In Jack Kelly's column today, he raises (once again) the notion of (liberal) media hypocrisy, then proceeds to attack the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment/assault with his own fairly slimy innuendo.
Let me say upfront, I don't know if Herman Cain sexually harassed or even sexually assaulted any women. We probably won't know for months. And the fact that the National Restaurant Association settled out of court with two women for "five figures" makes me think they wanted to avoid a trial, but also that the women themselves did not think they would win a trial (and the NRA also thought that) and both sides just wanted this to be done easily. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it does mean that either there were no witnesses or witnesses that were that impressed.
That said, it is disturbing that apparently four women have accused Cain of harassment or assault. One or two accusers could be "gold diggers" (as Kelly quotes an "anonymous" New York Post source), but four, who likely didn't know about each other (one or two might have).
Bill Clinton gave us plenty of clear signs that he was a womanizer (although not to my knowledge a harasser). Voters, after twelve years of Republican Presidents, decided to elect Clinton anyway (kind of puts Reagan in perspective, doesn't it). I have to say that unless for all four accusers it can be proven beyond a doubt that Cain is entirely innocent, that I suspect a majority of voters would reject him. Although it is possible that if a majority of Republican voters can get past their racism concerning Cain (putting their nih ... black man against the Democrat's nih ... black man), then they might be able to forgive him some minor sexual issues. Hell, it might make them more comfortable, since it would like confirm their stereotypes about black men. A Cain/Gingrich campaign could work like the Bush/Cheney campaign worked (Republicans might also embrace a Cain/Perry candidacy, but not, I suspect, a majority of American voters).
Of course even Kelly says (at the end of his column) "There are many reasons for not supporting Herman Cain for president.", and I agree. Cain's s embracing of his status as a Washington outsider comes pretty close to contempt for various reasonably popular ideas such as lower taxes for the poor ("God must love the poor, he made so many of them"). Since I am not a Republican and unlikely to become one soon, I don't really care about the Pennsylvania Republican primary whenever next year. So I am content to wait and see if anything more develops with the accusations. I suspect something will come of them, although probably nothing legal. But we will see if they are the cannon ball that sinks Cain's candidacy, or if it is something else.
Meanwhile, Kelly's defending Cain in light of what happened at Penn State strikes me as rather inappropriate.