The Ides of October

Herman Cain has proposed a so-called "9-9-9" tax plan that would tax people, businesses and sales at a flat nine percent

AFP photo

Maybe “666” wasn’t the best photo op after all… (I mean, it’s pretty pathetic when Michele Bachmann is shown to maybe have been correct about anything.) Anyway, Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Herman Cain has been accused of having sexually harassed at least two women while on the job. Why do I tend to believe that he is guilty as charged? 

So last night I saw the George Clooney political movie “The Ides of March,” which is about how a good old-fashioned sex scandal can bring down a presidential campaign. (While not as good as Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Ides of March” is watchable.)

And then, later last night, I saw the headlines that top-tier Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Herman Cain has been accused of having been accused of sexual harassment at least twice in the mid- to late 1990s when he was the top dog of the National Restaurant Association.*

Wow. What timing.

Of course the Cain campaign vehemently denies that Cain ever sexually harassed anyone. (Cain — who, for some fucking reason, many people actually claim is a good speakereven asked a POLICITO reporter who had asked him about the sexual harassment allegations if he [the reporter] had ever been accused of sexual harassment. Yeah, very presidential.)  

While I believe that even a wingnutty scumbag like Cain is (at least more or less) innocent until proven otherwise, the thing is, I still believe Anita Hill, and it looks as though we have another Clarence-Thomas-type of scandal unfolding right about now.

More locally, when he was running in the bullshit do-over California gubernatorial election of 2003, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was accused of having sexually harassed — even sexually assaulted — several women during his years in Hollywood. The Schwarzenegger campaign essentially called all of these women liars. Maria Shriver of the Democratic Kennedy dynasty publicly stated that she stood by her Repugnican man, which helped Schwarzenegger to usurp the governorship from the duly re-elected Democratic governor, Gray Davis.

Then, after his governorship ended in January of this year, Schwarzenegger in May admitted, after he’d been outed by the Los Angeles Times, that he had knocked up his housekeeper and that she had borne his son in 1997. Obviously, had the state’s voters known this juicy fact in 2003, they never would have voted for Schwarzenegger in the Repugnican-orchestrated gubernatorial recall election, and Maria Shriver, understandably, is keeping a very low profile here in California these days.

Gee, if he knocked up his housekeeper, do you think that Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger may actually have sexually harassed all of those (other) women after all?

It all boils down to this, methinks: Men who woefully mistakenly believe that they are qualified for high political office, such as the presidency or the governor of the nation’s most populous state, even when they never have held any elected office before — and both Cain and Schwarzenegger fit this description — obviously have issues with power.

Politics is the exercise of power, as is sexual harassment. (Many of us don’t like to talk about issues of power, which is why sex, politics and religion, which are so interchangeable and which all have to do with the exercise of power, are such taboo topics even though they probably are the most important topics that we possibly could discuss.)

Do I know that Herman Cain is guilty as charged? No. I wasn’t there. But if I had to bet a large sum of money on it, which way would I go?

I’d bet that Herman Cain is another Clarence Thomas.

And it’s a slap in the faces of all women to automatically call any woman a liar when she reports sexual harassment — especially when most of the time such allegations turn out to be quite true.

And after the likes of Clarence Thomas and Arnold Schwarzenegger, do we really want to get punk’d again by another sexual harasser, a man who has demonstrated that he cannot wield his personal (political) power responsibly?

*The website POLITICO broke the story, reporting:

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names. … [Full story here.]

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