Cain

by Andrew C. McCarthy

We just got back home after several days of no power. Catching up on what’s been happening, I can’t understand why our side is giving the Politico/Cain story any sunlight. 

I’m not a Cain guy. There is a lot to like about him, and I could easily see myself voting for him against President Obama — which is the same thing I say about several of the GOP candidates, none of whom has won me over yet. But this sorry Politico episode seems to me to have little to do with Cain and everything to do with how content we are to live in the Left’s world.

This controversy is the perfect storm of (a) media hypocrisy: given the bar set by Clinton/Edwards/Ted Kennedy/et al., the worst possible case of what Cain is accused of — if you draw every conceivable negative inference against him — doesn’t come close to being a story, yet the lefty media energetically dig into Cain after having buried the exponentially worse Democrat scandals; (b) the special bull’s-eye fitted on black conservatives: their example of self-reliance and independent thinking makes them such a threat to the “social justice” narrative that, when it comes to destroying them, anything goes; (c) sexual harassment: a social-engineering caprice the arbitrary standards of which can turn routine — not admirable, often unsavory, but entirely unremarkable — human behavior into legal ruin; and (d) the litigious nanny state: with human life hyper-regulated and legal fees hyper-expensive, ordinary human behavior becomes grist for extortionate lawsuits that parties settle on the cheap because the cost of fighting is prohibitive — and later, these parties end up sounding like jackasses if asked about the suits, at least in part because, if you say something strong in your defense, you risk violating the standard reciprocal confidentiality provision and thus reopening the whole expensive, embarrassing business.  

I’m not sure how conflicting Cain’s statements about this nonsense are, and I frankly don’t care. Cain’s made a number of conflicting statements on matters of substance (e.g., negotiating with terrorists, abortion, the propriety of killing al-Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki, etc.). We’ve got abundant basis to probe how consistent he is, how deep his convictions are, and what all that says about his suitability — just like we ought to be probing conflicting positions taken by other candidates. But on the Politico sensation-out-of-nothing report, the real story is how confident the Left is that it has set the terms of (and the traps in) our public debate. Unfortunately, that confidence seems well placed.

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