Original post made by Tom Cushing on Nov 30, 2011
So we are blessed with a constant spectacle of crime-fighting pols caught with expensive hookers, intercontinental hikes along the Appalachian Trail, footsie in the airport men's room and stained blue dresses. One newly-appointed governor even got the jump on us by pre-announcing his (and his wife's) past infidelities, before anybody had thought to inquire on the subject.
More typically, though, indignant denials beget humble confessions, complete (until recently, at least) with wrong-ed spouse followed, after a decent interval, by redemption on cable news programs. Which is what makes this week's plot twist interesting: the unconventional campaign of unconventional candidate Herman Cain has unconventionally followed last week's indignant denials with a new twist -- the Consenting Adults defense. Through an aide, he has floated the intriguing notion that it's simply none of our collective business.
Whatever else that line of attack represents (a tacit admission, for instance), it does beg the question: apart from its salacious entertainment value, are there legitimate, public policy bases to care about this candidate's nocturnal meanderings?
It seems to me that there are at least three reasons why this might be the public's business perhaps readers can supply more.
First, for the long-married Mr. Cain, there is the question of character and commitments. Past is prologue, and an individual (okay, a man, as this seems to be a chiefly male-dominated sport) who ignores the most fundamental vow of his adulthood is not likely to be steadfast in his political promises. In the extended seduction of campaign season, voters want to surrender themselves to someone who will stick around past breakfast.
Second, and somewhat contextually, is the issue of hypocrisy. A candidate who touts his family values and the tenure of his marriage, prominently sings in the choir and espouses taking personal responsibility for one's outcomes ought not to be exposed, in flagrante delicto, in a decade-long affair with another woman. As indicated, this factor will somewhat depend on the political positions previously assumed, but nobody runs on the Adulterers' ticket.
Finally, bad behaviors can leave a person vulnerable to blackmail. The Nevada Senator in the Godfather movies was a willing stooge after he'd been drugged and photographed with a murdered prostitute. Although many of the platform planks of Mr. Cain's Grand Old Party might better be explained by extortion than sound public spirit, I would prefer my President to be unsusceptible to such pressure.
So I am guessing that the Consenting Adults defense will have a short and undistinguished career. Like the ridiculous campaign video image of his campaign manager puffing away on a cigarette, it is an ill-considered move. We may have seen the last of it, with good reason and riddance. Some conventions are worth keeping.
on Nov 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm
You conveniently left out the credibility of Cain's accuser. Web Link
on Nov 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm
I believe your concluding noun should be plural. And this is from the article you linked:
"Ms. White spoke slowly and in a monotone in response to Mr. Stephanopoulos's questions. She seemed calm, if somewhat reserved. But more than her demeanor, it's her phone records that appear to be the most important evidence of an affair that she has produced so far.
And on Wednesday morning she produced more records. She gave ABC phone bills showing contact with Cain's private cellphone number into the fall ‚Ä" all the way up to mid-November.
‚ÄúNovember 8, 13, 14 ‚Ä" he's texting you all month long," said Stephanopoulos. He sounded astonished.
‚ÄúThat's correct. Our communication was up until just last week," said White.
Wow. If this is true, Cain was in contact with a mistress during the very period when he was beset by revelations that he had been hit with sexual harassment complaints in the past. Was he trying to get White to stay quiet?
‚ÄúNo," said White. ‚ÄúNever in a million years did he think I would speak out.""
It seems to me that with every new revelation, and accuser, the probability that EVerybody is doing him wrong diminishes significantly. I guess we'll see, soon enough.
on Nov 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm
Although many politicians have been caught having extra-maritial affairs, I believe the only politician who had an affair AND committed perjury under oath when denying the affair, was Bill Clinton. Having no respect for marriage vows AND having no respect for the rule of law and lying under oath about it, showed his absolute lack of character. Those who try to glorify Bill Clinton's presidency have a very short memory of his disgraceful conduct in committing adultery, AND perjury when lying about it under oath.