Shall we choose our next president based on who smooched whom behind the bleachers in the eighth grade?
The presence on the GOP ticket of black businessman Herman Cain would take away the last likely line of Democratic attack against those might decline to re-elect failed socialist poseur Barack Obama -- that if you're against him you must be a racist. Despite this, I can't imagine who might have enough contacts in the windy city of Chicago to dig up sealed court records and generate a pallid, Chicago-based bimbo eruption in an attempt to derail Mr. Cain's doing-OK-in-the-flatlands campaign express.
On the initial Herman Cain "sexual harassment" allegations, we still await any solid evidence that Mr. Cain used his authority as CEO of the National Restaurant Association to attempt to extract sexual favors from underlings by threatening them with the loss of their promotions, jobs or routine raises (which would be wrong, in addition to being the legal definition of sexual harassment.)
Till then, assertions that no one would pay $45,000 to settle and seal a lawsuit if there weren't some fire under all that smoke are disqualified for naivete.
It's sad -- since we all pay the costs in the price tag of every product and service we buy -- but in this day and age any lawyer can tell you that $45,000 is a fairly common offer to make such a lawsuit go away, even if it's likely to fail on its merits, simply because that's less than it would cost to defend in court.
Now, as to the 14-year-old wrasslin'-in-the-front-seat accusation against Mr. Cain by Sharon Bialek: Yes, she's been paraded by characters with ulterior political motives. But Herman Cain was a married man at the time he allegedly sought sexual favors in exchange for his help finding the lady a job. This is not admirable. You can always go home to your wife, guys. And if that no longer works for you, America's divorce laws are reasonably liberal.
"But what about the presumption of innocence?"
In the real political world, Herman Cain had about 48 hours to rebut Ms. Bialek's charges by offering evidence that he was not where she says he was that night, that he didn't call to upgrade her hotel room, that he didn't take her out for a romantic Italian dinner after dark. His campaign staff failed to contest any of those specifics, instead focusing his counterattack on the woman's legal, financial and job histories.
The implication being what, exactly? That only successful millionaires can accuse other successful millionaires?
Now, has Sharon Bialek demonstrated that she was dumber than a rock? Yes. What reasonably attractive woman above the age of 17 allows an older man to spend hundreds of dollars upgrading her hotel room to a palatial suite, then allows him to buy her drinks at the hotel bar and dinner at a fancy restaurant after dark, and doesn't catch on that this guy may be up to something more than "making a few phone calls," which could have been arranged over a quick cup of coffee at 10 a.m.?
But let's say Mr. Cain is guilty as charged. So what? America is interviewing for a new federal CEO, not a priest or a Scout troop leader.
At this point, it may indeed be relevant to point out that Bill Clinton is still applauded and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for public appearances by his political fans, even though he betrayed the confidence of the Lewinsky family, who expected him and his staff to protect their daughter from Lotharios when they sent her to the White House as an intern.
"He stopped when she said 'No' " is precisely the standard by which feminist spokesmodel Gloria Steinem once instructed us we should judge President Clinton's alleged 1993 Oval Office groping of recently widowed White House volunteer Kathleen Willey "A-OK; no harm no foul."
And that's before we even get to Juanita Broadrick and Paula Jones; "You might want to put some ice on that"; the creation of a "Bimbo Eruption Squad" charged with systematically destroying the reputation of any young woman who came forward to reveal that Mr. Clinton was a serial groper, dirty-talker and rapist. Such a campaign was already well underway against Ms. Lewinsky until she revealed the existence of a stained blue dress, unlaundered in an era of DNA testing, at which point TV appearances by former college professors prepared to testify the young lady had a well-used set of knee pads were suddenly canceled while their planes were en route to New York.
Now, is it any loss that this politically motivated attack may derail Herman Cain's presidential candidacy?
As many have already pointed out, Herman Cain hasn't shown, to date, a quarter of the campaign funds or ground game necessary to win two major presidential primaries. He entered the race not knowing what the "Palestinian right of return" means in relation to the Middle East. He is the former deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, yet he asserts that if we want to know whether the Fed is ginning up so many worthless fiat dollars that we'll eventually see a Weimar-style meltdown, "All you have to do is call them up and ask."
The man who said that either is a dolt, or assumes we're all dolts. Because Herman Cain has a degree in mathematics and made millions in business, my conclusion is not option "A."
Herman Cain is an amiable enough political novice on a book tour who might have had (heck, might still have) a chance at a vice presidential nomination, offered in hopes of splitting President Obama's otherwise secure hold on America's black electorate, the majority of whom have sadly shown themselves willing to vote based on skin color rather than their own economic best interest and the nation's. (How many black people might have found work building that Keystone XL pipeline from Canada?)
And aren't you proud that's the basis on which our next presidential slate will be cobbled together by the kingmakers at Goldman Sachs et al., while the media gabblers continue to treat the only man on the stage even talking about the monetary-regulatory roots of our ongoing economic collapse -- Ron Paul -- like the crazy uncle in the attic?
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of Review-Journal, and author of the novel "The Black Arrow" and "The Ballad of Carl Drega." See www.vinsuprynowicz.com.