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Friday, November 04, 2011



Why does Lithwick say "conservatives" have dismissed the whole idea of sexual harassment? I do not believe anybody dismisses the whole idea of sexual harassment, but I also believe it is a card that has been played way too often, just as the race card has been played. And I am just trying to remember if there have been any liberals who have dismissed the whole idea of sexual harassment. Wouldn't someone who said “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find. ” when referring to the Paula Jones sexual harassment scandal be dismissing the whole idea of sexual harassment? BTW, that incident was much more credible.

Donald Pay

You have been shown to be completely off base regarding the Politico story. It was masterful journalism in which a story about someone who cast himself as a political outsider, and who had fooled a lot of the conservative base of the Republican Party, was exposed as a typical Washington insider--a sleazy, philandering ex-lobbyist, who was so ham-handed about his philandering that he got himself sued for sexual harassment.

This story does nothing to undermine the concept of sexual harassment except with those who are more than willing to be fooled by and to defend this Koch Brothers huckster.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: you are being an idiot.

Jon S.


I thought that we had agreed that sexual harrasment was not a problem with presidential candidates? Bill Clinton actually settled out of court with a named accuser, Paula Jones, for the tune of $850,000 (if memory serves; I am not going to look it up). Another named woman, Kathleen Wiley, claim Clinton groped her. Another woman, Juanita Broderick, made claims, in part substaniated by others, that Bill Clinton raped her. We know for a fact that Bill Clinton, as president, solicited sexual favors from a young intern, including sexual excapades in the oval office. He then proceeded to lie to the country for months about this and was prepared to further lie to destroy that young woman until the infamous blue dress was discovered. We were told none of this matters because Bill Clinton was otherwise a fine president.

I would add that the late Michael Kelly, no slouch as a journalist, made credible accusations that Ted Kennedy and Christopher Dodd sexually assaulted a waitress in the late 1980s. Kennedy was considered a hero of the left for years after that, and Chris Dodd retired from the Senate in good standing and is now head of the MPAA. Again, Kelly's sourcing for these accusations was at least as good as Politico's and the accusations are more severe. Do you think Kennedy and Dodd should have been removed from the Senate?

I don't feel inclined to defend Herman Cain. I think he is unqualified to be president and, whatever the merits of the Politico story (which I do not think is as bad as Ken says, but not as perfect as Donald claims), he has handled it badly. And I happen to think that if the worst of the accusations are true (I am now agnostic on that matter) then he is unfit for the presidency (in addition to his general lack of qualifcations). But then I think Bill Clinton's actions justified removal from office (although for prudential reasons I think Republicans made a mistake in pursuing that path). Do you think Bill Clinton deserved removal from office, Donald? Or Kennedy and Dodd from the Senate? If not, why not? Do you find it odd that the Cain story has received more airplay on network newscasts than the first three charges against Bill Clinton, even though the Cain story has yet to produce a single public accuser? Do you find it ironic that the same newspapers carrying stories about Herman Cain also contain stories about that great world statesman Bill Clinton, who is still a nationally respectable figure while he was accused of worse than Herman Cain with (as of now) better evidence?

Donald Pay

See, I was never a big fan of Bill Clinton. I think he certainly engaged in sleazy and unethical behavior, some of which may have been criminal. Same with Kennedy and Dodd.

But here's the difference. Cain underwent a formal process required under federal statute and by the very organization he headed. He was accused by at least two people of sexual harassment, and a legally binding settlement was concluded. That settlement involved considerable amounts of money transferred from the organization Cain headed to at least two women. That's what was reported by Politico and others.

The fact that the story has dragged on for three weeks is due more to Cain than to anyone else. He has only himself to blame, or maybe this is just a strategy to keep the far worse scandal of his illegal campaign donations off the front pages.

Bill Fleming

The GOP has at least two major (and related) things to consider in light of this Cain scandal.

1. Cain's inability to wrap this up and put it behind him literally sucks the oxygen out any other issues or candidate debate by focussing all the attention on what could quite easily have been framed as a non-issue and put to bed in one news cycle by a more seasoned politician.

2. Cain and the GOP NEED the media to advance and disseminate their message, and cannot afford to be seen as enemies of the 4th Estate. Cain has now taken the position of hiding from the press, much as Ross Perot did in the past. That's bad when your only asset is your personal charisma and ability to make a favorable impression to the common person via tight little soundbites. The last message he needs to be sending is that he doesn't want to talk to the press, or make personal appearances any more.

Jon S.


I notice you didn't answer the questions, other than the predictable "I didn't really like Bill Clinton." Why didn't the Democratic party or the media drive them out of office, while, for example, Clarance Thomas, on much flimsier grounds, was to be denied a place on the Supreme Court? One can only conclude that the media and the Democratic party are against ill treatment of women when it is politically convenient, but ignore it when it is politically inconvenient.

Donald Pay

I notice Clarence Thomas is on the Supreme Court, so I really can't understand your whining.

I didn't have a problem with sleazy bastard Clinton's impeachment. If Clinton was kicked out of office, it would have given the Presidency to Al Gore, who would have had just enough of a leg up to defeat GW in 2000. No GW=probably no attack on 9-11 and certainly no Iraq war, a better energy policy leading to a boom in green energy, no Bush tax cuts, a balanced budget, financial regulations that prevent the downturn in 2007-2009. Hillary would be President now, and Obama would be Vice-President.

Just from a political standpoint, I actually wouldn't mind if Cain is the Republican nominee. I can't imagine that a sexual harasser who is on the Koch Brothers payroll couldn't be beat by a landslide.

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