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90 (Politico) stories on Cain kerfuffle and still no specifics*

In a post today on PJmedia, Alexis Garcia notes how in all the media hullabaloo over the Cain kerfuffle, “we’re losing focus on the narrative.” (Well, maybe that’s the point.)  She lists several issues raising issues related to the administration’s actual record in office that have not received the same scrutiny this “scandal” without specifics has generated

Two of the items on Miss Garcia’s list parallel issues on my list of questions for Politico (to see how much attention they devoted to scandals involving Democrats).  Since posting that piece, I’ve begun to wonder about other issues which the left-leaning journal has all but ignored, say, Joe Biden’s fabrications in the 2008 vice presidential debate.  Did Politico address those (some commentators identified those fabrications)–and inquire into the then-36-year Washington veteran’s pattern of making things up?

Now, today, the lawyer of one of the woman accusing Mr. Cain has come forward to tell us that he won’t tell us anything, leading Stacy McCain to quip that “Lawyer ethics” meanings holding “a press conference to announce that you don’t want to discuss your smear-job against your client’s former boss.”  As Jim Geraghty puts it, the lawyer in refusing to specify the charges, “is arguing, ’I won’t say what he did, but trust me, he’s guilty of wrongdoing.’

This is one heckuva way to run a witch hunt.

From the National Restaurant Association (NRA), we learn two (very) salient facts:

  1. “Mr. Herman Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint.”
  2. “The Association and Mr. Bennett’s client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement.”

So, we’ve got Cain disputing the allegations, the lawyer for the accuser refusing to specify the allegations and confirmation that Mr. Cain was not party to the agreement, suggesting the NRA was more interested in resolving the matter than in disciplining its then-employee.

Even without specifics, Politico has run 90 stories on the kerfuffle. (more…)

My “major beef” with Mitt Romney

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:08 pm - November 4, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Real Reform

At least since the 2008 Republican candidates’ debate in New Hampshire, I have been impressed with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s ability to talk about the economy.  I have been particularly impressed with his critiques of Obama’s economic policies starting with the very introduction of the “stimulus” at the outset of the Democrat’s administration.

But, like many conservatives, I have concerns.  Is Romney really one of us?  Would he, if elected, stand true to conservative principles and make major cuts in domestic spending and initiate bold reforms?  Is it up to the task of cleaning the accumulated muck in the Augean Stables of our nation’s capital, repealing not just legislation passed by the current administration, but also, as his rival Jon Huntsman has promised, bad laws passed in a previous Republican administration?

In this current crisis, we don’t just need a competent administrator in the White House (though that alone would be a welcome change), we also need a bold leader, able to propose major changes and stand firm for such reform when savaged (as any principled Republican invariably will be) by the political and media opposition (which tend to march in lock-step).

Now, perhaps following the lead of one of Washington’s few grownups, Paul Ryan, Romney has, in an op-ed in USA Today, spelled out some bold actions he would take if elected, including reforms to entitlements.  Commenting on those proposals (in a post which is well worth your time), Philip Klein outlines his “major beef with Romney” which nearly perfectly parallels my own:

My major beef with Romney, aside from the health care plan he enacted in Massachusetts, has been that his record of changing his positions on so many issues makes me skeptical he’d have the political courage to tackle controversial issues as president. That overall skepticism still remains. But it’s positive that he’s at least taken a minimum half step forward during a GOP primary.

Should Romney win the White House in 2012, he will all but certainly be facing a Republican Congress — in contrast to the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature he faced when governor of the Bay State.  He’ll effectively have Paul Ryan setting the legislature’s fiscal policy.

Is this enough to overcome my concerns about Romney? (more…)

The Latest High Tech Lynching of a Conservative Black American

And this is why I was so furious this week that I donated $1000 to Herman Cain’s campaign. This political fascism from the Left has got to come to an end.

I will crawl over broken glass to vote for Mr. Cain during the first-in-the-South GOP Primary on January 21.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

An explanation for the media focus on Cain

As I was preparing for bid, this story led the headlines on Yahoo!’s main page: Republican sexual harassment furor boosts Obama:

The longer the Republican presidential hopefuls battle over sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain, the better things look for President Barack Obama as he mounts his campaign for re-election. . . . .

The rare instance of infighting in a party known for its unity comes just as Obama, a Democrat, is gaining some traction in opinion polls and the U.S. economy is showing signs of improvement.

Huh, Republican presidential hopefuls battling over sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain? Infighiting What? The Republicans aren’t battling over this. (Most of the candidates aren’t event talking about it.)  About the only “infighting” there is  —  and the only thing Reuters “reporter” Patricia Zengerle is Cain accusing “Rick Perry’s camp of being behind the story” and Perry denying that claim.

Yeah, there is some modest signs of improvement in the economy, but no indication that we’re enjoying the type of recovering that normally follows a severe downturn.  And the traction the president is gaining is in one poll, not some polls — and that poll appeared to oversample Democrats.

That said, maybe Miss Zengerle is onto something.  Maybe the folks in the media hope this story will make the Republicans appear to be insensitive to women — while the brouhaha keeps stories about scandals in the Obama White House off the front burner.

UPDATE:  Commenting on the same article, Jim Geraghty holds it “offers a somewhat plausible theory without citing much direct data to support that idea“:

Now, it is true that time spent discussing what Cain did or did not do with several former employees is time not spent making an argument against Obama. But if Cain doesn’t get the nomination, this is largely moot — I remain unconvinced that some Cain-backing conservative will stay home on Election Day 2012 to protest how some GOP rival treated this issue — and if he is, it suggests that this story, with all of its remaining known unknowns and unknown unknowns will be a larger factor in voters’ minds than, say, Obama’s performance since taking office.

FROM THE COMMENTS: ILoveCapitalism quips, “So Jonathan Alter was right, after all. The Obama administration is “scandal free”. (Not in reality; but in the media.)”

LA Dinner November 17; Denver Lunch November 25

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:30 am - November 4, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Travel

Several of our readers suggested we do another Los Angeles dinner.  Please let me know if you could make a gathering in two weeks on Thursday, November 17.

And since I’ll be in Denver for Thanksgiving, would like to organize a lunch for our readers in the Mile High City (and surrounding regions of the Mountain State) on the following Friday, November 25.

If you’d like to attend either event, please drop me a line.

Sexual Harassment Whiplash

In 1991, in the highest of dudgeon, Democrats told us how serious an allegation sexual harassment was, that if a woman (even if unable to corroborate her claim) said a man hinted at finding pubic hairs on a can of soda or just happened to mention a pornographic movie with a title derived from the name of a fictional pirate, then said man was not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

A few years later, members of that very party informed Republicans they were prudes for obsessing about the then-Democratic president’s “bimbo eruptions” (an expression coined by a top aide to said Democrat).  His extramarital dalliances were immaterial to his ability to serve.  Few in our media paid much heed to a corroborated story alleging that while Attorney General of Arkansas, said Democrat raped a woman — or made untoward advances on another woman in a private study in the White House.

For the past four days, we have been treated to wall-to-wall media coverage about unspecified allegations against a Republican candidate for president, as if this were an issue more important than the president’s ties to lobbyists, a Wall Street tycoon under investigation raising piles of cash for said president, his administration’s possible cover-up of a government program to sell guns to Mexican drug lords, shenanigans in granting government loan guarantees to favored green energy firms, and the sour economy.

Well, we finally have some specifics of the encounter, with a source “telling PJ Media that she witnessed the woman [alleging harassment] and Herman Cain break away from the large group [of co-workers] as part of a smaller group.

Now, these allegations may indeed be serious, but can you imagine such wall-to-wall media coverage if a conservative news source had published an account alleging a Democrat had sexually harassed employees without specifying the allegations?  On Wednesday, neoneocon wrote

Just take a look at the amount of coverage on memeorandum today, for example, and you’ll see what I mean. All those articles for something that shouldn’t have seen print until (a) the sources were identified; (b) the allegations were specified, including whether there were witnesses to the alleged acts; and (c) the details of what a settlement might mean in terms of a person’s actual guilt or innocence were fully explained.

Now, a few details of the story are dribbling out.  Perhaps, there is indeed a story here.  Only now with these details coming out does it appear to merit publication.  It should not have driven news coverage for the past four days. (more…)