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November 16th, 2011

Harassment and smoking among Cain’s many faults



Chris Stevenson

For a while I thought that Herman Cain was the voice that could bring some common sense to the Grand Ole Party. I mean, in the beginning, the Republicans had their kooks out in the forefront of their candidacy for President. Back then, no one thought seriously about the lone black man in the field. The rest were just some angry white people; a Texas Governor executing people in bunches and getting standing ovations for it. A woman who implied President Obama is doing a worse disservice to Black families than slavery era Black families endured, and a Mormon.

Over the course of several months, Cain wooed his way through Republican debates and stole many a show by virtually flaunting his inexperience in politics but vast experience in pizza. As time went on he rose higher and higher, until he unveiled his economic plan (there’s always an economic plan); "9-9-9" he called it. Michele Bachman called it 666, and for once she may have been right. Cain skipped his way to the top of the GOP polls as easily as he skipped over the civil rights movement. Several days after taking the lead in the CBS/New York Times Poll over Mitt Romney, accusations of sexual harassment have surfaced. It’s now being disclosed that during the time Cain was head of the NRA (not that NRA, but rather the National Restaurant Association) during the ‘90s, he ordered more thighs, legs and breasts than were on the menu. Two female employees reported him to senior officials about sexually harassing behavior. While at this point some of their identities remain secret, Politico has confirmed them, and Cain, though evasive in the beginning, didn’t deny anything until recently. Since the Politico report a 3rd and 4th have come forward, the 4th is a white female named Sharon Bialek.

Some of the women were reportedly given hush-money some time ago, as if that means something nowadays. I’m still wondering why a guy with all this power and money has to harass women. Shouldn’t they be pursuing him? I shouldn’t be rushing to judgment here. I don’t know the guy, but at times public figures give themselves away by their response. Cain’s reply for example, after a taping of "Face the Nation," was to take a long pause when asked "have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?" Understand the question was repeated three more times, with Cain reportedly taking deep breaths, and finally he in turn asked the reporter "Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?" That’s right Cain, it’s like eating potato chips, everybody’s doing it (guilty as hell). Regardless of what else he says, remember that response.

"One of the things in this campaign, is let Herman be Herman," said Cain in response to his smoking ad. Does the same apply to these sexual accusations? Herman Cain says racism doesn’t hold Blacks back - evidently neither does sexual harassment charges. At least not with some leading men calling themselves "Black conservatives." Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called the hearing over his accusation of sexual harassment by Anita Hill a "high tech lynching." It will be interesting to see what Cain will call this before the smoke is cleared.

Another trouble spot seems to be his choice of insiders - I call them Blockheads (I could have hit low and called them Koch-heads or Koch-Cain but a lot of y’all would be mad at me again). First is Mark Block, Cain’s Chief of Staff and reportedly the guy who talked him into running for President. Block is the principle in that internet smoking ad that is not impressing anyone except Herman Cain. He and Cain go way back. There’s also Rich Lowrie from Cleveland. On October 11th, Cain named Lowrie, the author of the 9-9-9 Federal tax overhaul, his "lead economist." And finally there is Cain’s longtime friends the Koch Brothers; Charles and David. These two have been grooming Cain to be in this position for years now; Cain spent years working for and promoting their right wing agenda under their Americans For Prosperity (AFP) and Prosperity Expansion Project (PEP). In fact, it was on these tours that Cain met Block.

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post wrote recently, "Just like it would be wrong to claim pizza is a low calorie  meal, Cain’s description of the plan’s impact on working Americans is highly misleading." Cain’s 9-9-9 represents a 9% flat-income tax, 9% business transactions tax, and a 9% Federal sales tax. Most of this is nothing more than another tax cut. You simply cannot solve the nation’s deficit problems with these cut-and-dry right-wing solutions. They don’t even qualify as a quick fix.

While I recognized in the beginning Cain’s potential in making the 2012 Presidential Election the first all-black candidate race, it’s becoming clearer to me now that white Republicans have gone and found themselves another black Dr. Zachary Smith, and this one may be more lost in space than Clarence Thomas or Allen Keys. Conspicuously missing with Cain is the hard-core, know-it-all scrutinizing from the Alex Joneses, the KRS-1s, and Professor Griffs of the world. Cain seems to escape the lengthy, harsh invectives and conspiratorial video presentations they reserved for Obama. Hmm.

5 / 5 (1 Votes)

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