to president Obama. And note here that I don’t much give a rat’s ass about Cain.
She might be white, although I doubt it. And this happened when? Twelve years ago? If she WAS pretty, she might not have aged well. She might have some kind of “questionable” sexual history in the mean time.
If she wasn’t pretty (some men target plain women because they think the non-attractive will be “grateful for the attention”) and she isn’t white, she’ll have a really long row to hoe. Okay, Anita Hill was gorgeous, and so was Clarence Thomas’s other (uncalled) accuser. All the women who testified to his sterling character (“He never came on to ME!”) were…well, let’s just say they apparently were not to his taste.
However, it does look like there’s some DIRECT back-up for this woman’s story, otherwise she wouldn’t have gotten a year’s severance, and other people would not be popping out of the woodwork. And Cain handled the whole thing about as badly as it could have been handled.
I dunno. Hard to say. I kinda think he’s sunk, but not right away. This will bubble within his constituency for a while before he plunges.
I’m gonna make some popcorn, in any case.
As to who’s the next not-Romney? Hell, they’re running out, but I’m betting Gingrich gets another look.
Me? I’m just sitting back and enjoying the [shit] show!
Oh, Gosh! I sure hope I don’t run out of popcorn. This is too entertaining! Please, I gotta have much more of this. :)
My guy (ThymeZone on this blog) mentioned Jeb Bush yesterday and this morning I heard Andrea Mitchell on Joe Scarborough echo the same suggestion. I swear I think he has Andrea Mitchell on his Twitter account. It’s like the suggestion went from his keyboard right to the tv. LMAO
They won’t care. I expect to hear them fully defending the idea with “Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas married a snowflake”.
Another day and more incoherent babbling from Wrong Again Cole. Trying hard not to sound too stupid and avoid his uncontrollable itch to blame a one day drop in the stock market on this.
If Cain gains support because of the sexual harassment claims, will Perry then admit (or make up a story) that he too has been accused of sexual harassment and rather than pay off his accuser, he just had her disappeared? In the Modern Republican Party that might vault him into the lead.