Herman Cain: “. . . if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” – hmm, guess we now know what he meant: If only Sharon Bialek had given him a b.j., her prospects for both might have risen.
And here we thought he was talking about Occupy Wall Street protesters.
You gotta hand it to Cain; he’s been a consistent lying sack from the get-go in his responses to these charges: “What sexual harassment? I don’t know about any sexual harassment. Oh, that sexual harassment. Well, it was false. I know nothing whatsoever about the National Restaurant Association settling a sexual harassment claim on my behalf. Oh, you mean that settlement? Oh, well yeah, but I was decidedly not guilty. Will there be any more allegations in the future? Absolutely, unequivocally not. And if there are, well, they are completely fabricated, trumped up accusations.”
Again, prophetic. The first two accusers were both paid off by the National Restaurant Association (which, according to Cain, was not a “legal settlement” but simply an “agreement”), one of whom, Karen Kraushaar, is now talking. Then three more came forward – including Chicagoan Sharon Bialek, who, while not sexually harassed on the job, had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from this GOP presidential front-runner – unless, that is, she wanted a job, in which case she was free to comply. Which she didn’t. And there was no job.
Cain’s pat response: Liars, all.
Look, this whole “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” thing isn’t a cliche for nothin’. Five women don’t randomly pick a dude off the street and, nearly simultaneously, accuse him of the same set of sexual doings. We know the first two women were paid off to avoid a scandal – that’s a fact. The third considered filing a workplace complaint, but ultimately didn’t. One had an unfavorable tale to tell about 43-year-married Cain’s flirtatious advances. And then there’s Sharon Bialek – let’s talk about her for a minute, because she’s the one who Cain allegedly treated very badly and who is now royally, publicly pissed.
Cain had to have done the big “ro ro” when this attractive, out-spoken woman emerged on the scene with Gloria Allred at her side. Of course, to hear him tell it, he’s never seen this woman before in his life, so how could he possibly remember her – and that could be true, but that could be interpreted a couple of ways. It could mean that he’s the innocent victim of a “Democrat” and media smear – a smear that included the complicity of no less than five women, to date . . . well, okay. Somebody on the planet might believe that. But if, in fact, it was Cain’s customary practice to shove his beefy CEO hand up random womens’ dresses while dangling a bit more than just the prospect of a job in front of them, maybe there were so many that he only remembered the ones who didn’t fight him off – and we won’t be hearing from them.
The accusations against Sharon Bialek, one of Cain’s alleged victims, has been that she’s in it for personal gain. What gain? She gets to make the talk show circuit; she gets publicity, which includes, compliments of her victimizer, her dirty laundry aired for all the world to see; she may get a book deal down the road, when Cain’s presidential aspirations completely swirl down the drain. But as for immediate gain – there’s really nothing, except her personal satisfaction in seeing this smug presidential hopeful forced to confront her, on her terms. It’s unlikely anyone’s going to offer her a reality t.v. show based on her one encounter with this soon-to-be former presidential candidate.
As Eric Dezenhall, a crisis management expert, noted about Cain’s detailed denials, “Cain may be unnecessarily ‘over-egging the pudding.’ Talk about “over-egging the pudding” – Cain’s sole defense to Bialek’s claims of sexual assault was to dig into her personal history and attack her on the basis of her past financial difficulties . . . such managerial brio he had when he claimed she “has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances . . . .” It appears, however, that in his quest to smear Ms. Bialek, the “long and troubled history” Cain didn’t address was his own.
“The Democrat machine in America has brought forth a troubled woman to make accusations, many of which exceed common sense,”said Cain at today’s press conference. Maybe I’m missing something, but what exactly makes her “troubled?” That she didn’t accept his “benefits package?” That she’s a single mother? That she’s had job troubles and financial difficulties in the past, has filed bankruptcy and has been sued – along with millions of other Americans? As far as I know, she has no criminal record, isn’t a crackhead, hasn’t had her son yanked away by DCFS, isn’t barking at the moon and hearing voices in her head, isn’t on a furlough from a mental institution, and hasn’t set herself on fire in Grant Park. So what, exactly, makes her “troubled?”
According to Cain, “there will probably be others” – other “troubled” women conducting a smear campaign against him for no other reasonthan “because the machine to keep a businessman out of the White House is going to be relentless.” Ahh, then, if that’s all it is, we should be hearing these same types of allegations about Mitt Romney soon, another “businessman” who has aspirations for the White House.
What often stands between a single mother, like Sharon Bialek, and poverty is a job – a job that, when it came to Herman Cain, was conditional upon Ms. Bialek’s cooperation when he shoved his hand up her dress and pulled her head toward his crotch. Many single parents struggle financially, but to Herman Cain – the elitist, misogynistic CEO who won’t even admit to knowing Ms. Bialek but takes the time to dig up any dirt he can on her in a “best defense/good offense” routine – her lack of financial resources should deem her immediately and permanently lacking in credibility in the marketplace of public opinion. That is, at least, what he’s hoping.
I never thought Cain was a smart guy – okay, the word “stupid” doesn’t seem entirely out of line here – and his responses to these claims only work to further convince me of a number of things: He’s, one, not too sharp; two, he’s utterly arrogant; three, his belief system includes the notion that financially unstable individuals are unworthy individuals; and four, he’s guilty as hell. Oh, and five – Americans should burn down the White House before we let him step one foot in it.
He has the CEO mentality, he’s on a power trip (and no doubt always has been), and he’s a sexist blowhard. And what he says about Ms. Bialek says far more about him than it does about Ms. Bialek. When Cain followers question why Ms. Bialek waited this long to bring this up – well, she reacted exactly as most women would when a job interview turns into the proverbial casting couch: She told her boyfriend, told a couple of friends, and let it drop . . . until, that is, the guy whose hand was under her dress decided it would be a good idea to run for President of the United States.
“I might add,” said Cain at today’s press conference, “It’s not just men who sexually harass women. I’ve also seen situations where women have attempted to sexually harass men.”
There ya go, the lead-in for his next presser: Ms. Bialek, a single mother with no money, no power, and no tools with which to level the playing field, sexually harassed him.