Monday, November 7, 2011

Cain Is Probably Finished

Yet a fourth woman is making serious, detailed allegations, and she is willing to appear in public and identify herself.  Yes, having Gloria Allred as your attorney immediately damages your credibility.  Yes, it is entirely possible that this is a lie, put together by Cain's political enemies.  But unlike the previous allegations, which were very shadowy, and might be turned into a question of misinterpretation, these allegations are concrete, and are not even slightly a matter of misinterpretation.

Cain has two choices: he can either file a slander suit against this woman, or he can withdraw from the race.  If there is any truth to her allegations, he is only fit to be President of the United States if he runs as a Democrat.  (Think of Bill Clinton, but prepared to take "No" for an answer.)  If he is not willing to file a slander suit against this woman, then he is either afraid of what might come out, or he is not serious about his candidacy.  There is nothing subtle or vague about this, unlike the previous allegations that have appeared.

Maybe he will not win a slander suit, even if he is in the right.  But refusing to sue under these conditions is essentially an admission that he is afraid of the results.

UPDATE: What really freaks me out are the comments that I am seeing by more than a few Cain defenders that are trying to argue that because this woman was not an employee, the alleged behavior was not technically sexual harassment, and should not disqualify Cain for the nomination.  Even if technically true, the alleged behavior certainly qualifies as sexual assault.  Even worse: if we are going to find that sort of behavior acceptable, we might as well elect someone like Bill Clinton.

UPDATE 2: Fascinating: Sharon Bialek may not be that kind of girl--but Michelle Malkin reports that one of the several cases involving her in Chicago court records is this:
Filing Date: 10/22/1999 Case Type: PET TO ESTABLISH PARENTAGE (NON-IV-D)
Division: Domestic Relations Division District: First Municipal
Ad Damnum: $0.00 Calendar: 99
Party Information
Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s)
3000 DUNDEE RD#415
(847) 272-2800
Date of Service Defendant(s) Attorney(s)
This is about two years after the supposed groping incident with Herman Cain.  She either has abominable taste in men, or is a little weak on this concept that it is best to get some sort of commitment before having children with someone.  Maybe it doesn't shed any light on her credibility, but it does make me less inclined to trust her.


  1. He should announce that in light of the recent accusations, he is changing his affiliation to Democrat, and continuing his bid for the White House. If he could possibly have Bill Clinton at his side, that would be priceless! After the laughter died down, SOME people would have a Damascus moment. It would truly be a moment from The Onion.
    But I think he is toast.

  2. Sorry, but I'm not convinced yet. Allred's credibility is non-existent as far as I'm concerned. There's a lot of money interested in seeing Herman Cain go away.

    And the fact that the Restaurant Association may have settled claims mean noting. Settlements of the size described would be a small fraction of the cost of preparing for trial, much less going to trial. And, there's the fact that if the Restaurant Association carried insurance, the decision of whether to settle would be in the hands of the insurance company, who would always go for a little hit rather than risk a major hit from a jury.

    That this behavior by insurers encourages false claims is a serious moral issue, but it's a fact of life today.

  3. I see at least a couple of problems here:

    Do you see any way he could prosecute a slander suit at the same time he's running for President and win both the nomination and November election?

    Sounds doubtful to me, which suggest our enemies---even if Cain is 100% guilty---have found another way to destroy their opponents.

    Counter argument: Cain could drop out and sue, and try again in 4-8 years, although at age 65 eight years is probably too long for him.

    Do you see any way he's likely to win a slander suit, assuming this meeting did occur? How often do people win these sorts of slander suits nowadays? For that matter, given that he's a public figure, might New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and its ilk come into play?

  4. Bill:

    I agree that the settlements by the NRA don't mean much of anything. The nebulous nature of the claims leads me to suspect that someone does not want a serious analysis of the claims.

    Allred is definitely a strong argument against believing the latest claim: but this is at least a serious charge with an actual accuser. Cain needs to demonstrate that he believes it is false, and filing suit is the only effective way to do that. If he does not file suit, he is done.


    While Sullivan seriously damaged libel law, it did not kill it for public figures. Carol Burnett won a pretty major libel suit against the National Enquirer some years back for a statement that met the requirements:

    1. false statement
    2. statement that they knew was false, or that they were negligent in failing to determine its truth or falsity
    3. damaging to reputation.

    If the accusation against Cain is false, the woman making the accusation knows whether it is false or not. This isn't a question about whether he said something that might be misunderstood as sexually suggestive.

    Is this statement damaging to Cain's reputation? Absolutely. It is a deal-breaker when running for President of the U.S. (unless you are a Democrat).

    I see no reason why a lawsuit against her would prevent Cain from continuing his run. He does not have that much to do--just send his lawyers into court to sue. This is not something that Cain can or should laugh off. At a minimum, Mrs. Cain is, I hope, looking for some evidence that her husband isn't a lecherous creep.

  5. Good points on Sullivan (the though that 2 and 3 wouldn't apply since it's not going through a 3rd party did occur to me) although I was also wondering about subsequent case law.

    To go a little further, again assuming the accuser doesn't get tripped up by possibly provable details like their not having met at this time, how does Cain prove slander, a "false statement", in a "he says, she says" situation? He'd be trying to prove a negative and that's rather difficult, absent some Perry Mason style destroy the witness on the stand dramatics. Unless, of course, she starts flaking out and changing her story or the like.

    Going after her character (assuming a court would even allow that and that there's something there) wouldn't win him any friends....

    I guess my point is, if you assume he's innocent and she and her handlers don't impeach themselves, how is this not Game Over?

  6. One way that Cain could prove that her statement is false would be if he did not actually meet her, and could prove that he was not in the same city on the night of the alleged incident. Not likely of course; if this is a setup, they have probably researched his schedule to make sure that this isn't possible.

    If Cain could prove that elements of her story are demonstrably false, such as the upgraded hotel room: that would cast doubt on her integrity.

    And yes, a skilled attorney can demolish a witness on the stand. One of the advantages of telling the truth is that you don't have to remember who you told which lie to: just tell what you remember, and you can't get in trouble.

    Can he prove that she is telling a lie? Not very likely. But failing to file suit is going to be interpreted by many as evidence that he is afraid to pursue a slander suit. If she is lying--and I would like to believe that she is--then it is imperative for the public good to make it expensive for her to tell lies. If she isn't lying, or if she is exaggerating what happened, we need to know now, before more revelations come out that will make Cain a loser to Obama in the general election.

  7. Let me take a step back from the details of this case, where I don't see much difference between the two of us, except I don't see her suffering for lying ("bearing false witness" to use a more appropriate phrase, this is much worse than a "normal" lie if it is one) unless she turns out to be enough of a flake the Dem establishment drops her like a hot potatoe.

    See this item by Dr. Helen, the Instawife (who we therefore can assume is no social conservative): Conservatives: Don’t Play into Alinsky’s Hands. It starts with this Rules for Radicals quote: "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this...".

    On the one hand, I find it difficult to argue with her point that this is "political suicide". On the other hand, our side is demonstrably a lot more moral (e.g. compare how the visibly fallen on our side resign) and that's one of the things that defines is, or to put it crassly, this is part of our Unique Selling Proposition and I don't see us wining by abandoning it.

    So my question is, how can we win in this environment? Or should I simply buy a copy of Mackay's The Breakdown of the Roman Republic: From Oligarchy to Empire (which you implicitly recommended, although it's rather pricey), brush up on Stoicism, etc. etc. and hope I die before The Long Night?

    A friend keeps reminding me of Jerry Pournelle's admonition that despair is a sin ... and I survived and remember vividly the '70s, and it's certainly a bit early for that, but I don't sense we have a long time to right the ship of state; e.g. see Mark Steyn's essay "The Case for Pessimism" which pounds home the fact that the Federal government is borrowing a half billion dollars every hour....

    Thing is, much of Obama's "Shock and Awe Socialism" has just been turning up existing trends to 11. Others have been making the point that our party and country's elites have been picking our presidential nominees after Reagan, and I'll note the example of how too many of Romney's environmental people have ended up in Obama's EPA; my father and I are already debating if we can vote for Romney if he gets the nomination (and we couldn't care less about his secret underwear).

    Well, I'm rambling now ... I guess my perhaps unfair question to you is, how do we, how can we win or at least "survive in style", especially if we extend the time line to the lives of our children and their descendants?

  8. Even ignoring the moral case, Cain just told another *big* lie: "I do not remember this woman's name, I do not remember this woman's face, I do not remember this woman's voice."

    Except that 14 months ago, he did.

    (Another, because he first said that he had no knowledge of the settlements, then later said he did.)