Putting the Ass in HarASSment

From Dave Wiegel at SLATE:

There are two contradictory rules in politics about how to handle an opponent’s embarrassing scandal.

Door Number One: Pile on. The guy’s not “under fire” unless there are flames on him. In the words of James Carville, “if he’s drowning, toss the sonuvabitch an anvil.”

Door Number Two: Back away. The guy’s on fire: You don’t want to get singed!

The choice that Cain’s opponents are making tells us a lot about how he can move past this. They’re all picking Door Number Two. Rick Santorum, in Iowa, isn’t talking about it. Ron Paul is explicitly saying he won’t go after Cain’s “character.” The Perry and Romney campaigns merely deny that the story came from them.

So who outed Herb Herman Cain?
Original DVD cover

[The]  NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which asked Republicans where their votes would go if Cain dropped out, doesn’t particularly help anyone as much as it helps Romney, whom the Tea Party doesn’t like (generally speaking), and Gingrich, whose niche campaign has remained sort of interesting, but remains a terrible anti-Romney for all kinds of reasons. (No money, marital baggage, inability to stick to a message for more than four weeks, horrible general election polls.) These factoids were confirmed by the DMR poll, in which Gingrich and Romney were the second-choice candidates of the most voters — Cain, pre-scandal, was the poll leader and the second-choice favorite.

I have my own theories. Let’s take them one by one.

Suspect #1:  Karl Rove.  Turdblossom has been flapping his lips about Herman’s gaffes and even showed up on Fox News with a whiteboard and a list of them.  Herm lashed back by saying that Turdy is part of the hated establishment, so it’s no wonder that he doesnt’ approve of ol’ Herm.  Turdy knows that Herm can’t win, and dirty tricks are part of his repertoire, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the culprit.  Plus, he’s got lots of PAC money, so he can afford to investigate those he doesn’t approve of.  Herm is in the pocket of the Koch brothers, and Turdy and the Kochs are at war to see who can control the Rethuglican party.

Suspect #2:  Governor Little Ricky Goodhair.  He’s been sinking like an anvil due to one gaffe after another.  I bet he’d like to take some of the negative attention off himself and focus it on someone else.  He learned how to run a nasty campaign from none other than the aforementioned Turdblossom.  Besides, he appears to be on a sugar-high from an overdose of New Hampshire maple syrup.  Both he and Herm are Tea Party darlings, so he might be thinking that he’ll get Herm’s voters by default.  I happen to think he’s wrong, because Teabaggers won’t abandon one of their own over sexual harassment.  They think women should be harassed.

Suspect #3:  Flip-Flop Mittsie.  Mittsie’s poll number don’t move any more than his hair.  He might be getting desperate to pick up supporters anywhere and anyway he can.  He likes to act righteous, but he’s sleazy as hell on the inside.

Suspect #4:  Ron Paul.  I don’t think he did anything personally, but he’s got rabid supporters, and who knows what they’d do?

Suspect #5:  Frothy Santorum.  Frothy thinks he’s holier-than-everyone, and what better than a scandal having to do with sex to allow him to spew some more bullshit about how sacred his marriage is and how gay people will screw that up if they get married?

Suspect #6:  Newt Gingrich.  Herm had the nerve to come up with his 9-9-9 plan, and the TV bobbleheads couldn’t stop talking about it.  Newtie fancies himself the big idea man on the Rethuglican side, but he can’t seem to get any attention.  He’s a nasty bastard, and I put nothing past him.  Plus, he’s got so many sex scandals in his closet, he’d love to level the playing field in that regard.

Suspect #7:  Botox Batshit Bachmann.  She’s got to be pissed that first, the Teabaggers dumped her, and then the religious right seemed to have forsaken her.  They used to love her, but they dumped her for Herm.  Plus, we know that Marcus is her closest (and at this point, maybe only) adviser, and he might be pissed that Herm never hit on him.

Suspect #8:  Democrats.  Nah.  They’d be more than thrilled if Herm was crowned the Rethgulican nominee, because President Obama would make pizza toppings out of him.

Suspect #9:  Herman Cain.  I don’t think he’s ever really been serious about being the candidate.  He did this to make himself a household name so he can make more money from speeches or perhaps a gig at Faux News.  Would he deliberately rat on himself just to stay in the news without having to talk about actual policy, which he has proven he knows nothing about?  He didn’t even know the details of his own 9-9-9 plan, and he certainly knows nothing about foreign policy.  Since we might never know the details of the harassment suit, he can continue to push the bullshit that he’s a victim of the media or other candidates or Democrats who feel threatened by his awesomeness.

Suspects #10 & 11:  The harassed women.  Just as Anita Hill felt it was her duty to unmask Clarence Thomas as the asshole he truly is, one of these women might have thought it their patriotic duty to tell people what Herm is really like.

Let me just add that I think the charge of racism is pure and utter bullshit.   I think outing Herm’s problem was political, not racial.  I have never ever associated sexual harassment with men of color, and I have never heard anyone else make that assertion (other than Clarence Thomas).  It’s not a black-man thing.   Instead, it’s a powerful man thing.  There are certain men of every color who, when they make a lot of money or acquire a smidgeon of power or fame, assume a sense of entitlement.  One of the things they believe they are entitled to are any women they are attracted to.  They think the rules no longer apply to them.

With all that said, I’ll name my pick for the most likely suspect.  Based on previous campaign behavior and the sense of desperation that must be overtaking him, my choice is:

rock maple syrup ranch


Filed under Anita Hill, Barack Obama, Clarence Thomas, Democrats, humor, Iowa, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, movies, New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Scandals, Sexual Harassment, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

25 responses to “Putting the Ass in HarASSment

  1. I’m with you. Rick Perry did it. Or maybe it was just his hair talkin’.

  2. John Erickson

    I loved Media Matters’ headline that stated Cain was the victim of racism. The prime suspects? Those that had (and still do) attack Obama. But they’re not racist when they go after Obama! (At least according to Fox News.)
    The double standards have officially shifted into ludicrous speed. 😉

    • the rethugs love to cast themselves as victims. if you’re white, you’re a victim. if you’re black, rich, and conservative, you’re a victim (unlike poor and middle-class black liberals who are definitely not victims). if you’re rich, you’re a victim. if you’re christian, you’re a victim. i think a ‘rethuglicans: special victims unit’ might be in order. 🙄

  3. Love this poster and your analysis of the thug clowns !
    I can make out the flip flops on Mittsy, even the Ayn Rand t-shirt on ol’ Ron, and your depiction of ‘Lil Ricky is just dead-on perfect — but what’s under Rove’s arm?

    • thanks, edgyleh, for the kind words and for noticing my little jokes. there’s nothing under turdy’s arm that wasn’t there in the original poster. i porked him up a bit, but i didn’t accessorize him. his pigginess is his adornment, so don’t strain your eyes! 😉

  4. Dang. Super sleuthy guess. You might be right. Hard to argue with the painted rock.

    • i thought about not including the rock in this particular post, but i decided to leave it in. i don’t know if gov little ricky goodhair is a racist. i don’t think he is. however, he is definitely racially insensitive. i don’t think he hates black people or latinos or women, but he is completely tone-deaf and blind when it comes to their concerns. i don’t believe for a minute that he thought the offensive name of the ranch was whited out (no pun intended). i think he grew up in a prejudiced world, and that’s what he grew up thinking was normal. he can’t understand that an african-american (and a large percentage of the population) finds it totally offensive and insulting. i don’t think that little ricky gives a shit about anything other than his own political ambitions. he’s like mittsie, in that he has no real convictions. he does whatever is politically expedient.

      i read that someone at the restaurant association dropped the dime on hermie. i have to wonder why they waited so long. why not do it as soon as he entered the race. i still think one of the campaigns (or maybe a couple colluding together) had a hand in it, maybe paying the rat so that his/her lips would flap in the ear of politico.

      • I think Perry is the modern gentrified racist–aggressively bigoted in policies and laws that disproportionately harm black people and passively bigoted in treating “N#@@$%head” like it ain’t no thang. I think it’d be his pleasure to undermine the man of color outperforming him.

        Personally, I hope the lady doesn’t come forward. The GOP is more rabid than back in the Anita Hill days. “Her side of the story” coming out is guaranteed to bring her unfathomable misery.

        As for the “whodunnit?” aspect, I can’t help but remember Karl Rove’s black baby lie about McCain. Not to say Rove did it. He just set the void of standards.

        • i’m trying to wrap my head around what racism and bigotry are at their core and whether there are degrees. it would take a lot of typing to explain all my thoughts about it. it would be so much easier to discuss it in person. i was thinking of a lady (i’ll call her ellen) i used to work with at a bank. she was the commercial loan officer, and i was the installment loan secretary. the loan department was made up of only 4 people–ellen, me, my boss, and another woman, edna, who was as sweet as can be. my last name is irish, and i can easily pass for irish, so ellen never realized that i’m jewish. even though i didn’t work for her, there were times when my boss would lend me to her. once, we had to go downtown to the main branch for a meeting. we chatted about a lot of different things. at one point, she started talking about her old customers (she had transferred to our branch a few months before) in miami (we were in ft lauderdale). she said that some of her best customers were jews. she said a few disparaging things about how cheap jews are, but they were really good customers. i just kept nodding my head as she spoke, so i guess she felt free to keep going. she spewed just about every stereotype of jews she had ever heard. i still just kept nodding. we went back to our branch. this was just a couple of weeks before xmas and chanukah. one day, someone started talking about the holidays. my boss and edna knew i’m jewish, and they started to ask me about chanukah. my son was only 6 or 7 at the time, and my father would bring him to the bank on friday, because the bank was open late, and his afterschool closed before i was off work, so everyone at work knew him well, and they asked me what i was getting him and stuff like that. i glanced over at ellen, and i could see that she was absolutely mortified. she remembered all the things she had said to me, and now she realized that i’m jewish. i knew she was wondering if i had said anything to edna or my boss (i hadn’t). she got all flustered and my boss and edna couldn’t figure out why. it was either the next day or the one after than when she stated a conversation with me about her wonderful jewish neighbors. the father was a rabbi, and he had 2 adorable children. she went on and on, and once again, i just kept nodding. when chanukah came around, she had a card with a 5 dollar bill in it for my son. we never had another conversation about religion. i figured there was no need to beat her over the head with her ignorance, because i thought she had learned her lesson. i knew she liked me, and she didn’t like me or respect me any less once she knew i was jewish. something changed in the equation, but it wasn’t how she felt about me or my son (she always adored him). instead, i honestly believe she realized that she was judging people on the wrong criteria. did she leave all her old prejudices behind? i doubt it. however, i think she took a step in the right direction. she was from the same generation as my parents, so i knew i couldn’t judge her the same way i could judge someone who grew up at the same time i did. i think we have to take into consideration a person’s background and be grateful when they can leave what they grew up with behind and accept a new way of thinking.

          so, what’s my point after this long and boring story? i’m not sure. was ellen an anti-semite or was she just repeating what she had always heard growing up? did she really hate jews or did she think she was just repeating what conventional wisdom was? was there hate in her heart or just a few synapses not working in her brain? i really don’t think she would have checked to see if a doctor was jewish before deciding whether to see him or not. i don’t think she would have dismissed a jewish job applicant just based on religion. on the other hand, i don’t know if she would have been very sympathetic to someone who is jewish who complained about being discriminated against.

          i gave gov little ricky goodhair the benefit of the doubt and said he was racially insensitive and that i didn’t know if he was really a racist. i don’t know what’s in his heart. does he hate black people? i don’t know. does he care about black people? i don’t think so. however, i think there’s a bigger picture. i don’t think he cares about people in general. i think he cares only for his own political ambitions and his own enrichment. as for the name of the ranch, i think it’s his total lack of being able to see things through someone else’s eyes that made him completely oblivious to the hurt that the name would cause others.

          maybe i’m parsing it a bit too much in my brain. i think that i’m making a distinction between being racist and being a racist. i think that people do and say a lot of racist things without even realizing that they’re doing it. i don’t think it’s out of hatred, but out of ignorance of how it makes other people feel. it’s like when people use the word ‘retard.’ it’s a very hurtful word, but i don’t think that most people who use it mean it in a hateful way, and i don’t think that they really hate people with mental disabilities. on the other hand a racist, at least in my mind, is someone who actually believes that s/he is actually superior to other people by dint of her/his race.

          this is probably boring everyone to death, and it’s making my head hurt, because no matter how much i type, i’m probably not making myself clear (mostly because it’s not really completely clear in my own mind).

          sorry to ramble on (as if anyone is still reading).

          as for the women, i wish we lived in an environment in which someone can speak the truth in public without the threat of physical, emotional, or financial harm. the women were the victims, not hermie. they deserve to air their stories instead of him and his cronies talking shit about them when they aren’t able to defend themselves.

          i’ll still stand with my conclusion that it was someone in gov little ricky goodhair’s campaign.

          • Interesting rant. People like to get into those “how they are” stories like how they are always bitching about the air conditioning and stealing the silverware. Back in the 70s my best friend had a father who was a senior Delta captian. One of his favorite Jew stories was how in the 60s when he flew DC-8s on the NY-MIA route (before jetways when they used roll up airstairs) he would carry on about after landing, the Jews would elbow their way up to the front of the plane to get off on the front door so people would think they flew in first class. The guy was a toal fuckhead who would refer to me as “that fag”. (not nancy at all)

            • you read all that? i didn’t even know where i was going. i don’t even know why that story popped into my mind. i think my point (if i actually had one) is that there’s an inner bigot in a lot of us. some people might not express it i public, but embrace it. others may not even be conscious of their own prejudices, and when they are made aware of them, they try to change their ways. another point is that sometimes we don’t even realize that we’re insulting to other people, because we can’t see through their eyes or hear with their ears. calling someone a retard might seem innocuous to most people, but to someone with mental disabilities or family members of them would say that it’s not innocuous at all. even when we say or even think things that don’t come from a mean place, they can sound very mean to those with an entirely different background.

          • I agree with your assessment that much of the problem is ignorance. Even ignorance in colloquial expressions. Two of my four best friends in high school were Jewish. I became affectionately familiar with many people, traditions, etc of the culture. So I can recall my horror when somebody reamed me out when I said “some of my best friends are Jewish.” I didn’t understand.

            That said, I always thought that one of the beauties of being an American is that there is, in the majority of the culture, a desire to NOT be prejudice. I found myself frequently surprised, while living in Europe for 5 years, that Europeans would unabashedly spout racial/national stereotypes. Being a good progressive, I often politely suggested that so-and-so might be an asshole for reasons other than country of birth — they rarely believed me. We Americans have had to learn to live together. Europeans are just trying to catch up with us.

            • i would love to think that americans, just because we live in a melting pot and have been exposed to people of all races, religions, and cultures, are more sensitive to and respectful of the feelings of others. however, it seems that we’ve been taking giant steps backwards in a lot of places in this country. was i deluding myself that we were getting better? were we actually more accepting of others, or were we pretty comfortable, so we weren’t spouting our fears and hatreds? i thought 9/11 brought out the best in us, but it seems that, at least for a very vocal minority, it just redirected the hatred to new targets. when the economy tanked, it seemed like hispanics were once again on all the haters’ radars. what a shame that we don’t show the rest of the world how wonderful and enriching a melting pot can be when people are accepting of others.

          • jeb

            You’re not parsing too much. There are degrees of racism and then there is the person who has no feeling either way because he/she doesn’t give a rat’s-ass about anyone except who can help them at that moment. Completely insensitive and totally self-absorbed (Mittsie is the same way). I don’t know who outed Herm but I’m absolutely not surprised that it happened. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop on the guy. I can’t stand him but I also knew that he’d never get a real sniff of the Rethug nomination. He’s been as close as he’s going to get.

            • i agree with your assessment of mittsie and gov little ricky goodhair. there is no human compassion in either one of them, except for themselves and maybe some of the people whom they are close to. they’ll do whatever is politically expedient or that will lead to personal financial enrichment. i doubt that either one has ever done anything that could be called selfless. little ricky barely even gave money to the church he constantly screams he’s devoted to, until he was running for the nomination.

  5. maggiejean

    My money is on Sarah Palin. She’s been too quiet lately. Time to stir the pot.

    • like i said at the big orange, maggiejean, i don’t think it’s princess sarah. first, it’s not really her style. she likes to make accusations on twitter and faux news so that she gets lots and lots of attention. she wouldn’t whisper in a reporter’s ear. second, herb is one of the few people who would treat her as though she’s not one of the dumbest people on the planet should he win the nomination. he would seek her endorsement, and that would make her feel important, and we know that’s what princess is all about.

  6. My suspect: Carl Christian Rove, the old turdblossom himself. He would have done it if no evidence was avaiable because thats his m/o. It’s all amusing and fun for media types but Willard will prevail and they will reluctantly embrace his candidacy, and then he will lose.

    • i love it that every day, lawrence o’donnell ends the intro to his show with coultergeist’s speech about how, if moby christie doesn’t run, mittsie will be their nominee, and they will lose. it cracks me up every time i see it.

  7. Interesting conservative paradox : people make accusations against Obama (Kenyan, Muslim, hates white people, is the anti-christ, may have smoked pot a few times)-TOTALLY not racism….stop playing that card!
    People make accusations about Cain (knows nothing about the world, inexperienced, bigoted against gays and muslims, is a huckster, may have sexually harassed some women) – TOTALLY RACISM!!!!!!!!!!! Flop, baby!

    My money is on Rove’s stinky hands being all over it.

    • isn’t it racist in and of itself to imply that black men are stereotypically sexual harassers? men guilty of sexual harassment are usually men who have power or money or fame. they feel like they are entitled to whatever they want, including women. it has nothing to do with the color of their skin, and those who imply that when they are defending hermie short-circuit their own argument.

  8. “Marcus is her closest (and at this point, maybe only) adviser”

    I don’t think there is a second s in “closet.”