Herman Cain’s Low Class Attack On Sharon Bialek

Herman Cain's initial response to the allegations made yesterday leaves much to be desired.

At 5:00pm Eastern Time today, Herman Cain will reportedly hold a press conference to address the allegations made yesterday by Sharon Bialek that he accosted her during an encounter in 1997. We get what looks to be a preview of what he will have to say in an email from the campaign:

In stark contrast to Mr. Cain’s four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek has taken a far different path.

The fact is that Ms. Bialek has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances – which may help explain why she has come forward 14 years after an alleged incident with Mr. Cain, powered by celebrity attorney and long term Democrat donor Gloria Allred.

In the courts, Ms. Bialek has had a lengthy record in the Cook County Court system over various civil lawsuits. The following cases on file in Cook County are:

·         2000-M1-707461 Defendant against Broadcare Management
·         2000-M1-714398 Defendant in lawsuit against Broadcare Management
·         2000-M1-701522 Defendant in lawsuit against Broadcare Management
·         2005-M1-111072 Defendant in lawsuit against Mr. Mark Beatovic.
·         2007-M1-189176 Defendant in lawsuit against Midland Funding.
·         2009-M1-158826 Defendant in lawsuit against Illinois Lending.

Ms. Bialek was also sued in 1999 over a paternity matter according to ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV).  Source: WLS-TV, November 7, 2011

In personal finances, PACER (Federal Court) records show that Ms. Bialek has filed for bankruptcy in the Northern District of Illinois bankruptcy court in 1991 and 2001. The respective case numbers according to the PACER system are 1:01-bk-22664 and 1:91-bk-23273.

Ms. Bialek has worked for nine employers over the last seventeen years. Source: WLS-TV, November 7, 2011

Curiously, if Ms. Bialek had intended to take legal action, the statute of limitations would have passed a decade ago.

Which brings up the question of why she would make such reprehensible statements now?

The questions should be – who is financing her legal team, have any media agreed to pay for her story, and has she been offered employment for taking these actions?

Even if all of these facts are true, I struggle to understand how they are at all relevant to the question of whether or not what Ms. Bialek says happened in July 1997 happened or not. She obviously had some personal financial problems throughout her life (one of the bankruptcies she filed came before she ever met Herman Cain) and she also had personal problems apparently arising out of a child born out of wedlock. She’s had a number of jobs. Why does that matter at all? Bialek said today that she is not getting paid for coming forward, and that seems to be a matter that could be easily verified at some point.  As for the question of who is paying Gloria Allred, that’s not necessarily relevant either. For all we know, Allred is working pro bono on this matter.

Cain isn’t the only one going after Bialek. Within hours after her press conference yesterday, conservatives on Twitter were circulating a link to one of the lawsuits noted above which showed that the attorney for one of the Plaintiffs that sued Bialek in 2009 was named “David A. Axelrod.” That led many to make the leap, without thinking, to the conclusion that the attorney David Axelrod was the same person as President Obama’s political adviser. As a quick search on Wikipedia would have revealed to them, the David Axelrod who advises the President is not an attorney, and never actually received any degree higher than a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago. The attorney David Axelrod is an entirely different person. It didn’t stop there, though. This morning, the hosts of Fox & Friends decided to find some sinister conspiracy in the fact that Bialek and the “real” David Axelrod live in the same building in Chicago.  As it turns out, that building, 505 North Lake Shore Drive, is Lake Point Tower, a 70 floor mixed-use but mostly residential building on the shores of Lake Michigan with more than 1,200 residents. Obviously, evidence of a conspiracy there.

Perhaps the most bizarre part of the Cain campaign’s attack is when it notes that the statute of limitation for any legal action, civil or criminal, expired long ago. Doesn’t that discount the argument that Bialek is in this for the money?

This strikes me as the same kind of “nuts or sluts” defense we usually see from politicians accused of sexual wrongdoing. Rather than addressing the merits of the charges, the politician charged with inappropriate behavior attacks the accuser. It was wrong with Bill Clinton’s campaign did it to people like Gennifer Flowers, and it’s wrong now. It may turn out that Sharon Bialek is being less than truthful here, but the way that Herman Cain has chosen to respond to her is low-class, contemptible, and not fitting of someone running for President.

H/T: Matt Lewis

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Boyd says:

    I suppose that if you’ve got financial problems, you’re not allowed to complain about sexual harassment. That certainly makes it easier for predators to identify potential targets.

  2. mantis says:

    This Cain guy is a major jackass. I am still quite amazed that the faithful are so, well, faithful to such a bumbling dipshit.

    The fact is that Ms. Bialek has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances – which may help explain why she has come forward 14 years after an alleged incident with Mr. Cain

    Too bad her custody battles and bankruptcies don’t in any way explain why she is coming forward about these allegations. They are completely irrelevant, are not frivolous, money-seeking lawsuits, and the as you note the statute of limitations has run out on Cain’s alleged actions. For a guy now accused of improprieties from at least five women, that’s an unbelievably weak and malicious defense.

    For all we know, Allred is working pro bono on this matter.

    As I understand it, she occasionally does so with cases which raise her profile.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    As for the question of who is paying Gloria Allred, that’s not necessarily relevant either. For all we know, Allred is working pro bono on this matter.

    I’m guessing Allred will get paid by the networks for arranging interviews with her client. Whether or not that entails some other questions, I think its clear that most Americans would not be able to handle this circus without the assisstance of a performer.

    I agree with Doug’s take. It’s largely an ad hominem attack on his accuser that bizarelly undercuts a more credible line of attack that she’s lawyered up for a lawsuit.

  4. mantis says:

    I suppose that if you’ve got financial problems, you’re not allowed to complain about sexual harassment.

    Typically, if you are any less virtuous than a saint, you will be tarred mercilessly for making such a complaint. That’s why so many women don’t complain when it happens to them.

  5. mantis says:

    It’s largely an ad hominem attack on his accuser that bizarelly undercuts a more credible line of attack that she’s lawyered up for a lawsuit.

    How is that credible? What lawsuit?

  6. Dustin says:

    I’m remembering all of the crying about how the media treated Joe The Plumber right about now, and how instead of realizing it was a product of our sensationalized media entertainment environment, conservatives were positive it was all part of the grand conspiracy against conservatives who dared ask a question of Obama.

    Of course, they’re justified in vilifying this woman now, in the manner Joe was, because she’s also part of the grand conspiracy against black conservatives.

  7. Hey Norm says:

    This just in:

    The DC Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the PPACA as constitutional. The opinion was written by Judge Silberman, a conservative all-star, who was first nominated to the D.C. Circuit by Ronald Reagan. The court concluded that penalizing individuals for failing to obtain health insurance is within Congress’ powers under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled soap opera.

  8. Wayne says:

    A person who is an opportunist gold digger is irrelevant in an accusation case? Give me a break. Next you will say if she was shown to have made false accusation in the past that that doesn’t mean she is making one now and therefore is irrelevant to the case also.

    And claiming she has nothing to gain is asinine. Yes she may not get a cash settlement from the get go but will make money in the future. Look at how many talk shows she has already been sign up for. I also will bet she will be offer jobs by some Democrat supporter in the near future.

  9. Franklin says:

    9 jobs in 17 years … is this supposed to be evidence of something? I know well-qualified computer programmers who have similar records.

  10. jfoobar says:

    Yeah, sorry, this is not a case in a court of law. This is a case in the court of public opinion, and her past history (if it is relevant to the accusation at hand) is not only fair game realistically, it is fair game ethically. The fact that she has Allred standing behind her at the podium makes this even more true.

    I am not a Cain fan at all. In fact, I tend to regard his more vehement supporters as idiots for throwing their support behind a man who is not only obviously not qualified for the job he seeks but also has no practical chance to win in the general election. That being said, this woman is accusing him without any proof other than her word. Seeing as this is all she has, her past history and, by extension, her credibility are 100% open for discussion.

    Whether or not this is the best strategy for Cain to pursue under these circumstances is another discussion.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    A few points:

    1) It’s going to be tough, but this is one pizza man who can no longer even mention pepperoni.

    2) What’s the over/under on a love child?

    3) Also sausage.

  12. MBunge says:

    “Rather than addressing the merits of the charges, the politician charged with inappropriate behavior attacks the accuser.”

    Other than line up a bunch of women who will say “Herman Cain never sexually harassed/sexually assaulted me”, I’m not sure what else he’s supposed to do to defend himself. That doesn’t make it any less distasteful, of course.

    Mike

  13. David M says:

    @Wayne:

    I also will bet she will be offer jobs by some Democrat supporter in the near future.

    He’s running in the GOP primary and the Democratic party isn’t involved. Seeing this as a Democratic plot is just flat out ridiculous, which coincidentally is also the best description of Cain’s campaign publicity tour.

  14. Drew says:

    A former news reporter here in Chicago, and now morning radio show host, Amy Jacobsen, reports that she saw Ms Bialek and Mr Cain hugging and exchanging pleasantries recently before a WIND sponsored event. This doesn’t sound like a woman who was subjected to what amounts to battery or criminal sexual assault.

    Further, that creep Alred introduced this with a line “his own version of a stimulus package.’

    Is this cheap and opportunistic political theatre, or something of substance?

    Sometimes these things are IQ tests. Let’s get responses and measure IQ’s.

  15. Rob in CT says:

    I also will bet she will be offer jobs by some Democrat supporter in the near future

    Keep that tinfoil on, bud. They’re out to get you.

  16. CB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    i think michael just won the internets

  17. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Once again you are proving that, like with the Anthony Weiner scandal, you are really able to cut to the heart of the matter.

  18. anjin-san says:

    Demonize the victim. It’s one of the first cards a defense lawyer who specializes in rape cases turns over.

    In other news, Wayne is spending the day complaining about the victimhood of conservatives, and Drew says people who don’t agree with him are stupid.

    As for Amy Jacobson, her actions in the Stebic case call her integrity into pretty serious question.

  19. Janis Gore says:

    Do any of you read The Daily on Ipad?

    Sullivan passes this article along about one of the original accusers:

    http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/11/08/110811-news-cain-accuser-1-3/

  20. jan says:

    Cain’s immediate problems, IMO, are two-fold:

    The first one involves the competence revolving around Cain’s policies, especially ones relating to a less than full understanding of foreign affairs.

    Secondly, Cain’s biggest flaw in these sexual harassment charges, IMO, was brought out by Paul Gigot last weekend. He said the only ‘facts’ in these harassment claims are that there were two previously documented cases settled earlier. All the others are simply accusations. But, Gigot went on to say that Mr. Cain showed poor judgement in not coming out ahead of these allegations, which he must have known were incidents sure to surface sometime during his campaign, honestly addressing them at the onset of running for office. By not doing this, it calls into question on how he would deal with other presidential decisions. Would he be candid and up front with the people. Or, would he attempt to hide uncomfortable presidential matters and issues from the people?

    However, as a sidebar to this political scandal, I also muse over the overly bright spotlight the media has shone on this story. Bialek’s news conference, was described as an over-the-top event, especially one where there were no legal charges being brought up. It was merely another Allred moment in the sun, with a client who stood there with an FYI account about a distasteful encounter with Cain. According to this piece, there is a vast difference as to how this Cain revelation has unfolded and been treated by the press, versus when serious, slimy allegations were brought up against Bill Clinton:

    In only eight and a half days, NBC, CBS and ABC have devoted a staggering 99 stories to sexual harassment charges against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. In comparison, a week into Bill Clinton’s scandal’s with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, there were a combined eight reports.

    Then you have an interview of 20 Questions with Kathleen-Willey bringing up similar points about the number of women coming out of the woodwork with their speculations about Cain, and comparing it to her experience with Clinton….i.e.,”can all these women be lying?”

    I document in the book that Hillary Clinton has, for years, hired private investigators to clean up after her husband, and sends them to quiet women like me, who had the misfortune of crossing paths with Bill Clinton. Juanita Broaddrick. Paula Jones. We can’t all be lying. This is a woman who wants us to think she is a champion of women’s rights. Well, look what she does to women like me and all the women before me. This started way over 30 years ago.

    Now, In a interview a few days ago, before Bialek begin her press barnstorming, Willey expressed sentiments, showing infuriation over the double standard being displayed by the media towards Cain’s sexual harassment versus Clinton’s.

    The question I have is, why has there been such a big difference shown in reporting two political scandals involving two powerful men, both being accused of sexual improprieties by multiple women (Broadderick is listed as ‘Jane Doe #5’)? And, in the case of Cain, the charges against him have thus far only been of being an obnoxious cad running after and causing woman great discomfort. On the other hand, in the case of Clinton, it was far more serious in that he was alleged to have raped a woman. Is it only the era now, have things changed that much?

  21. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    Demonize the victim. It’s one of the first cards a defense lawyer who specializes in rape cases turns over.

    Yes, that certainly happened with Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick (aka as ‘Jane Doe #5 on Bill Clinton’s unwanted advances dance card).

    In only eight and a half days, NBC, CBS and ABC have devoted a staggering 99 stories to sexual harassment charges against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. In comparison, a week into Bill Clinton’s scandal’s with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, there were a combined eight reports.

    And, similar to what many are saying about the merit of all these allegations made against Cain concerning sexual improprieties, so was the same comment made by Willey in a 2007 interview:

    I document in the book that Hillary Clinton has, for years, hired private investigators to clean up after her husband, and sends them to quiet women like me, who had the misfortune of crossing paths with Bill Clinton. Juanita Broaddrick. Paula Jones. We can’t all be lying. This is a woman who wants us to think she is a champion of women’s rights. Well, look what she does to women like me and all the women before me. This started way over 30 years ago.

    Whatever is being thrown at Cain should also be leveled at Clinton. Or, is there a double standard in play because of the R and D after their names? In my mind a sexual predator is the same no matter which party he/she is affiliated with.

  22. mantis says:

    Funny how wingnuts believe the Democrats want to take down Cain. A Cain nomination would be a gift!

    Democrats are in the same position as the conservative base: Anyone but Romney will do. He’s got the best chance against the president in the general election. But conservatives are dead set on losing with a “pure” candidate. Too bad they turn on every one they get behind after a couple of weeks.

    Too bad they can’t just vote for Zombie Reagan (who does not resemble actual Reagan in any way).

  23. @jan:

    I have checked several sources just to be sure, but I just want to remind you that William Jefferson Clinton is no longer President of the United States and is not a candidate for office. Why are you and so many others on the right responding to the Herman Cain story by trying to relive the 1990s?

  24. PD Shaw says:

    @mantis: Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I divide the release into two component. There are statements about her character (troubled financial history, difficulty keeping a job, child out of wedlock, paternity dispute) which are purely ad hominem. I think they are irrelevant. (Indeed, her character might make her a good target)

    What is relevant is establishing a motive for her to make this story up, and all the release says is she can’t be motivated by legal action because she blew the statute of limitations. Maybe it’s implying she’s nuts.

  25. mantis says:

    The question I have is, why has there been such a big difference shown in reporting two political scandals involving two powerful men, both being accused of sexual improprieties by multiple women (Broadderick is listed as ‘Jane Doe #5′)?

    There isn’t. You’re getting your information from Newsbusters, which just makes shit up all day long. Do a Lexis Nexis search on Clinton and see how wrong they are.

  26. jan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Why are you and so many others on the right responding to the Herman Cain story by trying to relive the 1990s?

    It’s not a matter of reliving the 90’s, but rather reflecting on the difference in the media interpretation and selling of similar types of sexual misconduct of two men. Clinton is still on the political scene, giving counsel to our current president, despite these predator-like episodes of misconduct in his past. My gut feeling is that Cain will be destroyed by the current intensity of reporting. He may deserve it. But, then so does Clinton.

  27. WR says:

    @jan: Shorter Jan: “I’m not reliving the 90s, I’m desperately trying to change the subject! Look over there, a flying saucer!”

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson: @CB:
    I do always try to get to the meat of the matter.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Wayne:

    Yes she may not get a cash settlement from the get go but will make money in the future. Look at how many talk shows she has already been sign up for. I also will bet she will be offer jobs by some Democrat supporter in the near future.

    In that case… “HEY! Iwas sexually assaulted by Herman Cain too! In FACT, BY the entire GOP field after the last debate!!!”

    Now where do I go for my free Soros goodies?

  30. Drew says:

    anjin-san –

    Are calling Jacobsen a liar? Is that your response?

  31. MBunge says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Why are you and so many others on the right responding to the Herman Cain story by trying to relive the 1990s.”

    Two questions.

    1. Are these sexual harassment allegations supposed to disqualify Herman Cain from being the GOP nominee or President of the United States?

    2. If so, why did similar or worse allegations not disqualify Bill Clinton from the job, especially given that his response to them was at least as bad if not worse than Cain’s?

    Mike

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Ooooffff….

  33. @MBunge:

    1. That will be up to the voters. For me, Cain is disqualified thanks to his ignorance on foreign policy, his idiotic tax plan, his disdain for the 1st Amendment rights of Muslims, and his incompetent management style and bad judgment as revealed by his response to these allegations. To name a few things.

    2. The voters decided that twice, did they not?

  34. mantis says:

    Jacobson’s integrity is highly questionable. While with WMAQ, she was filmed cavorting in a bikini at the home of a man suspected of possible foul play in the disappearance of his estranged wife (missing and now presumed dead), a story she was reporting on at the time. She was fired from her real reporting job as a result, and has now landed at right wing talk radio.

  35. mantis says:

    @MBunge:

    Are these sexual harassment allegations supposed to disqualify Herman Cain from being the GOP nominee or President of the United States?

    He’s not disqualified. He can run for president all he wants. Hell, he could grope a woman on stage at a debate and still run if he wanted to. Will people vote for him? That’s a different question.

  36. MBunge says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “That will be up to the voters.”

    And do the voters require this story to now be dragged into a second week in order to make up their minds? And if the voters need this much attention paid, what exactly was the reason that essentially everybody except Tim Russert at NBC refused to cover the Juanita Broderick story?

    And frankly, even for a libertarian this “it’s up to the voters” dodge is weak. You’re writing about it. You’re criticizing Cain in connection to it. Take some damn individual responsibility over it.

    Mike

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I know. I felt kind of bad even writing it.

  38. @MBunge:

    It’s called freedom of the press. If viewers don’t want to see this stuff, they won’t watch it. In the midst of a Presidential campaign, though, there’s very little that isn’t news.

  39. anjin-san says:

    Are calling Jacobsen a liar? Is that your response?

    I was not there, so no. But the fact that she has exhibited exhibited unprofessional behavior and grievous lack of judgement and ethics in the past seems pretty darn clear.

    Are you saying that you are hitching your wagon to someone with her history? Would you do business with her?

  40. mantis says:

    And do the voters require this story to now be dragged into a second week in order to make up their minds?

    Let’s check with the voters……ok, we’re back. The voters are unclear on what they “require.”

    And if the voters need this much attention paid, what exactly was the reason that essentially everybody except Tim Russert at NBC refused to cover the Juanita Broderick story?

    Is that how it happened? Let’s check….and we’re back. No, that’s not correct. Broaddrick (not Broderick) had stated explicitly in a 1997 sworn affidavit that Clinton never touched her. When two years later she decided to tell a different story, it was not very widely believed due to her previous testimony and other inconsistencies, including by the FBI. The Wall Street Journal ran with it though, as did other outlets.

    Tim Russert, to his credit, refused to air the Lisa Myers/Broaddrick interview. You have it backwards.

  41. matt b says:

    @jan:
    *Sigh*

    Right because the media never reports on the sexual picadillos of Democratic Politicians (See John Edwards)… especially those in the 90’s (Gary Hart wishes that was true).

    This is just a really poor attempt to draw false equivalencies in order… surprise, surprise to demonstrate bias against your party/side of the playing field. I though you people hated professional “victims.”

    The problem with the analysis you cite above is that it really is a case of comparing apples and oranges. For example, all of those accusation come *AFTER* Clinton’s election. Which means it was a fundamentally different media cycle. Likewise, it was a *different* media environment — note that political broke this particular story. And there has been a general shift in news coverage over the last decade to a LOT more soft political news (in part sparked by competition from the 24 hour news channels).

    I you wanted to do apples to apples, it probably would have been more accurate to compare this against Gary Hart. Or… instead of focusing on the total number of stories, examine how they broke out as far as a percentage of all stories written at the time (btw, news packages have been getting shorter for quite some time).

    As far as the second half of the post, behvaior aside, the reason that Clinton still has a job in politics is three fold:
    a. he was a politician to begin with — and good at it. Cain is not a politician (hence his popularity with some people). Unless you support Cain being drummed out of private industry leadership positions, you’re not doing a n equal comparison.

    b. The only proven issues with Clinton dealt with extra-martial affairs. The rest of the claims, which were aired and investigated by Ken Starr and the FBI were all compromised. There is no question that Clinton had a history/pattern of extra-martial affairs… the issue is whether or not the sex was consensual.

    c. THE KEY ONE – He came clean. If Cain comes clean, he might survive. If he fights this and more comes out, he goes down. It’s that simple. And the longer

    And right now it should be held that these harassment/assault accusations are exactly that… accusations. Though Cain is starting from a bad place in that settlement payments were already made.

    Beyond all of that, the biggest problem for Cain is that this fire is coming from his own party. Or do you subscribe to that this is a vast left wing/high tech lynching?

  42. sam says:

    Niles: Frasier…

    Frasier: Oh, what fresh hell is this?

  43. anjin-san says:

    Clinton is still on the political scene, giving counsel to our current president, despite these predator-like episodes of misconduct in his past.

    Please show evidence that Clinton ever acted as a “predator”. Certainly he was unfaithful to his wife, and he broke trust with the American people in the Lewinski affair, but I don’t know of any case where his attentions were unwanted by women he was involved with. Quite the contrary.

    He loves women, and they love him back, It’s one more reason he drives wingnuts insane.

  44. Rick Almeida says:

    @jan:

    It’s not a matter of reliving the 90′s, but rather reflecting on the difference in the media interpretation and selling of similar types of sexual misconduct of two men.

    Is your claim that Clinton’s infidelities and improprieties were not covered in depth in the 1990s?

  45. mantis says:

    @sam:

    Frasier: Oh, what fresh hell is this?

    FYI, that’s a Dorothy Parker quote. She used to answer the phone that way.

  46. PD Shaw says:

    @MBunge: I think character is always relevant in selecting a President. How people assess character is complicated; it can’t be reduced to an either/or proposition of whether he is qualified. For a personality-driven campaign like Cain’s though, questions about his character will always be more severe.

  47. mantis says:

    Is your claim that Clinton’s infidelities and improprieties were not covered in depth in the 1990s?

    I’ve noticed this quite a bit in the last week, wingnuts claiming Clinton’s sexual adventures were ignored by the press. Regular OTB hand-waving troll Jay Tea made the claim last Tuesday. They live in an imaginary world of their own devising.

  48. Boyd says:

    @matt b:

    He came clean.

    I think you’ve oversimplified your point to where it bears little resemblance to reality there, Matt.

  49. sam says:

    @mantis:

    “FYI, that’s a Dorothy Parker quote. She used to answer the phone that way.”

    Really? Didn’t know that. Wonder DP was say about HC?

  50. grumpy realist says:

    Clinton = shiny distraction thrown out by wingnuts to distract from Cain’s messes.

    And FYI, I was in Japan during the entire Clinton mess and the standard foreign consensus was the following:

    France: Clinton has a mistress? Et alors?
    Italy: only ONE mistress? What’s wrong with him?
    Japan: but what will this do to the dollar/yen ratio?

    Basically, everyone else thought that Americans had lost their collective minds. Great times.

  51. matt b says:

    @Boyd:
    Fair… I was writing fast. And looking back that’s a pretty gross generalization.

    Clinton admitted to having the affair with Lewinski and lying under oath. He didn’t come clean about past indiscretions…

    That said, for better or worse, the work of Ken Starr and the Impeachment process essentially eliminated passed criminal accusations and reduced everything to Lewinsky. In that way it made Clinton’s path to redemption a little different than some of the other names discussed above.

    The publicness of the entire impeachment process also meant that Clinton “did his time” in the wilderness during his presidency.

  52. matt b says:

    @PD Shaw: Along those same lines, Cain forefronted his Christian identity and has built it into his candidacy. That means that if he gets hit on moral issues he has — fairly or unfairly — a bigger problem.

  53. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    Please show evidence that Clinton ever acted as a “predator”.

    Oh please, just review the accounts by Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, the latter woman having accused Clinton of rape.

    As far as the treatment of the press towards Clinton’s escapades when compared to Cain’s, the women bringing allegations against Clinton were initially dismissed by the MSM:

    Here is what some MSM heavy hitters initially had to say about Paula Jones:

    Charlie Gibson of ABC asked a colleague on the air: “Why does anyone care what this woman has to say?”

    And Evan Thomas of Newsweek said Ms. Jones was nothing more than a “sleazy woman with big hair.”

    There are a few minor negative columns out on Sharon Bialak today, including a more serious piece coming from the UK, investigating her background. But, I haven’t heard of any news anchors (as opposed to a certain Washington Post columnist) knocking her credibility yet, by making fun of her looks or character, have you?

    Bernard Goldberg has a piece out calledWhat if Herman Cain were a Liberal?, which poses interesting questions related to race and party when it comes to media bias.

  54. jan says:

    @matt b:

    Both of your posts above are ones I agree with.

    Anybody, clothed in religion, has greater problems when said beliefs are breached.

    Also, Clinton’s prior sexual indiscretions were muffled once the Lewinski affair took off. I personally feel the whole Monica affair was overblown, while his other transgressions were far worse in nature, and under-reported.

  55. anjin-san says:

    @Jan

    Do you know what evidence is?

    Ken Starr went hard after Clinton. Was Clinton ever indicted for any of these “crimes”? I remind you that Starr is a man with impeccable qualifications and a reputation for integrity that is not in question. He is a tough, serious guy. If there was anything to those allegations, they would have been acted on.

    In other words, you have nothing. Please return to the serious business of whining about right wing victimhood.

  56. mantis says:

    while his other transgressions were far worse in nature, and under-reported.

    They were fully investigated by Starr, who found nothing.

  57. jan says:

    @matt b:

    There is no question that Clinton had a history/pattern of extra-martial affairs… the issue is whether or not the sex was consensual.

    This is from a Lisa Myers/Juanita Broaddrick, Dateline Story.

    Pressed by Myers as to whether she was raped, Broaddrick said she had been. “It was not consensual,” she insisted. As for her feelings now toward the president, Broaddrick said: “My hatred for him is overwhelming.”

    I remember seeing that broadcast. It was especially intriguing as NBC was reported to have been very reticient about airing it, holding back the airing of it for a time, even though Lisa Myers, a very reputable reporter, stood squarely behind the information.

    NBC’s decision to broadcast the Jan. 20 interview after a month of heated internal debate dramatically boosts the visibility of Clinton’s latest accuser, since “Dateline” normally draws an audience of more than 10 million households. Broaddrick has already given her account of the alleged 1978 incident, when Clinton was Arkansas attorney general, to the Wall Street Journal editorial page, The Washington Post and, in an article published yesterday, the New York Times.

    Had NBC aired the interview during the Senate impeachment trial and the furor over Monica S. Lewinsky, it might have had a significant impact on the political climate. Whether the story has any lasting significance now, outside the context of any legal or impeachment proceeding, is unclear. NBC executives say the Myers report needed further checking and corroboration before it could be broadcast.

  58. mantis says:

    @jan:

    What about Broaddrick’s affidavit, two years before that interview, where she stated that Clinton never made any sexual advances?

    What about the fact that Broaddrick’s claims never resulted in any indictment? Rape is a serious crime. If there were any evidence, why no prosecution?

  59. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    Do you know what evidence is?

    The “evidence” is the same as what is being presented against Mr. Cain, women saying they were sexually harassed by a man. There were specific allegations against Clinton, where it was their word against his, just like it’s Ms. Bialak’s against Cain.

    You keep directing this discourse to the Lewinski scandal, which was consensual. That is not even applicable in this matter when both people mutually agree to an action These other Clinton women, it was reported by them as not.

  60. jan says:

    @mantis:

    What about Broaddrick’s affidavit, two years before that interview, where she stated that Clinton never made any sexual advances?

    In a book by Candice Jackson, Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine, Broaddrick explained her response in that affidavit:

    Why did she sign a false affidavit? “I didn’t want to be forced to testify about one of the most horrific events in my life,” she told Lisa Myers. “I didn’t want to go through it again.” But signing the affidavit hadn’t called off the hounds and there she was, reliving it all over again on national TV.

    It’s so interesting that many of you have felt great empathy to those women having to come forward about Cain. You seem to understand their wish for privacy, anonymity. But, when it comes to woman saying they were sexually embarrassed/abused by Clinton, there is nothing but cynicism and putting their stories down because of a “lack of evidence.”

    Don’t you see the very bias in yourselves?

  61. Lovaiatar says:

    jan wins Troll Of The Day.

    For her great job on today’s post about Herman Cain. The post which started off talking about Herman Cains’ character attack against his accuser, turned into a rehash of Republican allegations against Bill Clinton from the 1990s.

    Lets all give Jan a big finger hand for a job well done.

  62. mantis says:

    In a book by Candice Jackson, Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine, Broaddrick explained her response in that affidavit:

    So because she didn’t want to “go through it all again,” she went on national TV and went through it all again? That makes no sense whatsoever.

    It’s so interesting that many of you have felt great empathy to those women having to come forward about Cain. You seem to understand their wish for privacy, anonymity.

    More strawmen from Jan, just like this thread from a few days ago that you ran away from. I’ve expressed no opinion whatsoever about Cain’s accusers’ right to privacy and anonymity. FWIW I think they should come forward publicly or remain silent.

    ut, when it comes to woman saying they were sexually embarrassed/abused by Clinton, there is nothing but cynicism and putting their stories down because of a “lack of evidence.”

    I don’t believe Broaddrick because she stated, under oath, that nothing ever happened, and then years later gave several contradictory stories, offering zero evidence of anything. I have not heard about any of Cain’s accusers (the identities of two are now known) signing affidavit’s stating the opposite of what they are now claiming. Bialek, for her part, has two people stating that that she told them about the incident when it happened.

    Do you not see the difference between one woman publicly stating nothing happened whatsoever, and then claiming rape much later on, and a woman who told her boyfriend and another individual about an incident at the time it allegedly occurred now coming forward? Do you really think those are the same situations, meriting the same levels of skepticism? If so, please explain. Try to do so without constructing all sorts of strawmen.

  63. Boyd says:

    @mantis:

    They were fully investigated by Starr, who found nothing.

    Starr was only Special Prosecutor for five years, starting with Foster and Whitewater. He didn’t investigate all of the sex-based claims, if only because he didn’t have enough time.

  64. David M says:

    As far as the “but Clinton!!!111!!!!!” responses go, they are part the approved right wing talking points, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see them. However, they do illustrate where the poster is coming from, as it illustrates the following quite nicely.

    1) Their primary goal is to make the other team look bad. Distracting from actual issue and making the Democrats look bad is much more important than the actual issue. Whether or not the allegations are true is irrelevant, as it’s only about supporting their team. The allegations are bad news for the GOP, so the response is “Look at [Insert Democratic Politician Here]”.

    2) They live in a brave new cocoon, where they only get news from approved sources and dutifully repeat what they are told. To most people, there was non-stop coverage of Clinton scandals during 90s, but in their fantasy world, the press covered up for Clinton. The reality is the press gave more coverage to most Clinton “scandals” than they deserved.

  65. matt b says:

    @jan: Thanks for the agreement on some points… good to see we can fin common ground.

    However, I have to call you on this:

    Clinton’s prior sexual indiscretions were muffled once the Lewinski affair took off. I personally feel the whole Monica affair was overblown, while his other transgressions were far worse in nature, and under-reported.

    The problem with this position is — as with accusations about Obama’s supposedly un-investigated radical past that others made/make — this doesn’t fit the facts. Jones, Willey, and Broaddrick were all investigated by both the FBI and Ken Starr (remember that Lewinisky comes to light as part of the the Jones proceedings).

    Of course in terms of the civil case brought by Jones… that was setttled. However, both Starr and the FBI found insufficient evidence to back up the claims made by the women you cited above. In fact, at on time or another. In fact, at least two of of these individuals either had perjured themselves (or wouild have) in sworn testomony if they had not been granted immunity by Ken Starr. Additionally, each of them were found to have axes (outside of sex) to grind against Clinton.

    (high level summaries of each are available via a wiki page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_misconduct_allegations_against_Bill_Clinton)

    As far as the “reaction” of “mainstream” media at the time as cited in that crappy (and I call it crappy due to the level of reasoning, writing, and general victimhood it portrayed) editorial by Goldberg, my two thoughts are first that he manages to (a) damn the entire “media” with two quotes presented without context or links and (b) fails to acknowledge the far worse comments made in the conservative media against people like Anita Hill and the current Cain accusers.

    Goldberg is exactly the type of ass who continually wines about a culture of victimhood among liberals while suggesting the real victims are always conservatives.

  66. matt b says:

    @Boyd: While I appreciate the sly joke (or at least I think it’s one), it does pose a serious question for Jan and others… after five years of investigations and the fact that we KNOW that Starr and the impeachment committee did repeatedly interview these women (and in particular Broaddrick who did recant her original sworn statements) can any one make a serious argument for why these threads were not followed to the end?

    I just don’t believe that it simply comes down to timing.

    2 asides — When it comes to these issues of sex, I am not a Clinton supporter (at best I’m a begrudging supporter of his in general). It’s just that the facts just never seem to work all that well.

  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I know. I felt kind of bad even writing it.

    I wouldn’t have, I would have been proud to stand on my own pedestal. Michael, you set it up (pointed to left center field) then hit it over the wall. Why shouldn’t you enjoy your trot around the bases? I did.

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I do always try to get to the meat of the matter.

    And that, is my nomination for post of the year. (Posts???? the whole is greater than its parts.)

  69. Theme music for Mr Mataconis.

    As for the question of who is paying Gloria Allred, that’s not necessarily relevant either.

    Not necessarily. So quaint.

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Seriously, “Comment of the Year” awards strikes me as a capital idea… We make the nominations, you (front pagers) decide the winners.

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That should be “Comments of the Year”…

    You know, “Stupid comments of the Year” (I could be be a finalist every year)…
    “Funny comment of the Year”…
    “Ironic comment of the Year”
    “Wing-nut comment of the Year- Left/Right”

    Etc, etc.

  72. Rick Almeida says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I also want to see an annual OTB comments award night!

  73. Havoth says:

    @mantis: Gloria Allred stated that she is working this case pro bono. And that Ms Bialek is a Republican. But Herman Cain said today this an attack from “the Democratic machine”. I really appreciated your post though, as it is exactly how I feel about Herman Cain’s post on his site. It is a low-class punch.

  74. An Interested Party says:

    It is rather amusing that anyone would accuse any Democrat or liberal of being behind any of this…Herman Cain, much like Sarah Palin before him, is the gift that keeps on giving to the President, who can only hope that Cain will become his opponent in the general election…hell, maybe the President should pull a Gray Davis and spend money to make sure Cain, Perry, or one of the other GOP loonies wins the Republican nomination…

  75. anjin-san says:

    “Stupid comments of the Year”

    I foresee lifetime achievement awards for bithead and Jay Tea.

  76. anjin-san says:

    You keep directing this discourse to the Lewinski scanda

    Do you know how to count? I believe I referenced Lewinski exactly once. You, on the other hand, have mentioned her at least three times. Why do YOU keep directing this discourse to the Lewinski scandal?

  77. Shooterguy says:

    What’s going on with the allegations against Herman Cain is the equivalent of the kind of thing that goes on in rape trials where the defense tells the judge that he’d like to call some witness to testify about the accuser’s previous sexual history. Of course the judge says, “Denied, defense is reminded that such testimony is not admisable in rape trials.” Then defense looks into the courtroom audience and says, “ok gentlemen, I won’t be needing you today, but thanks for your time,” and about 20+ guys get up and walk out of the court room. We all know the real story, Defense simply told 20+ guys who had nothing to do with the case to wait in the court room until he tells them they can go. He had no intention of putting any of them on the stand, but now the impression is made on the jury. She’s a an unbelievable slut, because where there is smoke there’s fire, right?

    So now the She Saids have had their say, and He Said is firing back and people are getting upset because Mr. Cain is impuning this woman’s credibility? Her claims are unsubstantiated and if she wasnt pissed off enough to file charges 14 years ago she had better expect folks to doubt her veracity today now that money and fame are involved. I’m sorry Ms. Bialek, you ARE the new Anita Hill.

  78. Rob in CT says:

    A lot of people believe Anita Hill (who, IIRC, also was not a “Democrat Machine” operative, but rather was playing for Team Red).

  79. Jack Davis says:

    In a word…or in two words…who cares? The only thing that matters is who gets enough delegates to win the Republican nomination, either through the primaries or though the primaries + the usual horse-trading at the convention.

    What WILL matter in 2012 are the following issues–Solyndra, Beacon Power, Obamacare, the screwing of the Chrysler bondholders, NLRB vs. Boeing, the much-vaunted stimulus package that was supposed to keep unemployment from going above 8 percent–but didn’t, Operation Fast and Furious, the idiocy of attempting to try Khalid Sheikh Mohamed in federal court (in NYC), failure to throw the book at the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation on Election Day, the stupidity of Obama promising what he couldn’t deliver on Guantanamo, etc., etc., and so forth.

    “We won’t get fooled again.”

  80. physics geek says:

    Doug,

    I’m not a Cain supporter and I have no idea whether or not any of these allegations are true, although I suspect that the true lies somewhere between the he said, she said battle lines. However, I am curious as to what you think he could possibly do to defend himself. He can’t disprove something that wasn’t reported and for which there is no physical evidence. In other words, he can’t prove a negative. So what’s left except for pointing out potential issues with his attacker’s credibility? Really, what’s your point? He can’t ignore them, because you-rightfully- would point out that he was dodging the issue. I’ve already pointed out that he can’t disprove the allegation. So what’s left? And I really would like to know what you think Cain would be allowed to do to defend himself other than what he’s doing. Is he doing it well? Umm, I think that you’d get no argument that his response team is not overly strong. But if you can’t ignore, caon’t disprove something it (no evidence either way) and you’re not allowed to attack the claimant’s credibility, what’s left?

  81. anjin-san says:

    “We won’t get fooled again.”

    Say hi to bin laden when you see him…

  82. David M says:

    @Jack Davis: I’m not sure which worries me more, the idea that people actually believe this nonsense, or they dislike Obama so much that truth has no meaning.

  83. As opposed, I suppose, to people who like Obama so much the truth has no meaning.

  84. mantis says:

    @Jack Davis:

    What WILL matter in 2012 are the following issues–Jobs.

    FTFY.

  85. anjin-san says:

    the truth has no meaning.

    Like the truth that we have gained jobs 16 months in a row as opposed to losing half a million a month under bush?

  86. firefly says:

    None of these women have any proof of wrong doing on the part of Mr. Cain, yet he has already been found guilty in the court of public opinion. THAT is what is low class! Ms. Bialek is trying to destroy Mr. Cain’s reputation with not a shred of evidence to support her allegations. Her history of questionable behavior is absolutely relevant!