Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Lincoln, U.S. Grant, DSK, and My Mother: Didn't Herman Cain in Fact Behave Like a Gentleman?

As Abraham Lincoln once said (quoting an old-timer he knew from his Kentucky childhood):
It's been my experience that folks who have no vices have generally very few virtues.
More famously, when told that his most successful general was a drunkard, or an alcoholic, Lincoln replied that he wanted to find out which brand of whiskey Ulysses Simpson Grant drank — so that he could send a barrel of the beverage to each of his other generals.

Offhand, I am tempted to lend credence to the Sharon Bialek woman (although you can hardly deny that she does look like a bimbo), but in any case, I don't care — especially with what is at stake (Obama's plans for transforming America, etc). Like Dr. Helen says to Andrew Klavan, don't fall into the Alinsky trap.

In any case, Cain backed off immediately. Like my mother quipped (before Nancy Reagan), shaking her head at all the feminists' ranting and raving and lawsuits and other hysterics, "Just say No!" (which seems to be exactly what Bialek did).

What seems surprising is not how many claimants there are, but how few. And how soon the "harassment" ended (one single No each time sufficed).

The Deeper Problem

On Ann Althouse's blog (thanks to Instapundit), a commenter says that
Republicans would look pretty stupid to defend Cain after all the fuss over Clinton and Edwards.
The main problem conservatives have regarding the Clinton and Edwards cases is not the sex they had but the liberals' and the MSM's double standards.
99% of the comments here [on Althouse's blog] are in defense of Cain and reflect an overwhelming belief that all of the women are just out and out liars.
99% of us do not believe, we… know (!)
1) that the Left and the MSM has double standards for liberals and conservatives (Clinton and Edwards vs. Thomas and Cain)
2) and that the feminists and the PC crowd have gone overboard with their attempts to demonize men for their every action, thought, and instinct as men (see Stephen Baskerville's Taken Into Custody:The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family), and that (as a result) in many cases, the latest scandal and the latest accusations against men, in general or against one man in particular, tend to be, if not (partly) fabricated, (highly) exaggerated.

The left and the MSM pretend to be neutral, objective observers, and yet they use these double standards. If being economical with the truth (deliberately holding back relevant facts) is akin to deceit and telling a lie, then who are the people who are really "lying through their teeth"?

Therefore, it is not being a "foolish dupe" to bring in what Bialek defenders call "distractions", it is the height of intelligence and common sense.

Indeed, when you buy, or when anyone buys, into the left's self-serving view of history — of conservatives as wicked hypocrites and of themselves as defenseless victims and/or as the heroic knights coming to the latters' rescue (viz. Barack Obama) — then who is the foolish dupe?

Sharon Bialek's Testimony

Several times on the Ann Althouse post, one pro-Bialek commenter asks, incredulously:
Did you even listen to the press conference?
What press conference did YOU watch??
I watched the press conference where Sharon Bialek said when she arrived at her room, it turned out to be a suite and when she met with Herman Cain, she was told she had been "upgraded". Then drinks in the lounge, then driving to a restaurant (more drinks? romantic music? candles?), then plans for driving her home to her hotel… suite.

Right then and there — when she had heard about the upgrade — she should have said No. Or maybe not No, but put a damper on the restaurant business and on a myriad of other things…

Again, I am going to quote my good ol' mother — and she is a lifelong Democrat; this time from a time in the 1990s where there were two rape trials at the same time, one involving Mike Tyson and another involving a Kennedy family member named Smith.

My mother had zero sympathy for either alleged victim. One girl should never have gone to the boxer's hotel room, the other should never have followed the Kennedy cousin home to the Kennedy beach house in the middle of the night to sit with him on the beach under the moonlight. It's that simple.

Didn't Cain in Fact Behave Like a Gentleman?

I'm beginning to think of Cain as pretty smart and gentlemanly, actually — even if the claims, all of them, turn out to be true. Maybe he's something of a cad, certainly a married man should not behave like that, but he is not a Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) who hurls himself at the first woman he sees, uninvited. Cain proceeds wisely one step at a time (wisely, that is, if you don't know you will run for president a decade from now)…

First, a comparison to the height, say, of a woman he is intimate with (his wife), then he lets the woman take the next step (a giggle or an inviting remark), and if she doesn't react positively (or at all), he immediately lets it go… No wonder that one claimant was perturbed (still, hardly reason enough to file sexual harassment charges) but, on the other hand, no wonder that he says — quite honestly and quite correctly — that he "has never harassed anyone." (Still, one must assume that he must have had positives responses a few times, so are we going to see any of those alleged women who agreed to have a fling with him come out with their stories (any Penthouse cash offers in the year to come)?)

Okay, it shouldn't happen on the workplace, and a married man shouldn't behave in that manner, but still, that's what is called un pas de deux.

With Sharon Bialek, assuming her story is true, it was all the ooh'ing and ah'ing the day of his speech, which certainly could seem like flirting, then — what was it, a few weeks later — came a call for a rendez-vous, followed by a room upgrade (not a single protest from Bialek), then drinks in the lobby, then a ride in Cain's car (with Cain as chauffeur), then dinner (candles? romantic music? constant eye contact? batting eyelids?), and back to Cain's vehicle… And nevertheless, here again at the very first obstacle — Bialek's protest — Cain immediately lets it go… And according to Bialek herself, he drove her back to the hotel — dare we say gentlemanly? — not even showing anything akin to anger or annoyance.

Cain is obviously not the part of the caricatured sex maniac (à la DSK) preying on his victims…One can hardly deny that he has something of the gentleman in him…

In any case, if he is a cad he is a cad with business and financial sense, and that is what the nation needs right now…

It should be known that the hero of the rather prudish (non-smoking, non-drinking, non-fooling around) Lincoln — his "beau ideal of a statesman", as he put it himself — was Henry Clay, who, we are told, had some of that same reputation — besides drinking and gambling and dancing, one of the greatest statesmen of the 19th century loved to "kiss the ladies" (although, admittedly, he failed several times to win the White House) . But, again, as the 16th president said, quoting some wizened anonymous old-timer from the Kentucky hills,
it's been my experience that folks who have no vices have generally very few virtues