I’ve defended Cain here in the Corner (twice), and I still think the substance of my comments stand up — old allegations unjustly deprive the accused of the ability to mount a reasonable defense, and nominal sexual harassment settlements are common when fending off frivolous claims. However, these latest claims aren’t old, they aren’t unsubstantiated, and the combination of Cain’s statements (he paid her money?) and his lawyer’s rather curious defense (“This appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public”) should leave even his most ardent defenders shaking their heads.
We still don’t know with certainty what happened — with any of the women — but the evidentiary ground is beginning to shift beneath Mr. Cain’s feet. He’s right to reassess his candidacy, and voters are right to reassess him.