Tag Archives: Herman Cain sexual harassment

The Anita Hilling of Sharon Bialek (or, there goes the women’s vote)

Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman,waits to address a news conference at the Friars Club, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in New York.  Bialek accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of making an

Associated Press photo

The Herman Cain campaign today incredibly stupidly released a statement reading, “In stark contrast to Mr. Cain’s four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek [pictured above] has taken a far different path,” which includes a “long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances.” So the Cain campaign’s “argument” is that if you are rich and powerful and you are accused of sexual harassment by someone who has had personal and financial difficulties, then she must be lying because she’s not rich and powerful and you are. And the smearing of the (alleged) sexual harassment victim’s personal life, including her financial difficulty (which millions and millions of Americans have had), which has nothing to do with her allegations of sexual harassment — yeah, that makes you look good. 

We can see now why the first three reported apparent victims of sexual harassment at the hands of Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Herman Cain have not gone public with their stories. Look what the wingnuts are doing to the fourth apparent victim, Sharon Bialek, who went public yesterday.

The comments left on this Yahoo! News story are typical of the “arguments” that we are seeing coming from the wingnuts.

Among the nicer allegations in the comments are that Bialek has come forward only in order to make money from it. I’m not sure how, exactly, she would do that, and, until and unless there is any actual evidence to suggest otherwise, I take her at face value that she came forward in order to help stop the sexual harassment of women. Indeed, when we keep things such as child molestation or sexual harassment hush-hush, we only perpetuate them.

Then there are the (inevitable, I suppose) comparisons of Herman Cain to Bill Clinton, which is weird, because Herman Cain isn’t Bill Clinton and because these situations are different. No known serial sexual harasser ever became president in modern times, to my knowledge. (Known serial sexual harasser Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger was able to become governor of California, but the presidency is much bigger.) Bill Clinton did his thing with Monica Lewinsky in the Oral — er, Oval — Office later in his first term and early in his second term, according to Lewinsky, and while Clinton no doubt abused his power over an intern, it apparently was consensual. And the Repugnican-controlled U.S. Senate found that there was no cause to remove Clinton from office.

“Shes way to ugly to be harrased [sic]. Im calling this #$%$,” comments an individual with the username of “HotTeaPartier” whose avatar shows a white female holding a gun. Yes, the Sarah-Palin types are A-OK with sexual harassment. And with calling other women “ugly,” because all women should be physically attractive to and for men. Women exist for men’s sexual gratification. You betcha.

“Another Jennifer Flowers story. She would not be the first person to exchange sexual favors for a job,” chimes in a “TinaO,” another apparent Sarah-Palin type. So there is the comparison to Bill Clinton again, and there is a wholly unsubstantiated allegation that Bialek did “exchange sexual favors for a job” when, to our knowledge, Bialek refused Cain’s alleged quid-pro-quo sexual advances and never got any job in exchange for sexual favors.

With self- and other-loathing women tearing each other apart like this, who needs male chauvinist pigs?

“Why don’t these people start yelling when this stuff was supposed to of [sic] happened instead of years later?” asks “Legal My Foot.”

Um, because now Herman Cain isn’t just a comparatively small-time sexual harasser, but is running to be president of the United States of America?

Gee, do you think that that might be why, genius?

“Why is it that we can now just destroy a man’s reputation without doing anything but holding a press conference,” asks the question-mark-challenged “AllisonS,” adding, “I don’t understand how the media can allow people (be they men or women, but sadly it’s women) who can just make a claim and nothing is done to validate before a man’s career and whole being is destroyed. Why is this not handled at the time by the judicial system. I just don’t understand the motivation of these people.”

Well, um, Bialek is the fourth woman we know about who has alleged that Cain sexually harassed her in the 1990s when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association, not the first. The fourth. Please try to keep up, Allison.

How can a woman not empathize with how another woman who has been sexually harassed might feel about going public about it? Of course the harasser is going to deny it, and especially if the harasser is popular and/or prominent, the harasser’s supporters, facing cognitive dissonance about their beloved, are going to attack the accuser.

How many women want to go through that? Is this really that hard to understand? And as far as the judicial system is concerned, not only is it still disproportionately dominated by men (mostly white men), but since sexual harassment usually is not witnessed by a third party and all that the accused harasser would have to do in a court of law is lie, why would a woman even try to litigate a she-said-he-said case?

“BigDaddy” offers us his sage take: “Lets see she [Bialek] hasnt worked in 13 years [um, she’s a stay-at-home mom — it’s OK to actually raise your children], hires the best man hating lesbo attorney/political hack she could find [all strong, confident, successful women are “man-hating lesbos,” you see — except for Repugnican Tea Party women like Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter] and shows no real emotion about the alledged [sic] event….. [Of course, had Bialek cried or otherwise shown great emotion during the press conference, she would have been accused of acting.] After only waiting 15 years to bring it public……..That about right??????? Gloria get a life…..Im still voting for Herman Cain and you inspired me to give a donation to his election.”

Sure, there are plenty of sexual harassment deniers and even sexual harassment lovers and misogynists (male and female) who still support Herman Cain and who are giving him (even more) money in light of the news that four women have accused him of sexual harassment.

That’s fine.

Sexual harassment is no big deal to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, but sexual harassment won’t play well in the November 2012 general election, if Cain makes it that far, which now is highly unlikely. (As “RON,” one of the minority of sane commenters puts it, “Cains political career is over. He just doesn’t know it yet,” and “One woman, maybe she’s not being fully truthful. two or three, they probably are. Four, We now have a serial sexual predator.” Yup.)

“If you don’t want the sex, dont get in the car!!!!” advises “Jim R,” more typical of the average commentator. “Fatty leatherfaced lady trying for money! Not by the hairs on your gobblin chinny chin,” chimes in some anonymous genius. (So Bialek is “ugly” and “fat,” which must mean that Herman Cain did not sexually harass her in 1997. Or something like that.)

“Wizardofhogs” observes: “This story can NEVER be proved… and yet the media runs with it because H.Cain is a republican. They wouldn’t write it if the dude was a demon-crat… fhucking media is ruining our country….”

Yes, as I indicated, sexual harassers usually do their deeds when there are no witnesses. So their victims should keep their mouths shut if there were no witnesses? Really? As far as the allegation that Cain is being picked on because he’s a Repugnican Tea Partier, I remember that the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal dominated the media for months and months, stoked by the Repugnicans who wanted to remove Bill Clinton from office over a consensual blow job. I mean, puhfuckinglease. And the corporately owned and controlled mass media love sex scandals, regardless of the party affiliation of those involved.

And there is that cognitive dissonance again: you like and support some person and then some unflattering truth or allegation about that person comes out, and so in order to try to preserve your attachment to that person, you blame the accuser(s) and/or the media.

It’s as pathetic as it is time-worn and predictable to blame the media.

We have this little thing called the First Amendment in this nation. That means that sometimes your sensibilities are going to be offended, and that people have the constitutional right to say and to report things you’d rather they not. Boo hoo hoo. Get over yourfuckingself.

“why aren’t sharpton and jackson defending cain against these unsubstaniated charges?” asks “Wildcrzy.” Um, maybe it’s because just because someone else is of your same gender and race, it doesn’t mean that he or she is your kindred? And because Sharpton and/or Jackson might believe that Cain is guilty as charged, and thus not worth defending?

Duh.

There also are, of course, many comments attacking attorney Gloria Allred (besides such allegations as that she’s a man-hating lesbian). You could call that an Allred herring — diverting the attention from Herman Cain to Gloria Allred. I’m not asserting that Allred is an angel. I don’t know her. But regardless of anything about Gloria Allred, Herman Cain either did or did not do what Sharon Bialek claims he did to her in 1997.

That the Repugnican Tea Party traitors don’t want to address that issue speaks volumes about them, and the way that Sharon Bialek has been treated demonstrates that as a nation, we haven’t grown up much, if any, since Anita Hill was burned at the stake in 1991 for having had the courage to have gone public about her sexual harassment by now-U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Clarence Thomas.

The Repugnican Tea Party’s strategy of attacking women who have alleged sexual harassment is interesting. As the stupid white male demographic — the Repugnican Tea Party’s base (aside from millionaires and billionaires, whose numbers are few) — continues to shrink, you’d think that the party wouldn’t want to offend half of the American population* and those of us males who support them.

*Actually, the 2010 U.S. Census put females at 50.8 percent of the nation’s population.

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Repugnican slayer Allred is all right

Sharon Bialek, left, a Chicago-area woman, prepares to addresses a news conference at the Friars Club, with her attorney Gloria Allred, in New York,  Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. Bialek accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of making an unwanted sexual advance against her more than a decade ago, saying she wanted to provide "a face and a voice" to support other accusers who have so far remained anonymous. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Associated Press photo

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, right, appears with Sharon Bialek at a press conference today in New York City. Bialek, a former employee of the National Restaurant Association, claims that in 1997 then-association head Herman Cain, who now wants to be president of the United States of America, blatantly, physically sexually harassed her and linked her acquiescence to his sexual advances to her employment.

For a Repugnican campaign, a press conference by California attorney Gloria Allred is worse than a visit by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I like Gloria Allred.

Sure, she might be a sleazy lawyer, but the woman gets results.

In September 2010, shortly before California’s 2010 gubernatorial election, Allred held a press conference with a tearful Nicky Diaz Santillan, the former undocumented housekeeper and nanny of billionaire Repugnican gubernatorial candidate Nutmeg Whitman. Megalomaniac Whitman dumped Santillan after nine years of service because Whitman thought that having an undocumented housekeeper would harm her gubernatorial campaign, Allred alleged.

Despite that fact that Megalomaniac spent more than $140 million of her own funds in the gubernatorial race, breaking all previous records for self-funded political campaigns in U.S. history, Nutmeg lost the November 2010 gubernatorial election to her Democratic challenger Jerry Brown by 13 percentage points.

Sure, Nutmeg had other things against her: being a Repugnican in a blue state; spending millions and millions to the point that it was apparent to California’s voters that she was trying to buy the governorship (which was offensive to those of us California voters who have been victims of the post-BushCheneyCorp economy); using her deep, deep pockets to overexpose herself to the voters, who grew tired of All Meg All the Time; and, let’s face it, she’s not only physically unattractive (which shouldn’t matter in a political race, but so often does), but she comes across as wooden and cold.

But Allred was one of the nails in Nutmeg’s political coffin. Allred helped to complete the picture of Nutmeg as another Cruella de Vil, and not only the state’s Latino voters had a problem with Nutmeg’s reported cruel, politically motivated dumping of her long-time housekeeper and nanny, but the state’s anti-brown-skinned-people wingnuts (yes, we have plenty of those here in California) had a problem with the fact that Nutmeg had employed an “illegal” in the first place.

Now, Gloria Allred has polished off Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Herman Cain.

To date we have not one, not two, not three, but four women who have reported that they were sexually harassed by Herman Cain.

At a press conference with Allred in New York City today, Sharon Bialek, a registered Repugnican of the Chicago area, reported that in 1997 she was sexually harassed by Cain, who, she claims, put his hand under her skirt and went for her genitalia. She reported that when she protested, Cain retorted, “You want a job, right?”

We now have a face to put to the allegations of Cain’s serial sexual harassment. It’s not just an abstraction anymore.

Cain cannot politically survive this.

If Bialek were lying, Cain could sue her for defamation. But she probably isn’t, so I don’t expect him to.

Now, as was the case with Nutmeg’s numerous other negatives, Gropegate isn’t Herman Cain’s only problem. His lack of political experience — he’s never held a single elected political office — and his buffoonery (including his abject ignorance of foreign affairs and his penchant for spontaneously breaking out in song), while not a problem for the Repugnican Tea Party fucktards, would have killed him in the general election anyway, had he ever made it that far.

But it’s nice to see the Repugnican Tea Party’s favorite go down in flames early anyway. Rick Perry comes across not only as another George W. Bush, but as a publicly drunken George W. Bush. The “tea party” dipshits are stuck with Mitt Romney, from what I can tell, and I know, I know, that Mike Huckabee flagellates himself frequently for having jumped out of the race so early.

Cain’s destruction — his very apparent self-destruction, let me add — is a victory not only for us wingnut slayers, but for feminists. Sexual. Harassment. Is. Not. OK. And it’s not OK to shame and blame the victims of sexual harassment.

And this phenomenon in which the accused wrongdoers want us to focus on who leaked the wrongdoing instead of focusing upon the wrongdoing itself (which we have seen in the WikiLeaks case as well) — yeah, that fucking shit has to fucking stop, too.

If wrongdoing has taken place, it doesn’t fucking matter who leaked it.

Those who bring wrongdoing to light deserve medals, not scorn or retaliation or punishment. Let’s reserve that for the wrongdoers. 

In the meantime, it’s time for Herman “Black Walnut” Cain to sing his swan song.

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Four more years (of hopelessness and stasis)!

US President Barack Obama waves as he arrives for a G20 summit in Cannes, France on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Leaders from within troubled Europe and far beyond are working Friday on ways the International Monetary Fund could do more to calm Europe's debt crisis. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Associated Press photo

Barack Obama probably has his re-election the bag — not because he’s a good president (no, that’s not a halo encircling his noggin), but because his Repugnican Tea Party challengers are such abject fucktards.

For now, anyway, it appears that all that President Barack Obama has to do is sit back and let the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates self- and other-destruct — and that we’re going to be stuck with another four more years of President Hopey-Changey, which is only (maybe) a notch above what we’d get with a President Romney or President Perry or President Cain.

No one likes Mitt Romney, probably not even his mother (is she still alive?); Herman Cain has been accused of sexual harassment by at least three women (strike one, strike two, strike three…); and while Rick Perry denies that he was drunk or drugged up when he alternately acted like a drunken frat boy and a drunken, giddy, giggly school girl during a speech that he gave in New Hampshire last weekend, no one believes him. (And actually, it would have behooved Perry to say that yes, he’d had a bit too much to drink and/or had had a prescription painkiller on board rather than to assert, as he did, that that was just his normal, chemical-substance-free speech-giving behavior.)

A Quinnipiac University poll taken October 25 through October 31 of more than 2,200 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of only plus or minus 2.1 percentage points shows Obama beating Romney, Cain and Perry by a margin of 5 percent to 16 percent (with Romney trailing Obama by 5 percent, Cain by 10 percent and Perry by 16 percent).

A Reuters/Ipsos nationwide poll taken October 31 through November 3 shows Obama beating Cain by 5 percent and Perry by 6 percent. That poll has Obama and Romney statistically tied, with Romney at 44 percent and Obama at 43 percent. (With fewer than 1,000 respondents, the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percent.)

Mitt Romney consistently has done better against Obama in the polling matchups than the other Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes have, but if Romney’s own party isn’t excited about him, it’s difficult to see how the November 2012 general electorate is going to be.

It probably was over for Rick Perry even before his apparently drunken speech of last weekend, however. For at least the past month, national polls at best have put Perry at No. 3, behind Romney and Cain. Both a recent Quinnipiac University poll and a recent Faux “News” poll even put Romney at No. 4 — behind Newt Gingrich. A CBS News/New York Times poll conducted October 19 through October 24 even put Perry at No. 5 — behind not only Gingrich, but also Ron Paul.

But probably the No. 1 thing going against Rick Perry is the No. 1 thing that went against John McCainosaurus in 2008: George W. Bush.

It didn’t really matter who the Repugnican presidential candidate was in 2008; after the eight, long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected Bush regime, pretty much no Repugnican was going to be elected to follow Bush.

George W. Bush is the Repugnican Tea Party’s Valdemort — you won’t hear his name uttered at a Repugnican presidential debate; if you listen to the Repugnicans, you will think that the last Repugnican president that we had was Ronald Reagan. Not even in 2008, when Gee Dubya still sat in the Oval Office, did the Repugnican contenders utter his name in a presidential  or vice presidential debate. It was as though the past eight years had never even happened.

So here is Rick Perry reminding us of the last governor of Texas who went on to the White House. Even if Perry did everything right — even if there were no Niggerhead and even if he hadn’t given a very apparently drunken speech last weekend — he couldn’t overcome the Gee Dubya handicap, and it handicaps him even more than it did McCainosaurus in 2008, since McCainosaurus isn’t from Texas and doesn’t sound like a Texas hick when he speaks.

This leaves Romney and Cain on the Repugnican Tea Party island. Cain’s “tea party” supporters have thrown their weight behind him, so they’re still in deep denial where the sexual harassment allegations against him are concerned. They’re trying to make him into some sort of martyr (and so is he), but the only fools who are going to buy that bullshit are the fools who already support Cain.

Every black person who is accused of some wrongdoing cannot knee-jerkedly claim that he or she is only being “lynched” as a sort of perpetual get-out-of-jail-free (race) card.  I expect Cain to implode within the coming week to next few weeks.

While the patriarchal, misogynist Repugnican Tea Party sees nothing wrong with the sexual harassment of women — hey, after a hard-workin’, capitalism-lovin’ man has fought his way to the top he should be able to engage in some grab-ass, or at the very least, some verbal grab-ass, no? — the average general-election voter does. Even if Cain could make it out of the Repugnican Tea Party primary season alive (he won’t), there’s no way that he could beat Obama.

November 2012 voters won’t buy Ann “Acid for Blood” Cunter’s stunningly racist recent assertion that “our [the Repugnican Tea Party’s] blacks are so much better than their [Democrats’] blacks.”

(“Our blacks” — that’s interesting. “Our” is a possessive pronoun. So apparently Ann Cunter believes that blacks still can be and/or should be owned.)

As far as Cunter’s assertion that “liberals detest, detest, detest conservative blacks” goes, I detest, detest, detest conservatives — wingnuts. I don’t care whether they are male or female, straight or gay, old or young, white, black, brown, green or purple. If you’re a wingnut, I detest you, regardless of your other demographics.

Cunter’s attempt to slander liberals and progressives as racist because they (we) won’t embrace a candidate who is black but whose world view and “values” system diametrically opposes their (our) own is as pathetic as it is intellectually dishonest.

And the fact of the matter is that the Repugnican Tea Party historically never would have put forth as its presidential candidate a man who had never held even one single elected political office. That the party would even consider doing so now — primarily or even only because the candidate is black, in cynical response to the fact that the current, Democratic president is black — demonstrates that the Repugnican Tea Party remains racist.

And again, black general-election voters won’t be taken in by Herman Cain any more than female general-election voters were taken in by Sarah Palin.

Cunter, in her pathetic attempt to spin the success of Cain within the Repugnican Tea Party, recently asserted that black members of the Repugnican Tea Party are superior to Democratic blacks because while it’s easy to be a black Democrat, black Repugnican Tea Partiers take a lot of flak from their black (presumably Democratic) counterparts.

Yes, Ann with Acid for Blood, when you support the historical oppressors, your cohorts won’t like you (gee, go figure!) — because you are a self-interested fucking turncoat, not because you’re such a courageous fucking soul. Nice try, though, you fucking liar.

Not that the Democratic Party has been great for blacks, not for at least the past three decades anyway — and some have posited, probably correctly, that Barack Obama, not wanting to appear to favor blacks over other races, paradoxically as president has done less for blacks than a white Democratic president would have done — but the Democratic Party clearly has been the lesser of the two evils for blacks for some time now.

Our real struggle is to not have to choose between any evils, but to have the government that represents the best interests of the majority of us.

Sadly, in November 2012 we will have no such choice of a viable presidential candidate who will represent the best interests of the majority of us. Our choice will be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, most likely.

P.S. Rachel Maddow apparently seriously has posited an interesting theory that the Herman Cain campaign is one big practical joke, or, as she put it, is performance art, that Cain’s candidacy is not a serious candidacy, but is meant to punk us.

While I suppose that that is not absolutely impossible, it seems to me that there is another explanation for Maddow’s supporting evidence, such as the fact that in his first Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate, Herman Cain very apparently actually quoted the lines from a song in a “Pokemon” movie as being the lines of a great poet. (Not too dissimilarly, his “9-9-9” tax plan apparently came from “Sim City,” the simulated city-administration video game.)

And that alternate (and, it seems to me, simpler and more likely) explanation is that Herman Cain has lazy, cynical plagiarists working for him.

For now, anyway, I take Cain’s displays of ineptitude, ignorance and lunacy — and his apparent lust for great power despite his woeful lack of qualifications for wielding such power — at face value. If Maddow is right and it all turns out to have been a joke, then ha ha ha, but in the meantime, it is critical that a joke like Herman Cain never gets into the Oval Office (whether the joke is intentional or not).

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