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So the whole Herman Cain sexual allegation thing is going crazy. With Gloria Allread jumping into the mix, the Herman Cain campaign sending out hit pieces on the accusers, and bloggers like Ace of Spades and Stacy McCain going at it like cats and dogs, the political theater entertainment value is at an all time high.
Folks on Twitter have been mightily confused by my reaction; some have attacked me as anti-Cain, and some have attacked me as pro-Cain. I am neither. I just find the day-to-day story amusing.
That's because I don't think the Presidential GOP nomination is nearly as important as the legion of 2012 Congressional and Senate races. That's where the true battle lies. These online conservative activists who are running around pouring out their blood, sweat, tears and tweets over who gets the GOP nomination - to the point of turning their allies into enemies - fail to recognize that, no matter who wins the nomination, he or she will be utterly useless without a conservative House and Senate.
Yes, we may have an imperial Presidency - but you can still prevent a Caligula situation with strong Representatives. Remember Harriet Meyers? I do. She was floated as a Supreme Court Justice in a crony-play by George Bush. The lame horse he tried to install sank like a stone when your Representatives, listening to their constituents, deep-sixed it. She wasn't conservative. She wasn't qualified to be a judge on the Supreme Court. She was just a friend to Bush, and everyone knew it.
Consider tending to your own backyard before blowing treasure and allies over who occupies the palace. Don't shriek at me about how Cain's being pilloried by a mean MSM or Santorum's being ignored or Perry's bad in debates unless you've been doing your homework on your own Congressman and Senator. Can you help replace him or her with someone better? Now's the time to start working on it, not three days before the primary.
Even if [insert your favorite candidate here] wins the Presidency, you will still need your Congressman and Senator to prevent a Caligula-style move by [insert your favorite candidate here]. And if you really think [insert your favorite candidate here] is incapable of making any sort of move contrary to good governance and liberty, then I suggest you read up on the fallibility of mankind.
Another thought in regards to the whole Cain situation.
It seems that nearly all of these accusers are the type of employees who consider their employers as parents, parents to cajole and complain to in order to receive better circumstances. When I have to hire people, I try to make sure they're not this kind of person. I'm not looking to hire children who need me to take care of them, who are going to make me grind my back teeth away because they are constantly raising their hands to go to the bathroom. I want free individuals who are willing to work for mutual benefit, and are there because they want to be there.
Who's your daddy? NOT ME.
On the other hand, the National Restaurant Association seemed to be beleaguered by creeps like this:
A woman who settled a sexual harassment complaint against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain in 1999 complained three years later at her next job about unfair treatment, saying she should be allowed to work from home after a serious car accident and accusing a manager of circulating a sexually charged email, The Associated Press has learned.
Karen Kraushaar, 55, filed the complaint while working as a spokeswoman at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Justice Department in late 2002 or early 2003, with the assistance of her lawyer, Joel Bennett, who also handled her earlier sexual harassment complaint against Cain in 1999. Three former supervisors familiar with Kraushaar's complaint, which did not include a claim of sexual harassment, described it for the AP under condition of anonymity because the matter was handled internally by the agency and was not public.
To settle the complaint at the immigration service, Kraushaar initially demanded thousands of dollars in payment, a reinstatement of leave she used after the accident earlier in 2002, promotion on the federal pay scale and a one-year fellowship to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, according to a former supervisor familiar with the complaint. The promotion itself would have increased her annual salary between $12,000 and $16,000, according to salary tables in 2002 from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Kraushaar told the AP she considered her employment complaint "relatively minor" and she later dropped it.
Which begs a few simple questions.
Who was in charge of hiring these whiny, Taleyrand-style people at the NRA? Were they there before Cain arrived, or did he hire them? Or did he hire the person who did the hiring? What was his role in bringing these creeps into the fold?
Does the very nature of lobbying work attract leaches like this, accounting for a "swarm" of "bogus" allegations against Cain today that all seem to hail from his time at the NRA? Or did Cain fail to modify his behavior to this new world? Did behavior he saw as perfectly acceptable in the purely-for-profit-world of Godfather's and Burger King fail him completely in this new world of lobbying? Or was there some flaw in his hiring that would let pass so many harpies into the fold?
I ask only because one of Cain's main cliches is that he will hire the best of the best, the cream of the crop, experts in their field, in order to "solve problems." I have seen instead Mark Block, Cain's campaign manager, making goofy claims about innocent bystanders on the Hannity show, when he isn't starring in the World's Worst Political Ad In History. I have seen wild PR gyrations by the campaign on how to handle this crisis or that, starting with Cain's I Wouldn't Be Comfortable With A Muslim In My Cabinet thing and now culminating in this brouhaha, where he first acted guilty for several days, and still parses out his answers in Clintonian terms like "I never acted inappropriately with anybody" and "I don't recall ever meeting her" and "I'm not an expert in how the brain functions."
Carl Cameron on Fox last night mentioned that a well-known and respected PR agent was approached by the Cain campaign a few days ago, and he turned them down.
I can't imagine why.
Meanwhile, I have my eyes on various congressional and senatorial races instead. That's where any Caligula can be stopped, if the right people are hired by the voters.
Update 11/9/11: Michelle Malkin seems to agree with me on Mark Block, and implications on Cain's management style.
Update 11/9/11: Ann Coulter fingers Axelrod as the orchestrator of the smear campaign against Cain; her chain of evidence is sketchy, but it sounds about right to me. She concludes that "Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary, but are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist."
When I worked for Les Philip for his Congressional campaign, opp-research that I did showed that there was something very weird going on with Rahm Emmanuel, who was supposedly making lists of black Congressional primary candidates across the country, and trying to prevent them from entering into the 2010 general elections.
From what I heard, Obama wanted to prevent any black conservatives from winning in the primaries and felt extremely threatened by the prospect of a huge crop of black conservative Congressmen able to challenge him. I tried to warn the campaign that there would be fishy business in the primary, but it wasn't until after the election that we discovered that there was a coordinated effort by Dems to get their constituents to vote in blocks for the "white establishment" Republican versus the "black conservative" Republican. I don't recall the exact numbers, but it was certainly enough for the strategy to help defeat Les.
So I can certainly see Coulter's thought-process as plausible, although I still think that Cain needs to bring an "A" game to the fight. If he's going to beat Obama, he needs to start building that team yesterday.
contact ladd @ filmladd dot com