Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Lecherous(?) Godfather's Saga Continues ...

The fallout from accusations of sexual harassment is like jello: there is always room for more.  Shorten that line and you have an aphorism.  GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain cannot seem to avoid the accusation of sexual harassment.  Just this week, another woman accused the Godfather, lobbyist, and FED minion of sexual harassment.  What started as one accuser, then two, and then three has now resulted in four--yes, four--accusations.

On Tuesday, one of those accusers revealed her identity and claimed that she had concealed her identity because of fear of retaliation from Cain's supporters.  She finally revealed herself as Karen Kraushaar and then proceeded to, in an interview with ABC News, call Cain "a monster." At a press conference on the same day, Cain attempted to distance himself (and his campaign) from the accusations by calling the accusers "liars" and blaming the accusations and accompanying media interest on the Democratic Party.  Cain's commentary paints the Dems as an "evil" party that is conspiring to keep the pizza man from victory.  To be sure, Cain needed to hold a press conference to categorically respond to the allegations but his press conference was Cain-esque in both substance and rhetoric.  And, of course, Cain-esque is not exactly tactful policy.

Kraushaar's allegations raise significant questions, though.  For one, she received a $45,000 settlement with the National Restaurant Association (Cain's old stomping grounds); in other words, she reasoned that $45,000 was enough to get over what the "monster" did to her.  For another, she did not make public her decade old allegations until well into Cain's campaign (i.e., after his "9-9-9 plan" bump in the polls).  Politically calculated allegations are never new, of course.  These sexual harassment allegations have, at the very least, a political element that cannot be ignored.  Everyone knows this.  In a sense, it is a truism.  Cain's press conference was aimed to combat the allegations and contain the negligible amount of fallout .

And, as the ABC News article noted, Kraushaar is now a spokeswoman for the IRS' Inspector General.  For what it is worth, a member of the Federal government's tax harassment office is accusing a member of the political establishment of sexual harassment.  I guess this should be newsworthy.

But, back to Cain's press conference.  Cain denied even knowing Sharon Bialek, another one of his accusers who, also, worked at the NRA.  His line was quite precious: "My first response in my mind and reaction was, 'I don't even know who this woman is.'"  Correct me if I am wrong but you can certainly commit sexual harassment against a woman without knowing her name.

Also this week, a fifth woman came forward to say that Cain had made "a very odd request" after giving a speech in Egypt in 2001.  Cain apparently asked Donna Donella (a name lacking in so many respects), the woman who helped to organize the speech, to help him contact "the lovely young woman in the audience who asked me the question so I can give her a more detailed answer over dinner."  Both Donella and another woman found the request odd.  I would, too.  Expectedly, Donella refused to contact the woman.  Then, she claims, Cain asked her to dinner!

You, dear reader, may have no idea what is happening to Cain, but the photo below may help to clarify:

Maybe the aphorism should be: the fallout from accusations of sexual harassment is like ice cream: there is always room for more.  What would Bill Clinton say?! 

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