Herman Cain is No Clarence Thomas

November 3rd, 2011 at 10:00 am | 38 Comments |

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Liberal pundits attributing Herman Cain’s unlikely rise to his role as racial scapegoat may now rest their voices: Conservatives themselves will prove their case from here.

After the sexual harassment story broke, Cain saw the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter rush to his defense. Coulter immediately invoked Justice Clarence Thomas in his own words: “This is another high-tech lynching.” Another already? It’s only been 21 years!

This isn’t to imply that Cain is guilty of any egregious act, or that the incidents in question were disqualifying to his candidacy—bad policy proposals and complete unfamiliarity with global affairs will take care of that. And the facts surrounding the two accusations are obfuscated enough behind legal and journalistic embargoes that one wonders why Politico ran the story before it was more fully baked. Tuesday’s revelation that one of Cain’s accusers was given one year’s severance of $35,000 also suggests behavior that hardly reached Dominique Strauss-Kahn levels.

But conservative comparison to Clarence Thomas in Cain’s immediate defense has been more revealing than the story itself. Is it possible that a nationally untested candidate for high office with no formal vetting has events in his past that might raise some questions? Of course. But rather than debunk the story for its several glaring weaknesses, the far right muscle memory recalls its last rally behind a racial pariah. Nevermind that many blacks have managed to be Republicans WITHOUT accusations of sexual misconduct.

Apparently, the moment such charges are levied at a conservative black man the particulars hardly matter. While Clarence Thomas was a debatable nominee for the nation’s highest court, he was a graduate of one of America’s most prestigious law schools and has displayed an adept legal mind—whatever one thinks of its various conclusions.

Cain, on the other hand—whether being unaware of the Palestinian “right of return” policy, flippantly dismissing the need to know the president of “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” or confessing ignorance of the neoconservative movement—revels in an intellectual vacuum and leverages cluelessness for “true conservative” credibility. To compare the two is laughable.

In an appearance on “Hannity”, Ann Coulter described black conservatives by asserting: “Our blacks are so much better than their blacks.”

Message received, Ann: As far as you’re concerned, “our blacks” are all the same.

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38 Comments so far ↓

  • armstp

    There is no proof that allegations against Cain or the media’s treatment of those allegations has anything to do with race. That was also the case for Clarence Thomas.

    If anyone can actually prove that there is race at play at all here, I would like to see that proof.

    Only those claiming that this has something to do with race are the ones actually bringing race into the discussion or media coverage and that is likely racism.

    ****

    Let me remind those who are running to support Cain that there are now three women making the accusations. You can maybe explain away one woman as being disgruntled or something, but not two or now three. That is the main problem Cain has with the story. Multiple women of which two of them complained years ago, so it was not political.

    • Marioth

      There were also more women waiting in the wings at Thomas’ hearings, but it was shut down by chairman Joe Biden when the high-tech lynching comment hit. None of these women, including Anita Hill, has benefited in any way before or since.

      Joe Biden made a terrible mistake. The proper response should have been, “Judge Thomas, at the end of a lynching, someone always dies. No one has threatened your life here today, and you make a mockery of actual lynching victims with your thoughtless words. It makes me question your fitness to serve, and you will not be receiving my vote. Next witness.”

      Cain is no Clarence Thomas; he’s not nearly slick enough.

    • Clovis4

      The best thing that ever happened to Clarence Thomas was him being accused of sexual harassment. It took the narrative off the fact that he was completely unqualified to sit on the Supreme Court, and his tenure there has not changed that fact. If there were ever a poster child of an incompetent rising to heights he does not deserve, it is Clarence Thomas. What is even more striking is his complete inability to even grow into the job. His continued placement on that court diminishes its stature.

    • Primrose

      Also, apparently she complained to a board member that very night. So that makes it seem much more likely to be true. If we want to compare this to Clarence Thomas, we can say that a credible women makes an allegation and the Republicans suddenly discover the pervasiveness of “racism”.

  • kirk

    When you need an electrician, be sure to call a plumber…

  • Watusie

    “Liberal pundits attributing Herman Cain’s unlikely rise to his role as racial scapegoat “

    WTF? You must know of some liberal pundits that I do not. Please provide examples of this phenomenon you’ve just described.

    “And the facts surrounding the two accusations are obfuscated enough behind legal and journalistic embargoes that one wonders why Politico ran the story before it was more fully baked.”

    They tried for ten days to get an intelligible response out of the Cain campaign. Ten days! Don’t blame Politico for Cain trying to wish the story away. They had a choice to reward his stonewalling or run the story on the conviction that their sources were reliable. Their judgement has been thoroughly vindicated.

  • ottovbvs

    Regardless of the issues involved in the Cain imbroglio Conservatives seem to have scored two spectacular own goals by first playing the race card (“our blacks are better than your blacks) and then invoking the sexual harassment charges at the Clarence Thomas hearings as essentially similar. Even the high tech lynching cliche got dragged out again. Go knock yourself out conservatives. Make it a threefor

  • djmeph

    Yes, let’s please go back to talking about how Herman Cain would make a terrible president.

  • LFC

    “While Clarence Thomas was a debatable nominee for the nation’s highest court, he was a graduate of one of America’s most prestigious law schools and has displayed an adept legal mind—whatever one thinks of its various conclusions.”

    Wow. I’d love to see some basis for that comment.

  • LFC

    Yow. Cain is now accused of sexual harassment by FIVE (count ‘em, FIVE) women:

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/11/drip-drip-drip.html

    This could actually impact his planned career path of being a well paid pundit. (We all know he’s not serious about the President thing.)

    • armstp

      His running for President seems to be backfiring for him. I assume he is only running for President for monetary reasons; sell books and to get paid more for speeches. He may end up with no one willing to pay him for anything, if the sexual harrassment thing blows way open. However, I am sure he has already made his millions, so we do not need to worry about him going forward.

    • tommyudo

      Sounds like Herman has gone from the 999 Plan to the 69 Plan.
      The condescending and sanctimonious Right Wingers who like to refer to “our blacks are better than their blacks” betray their own bigotry. Like you own them?

      I wonder how these pompous race card phonies like Limbaugh are going to react if these handful of women turn out to be white. Of course, if they are an ethnic variety, the Right will spin it to make Herman just being a “player.”

      • ottovbvs

        “Sounds like Herman has gone from the 999 Plan to the 69 Plan.”

        Brilliant Tommy. Just the sort of line I like.

  • nwahs

    From a media standpoint, the handling of this case is exactly like the DSK case and exactly like the Durham, NC case. They are pitting a pious, abstract victim against “evil” power and privilege, and that should sicken you more than any other aspect of this case.

    I can’t wait till a face is put on the accuser.

    • armstp

      This is nothing like the DSK or the Durham NC case. There is more than one accuser here, which makes a huge difference, and the Retail Association paid these women money to go away, which can very well be taken as an admission of guilt.

    • Watusie

      Accusers, nwahs – plural. I’m not sure how many we are up to this morning. I do know that one of them is a powerful conservative talk radio host in Iowa, which puts a teeny weeny damper on your thesis.

      It is within Herman Cain’s power to grant your wish and “put a face on the accusers” – he can ask the NRA to release them from their confidentiality agreement.

      Why hasn’t he?

      • nwahs

        There is nothing preventing this third accuser from telling their story. Why no name and no details? “Inappropriate hand gestures?” What, he shot her the middle finger? That makes someone a degenerate?

        Why is the media protecting the 3rd accuser? There’s no non-disclosure agreement involved there. She’s making the allegations. Put her face and name out there so if she is a nut job, that will become apparent. Until then, it seems to be nothing but piling on. They even had a guy claiming to have witnessed the infractions, but again, no name, no face, no details, and no non-disclosure agreement preventing that.

        Where are the details from these people who are not bound by any NDA?

        • Watusie

          You mean you want to know why does the media insist on protecting the identity of people who speak to them on the condition of anonymity? SRSLY???

          There are currently 5 accusers. You already know the names of the two men. You know that there were two who were paid off by the NRA and can’t come forward until the NRA permits them to. So tell me, what is so magic about the 5th accuser? Why MUST you know all about her? Why is her identity so much more relevant than the two women who made contemporaneous complaints which were taken seriously enough to result in payouts?

          Other than grasping as straws, I mean.

        • nwahs

          The men aren’t giving details either. At this point it is ALL innuendo. Five people and NO details. You think the media should be proud of that?

        • nwahs

          “Why is her identity so much more relevant than the two women who made contemporaneous complaints which were taken seriously enough to result in payouts?”

          Certain industries are more apt to pay off nuisance suits than others, and the hospitality industry is one of them. WalMart might fight you tooth and nail over a slip and fall but I don’t think most restaurants or hotels will, certainly not for $35,000.

        • Watusie

          “but I don’t think most restaurants or hotels will, certainly not for $35,000″

          Jump the shark time. Anyone out there know of any restaurants out there that will blithely fork out $35,000 settlements?

    • wileedog

      “I can’t wait till a face is put on the accuser.”

      Accusers. Plural. And there are 2 men, a GOP staffer and a conservative radio talk show host who are claiming they witnessed “inappropriate behavior” in how Cain treated some of his female staffers.

      The DSK comparison doesn’t hold up.

      • nwahs

        Yes, and those tales are void of details and there is no NDA in place preventing them from giving details and their name. You can dress up innuendo like a pig but its still innuendo.

        • Watusie

          So, nwahs, you dismiss the report by the white male conservative talk radio host from Iowa on the grounds that…well, I don’t know, really, but somehow it just isn’t good enough to convince you. Then you wonder why Cain’s most recent female accuser won’t give a hate-filled partisan like yourself access to her home address and place of employment.

          I was hoping all three women would come forward, but contemplating your behavior this morning I now think instead if I were their lawyer I’d advise reticence on the simple grounds that quite obviously nothing is ever, ever going to satisfy you, and you’ll then feel justified in persecuting them for daring to dent your shiny new love interest.

        • nwahs

          That’s absurd.
          #1 I don’t give a rats ass if the innuendo is coming from a “white conservative talk show host.”

          #2 Its innuendo

          #3 Its innuendo

        • Watusie

          Either you don’t know what the man said, or you don’t know what the word “innuendo” means.

        • wileedog

          “there is no NDA in place preventing them from giving details and their name.’

          Uh, yeah there is for two of them. They are not allowed to give any specifics, and I’m sure they don’t want to announce their name and go through the Media Inquisition for no reason, as they are not allowed to tell their side of the story.

          Look I’m not convicting Cain either, I fully acknowledge these could have been minor misunderstandings or cases of him saying something he thought was funny which someone took as offensive and were quickly settled. You’re right that anyone who says they can definitively call Cain an offender is wrong.

          But you can’t deny the pattern here as just some media attempt to gin up a case against him either. 5 people claiming to have been subject to or witnesses to this kind of behavior is not a witch hunt, its a disturbing trend. Two of the accusers have already gotten settlements and one declined her chance to a decade ago – this isn’t a money angle for them. So why drum up false accusations?

          Cain’s behavior since the story broke has done little to alleviate the matter either.

      • tommyudo

        One of the main reasons, if not the MAIN reason these women haven’t come forward is that they know they will be flayed alive by the Right Wing echo chamber, including, no doubt, death threats, This is the way the Right operates.

    • Primrose

      Power is not itself evil unless you abuse it, which is what Mr.Cain is accused of, abusing power.

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  • budgiegirl

    i was with you until the “adept legal mind” comment….. really? sure, whatever you say, antonin.

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  • Graychin

    “Conservatives” become irate when anyone accuses them of racism for their refusal to accept the legitimacy of the presidency of the Hated Kenyan.

    But when a problem arises with a conservative black Republican, it MUST be due to racism. Right?

    I expect most of the exploitation of Cain’s sexual harassment problem to come from his Republican opponents and their supporters. Liberals and Democrats would be perfectly happy for Cain to win the Republican nomination. Easy pickings for the Hated Kenyan.

    (Mr. Gatsby – everyone knows that Ann Coulter says outrageous and stupid things. It’s what she does for a living. Quoting her adds nothing to any argument.)

  • Houndentenor

    I’m already sick of this. The complaints against his were made years ago. It is a fact that the complains were filed and that the company he worked for paid off the women who filed the complaints. How is it a “lynching” or a form of racial bias when facts become public knowledge?

    • nwahs

      This story is 5 days old and there are no facts about what happened. You don’t know if he made an off color joke, shot someone the middle finger, or groped someone. All you have is innuendo.

  • Steve D

    Cain’s no Clarence Thomas. But then, Clarence Thomas is no Judge Wapner. He’s not even a Judge Harry T. Stone.

  • Rick123

    Too bad. I was really hoping Cain would be the nominee. He truly is the candidate that Republicans deserve. A blow-hard former talk radio show host and motivational speaker, but a no-nothing when it comes to policy. Why don’t they just nominate Rush and get it over with?