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Embarrassed and disgusted

Embarrassed and disgusted

by the behavior of numerous “conservatives” and “libertarians” on Twitter dancing on Herman Cain’s (presumed) political grave.

Let’s sum up the “facts” as they are known right now.  Mostly unnamed people accused Herman Cain of unspecified conduct which some people who will not specify the people or the conduct have deemed “inappropriate.”  And one of the unnamed people received a piddly $35,000 severance package almost 15 years ago for unspecified conduct which included conduct unrelated to Cain.

That’s what’s known now.  Maybe actual facts will come out proving that Cain did something wrong, but those facts are not out now.

Insisting on actual facts before a major conservative politician is taken down is not “selling out our minds.”

Cain has seriously messed up the situation and his campaign with an inconsistent response and a blame game, but does this justify the gloating and pure happiness being exhibited at the media feeding frenzy?

We really are our own worst enemies.

Update 11-3-2011:  Several commenters and Dan Riehl (Bill Jacobson Has A Logic Problem To Solve) argue that Herman Cain’s unproven accusations about the Perry campaign somehow are relevant to evaluating the accusations against Cain in the media.  I disagree, as that “illogically” simply tries to justify one wrong by pointing to another wrong.  Additionally, at least with Cain’s claim that the Perry campaign was behind the Politico story we know the accuser (Cain) and the substance of the accusation (a current Perry campaign adviser, Curt Anderson, used information he learned when he advised Cain’s senatorial campaign in 2004) which allows the Perry campaign to respond specifically (Anderson denies it).  As pointed out in the original post, Cain’s “blame game” has hurt him, and it is fair to criticize him for it, but that does not excuse the sheer exuberance with which many conservatives have jumped on the Politico bandwagon.


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The best comment so far that I’ve seen is, “Let’s wait for some facts.”

Hear, hear. Yep, lety’s wait for the facts yet Professor, you’re correct that Cain’s campaign should have a consistent response to the accusations in so far as these are known.

[…] PROF. JACOBSON: Insisting on actual facts before a major conservative politician is taken down is not “selling out… […]

BannedbytheGuardian | November 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Goes to show how hard it is to make Wurzel a desirable surname. Nathan is not working for me.

Nothing going for it.

When Cain was asked about this at the Press Club dinner, he should have turned the tables and asked the audience this question: “How many of you in the audience would put your name, your reputation and the reputation of your news organization on what Politico published? Stand up if you would.” Not a single person would have stood up and the story and Politico’s reputation would be dead as a doornail. That’s all he needed to say.

[…] » Embarrassed and disgusted – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not big on Cain at all, but these facts suggest there was very little merit to the claims. Anyone arguing these settlements mean he even probably did something wrong is talking from hope, not from reality. If you have good counsel, and a strong claim, you almost never settle for less than the cost of defense of the claim (there are some exceptions, but they are few and far between, and hardly lend themselves to assuming that’s whats going on here.)
Our prejudices, and this goes to all Americans, are our worst enemy, they blind us to reality and encourage us to pick an option based on initial impression rather than objective deliberation. Few things are worse for a democracy.

I was behind Cain due to the questionable source – Politico is an Obama/leftist propaganda outfit, most of its principals were charter members of the “Journolist” secret attempt to manage and massage the news behind the scenes so every story fit the leftist narrative – but then he started talking.

Sorry, but the man had a ten-day warning the attack was coming, and STILL can’t keep his own story straight hour to hour? Went from a flat denial of wrongdoing to denying he knew of a “settlement” but then claimed he thought it was just an “agreement” not a “settlement” then said it was three months salary and turns out it was over a year’s pay.

And now a pollster who was present verifies the incident occurred and says there were other witnesses. A conservative Iowa radio host says Cain had a similar effect on his female staff.

Sorry, too much smoke not to be a fire somewhere when the protagonist is lying his butt off all over town.

This much is out two days after the story broke. There will be much more.

I despise Politico and the double standard Republicans face – Ted Kennedy kills a woman, Bill Clinton rapes a woman, Gerry Studds bends over an underage page, that’s cool with the press and the country, but Bob Packwood loses his seat for kissing, Gingrich for a consensual affair, Craig for signalling interest to an adult in a restroom.

But once a guy sets about lying to the public, he can’t ever be trusted again.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Estragon. | November 3, 2011 at 7:20 am

    What’s your proof that Cain is lying? Are you aware that man is a complex creature and that any one event can have a multivariety of explanations, each valid? Bush laid out many reasons for the Iraq war. The media ignored most of them then claimed Bush lied and changed his story. You wanted Cain to lay out reasons one to ten? He is. Yet you describe that as a changing story.

    Do you know that your post makes it seem that, to quote you, Cain’s “lie” is worse than what all those democrats you mentioned did?

    FrankNitti in reply to Estragon. | November 3, 2011 at 7:52 am

    well, just what do you think of barry? if in ’12 its cain vs barry which of these will be the most trustworthy? no doubt in my mind

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to Estragon. | November 3, 2011 at 9:10 am

    The “contradictions” you purport to describe are the product of your ignorance or duplicity or both.

I have a dream that one day all individuals will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their incidental features but by the allegations raised against them.

They first conducted a campaign to metaphorically rape Sarah Palin, and they have since moved on to attack Cain. Well, not quite. They still, apparently, have fond memories of exploiting her for profit. The depravity of our society is a progressive condition.

As for Palin, what substantiated facts have we ignored?

When, exactly, did the Left come to believe that women who say they are sexually harassed by powerful males are telling the truth? Kathleen Wiley and Paula Jones would probably like to know.

Professor, I would be curious as to your view about Cain’s accusation that the Perry camp is behind the story. It looks to me that their accusations against Perry are more baseless than the ones against Cain. The staffer connecting the two wasn’t even picked up by the Perry camp until after the story had been leaked to Politico. That obviously doesn’t mean that the accusations against Cain are fair, but it makes him quite a bit less sympathetic in my book.

I agree with waiting for the facts. Like the Cain campaign did when it accused the Perry campaign of planting the story. Or when Cain himself jumped on the WaPo N-rock story. I too am being draw into the Gingrich orbit who I believe will benefit tremendously from this sordid farce.

While I was never much impressed by Cain as a candidate, I think the Politico story was a shameful attempt to assassinate his character and destroy his candidacy by deploying an extremely thin set of facts in a way that sensationalized them on the correct theory that the charges alone would do the trick.

The best way to have handled this bit of his personal history when he decided to run for President would have been to orchestrate a leak himself — to a credible news outlet but one that would not blow it up and would treat him fairly — and then “admit” to it on the record with a positive spin on the facts (whatever they were) and a regretful tone (“it was an unfortunate episode for everyone involved and while I don’t believe I behaved inappropriately I can relate to others’ feelings and the experience led me to a deeper understanding of and respect for the women I’ve worked with”).

Alas, Cain has made his situation worse by his fumbling. He has one — skim — chance to recover if he moves quickly before this mess moves into its second week and everyone he annoyed in the past 40 years starts telling negative stories about him. He needs to go the hangout route by urging the restaurant group to release records and free the complainants from the non-disclosure agreement and then telling the entire tale — in excruciating detail if need be — and answering reporters’ questions. He needs to be forthright and leave nothing concealed that anyone might be interested in. He can put the most positive spin on the facts that is consistent with broad credibility. He can also provide a detailed explanation in writing while speaking a shorter version if that is less uncomfortable for him. It would be a big plus for his wife to stand with him and vouch for his character and the soundness of his marriage (given the nature of the revelations, it becomes a problem for him that his wife, unusually, is not part of his campaign.

Then he should fly off to a heavy schedule of planned events with real voters in Iowa. Then New Hampshire. Then South Carolina.

Let’s remember how quickly — overnight — the “issue” was transformed from sexual harassment to Cain’s flubbing and changing statements. And let’s remember that as far as we know, Cain was accused of crossing a subjective line of propriety by a couple of women in a 40 year career — not having extramarital affairs, not patronizing prostitutes, not propositioning teenage pages, not tweeting naked pics of himself to random women, not cruising for dates on Craigslist, not shacking up with boys, not even chasing his secretaries around a desk.

This is not to say his offenses were no big deal but he might just find that voters don’t care and the media firestorm will fade as long as there is no more fuel to add to the fire. No guarantees, but it is his one chance.

cain surely should have known that there was a good chance that this stuff might come up during his campaign. that he was unprepared for it and gave such an evolving response does not speak well for him. but how depressing it is that this sex scandal grabbed all the attention from the much more serious fact that he does not know that china is a major nuclear player!

This issue about Cain is a classic example of the question, WHO is the determinant of how YOU behave? Are you nothing but a vessel of reactions to other people’s behavior, or do you have some type of guiding compass that keeps you living your own life, vs the life others would have you live?

Cain is falling into the trap of being a vessel of responses to other people’s behavior. That said, he’s doing a fairly good job of keeping an even keel.

This entire ordeal is reminiscent of the low level TV reality shows in which people are (supposedly) put together to accomplish some objective. At least that is the pretext. But then, the producers of the show do everything they possibly do to foster conflict between the participants and create some type of lame drama.

The media is running wild with the Cain sexual harassment story even though there are no real facts, no identified accusers, no witnesses, etc. The media is thus trumping up crap for ratings. Are we that stupid to fall for this old media cliche?

[…] Let’s sum up the “facts” as they are known right now. Mostly unnamed people accused Herman Cai… And one of the unnamed people received a piddly $35,000 severance package almost 15 years ago for […]

Who — or what (I suspect it is a “what”) — is Nathan Wurtzel?

Did anyone else notice the “when did you stop beating your wife” meme?

Not only does this (not sure what to call it) attempt to insult people for insisting on having some facts before rendering judgement, it is trying to convince people that there were any facts involved in the attacks on Palin.

So my real question is (facts not withstanding): when it open season on a wurtzel?

On a more serious note: this is the reality our society has created. Our opponents are no longer an honorable opposition, they are (in their own minds) the enemy.

The enemy has adopted a Total War approach. They take no prisoners and they fight dirty. They have no honor. They will do whatever it takes — literally, without regard to Law or any other constraining factors — to win.

This is not news — or should not be news — to anyone. But Cain never prepared for this, as winning was not his intent when he entered the race.

Sometimes when people find them themselves in a bad spot they never anticipated, they react with courage and adaptablity — sometimes they don’t. Such situations, howver unfair the circumstances, take the “measure of the man.”

I sort of hate to say it, but so far Cain is not measuring up.

Stupid story and a stupid response.

Cain can’t seem to hit a curve ball, even when he knows it’s coming.

[…] Jacobson: Let’s sum up the “facts” as they are known right now. Mostly unnamed people accused Herman Cain of unspecified conduct which some people who will not specify the people or the conduct have deemed “inappropriate.” And one of the unnamed people received a piddly $35,000 severance package almost 15 years ago for unspecified conduct which included conduct unrelated to Cain. […]

Whoever Nathan Wurtzel is, he’s a coward who wants to be liked by the “cool kids.” He’s the kind of guy who’s more concerned with how he looks because he might possibly be affiliated with a group. Facts don’t matter to him. What matters is that his association choices don’t make him look bad. An idiot like Wurtzel will never move me a whit from defending Palin. She’s still the greatest and best hope for the restoration of America.

Everyone keeps saying that Cain knew everything back in 2003 to tell his staff. But, hasn’t he said all along that he knew back then that there were accusations and that he was aware of some, but not all, of the details of her separation and severance?

I’m not saying they’re guilty of what Cain claims, but I CAN see how it could have happened. All the old campaign guy needed to know were enough details to either call on others at the NRA or Rahm or whoever to plant the seed and let it out to Politico from there. It doesn’t sound to me that Herman or the old campaign staff knew how it was resolved.

Just my 2-cents.

So Mr. Cain, among other things, made his accusers “uncomfortable”?

Well, there are many more of us who feel “uncomfortable” … about our future, and that of our children and grandchildren, thanks to those in our Ruling Class — in BOTH major parties — who took it upon themselves to “solve” our problems FOR us and instead ran this nation into the ground.

And that is why we are COMFORTABLE with Herman Cain.

Frankly, I find his “flubs” refreshingly human, especially when juxtaposed against the One-marketed-as-Messiah currently in the White House … and the long-time denizens of the professional/political complex, with their professional groomers and friends-in-low-places and focus on winning uber alles, who are running against him in the primaries. One reason I am supporting Mr. Cain, is because he has not totally bought into the electoral paradigm of that Complex.

This is only damaging, if too many of us keep buying into the definition of “Presidential” perpetuated by the Ruling Class and their media allies … a definition which ignores substance in favor of easily-manipulated appearances.

Ruling Class, keep fiddling while liberty burns … we are on to what you do best, while we work to put out the fires you set …

Strain strain strain … strain those gnats!
Then fling ’em out, see if they’ll stick
From wherever you’re at …
As you swallow camels of dysfunction
‘Till your belly’s fat …
Strain strain strain … strain those gnats!

The trick is to never believe anything the left prints or says. Lies, suggestions and innuendos aren’t going to get it. It would be best to ignore theses allegations until facts come out proving or disproving them. And it would be best for the candidates involved to deny they are true. The dims do it all the time so why can’t we?

“As pointed out in the original post, Cain’s “blame game” has hurt him, and it is fair to criticize him for it, but that does not excuse the sheer exuberance with which many conservatives have jumped on the Politico bandwagon.”

That could be said of all carping and attacks I see and hear, on all the candidates, often on grounds that are utterly specious and for reasons that are just plain silly. To single this out in respect to Cain, but not Romney, or Perry, or Bachmann, creates the appearance of undue favoritism.

And I think the point of Riehl’s comment was not a one of “justification” (although I disagree with his use of logic). Riehl was pointing out that Cain did just what Politico did: leveled serious accusations without providing any basis.

The question of anonymous sources is immaterial to the point. Riehl (and the other commenters) was reacting to the appearance of outrage against Politico while appearing to soft-pedal the same sin made by Cain.

The sins in each case are equivalent: they each demand an equivalent response. Lack of that response sends the signal that: “Well, he’s my guy, so it is not as bad.”

If that is not true, it needs to be forcely refuted. Saying “it is fair criticize him for it” but not criticizing him for it creates the appearence of bias.

This weak response in the update does not help much.

Since when, in this latest political merry go round, does fact have any bearing whatsoever?

While Palin was being attacked, there were plenty of facts out there. Her entire career record and later, the 24,000 MSM email debacle. There were plenty of facts to refudiate the left’s lies.


And it will not matter this time with Cain. The meme is out now and the left, and some conservatives, have it between their teeth and they are not letting go. The damage has been done. Unfortunately Cain did not help matters.

This helps two people. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Liberal and liberal lite.

[…] a lot of people, I’m guilty of finding amusement—perhaps too much amusement—in the charges by anonymous women that Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually […]

I agree with Owen J. The response doesn’t fit the question. As I acknowledged in my earlier post, Cain blaming Perry doesn’t make Cain guilty of sexual harassment; however, it does make him guilty of the same sort of baseless accusation that Cain’s supporters have been bemoaning when it comes to Politico, but apparently us not overly problemmatic when Cain engages in it (“it is fair to criticize Cain for the blame game” but “embarrassed and disgusted” that people find it very odd that Cain has been completely unable to answer the attack.

The distinction between the Cain and Perry accusations is poor, and I don’t think it would hold up in court.

As the Professor puts it: Cain’s accusation against Perry has an accuser (Cain), an allegation (“(a current Perry campaign adviser, Curt Anderson, used information he learned when he advised Cain’s senatorial campaign in 2004) and a response (Anderson denies it).

Similarly, the Politico story has an accuser (Politico, and if you believe Cain, Perry), an allegation (that Cain had settled sexual harassment charges with two women, at least one of whom was named to him when the story broke) (Moreover, these allegations have pretty much been admitted to be true at this point, the question is now about the underlying behavior, but the settlements happened), and a response, in fact, multiple responses, which the Professor helpfully acknowledged has made the situation worse.

I should have added that a response was possible. If Cain could have truthfully said, “I have never settled a sexual harassment case’ that would have ended it. (Denial, which is apparently enough in the Professor’s example). He also could have said, “Yes, I settled a sexual harassment case. It was cheaper to settle than fight it in court. I maintain I did nothing wrong, the parties agreed to settle and the matter is behind us,” which similarly would have defused the situation.

Though at this point all the charges seem small potatoes compared to what President Clinton clearly did and which the media did not deem relevant to his presidential duties.

But Mark Block’s screaming about oppo from other campaigns and Cain’s trying to pin down the source of the leak (instead of deal with the allegations) don’t give a lot of hope about how President Cain will respond to criticism when in the White House.

It’s been mere days. Let the facts come out. Talk about getting a rush in a rush to judgment.

Apparently many people think it acceptable to judge Cain and find him guilty of offenses yet detailed/proven or even claimed other than anonymously but still criticize Cain for blaming the Perry camp without what they feel is the necessary proof. Bottom line – Cain can be guilty without proof but Perry can’t be?

I honestly don’t know what to think because I’ve yet to hear what the man actually did other than “he made her uncomfortable.”

    Owen J in reply to katiejane. | November 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    A review of the comments would seem to show that many people are giving Cain the benefit of the doubt on the sexual harrasment charges and critizing him for the unsubstantiated attack on Perry.

    Based on what is actually known at this point, both views would seem to be appropriate.

[…] ago, when while scanning Memeorandum, I chanced upon law professor William A. Jacobson’s post on the Cain kerfuffle*: Let’s sum up the “facts” as they are known right now.  Mostly unnamed people accused […]

If only that were true other places – seems like many sites have worked themselves into a lather over how unfair it is to blame Perry, etc. I guess if I were in the Cain campaign I might be inclined to consider that the camp competing for the same conservative voters could be the source of the negative stuff.

There are legitimate reasons to argue that Cain and Palin should not be President. Apparently these reasons count for little in today’s politics. It’s appalling to watch the Left and Right fixating on trivia which are negligible in the context of our national crises.

    gs in reply to gs. | November 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Afterthought: appalling though it currently is, I prefer democracy to governance by the national and transnational Ruling Classes.

[…] it is more than we’ve been getting from Politico and the rest of the MSM. But even still, we don’t know the facts yet beyond any shadow of […]

[…] been surreal and sad to watch. But then, this explains why we’ve gotten McCain, Bush, Dole, and Bush the elder as […]

TeaParty = Predominantly white, significantly racist, militaristic, narcissistically selfish, vicious in its hostility to the poor, deeply undemocratic, profoundly ignorant and deluded, heavily paranoid, wooden-headed, and over reliant on right-wing news…” Any questions?