Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cain Screws Up a Scandal

     Now it is Herman Cain's turn to apparently be an idiot and to try to lie his way out of an uncomfortable situation.  As a public service to lying politicians everywhere, I present to you a case study of someone who had a juicy sex scandal and lived to tell about it.  Grover Cleveland was running for election in 1884 when his Republican opponents found out that he may have fathered an illegitimate child.  
   The Wikipedia account is as follows:

.... Republicans discovered reports that Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child while he was a lawyer in Buffalo, and chanted "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?".When confronted with the emerging scandal, Cleveland's instructions to his campaign staff were: "Tell the truth."  Cleveland admitted to paying child support in 1874 to Maria Crofts Halpin, the woman who claimed he fathered her child named Oscar Folsom Cleveland. Halpin was involved with several men at the time, including Cleveland's friend and law partner, Oscar Folsom, for whom the child was also named. Cleveland did not know which man was the father, and is believed to have assumed responsibility because he was the only bachelor among them."

    Cleveland went on to win the Presidency in 1884  and won again in 1892.  And keep in mind that people of that era were not exactly permissive liberals in terms of their attitudes about fathering illegitimate children.   But the point is they forgave someone who told the truth about what he had done.  He did not blame the Republicans.  He did not issue a ringing denial of the charges only to have to issue a retraction later on. 

    Politicians, especially in today's era, must be crazy to begin with, or they would never, ever run for public office and endure the emnity that politics generates.  But hear this:  the American people are generally sympathetc concerning human failings.  But we can not stand a presidential candidate who lies in order to escape punishment, and we can not stand someone who blames someone else for what he has done.
    Don't even think about playing the Unfair Liberal Press card.  Why, if a liberal politician had done the same thing, hardly anyone would notice?  Just ask Bill Clinton about that one.   

   Similarly, don't even bother playing the race card (again, this is filed under C for Clinton).  

   It is incredible that now Rick Perry is being blamed for making the whole thing up.  FIrst of all, Perry isn't smart enough to have thought of it.  Second, does Cain really think that people are going to become indignant and turn against Perry based on Cain's say-so? "Why that rotten Perry!  How dare he make up lies about that upstanding moral Cain fellow? Harumph!"  No, I don't think that is going to happen. 

   The whole thing would likely blow over if the candidate would just do what Grover Cleveland did, and tell the truth.  Say, "I admit it.  I screwed up.  I'm going to try to do better in the future."  If a candidate would only do that, the American people would forgive.  

   But when you deny it, then change your story, then blame your political rival for making it up, then admit that it's kind of true...well, I just don't think that most Americans are going to buy into it.  We may not be very bright, but give us a little credit, okay Herman?




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