Cain’s sexual harrassment charges

A third woman accuses Herman Cain of sexual harrassment:

A third former employee considered filing a workplace complaint against Herman Cain over what she considered aggressive and unwanted behavior when she and Cain, now a Republican presidential candidate, worked together during the late 1990s, the woman told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She said the behavior including a private invitation to his corporate apartment.

The woman said he made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against Cain, who was then the head of the National Restaurant Association.

She did not file a formal complaint because she began having fewer interactions with Cain, she said. Afterward, she learned that a co-worker — one of the two women whose accusations have rocked Cain’s campaign this week — had already done so. She said she would have had to file if they hadn’t.

The woman spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying she feared retaliation. She was located and approached by the AP as part of its investigation into harassment complaints against Cain that were disclosed in recent days and have thrown his presidential campaign into turmoil. She said she was reluctant to describe the encounters she had with Cain when they worked together at the Washington-based restaurant trade group.

via Third Former Cain Employee Claims She Was Harassed by GOP Candidate « CBS Washington.

Keeping in mind that we don’t really know what happened, do you think these charges will–and should–sink Cain’s campaign for president?  Does the fact that this information was not made public until Cain attained front-runner status constitute “high tech lynching” or “the politics of personal destruction”?  Or do you believe that voters need to know this kind of information before casting their vote?

At any rate, here is a lesson for would-be candidates, including ambitious young people with a FaceBook page used to chronicling their every transgression and posting pictures about it:   With today’s “opposition research” as part of virtually every modern political campaign, candidates need to realize that any skeleton in their closet–anything they did wrong in public or anything they did that would be embarrassing–is going to come out.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • WisdomLover

    This latest charge, at least should be given no credence whatsoever unless the woman comes out of the shadows. And even then, maybe not. As far as we know right now, this is a woman with a purely political agenda who wants to pile on now in order to lend credence to the other charges (such as they are). For all we know, she may be an actual political operative. She may never have even met Herman Cain.

    Note that she is not saying that she did file charges. She is saying that she considered filing charges.

    Some have accused Cain for not being in front of this story. For not saying that he had been charged at one point with sexual harassment long ago. I’m not sure whether that’s legitimate or not, but it’s absolutely clear that he could not have been in front of this one. Even if the claim is true. How is he supposed to know that this woman considered making a charge?

    Thus far, here is what we know. There was one charge of sexual harassment. Cain says it was without foundation. The woman won’t speak until any confidentiality agreement is lifted. There’s another charge that Cain made a woman feel uncomfortable and she was given a severance package (not a settlement). For all we know, she felt uncomfortable because Cain fired her (thus the severance package).

    Right now, I don’t think this is anything that will hurt Cain. It might even help if the charges really are baseless, and it becomes clear that this is a political hatchet job (the most likely scenario in my opinion). But he has to tell us everything he can as soon as possible.

    He’s going to have to bypass the press on this. He can’t count on just answering press questions. If he does, it doesn’t matter how clearly he answers the questions, they won’t report enough to make anything clear, and it will appear that he’s trying to hide something (which is what the press wants in order to prolong the ‘scandal’).

    He needs to make a speech on the subject, same way Obama did on the Reverend Wright issue. Of course, he can’t expect the fawning genuflection that Obama got for his speech (which was actually pretty dreadful). But the people that matter, the voters, have the best chance of hearing Cain’s clear account of the charges.

    One thing that won’t help him at all is accusing other candidates of planting the story unless he can actually prove that they did.

  • WisdomLover

    This latest charge, at least should be given no credence whatsoever unless the woman comes out of the shadows. And even then, maybe not. As far as we know right now, this is a woman with a purely political agenda who wants to pile on now in order to lend credence to the other charges (such as they are). For all we know, she may be an actual political operative. She may never have even met Herman Cain.

    Note that she is not saying that she did file charges. She is saying that she considered filing charges.

    Some have accused Cain for not being in front of this story. For not saying that he had been charged at one point with sexual harassment long ago. I’m not sure whether that’s legitimate or not, but it’s absolutely clear that he could not have been in front of this one. Even if the claim is true. How is he supposed to know that this woman considered making a charge?

    Thus far, here is what we know. There was one charge of sexual harassment. Cain says it was without foundation. The woman won’t speak until any confidentiality agreement is lifted. There’s another charge that Cain made a woman feel uncomfortable and she was given a severance package (not a settlement). For all we know, she felt uncomfortable because Cain fired her (thus the severance package).

    Right now, I don’t think this is anything that will hurt Cain. It might even help if the charges really are baseless, and it becomes clear that this is a political hatchet job (the most likely scenario in my opinion). But he has to tell us everything he can as soon as possible.

    He’s going to have to bypass the press on this. He can’t count on just answering press questions. If he does, it doesn’t matter how clearly he answers the questions, they won’t report enough to make anything clear, and it will appear that he’s trying to hide something (which is what the press wants in order to prolong the ‘scandal’).

    He needs to make a speech on the subject, same way Obama did on the Reverend Wright issue. Of course, he can’t expect the fawning genuflection that Obama got for his speech (which was actually pretty dreadful). But the people that matter, the voters, have the best chance of hearing Cain’s clear account of the charges.

    One thing that won’t help him at all is accusing other candidates of planting the story unless he can actually prove that they did.

  • Dan Kempin

    Rush’s acute analysis once again applies to the coverage here: It is not about the nature of the evidence, but the seriousness of the charge.

  • Dan Kempin

    Rush’s acute analysis once again applies to the coverage here: It is not about the nature of the evidence, but the seriousness of the charge.

  • WisdomLover

    Dan-

    Unless you are a Democrat. Then the only thing that matters is whether you are pro-choice. If you are, all is forgiven (if it ever happened in the first place, and it’s probably hate-speech to say that it did).

  • WisdomLover

    Dan-

    Unless you are a Democrat. Then the only thing that matters is whether you are pro-choice. If you are, all is forgiven (if it ever happened in the first place, and it’s probably hate-speech to say that it did).

  • WebMonk

    Does the fact that this information was not made public until Cain attained front-runner status constitute “high tech lynching” or “the politics of personal destruction”? Or do you believe that voters need to know this kind of information before casting their vote?

    What’s up with the “Or” in there? Can’t people believe both? Can’t people believe that the accusations were specifically brought forward to do ‘personal destruction’ work AND that the information should still be considered by voters?

  • WebMonk

    Does the fact that this information was not made public until Cain attained front-runner status constitute “high tech lynching” or “the politics of personal destruction”? Or do you believe that voters need to know this kind of information before casting their vote?

    What’s up with the “Or” in there? Can’t people believe both? Can’t people believe that the accusations were specifically brought forward to do ‘personal destruction’ work AND that the information should still be considered by voters?

  • norman teigen

    Running for high public office is an extremely risky personal business these days. Intense public scrutiny is the way the game is played out. The news cycle is not eternal. I am confident that American voters will survive and will make informed voting decisions.

  • norman teigen

    Running for high public office is an extremely risky personal business these days. Intense public scrutiny is the way the game is played out. The news cycle is not eternal. I am confident that American voters will survive and will make informed voting decisions.

  • MarkB

    I think it is good that this comes out now. If Herman Cain did become the Republican candidate and it came out in late October of 2012 he would have no time to deal with it and it would be a disaster for him and all the people who would support him. If there is substance to this charge at least the Republicans will be able to decide if Herman is the man for the job.

    Having said that, I think it is a rottin thing for some one to do, but the politics of personal destruction is alive and well in the 21st century.

  • MarkB

    I think it is good that this comes out now. If Herman Cain did become the Republican candidate and it came out in late October of 2012 he would have no time to deal with it and it would be a disaster for him and all the people who would support him. If there is substance to this charge at least the Republicans will be able to decide if Herman is the man for the job.

    Having said that, I think it is a rottin thing for some one to do, but the politics of personal destruction is alive and well in the 21st century.

  • Michael B.

    If every social conservative agrees that Bill Clinton having consensual sexual conduct with a woman is worthy of impeachment, why isn’t Herman Cain having non-consensual sexual conduct supposed to be not even relevant?

  • Michael B.

    If every social conservative agrees that Bill Clinton having consensual sexual conduct with a woman is worthy of impeachment, why isn’t Herman Cain having non-consensual sexual conduct supposed to be not even relevant?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    If he were a Democrat, it would make him the frontrunner! :D

    Seriously, though, it depends on the veracity of the accuser. If it looks like there’s serious evidence to give credence, then there could be a problem.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    If he were a Democrat, it would make him the frontrunner! :D

    Seriously, though, it depends on the veracity of the accuser. If it looks like there’s serious evidence to give credence, then there could be a problem.

  • trotk

    Michael B.

    It wasn’t the consensual sexual conduct that brought about the impeachment trial; it was the perjury.
    Secondly, in one instance there was proof; in the other instance there is an accusation.
    These two situations don’t really compare (yet).

    If it turns out to be true, he will have lost the trust of the social conservatives. Don’t worry.

  • trotk

    Michael B.

    It wasn’t the consensual sexual conduct that brought about the impeachment trial; it was the perjury.
    Secondly, in one instance there was proof; in the other instance there is an accusation.
    These two situations don’t really compare (yet).

    If it turns out to be true, he will have lost the trust of the social conservatives. Don’t worry.

  • Carl Vehse

    Michael B. @7: “If every social conservative agrees that Bill Clinton having consensual sexual conduct with a woman is worthy of impeachment, why isn’t Herman Cain having non-consensual sexual conduct supposed to be not even relevant?”

    Because, Michael, there has been no “blue dress” evidence that Herman Cain had non-consensual sexual conduct with a woman. Perhaps if Cain shows up at a press conference wearing a Chappaquiddick neck brace, the story might have something more than “Coke can” credibility.

    BTW, Michael, the articles of impeachment were for perjury and obstructing justice in testimony Monica’s ex-boyfriend gave not only about his consensual sexual conduct, but also about his non-consensual sexual conduct with another woman. The impeachment was not for Slick Willie’s serial adultery, as trivial as that may seem to everyone but “social conservatives.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Michael B. @7: “If every social conservative agrees that Bill Clinton having consensual sexual conduct with a woman is worthy of impeachment, why isn’t Herman Cain having non-consensual sexual conduct supposed to be not even relevant?”

    Because, Michael, there has been no “blue dress” evidence that Herman Cain had non-consensual sexual conduct with a woman. Perhaps if Cain shows up at a press conference wearing a Chappaquiddick neck brace, the story might have something more than “Coke can” credibility.

    BTW, Michael, the articles of impeachment were for perjury and obstructing justice in testimony Monica’s ex-boyfriend gave not only about his consensual sexual conduct, but also about his non-consensual sexual conduct with another woman. The impeachment was not for Slick Willie’s serial adultery, as trivial as that may seem to everyone but “social conservatives.”

  • Tom Hering

    It was during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal that conservatives first convinced the nation that “character matters” when it comes to Presidential leadership. William J. Bennett quickly published The Death of Outrage (1998), arguing that terrible leadership, and its consequences for the nation, were directly related to the sexual misconduct of the President. Consider this scandal-seeking, then, your chickens coming home to roost.

  • Tom Hering

    It was during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal that conservatives first convinced the nation that “character matters” when it comes to Presidential leadership. William J. Bennett quickly published The Death of Outrage (1998), arguing that terrible leadership, and its consequences for the nation, were directly related to the sexual misconduct of the President. Consider this scandal-seeking, then, your chickens coming home to roost.

  • Carl Vehse

    Tom, Tom, the concept that “character matters” has been pushed by political parties in the United States since the U.S. began presidential elections (if not before).

    In 1796 a muckraking journalist named James Callender (who fled England after being charged with treason for attacking King George III’s and his policies) published favorable articles on behalf of presidential-hopeful Thomas Jefferson. Callender also wrote articles exposing Jefferson’s primary political rival, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, and his affair and coverup with one Mrs. Maria Reynolds. Jefferson, of course, was elected President.

    Ironically when Callender later had a falling out with Jefferson, he published reports about Jefferson fathering children by his slave Sally Hemings.

    That “character matters” has been going on since then, along with, more recently, “citizenship matters” and “cluelessness matters.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Tom, Tom, the concept that “character matters” has been pushed by political parties in the United States since the U.S. began presidential elections (if not before).

    In 1796 a muckraking journalist named James Callender (who fled England after being charged with treason for attacking King George III’s and his policies) published favorable articles on behalf of presidential-hopeful Thomas Jefferson. Callender also wrote articles exposing Jefferson’s primary political rival, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, and his affair and coverup with one Mrs. Maria Reynolds. Jefferson, of course, was elected President.

    Ironically when Callender later had a falling out with Jefferson, he published reports about Jefferson fathering children by his slave Sally Hemings.

    That “character matters” has been going on since then, along with, more recently, “citizenship matters” and “cluelessness matters.”

  • steve

    Carl, don’t forget Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.

  • steve

    Carl, don’t forget Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.

  • Jerry

    What’s important is the standards of the voters. Conservative voters hold their candidates to higher ones than more liberal voters. In other words it’s easier to de-rail a candidate of the right than one of the left.

  • Jerry

    What’s important is the standards of the voters. Conservative voters hold their candidates to higher ones than more liberal voters. In other words it’s easier to de-rail a candidate of the right than one of the left.

  • Morgan

    This is why we’re going to get more and more ruthless political animals vying to fill our political offices. Only the most hardened and deeply ambitious need apply. Would-be citizen-politicians know they’d have to be delusional to play this game.

    I really have no personal dog in this fight. I like Cain generally, but he isn’t my first choice as a GOP candidate. And for those that think, well, it’s better this comes out now rather than October of ’12… just wait until October of ’12. If I were a candidate, any candidate, I’d be very worried.

  • Morgan

    This is why we’re going to get more and more ruthless political animals vying to fill our political offices. Only the most hardened and deeply ambitious need apply. Would-be citizen-politicians know they’d have to be delusional to play this game.

    I really have no personal dog in this fight. I like Cain generally, but he isn’t my first choice as a GOP candidate. And for those that think, well, it’s better this comes out now rather than October of ’12… just wait until October of ’12. If I were a candidate, any candidate, I’d be very worried.

  • steve

    Jerry, it’s not just conservative voters. Conservatives and liberals alike hold professing conservative politicians to a higher moral standard. Since hypocrisy is the sin du jour, if you profess no moral bar then it’s harder to be accused of breaching that bar.

  • steve

    Jerry, it’s not just conservative voters. Conservatives and liberals alike hold professing conservative politicians to a higher moral standard. Since hypocrisy is the sin du jour, if you profess no moral bar then it’s harder to be accused of breaching that bar.

  • Bob

    ‘William J. Bennett quickly published The Death of Outrage (1998),’

    You mean Bill “I 8 Las Vegas” Bennett? Now there’s a great role model for the kiddos.

  • Bob

    ‘William J. Bennett quickly published The Death of Outrage (1998),’

    You mean Bill “I 8 Las Vegas” Bennett? Now there’s a great role model for the kiddos.

  • steve

    What are you saying, Bob?

  • steve

    What are you saying, Bob?

  • Carl Vehse

    Yes, Steve @13. Those are the pages of history that get left out of public school textbooks, and would have made classroom discussions interesting, if not risque. ;-)

    Also left out of the school textbook tales of JFK’s “Camelot” were “Fiddle and Faddle”, not to mention MM, Pam Turnure, Judith Campbell Exner, and all the unnamed hookers. By comparison, Slick Willie was an incompetent amateur with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick (“put some ice on it”). And for other 20th century presidents, let’s not forget Nan Britton, Lucy Mercer, and Alice Glass.

  • Carl Vehse

    Yes, Steve @13. Those are the pages of history that get left out of public school textbooks, and would have made classroom discussions interesting, if not risque. ;-)

    Also left out of the school textbook tales of JFK’s “Camelot” were “Fiddle and Faddle”, not to mention MM, Pam Turnure, Judith Campbell Exner, and all the unnamed hookers. By comparison, Slick Willie was an incompetent amateur with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick (“put some ice on it”). And for other 20th century presidents, let’s not forget Nan Britton, Lucy Mercer, and Alice Glass.

  • Bob

    ‘William J. Bennett quickly published The Death of Outrage (1998),’

    You mean Bill “I 8 Las Vegas” Bennett? Now there’s a great role model for the kiddos.

  • Bob

    ‘William J. Bennett quickly published The Death of Outrage (1998),’

    You mean Bill “I 8 Las Vegas” Bennett? Now there’s a great role model for the kiddos.

  • steve

    Yeah, Bob, I read that. Please tell us what it means.

  • steve

    Yeah, Bob, I read that. Please tell us what it means.

  • Tom Hering

    Carl, Carl @ 12. Let’s stick with, say, presidential politics since WWII. Both the public and the press used to have the good taste to turn a blind eye to a President’s peccadilloes. Until Clinton, that is, when conservatives decided that peccadilloes were fair game, because “character matters” (read: “the next election matters”). I don’t recall anyone, on either side, shouting loudly about character before then. Much less making the argument that a President’s leadership is directly related to his sexual conduct.

  • Tom Hering

    Carl, Carl @ 12. Let’s stick with, say, presidential politics since WWII. Both the public and the press used to have the good taste to turn a blind eye to a President’s peccadilloes. Until Clinton, that is, when conservatives decided that peccadilloes were fair game, because “character matters” (read: “the next election matters”). I don’t recall anyone, on either side, shouting loudly about character before then. Much less making the argument that a President’s leadership is directly related to his sexual conduct.

  • DonS

    It’s hard to opine on this matter without knowing the underlying facts regarding both its seriousness, and volume. In other words, are there other women out there, as there were in 1992, when Betsy Wright’s full-time campaign job was suppressing “bimbo eruptions” during the Clinton campaign?

    Tom @ 11, do I hear you saying, or admitting, that for you, character doesn’t matter?

    Regardless of the merits of the reporting in this matter, it’s hard to ignore the difference in intensity, anticipation, and glee when the mainstream media reports on Republican matters like this, vs. Democratic matters (if they are reported). Compare these issues with Herman Cain vs. John Edwards’ “love child” reporting, for example, and then consider carefully the claims of most of these reporters and networks that they are “objective”.

  • DonS

    It’s hard to opine on this matter without knowing the underlying facts regarding both its seriousness, and volume. In other words, are there other women out there, as there were in 1992, when Betsy Wright’s full-time campaign job was suppressing “bimbo eruptions” during the Clinton campaign?

    Tom @ 11, do I hear you saying, or admitting, that for you, character doesn’t matter?

    Regardless of the merits of the reporting in this matter, it’s hard to ignore the difference in intensity, anticipation, and glee when the mainstream media reports on Republican matters like this, vs. Democratic matters (if they are reported). Compare these issues with Herman Cain vs. John Edwards’ “love child” reporting, for example, and then consider carefully the claims of most of these reporters and networks that they are “objective”.

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 23, in the sense we’re using it, no, character doesn’t matter to me. I’m not going to vote for or against Cain based on his alleged sexual misconduct. I want to know what his proposed policies and social values are. 9-9-9 not 69. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 23, in the sense we’re using it, no, character doesn’t matter to me. I’m not going to vote for or against Cain based on his alleged sexual misconduct. I want to know what his proposed policies and social values are. 9-9-9 not 69. ;-)

  • steve

    Those are some mighty strict caveats, Tom. But, not counting Kennedy, which presidential peccadilloes between Roosevelt and G. H. W. Bush were ignored?

  • steve

    Those are some mighty strict caveats, Tom. But, not counting Kennedy, which presidential peccadilloes between Roosevelt and G. H. W. Bush were ignored?

  • steve

    Not counting Roosevelt’s tryst with the gays in the Navy, of course, which happened before WWII and before he was President. That, I might add, was something that would certainly have been an election issue if it happened more recently, but it would not have been made so by Republicans.

  • steve

    Not counting Roosevelt’s tryst with the gays in the Navy, of course, which happened before WWII and before he was President. That, I might add, was something that would certainly have been an election issue if it happened more recently, but it would not have been made so by Republicans.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 24: Not at all? If a man demonstrates unfaithfulness to his wife, by engaging in adultery, especially if he is a serial adulterer, doesn’t that say something about the way he values his oaths? How will he value his other oaths, such as the Oath of Office? Doesn’t one’s character form who he is, and affect how he acts — his judgment? Shouldn’t character be at least a factor in determining the best candidate?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 24: Not at all? If a man demonstrates unfaithfulness to his wife, by engaging in adultery, especially if he is a serial adulterer, doesn’t that say something about the way he values his oaths? How will he value his other oaths, such as the Oath of Office? Doesn’t one’s character form who he is, and affect how he acts — his judgment? Shouldn’t character be at least a factor in determining the best candidate?

  • Carl Vehse

    “peccadilloes”

    Trivializing away.

  • Carl Vehse

    “peccadilloes”

    Trivializing away.

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 27, I’m guessing you mean Newt. If a man runs as a moral values candidate, then I consider his marital conduct. He’s pretty much asking me to, isn’t he?

    steve @ 26, Republicans wouldn’t make an issue of gay trysts if Roosevelt were running today? (You’ve inadvertently informed me that wireless internet is available on other planets.)

  • Tom Hering

    Don @ 27, I’m guessing you mean Newt. If a man runs as a moral values candidate, then I consider his marital conduct. He’s pretty much asking me to, isn’t he?

    steve @ 26, Republicans wouldn’t make an issue of gay trysts if Roosevelt were running today? (You’ve inadvertently informed me that wireless internet is available on other planets.)

  • Joe

    well this is going well ….

  • Joe

    well this is going well ….

  • DonS

    Tom @ 29: Well, I don’t actually mean anyone, in particular. I’m just probing your position that character means nothing to you in terms of vetting political candidates. I’m assuming that you consider character to be an important attribute for you in other spheres of life, and I’m just wondering why you consider it to be of no importance in politics, if, indeed, that is your position.

    I’m not talking about moral values, or other political issues, per se. I’m talking about trust. If a candidate has proven unworthy of trust in some of the most important commitments in life, why should you trust him as a voter?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 29: Well, I don’t actually mean anyone, in particular. I’m just probing your position that character means nothing to you in terms of vetting political candidates. I’m assuming that you consider character to be an important attribute for you in other spheres of life, and I’m just wondering why you consider it to be of no importance in politics, if, indeed, that is your position.

    I’m not talking about moral values, or other political issues, per se. I’m talking about trust. If a candidate has proven unworthy of trust in some of the most important commitments in life, why should you trust him as a voter?

  • Tom Hering

    “If a candidate has proven unworthy of trust in some of the most important commitments in life, why should you trust him as a voter?” – Don @ 31.

    Because human beings compartmentalize their morality. If I were in the Army, I might not trust a fellow soldier with my wife, based on what I know about his behavior with other men’s wives, but I might trust him completely as a soldier, because I also know he would never dishonor himself in combat. In other words, real people are morally inconsistent. I would trust a soldier based on how he’s performed as a fighting man, and a presidential candidate based on how he’s performed as a politician. (I wouldn’t vote for Cain because he has no political record on which to base my trust. Period.)

  • Tom Hering

    “If a candidate has proven unworthy of trust in some of the most important commitments in life, why should you trust him as a voter?” – Don @ 31.

    Because human beings compartmentalize their morality. If I were in the Army, I might not trust a fellow soldier with my wife, based on what I know about his behavior with other men’s wives, but I might trust him completely as a soldier, because I also know he would never dishonor himself in combat. In other words, real people are morally inconsistent. I would trust a soldier based on how he’s performed as a fighting man, and a presidential candidate based on how he’s performed as a politician. (I wouldn’t vote for Cain because he has no political record on which to base my trust. Period.)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 32: I can see your argument as one for making the issue a factor, rather than determinative. But I don’t understand how it justifies dismissing serial adultery out of hand as even a factor.

    Compartmentalization is a flaw, not a feature. Yes, many human beings (certainly not all) compartmentalize their morality. It’s wrong, but humans do it. But, if someone has completely broken down morally in one area of their life, and proven that, at least in that area, they are completely untrustworthy, then how do we know they have compartmentalized their professional, political life so that in that compartment, they are moral, just, and trustworthy, and will honor their political commitments? I think that is an unreasonable assumption to make, without consideration, as you are advocating.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 32: I can see your argument as one for making the issue a factor, rather than determinative. But I don’t understand how it justifies dismissing serial adultery out of hand as even a factor.

    Compartmentalization is a flaw, not a feature. Yes, many human beings (certainly not all) compartmentalize their morality. It’s wrong, but humans do it. But, if someone has completely broken down morally in one area of their life, and proven that, at least in that area, they are completely untrustworthy, then how do we know they have compartmentalized their professional, political life so that in that compartment, they are moral, just, and trustworthy, and will honor their political commitments? I think that is an unreasonable assumption to make, without consideration, as you are advocating.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 32: Gaaa, I posted before I was done.

    To your last point, I agree that a candidate, or a soldier, with a strong track record in their profession, might justify your support despite their other moral failings. But to make that determination, you still have to consider and balance everything you know about them, including their known moral failings. And there’s a difference between totally private moral failings (failed marriages, infidelity, etc.), and moral failings which intersect with their professional lives (sexual harassment in the professional workplace, affairs with co-workers, etc.). That, in itself, shows a lack of compartmentalization, doesn’t it?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 32: Gaaa, I posted before I was done.

    To your last point, I agree that a candidate, or a soldier, with a strong track record in their profession, might justify your support despite their other moral failings. But to make that determination, you still have to consider and balance everything you know about them, including their known moral failings. And there’s a difference between totally private moral failings (failed marriages, infidelity, etc.), and moral failings which intersect with their professional lives (sexual harassment in the professional workplace, affairs with co-workers, etc.). That, in itself, shows a lack of compartmentalization, doesn’t it?

  • steve

    Tom, #29, not the kind of gay tryst Roosevelt was involved in while he was then Assistant Secretary of the Navy. No sir, I suspect Democrats would be much more likely to jump on that one.

  • steve

    Tom, #29, not the kind of gay tryst Roosevelt was involved in while he was then Assistant Secretary of the Navy. No sir, I suspect Democrats would be much more likely to jump on that one.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, again, I can’t base a decision about a candidate based on his morals, or lack thereof, in the private sector. Good, bad, or indifferent, people behave differently in their different vocations. I need to know about his record as a public servant. Even then, I need to know whether any sexual misconduct compromised his actions as a political leader. If it did, it’s relevant. If not, meh.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, again, I can’t base a decision about a candidate based on his morals, or lack thereof, in the private sector. Good, bad, or indifferent, people behave differently in their different vocations. I need to know about his record as a public servant. Even then, I need to know whether any sexual misconduct compromised his actions as a political leader. If it did, it’s relevant. If not, meh.

  • DonS

    OK, Tom, fair enough. My argument would be that any sexual misconduct will ALMOST ALWAYS compromise his actions as a political leader. If, for no other reason, then because of the need, perceived or otherwise, for an ensuing cover-up.

    In the case of the Cain allegations, assuming there is something behind them, he apparently compromised his relationships with co-workers. Clinton certainly did the same. In appropriate relationships with co-workers compromise your professional actions. Any activities related to covering up peccadillos also compromise your professional and political effectiveness. So, even under your relaxed standard, these would certainly be things to consider.

    For me, Cain’s poor attempts to explain the circumstances behind the Politico reporting has been far more disqualifying for Cain the candidate than whatever the underlying actions were. Similarly, Clinton’s decision to cover-up and lie under oath were far more disqualifying, even, than even the Oval Office activities he engaged in with Lewinski.

  • DonS

    OK, Tom, fair enough. My argument would be that any sexual misconduct will ALMOST ALWAYS compromise his actions as a political leader. If, for no other reason, then because of the need, perceived or otherwise, for an ensuing cover-up.

    In the case of the Cain allegations, assuming there is something behind them, he apparently compromised his relationships with co-workers. Clinton certainly did the same. In appropriate relationships with co-workers compromise your professional actions. Any activities related to covering up peccadillos also compromise your professional and political effectiveness. So, even under your relaxed standard, these would certainly be things to consider.

    For me, Cain’s poor attempts to explain the circumstances behind the Politico reporting has been far more disqualifying for Cain the candidate than whatever the underlying actions were. Similarly, Clinton’s decision to cover-up and lie under oath were far more disqualifying, even, than even the Oval Office activities he engaged in with Lewinski.

  • DonS

    “Inappropriate”

  • DonS

    “Inappropriate”

  • MarkB

    In the rush I see here to condemn Herman Cain or to score political points are we forgetting about the eighth commandment?

    “Eighth Commandment Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    What does this mean? We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, nor defame our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything. “

  • MarkB

    In the rush I see here to condemn Herman Cain or to score political points are we forgetting about the eighth commandment?

    “Eighth Commandment Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    What does this mean? We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, nor defame our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything. “

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    We have to remember that the women coming forward are making allegations against Mr. Cain. The truth of these allegations are yet to be had and we may never know the truth. It is Cain’s word against those alleging sexual harassment.

    However, whatever political damage that will be done has been done with these allegations and I suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations. It is really sad that this sort of political assassination is tolerated and what’s even sadder still is how much fuel is given to the media to trot out junk reporting like this.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    We have to remember that the women coming forward are making allegations against Mr. Cain. The truth of these allegations are yet to be had and we may never know the truth. It is Cain’s word against those alleging sexual harassment.

    However, whatever political damage that will be done has been done with these allegations and I suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations. It is really sad that this sort of political assassination is tolerated and what’s even sadder still is how much fuel is given to the media to trot out junk reporting like this.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MarkB (@39), does the Eighth Commandment only apply to political candidates seeking office, or does it also apply to their former employees? What about people you accused of merely “scoring political points” — how does the Eighth Commandment apply to them?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MarkB (@39), does the Eighth Commandment only apply to political candidates seeking office, or does it also apply to their former employees? What about people you accused of merely “scoring political points” — how does the Eighth Commandment apply to them?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@40), if, as you state, “we may never know the truth”, then on what possible basis could you nevertheless conclude that “the whole purpose of bringing these allegations” is merely “political damage”?

    Doesn’t such a conclusion imply that you know these allegations are not factual? After all, if they are factual, then why could it not be that these women simply want the facts to be known?

    If the whole story is truly unknowable, then isn’t it best that we simply fail to make any guesses based on the little, if anything, we know? Wouldn’t such guesses be all-too-likely informed by our political biases?

    And by paying attention to and complaining about such “political assassination” aren’t you, in fact, complicit in the media circus which you decry?

    I’m also curious to know if you’re implicating Veith as yet another member of the media “trotting out junk reporting like this”. Or is it okay for us regular folk to discuss things ourselves, but not okay for the media to report on it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@40), if, as you state, “we may never know the truth”, then on what possible basis could you nevertheless conclude that “the whole purpose of bringing these allegations” is merely “political damage”?

    Doesn’t such a conclusion imply that you know these allegations are not factual? After all, if they are factual, then why could it not be that these women simply want the facts to be known?

    If the whole story is truly unknowable, then isn’t it best that we simply fail to make any guesses based on the little, if anything, we know? Wouldn’t such guesses be all-too-likely informed by our political biases?

    And by paying attention to and complaining about such “political assassination” aren’t you, in fact, complicit in the media circus which you decry?

    I’m also curious to know if you’re implicating Veith as yet another member of the media “trotting out junk reporting like this”. Or is it okay for us regular folk to discuss things ourselves, but not okay for the media to report on it?

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “Doesn’t such a conclusion imply that you know these allegations are not factual? ”

    Not at all. One can certainly engage in “political hit jobs” with nothing but sheer fantasies. But keep in mind that I wrote “we may” and I think you are being less than charitable to press it further than my own speculation here.

    “I’m also curious to know if you’re implicating Veith as yet another member of the media “trotting out junk reporting like this”. ”

    No, I am not. Again, you aren’t being terribly charitable “tODD.”

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “Doesn’t such a conclusion imply that you know these allegations are not factual? ”

    Not at all. One can certainly engage in “political hit jobs” with nothing but sheer fantasies. But keep in mind that I wrote “we may” and I think you are being less than charitable to press it further than my own speculation here.

    “I’m also curious to know if you’re implicating Veith as yet another member of the media “trotting out junk reporting like this”. ”

    No, I am not. Again, you aren’t being terribly charitable “tODD.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@43), your interest in charity still seems less than universal. Once again, I point to your statement (@40) that:

    Whatever political damage that will be done has been done with these allegations and I suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations.

    See that part where you judge motives there? “I suspect that is the whole purpose”? Tell me about how charitable you’re being there, Jim.

    And why does Veith get a pass from you for reporting on this story, while the “media” does not? I’m genuinely curious.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@43), your interest in charity still seems less than universal. Once again, I point to your statement (@40) that:

    Whatever political damage that will be done has been done with these allegations and I suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations.

    See that part where you judge motives there? “I suspect that is the whole purpose”? Tell me about how charitable you’re being there, Jim.

    And why does Veith get a pass from you for reporting on this story, while the “media” does not? I’m genuinely curious.

  • MarkB

    MarkB (@39), does the Eighth Commandment only apply to political candidates seeking office, or does it also apply to their former employees? What about people you accused of merely “scoring political points” — how does the Eighth Commandment apply to them?

    Ah yes, to be attacked by tODD for doing nothing less than pointing out the eighth commandment applies to all, even me.

    As far as I know the women who were formerly employees have not had anything to say. So I don’t know how anything I said has any application to them.

    The political points are being made on both sides, so maybe we all need to cool it until something substansive is available. Until then maybe we need to put the best possible construction on everyone involved.

  • MarkB

    MarkB (@39), does the Eighth Commandment only apply to political candidates seeking office, or does it also apply to their former employees? What about people you accused of merely “scoring political points” — how does the Eighth Commandment apply to them?

    Ah yes, to be attacked by tODD for doing nothing less than pointing out the eighth commandment applies to all, even me.

    As far as I know the women who were formerly employees have not had anything to say. So I don’t know how anything I said has any application to them.

    The political points are being made on both sides, so maybe we all need to cool it until something substansive is available. Until then maybe we need to put the best possible construction on everyone involved.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “tODD” Mr. Veith isn’t getting a “free pass” from me as you state it, and you, my friend, are judging motives here and hence my comment about YOUR not being charitable.

    If Mr. Veith was presenting his article as an actual report, rather than relaying to us his opinion about a report, then he certainly wouldn’t get a “free pass” from me.

    I hope my answers have satiated your curiosity.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “tODD” Mr. Veith isn’t getting a “free pass” from me as you state it, and you, my friend, are judging motives here and hence my comment about YOUR not being charitable.

    If Mr. Veith was presenting his article as an actual report, rather than relaying to us his opinion about a report, then he certainly wouldn’t get a “free pass” from me.

    I hope my answers have satiated your curiosity.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MarkB (@45) said:

    Ah yes, to be attacked by tODD for doing nothing less than pointing out the eighth commandment applies to all, even me.

    “Attacked”? Really?

    Anyhow, one may notice that your original comment (@39) only mentioned Herman Cain in the context of the Eighth Commandment:

    In the rush I see here to condemn Herman Cain or to score political points are we forgetting about the eighth commandment?

    What about the rush to condemn the women making these allegations (cf. comment #1)? In fact, I see more evidence of people rushing to condemn the women here than I see for those “rushing … to condemn Herman Cain”.

    As far as I know the women who were formerly employees have not had anything to say.

    Well, according to the article, at least one of them is subject to a “confidentiality arrangement”, and as such cannot legally have anything to say about her past interactions with Cain.

    My point was merely this: it is tricky to apply the Eighth Commandment in a he-said, she-said situation. It is not, for instance, putting the “best construction” on this situation to assume that Cain is innocent and that these women are all doing this merely to inflict political damage (cf. comment #40). Nor is it the “best construction” to assume that the women are all telling the truth and that Cain is lying. It seems that the Eighth Commandment would require us here to simply remain silent until more facts come to light.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MarkB (@45) said:

    Ah yes, to be attacked by tODD for doing nothing less than pointing out the eighth commandment applies to all, even me.

    “Attacked”? Really?

    Anyhow, one may notice that your original comment (@39) only mentioned Herman Cain in the context of the Eighth Commandment:

    In the rush I see here to condemn Herman Cain or to score political points are we forgetting about the eighth commandment?

    What about the rush to condemn the women making these allegations (cf. comment #1)? In fact, I see more evidence of people rushing to condemn the women here than I see for those “rushing … to condemn Herman Cain”.

    As far as I know the women who were formerly employees have not had anything to say.

    Well, according to the article, at least one of them is subject to a “confidentiality arrangement”, and as such cannot legally have anything to say about her past interactions with Cain.

    My point was merely this: it is tricky to apply the Eighth Commandment in a he-said, she-said situation. It is not, for instance, putting the “best construction” on this situation to assume that Cain is innocent and that these women are all doing this merely to inflict political damage (cf. comment #40). Nor is it the “best construction” to assume that the women are all telling the truth and that Cain is lying. It seems that the Eighth Commandment would require us here to simply remain silent until more facts come to light.

  • MarkB

    tODD @47
    “My point was merely this: it is tricky to apply the Eighth Commandment in a he-said, she-said situation. It is not, for instance, putting the “best construction” on this situation to assume that Cain is innocent and that these women are all doing this merely to inflict political damage (cf. comment #40). Nor is it the “best construction” to assume that the women are all telling the truth and that Cain is lying. It seems that the Eighth Commandment would require us here to simply remain silent until more facts come to light.”

    Here I would agree with you totally and that too was the point I was trying to make. Although I might not be as verbally fluid or gifted. So thank you for stating such.

  • MarkB

    tODD @47
    “My point was merely this: it is tricky to apply the Eighth Commandment in a he-said, she-said situation. It is not, for instance, putting the “best construction” on this situation to assume that Cain is innocent and that these women are all doing this merely to inflict political damage (cf. comment #40). Nor is it the “best construction” to assume that the women are all telling the truth and that Cain is lying. It seems that the Eighth Commandment would require us here to simply remain silent until more facts come to light.”

    Here I would agree with you totally and that too was the point I was trying to make. Although I might not be as verbally fluid or gifted. So thank you for stating such.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@46) said:

    I hope my answers have satiated your curiosity.

    Well, no, because you completely failed to address the lack of charity in your accusation (@40) that “the whole purpose of bringing these [women's] allegations” was “political damage”. Are you sticking with that interpretation, and, if so, do you think it comports with what the Eighth Commandment asks of us?

    If Mr. Veith was presenting his article as an actual report, rather than relaying to us his opinion about a report, then he certainly wouldn’t get a “free pass” from me.

    This is a curious metric. So when Veith tells us that “a third woman accuses Herman Cain of sexual harrassment” and then proceeds to quote facts from another story, that is all “opinion”?

    Again, your complaint (@40) was about “how much fuel is given to the media to trot out junk reporting like this.” Isn’t our discussing this story here exactly the “fuel” that is given to the media? Aren’t we spreading the story, focusing even more attention on it than the initial media report generated?

    I just find it odd how often people criticize the media for reporting on a story that they themselves are interested in and want to talk about. It’s okay for us to discuss it, but not the media?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@46) said:

    I hope my answers have satiated your curiosity.

    Well, no, because you completely failed to address the lack of charity in your accusation (@40) that “the whole purpose of bringing these [women's] allegations” was “political damage”. Are you sticking with that interpretation, and, if so, do you think it comports with what the Eighth Commandment asks of us?

    If Mr. Veith was presenting his article as an actual report, rather than relaying to us his opinion about a report, then he certainly wouldn’t get a “free pass” from me.

    This is a curious metric. So when Veith tells us that “a third woman accuses Herman Cain of sexual harrassment” and then proceeds to quote facts from another story, that is all “opinion”?

    Again, your complaint (@40) was about “how much fuel is given to the media to trot out junk reporting like this.” Isn’t our discussing this story here exactly the “fuel” that is given to the media? Aren’t we spreading the story, focusing even more attention on it than the initial media report generated?

    I just find it odd how often people criticize the media for reporting on a story that they themselves are interested in and want to talk about. It’s okay for us to discuss it, but not the media?

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “tODD” @49,

    “Well, no, because you completely failed to address the lack of charity in your accusation (@40) that “the whole purpose of bringing these [women's] allegations” was “political damage”. ”

    Le’ts compare what you write above with what I actually stated, shall we? Here is what I wrote @40, “However, whatever political damage that will be done has been done with these allegations and I suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations. ”

    A suspicion an accusation doesn’t make. I suspect wrong doing may be afoot with the allegations coming out against Cain, but that is hardly an accusation that such is the case. You can continue to uncharitably press my words beyond my explanation if you like. Perhaps you should keep in mind that 8th commandment you are tossing about here? I don’t think you are doing a good job of putting the best construction on my words.

    Finally, your trying to drag Mr. Veith into an argument is not only nonsense, but is nothing more than old fashioned “trolling” which I have no interest in engaging further.

    I really have nothing more to add to this discussion, so you have the last word, of course.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “tODD” @49,

    “Well, no, because you completely failed to address the lack of charity in your accusation (@40) that “the whole purpose of bringing these [women's] allegations” was “political damage”. ”

    Le’ts compare what you write above with what I actually stated, shall we? Here is what I wrote @40, “However, whatever political damage that will be done has been done with these allegations and I suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations. ”

    A suspicion an accusation doesn’t make. I suspect wrong doing may be afoot with the allegations coming out against Cain, but that is hardly an accusation that such is the case. You can continue to uncharitably press my words beyond my explanation if you like. Perhaps you should keep in mind that 8th commandment you are tossing about here? I don’t think you are doing a good job of putting the best construction on my words.

    Finally, your trying to drag Mr. Veith into an argument is not only nonsense, but is nothing more than old fashioned “trolling” which I have no interest in engaging further.

    I really have nothing more to add to this discussion, so you have the last word, of course.

  • Carl Vehse

    From Luther’s Large Catechism:

    269] God therefore would have it prohibited, that any one speak evil of another even though he be guilty, and the latter know it right well; much less if he do not know it, and have it only from hearsay. But you say: 270] Shall I not say it if it be the truth? Answer: Why do you not make accusation to regular judges? Ah, I cannot prove it publicly, and hence I might be silenced and turned away in a harsh manner [incur the penalty of a false accusation]. “Ah, indeed, do you smell the roast?” If you do not trust yourself to stand before the proper authorities and to make answer, then hold your tongue. But if you know it, know it for yourself and not for another. For if you tell it to others, although it be true, you will appear as a liar, because you cannot prove it, and you are, besides, acting like a knave. For we ought never to deprive any one of his honor or good name unless it be first taken away from him publicly.

    271] False witness, then, is everything which cannot be properly proved. 272] Therefore, what is not manifest upon sufficient evidence no one shall make public or declare for truth; and, in short, whatever is secret should be allowed to remain secret, or, at any rate, should be secretly reproved, as we shall hear. 273] Therefore, if you encounter an idle tongue which betrays and slanders some one, contradict such a one promptly to his face, that he may blush; thus many a one will hold his tongue who else would bring some poor man into bad repute, from which he would not easily extricate himself. For honor and a good name are easily taken away, but not easily restored.

  • Carl Vehse

    From Luther’s Large Catechism:

    269] God therefore would have it prohibited, that any one speak evil of another even though he be guilty, and the latter know it right well; much less if he do not know it, and have it only from hearsay. But you say: 270] Shall I not say it if it be the truth? Answer: Why do you not make accusation to regular judges? Ah, I cannot prove it publicly, and hence I might be silenced and turned away in a harsh manner [incur the penalty of a false accusation]. “Ah, indeed, do you smell the roast?” If you do not trust yourself to stand before the proper authorities and to make answer, then hold your tongue. But if you know it, know it for yourself and not for another. For if you tell it to others, although it be true, you will appear as a liar, because you cannot prove it, and you are, besides, acting like a knave. For we ought never to deprive any one of his honor or good name unless it be first taken away from him publicly.

    271] False witness, then, is everything which cannot be properly proved. 272] Therefore, what is not manifest upon sufficient evidence no one shall make public or declare for truth; and, in short, whatever is secret should be allowed to remain secret, or, at any rate, should be secretly reproved, as we shall hear. 273] Therefore, if you encounter an idle tongue which betrays and slanders some one, contradict such a one promptly to his face, that he may blush; thus many a one will hold his tongue who else would bring some poor man into bad repute, from which he would not easily extricate himself. For honor and a good name are easily taken away, but not easily restored.

  • Michael B.

    As much as I would hate for Cain to be president (as well as most of the Republican nominees), I do have to admit that our media is really quick to jump over sex scandals without any evidence, and this is a prime example. The people accusing Cain have everything to gain if they were false accusers. Nevertheless, I reject the comments that say he would get different treatment if he were a Democrat. Let us not forget that the Republicans spent hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars to prove Bill Clinton had sex.

  • Michael B.

    As much as I would hate for Cain to be president (as well as most of the Republican nominees), I do have to admit that our media is really quick to jump over sex scandals without any evidence, and this is a prime example. The people accusing Cain have everything to gain if they were false accusers. Nevertheless, I reject the comments that say he would get different treatment if he were a Democrat. Let us not forget that the Republicans spent hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars to prove Bill Clinton had sex.

  • fws

    carl @ 51

    carl vehse quoting the Lutheran Confessions.

    What a very nice turn this conversation is taking. It is very useful to talk about the 8th commandment here.

    What would things look like if we all followed that commandment. Don s: Is it really our business to judge others if we have not been appointed judges to remove someones reputation publicly?

    Ok. we are voters and citizens. So then in that vocation we are required to judge someone’s political competence.

    So no. We are not to judge character outside of political record and competence, unless we know , from proceedings in a court of law, certain things to be facts. And even then, we are to treat those persons as we would prefer and be grateful for our son or daughter or our own self to be treated in a similar circumstance.

    God wants us to do mercy to each other. Mercy is always undeserved. And if we err on the side of mercy in judging someone else’s character and reputation, then God will honor that and bless us for it.

    Think here of Noah’s good sons covering up their fathers alcoholic behavior. Sometimes covering up the error of others in honor to them and to protect them is a righteous thing to do. I would suggest that this is ALWAYS what we are to do, unless God has placed us in a vocation where it is our job to publicly remove the good reputation of someone. And few people have that job.

  • fws

    carl @ 51

    carl vehse quoting the Lutheran Confessions.

    What a very nice turn this conversation is taking. It is very useful to talk about the 8th commandment here.

    What would things look like if we all followed that commandment. Don s: Is it really our business to judge others if we have not been appointed judges to remove someones reputation publicly?

    Ok. we are voters and citizens. So then in that vocation we are required to judge someone’s political competence.

    So no. We are not to judge character outside of political record and competence, unless we know , from proceedings in a court of law, certain things to be facts. And even then, we are to treat those persons as we would prefer and be grateful for our son or daughter or our own self to be treated in a similar circumstance.

    God wants us to do mercy to each other. Mercy is always undeserved. And if we err on the side of mercy in judging someone else’s character and reputation, then God will honor that and bless us for it.

    Think here of Noah’s good sons covering up their fathers alcoholic behavior. Sometimes covering up the error of others in honor to them and to protect them is a righteous thing to do. I would suggest that this is ALWAYS what we are to do, unless God has placed us in a vocation where it is our job to publicly remove the good reputation of someone. And few people have that job.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    @ Carl #51

    Thank you Mr. Strickert for posting the explanation to the eight commandment.

    I want to apologize and ask for the reader’s forgiveness. It was wrong of me to publicly speculate about motives towards Mr. Cain in #40 as I did.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    @ Carl #51

    Thank you Mr. Strickert for posting the explanation to the eight commandment.

    I want to apologize and ask for the reader’s forgiveness. It was wrong of me to publicly speculate about motives towards Mr. Cain in #40 as I did.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@50), I really don’t believe I’m “uncharitably pressing [your] words beyond [your] explanation” — you do notice I’m quoting you fairly extensively here, right?

    The problem, as far as I can tell, is that you simply seem to think that, as long as you phrase something as a “suspicion”, that you the Eighth Commandment somehow doesn’t apply — I very much disagree. But again, here is your own statement to that effect: “A suspicion an accusation doesn’t make.” What legalistic nonsense is that?

    Again, you “suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations” was to inflict “political damage”. Surely you can’t disagree with my pointing that out. Now, tell me how that is any different, in Eighth Commandment terms, from directly accusing the women of bringing these allegations for the sole purpose of inflicting political damage. Do you really believe that uttering the magical phrase “I suspect” makes any difference as to the impact on the women’s reputation?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jim (@50), I really don’t believe I’m “uncharitably pressing [your] words beyond [your] explanation” — you do notice I’m quoting you fairly extensively here, right?

    The problem, as far as I can tell, is that you simply seem to think that, as long as you phrase something as a “suspicion”, that you the Eighth Commandment somehow doesn’t apply — I very much disagree. But again, here is your own statement to that effect: “A suspicion an accusation doesn’t make.” What legalistic nonsense is that?

    Again, you “suspect that is the whole purpose of bringing these allegations” was to inflict “political damage”. Surely you can’t disagree with my pointing that out. Now, tell me how that is any different, in Eighth Commandment terms, from directly accusing the women of bringing these allegations for the sole purpose of inflicting political damage. Do you really believe that uttering the magical phrase “I suspect” makes any difference as to the impact on the women’s reputation?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, hmm. I took too long to write my reply (@55), and hadn’t noticed Jim had written his comment (@54) before. (No, it didn’t take me half an hour to write three paragraphs, but I had the browser up and hadn’t refreshed the page.)

    Anyhow, apology accepted, Jim.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, hmm. I took too long to write my reply (@55), and hadn’t noticed Jim had written his comment (@54) before. (No, it didn’t take me half an hour to write three paragraphs, but I had the browser up and hadn’t refreshed the page.)

    Anyhow, apology accepted, Jim.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 53:

    “Don s: Is it really our business to judge others if we have not been appointed judges to remove someones reputation publicly?”

    Your answer was “no”. I disagree, with a caveat. Being a voter is a vocation. We are responsible for evaluating the candidates and voting for the one who is, in our judgment, going to do the best job. Evaluating the character of the candidate, based on the information available, is a necessary part of that judgment. To the extent that information isn’t confirmed, then that should certainly be taken into account. That is why I made clear in my comments that I wasn’t opining about Cain’s accusers, or the factual bases for their accusations. Rather, I have judged his response to those accusations, which is fact, directly observed by me, and which I believe is a negative factor as to his ability to perform effectively in the office of president (note — I have not necessarily ruled out voting for him at this stage, as I am still evaluating candidates and don’t know what my options will be by next June).

    When the facts are known to a substantial certainty, as they were in the case of Clinton, then it is very appropriate to evaluate his severe lack of judgment, his willingness to lie under oath and to attempt to cover up his actions to protect his reputation, as well as his propensity to mistreat and harass co-workers, and to consider the likelihood that such activities, with their detriment to his performance as president, would recur.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 53:

    “Don s: Is it really our business to judge others if we have not been appointed judges to remove someones reputation publicly?”

    Your answer was “no”. I disagree, with a caveat. Being a voter is a vocation. We are responsible for evaluating the candidates and voting for the one who is, in our judgment, going to do the best job. Evaluating the character of the candidate, based on the information available, is a necessary part of that judgment. To the extent that information isn’t confirmed, then that should certainly be taken into account. That is why I made clear in my comments that I wasn’t opining about Cain’s accusers, or the factual bases for their accusations. Rather, I have judged his response to those accusations, which is fact, directly observed by me, and which I believe is a negative factor as to his ability to perform effectively in the office of president (note — I have not necessarily ruled out voting for him at this stage, as I am still evaluating candidates and don’t know what my options will be by next June).

    When the facts are known to a substantial certainty, as they were in the case of Clinton, then it is very appropriate to evaluate his severe lack of judgment, his willingness to lie under oath and to attempt to cover up his actions to protect his reputation, as well as his propensity to mistreat and harass co-workers, and to consider the likelihood that such activities, with their detriment to his performance as president, would recur.

  • JunkerGeorg

    What is more scandalous to me than these women’s accusations (settled by Cain privately via hush $$), is simply the fact that he is “in bed with the Fed”, having stated back in Dec., 2010 that he doesn’t think the Federal Reserve should be audited, not to mention declaring Alan Greenspan to be his hero. I thought Bush was somewhat ignorant, but when a man in Cain’s position doesn’t even realize that China has been nuclear for decades, then, “Houston….we have a problem.” He is a poser, and a poor actor at that.

  • JunkerGeorg

    What is more scandalous to me than these women’s accusations (settled by Cain privately via hush $$), is simply the fact that he is “in bed with the Fed”, having stated back in Dec., 2010 that he doesn’t think the Federal Reserve should be audited, not to mention declaring Alan Greenspan to be his hero. I thought Bush was somewhat ignorant, but when a man in Cain’s position doesn’t even realize that China has been nuclear for decades, then, “Houston….we have a problem.” He is a poser, and a poor actor at that.

  • kerner

    Personally, the sex scandals mean a lot less than the supposed need to lie about them. I call your attention to the behavior of a presidential candidate (Democrat) back at a time when sexual misconduct was considered a bigger deal than it is in this libertine age. And who saved everybody from violating the 8th commandment by observing it himself.

    http://www.thehoustonpilgrim.com/CM/Cleveland_10_05_08.htm

  • kerner

    Personally, the sex scandals mean a lot less than the supposed need to lie about them. I call your attention to the behavior of a presidential candidate (Democrat) back at a time when sexual misconduct was considered a bigger deal than it is in this libertine age. And who saved everybody from violating the 8th commandment by observing it himself.

    http://www.thehoustonpilgrim.com/CM/Cleveland_10_05_08.htm

  • fws

    Don S @ 57

    Yes. I thought you would come back with that. And you are right. one of our vocations as a citizen is to evaluate (ie judge) candidates.

    But here is where the rubber meets the road and where only those of faith can know just how deeply the Law of God judges us down to our very hearts and not just according to how we act and how that would be judged in a court of Law. God’s courtroom is different!

    We are to love, honor, cherish and do mercy to our neighbor as we would desire it to be done to us in our heart of hearts. When we do something bad or wrong, we desire this mercy. Yes, if justice is done to us rather than mercy, then we grit our teeth and accept that judgement. But mercy directed at anyone can melt the hardest heart.

    And mercy, by definition , is not what we deserve . That would be cold Justice. Mercy is always undeserved. And it is what God demands that we ALWAYS do. “I would have mercy rather than sacrifice”. Sacrifice is where we hold someone’s feet to the fire of the letter of the Law. Mercy is what Noah’s good sons did to him.

    So only faith and christians can ask: what would be the most merciful think I can say and do and think? And we are always required , by the Law of God, to do that and nothing less.

    This requires our entire heart to do. And so we cannot do it.

    This is why faith is terrified at even it’s best righteousness as the moral equivalent of the used tampon that it is (cf isaiah).

    And so faith hides ALL it’s righteousness in the Works of Another.

    And further faith knows that the christian life is about dying to being right and righeousness to do goodness and mercy to others . Our LIFE is hidden in the Works of Another. Our job here is to die with Christ in our Baptismal small l life.

  • fws

    Don S @ 57

    Yes. I thought you would come back with that. And you are right. one of our vocations as a citizen is to evaluate (ie judge) candidates.

    But here is where the rubber meets the road and where only those of faith can know just how deeply the Law of God judges us down to our very hearts and not just according to how we act and how that would be judged in a court of Law. God’s courtroom is different!

    We are to love, honor, cherish and do mercy to our neighbor as we would desire it to be done to us in our heart of hearts. When we do something bad or wrong, we desire this mercy. Yes, if justice is done to us rather than mercy, then we grit our teeth and accept that judgement. But mercy directed at anyone can melt the hardest heart.

    And mercy, by definition , is not what we deserve . That would be cold Justice. Mercy is always undeserved. And it is what God demands that we ALWAYS do. “I would have mercy rather than sacrifice”. Sacrifice is where we hold someone’s feet to the fire of the letter of the Law. Mercy is what Noah’s good sons did to him.

    So only faith and christians can ask: what would be the most merciful think I can say and do and think? And we are always required , by the Law of God, to do that and nothing less.

    This requires our entire heart to do. And so we cannot do it.

    This is why faith is terrified at even it’s best righteousness as the moral equivalent of the used tampon that it is (cf isaiah).

    And so faith hides ALL it’s righteousness in the Works of Another.

    And further faith knows that the christian life is about dying to being right and righeousness to do goodness and mercy to others . Our LIFE is hidden in the Works of Another. Our job here is to die with Christ in our Baptismal small l life.

  • fws

    And no matter how beautiful mercy is, and how much it looks like the Holy Gospel… It is NOT the Gospel. It is what the Law demands that we do. It is , in fact, the “sum” of the keeping of the Law.

    God intends for Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to result ALWAYS from our correct keepin of the Law. If sacrifice rather than mercy is happening, then we are being righeous as were the Pharisees.

  • fws

    And no matter how beautiful mercy is, and how much it looks like the Holy Gospel… It is NOT the Gospel. It is what the Law demands that we do. It is , in fact, the “sum” of the keeping of the Law.

    God intends for Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to result ALWAYS from our correct keepin of the Law. If sacrifice rather than mercy is happening, then we are being righeous as were the Pharisees.

  • fws

    Lord have mercy upon us all here!

    The demands of God’s Law here in the 8th commandment should terrify us in how we simply cannot keep them.

  • fws

    Lord have mercy upon us all here!

    The demands of God’s Law here in the 8th commandment should terrify us in how we simply cannot keep them.

  • Martin J

    With or without the sexual harassment charges, Cain is an embarrassment. I cannot understand how in God’s creation this man is at the top of the Republican primary polls. It is a sad commentary on the state of politics in this country (as is everything that goes on in Congress.)

    Agree with what FWS said, Lord have mercy upon us all !

  • Martin J

    With or without the sexual harassment charges, Cain is an embarrassment. I cannot understand how in God’s creation this man is at the top of the Republican primary polls. It is a sad commentary on the state of politics in this country (as is everything that goes on in Congress.)

    Agree with what FWS said, Lord have mercy upon us all !

  • fws

    martin j

    I read that cain actual ran in 2000 for president also. His press releases dont reflect that.

    I am suspecting that even he was surprised that he had a real shot at things.

    and i suspect that he simply was not prepared because he was not so serious actually.

  • fws

    martin j

    I read that cain actual ran in 2000 for president also. His press releases dont reflect that.

    I am suspecting that even he was surprised that he had a real shot at things.

    and i suspect that he simply was not prepared because he was not so serious actually.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I agree with you that cain may not have expected to get this far, and that this explains him being so unprepared. Given his background, I really question whether he can ever muster the credibility to be the presidential candidate.

    But I still say that he could have avoided this particular pitfall by following Grover Cleveland’s example of instructing his staff to “tell the truth”, thus keeping (for the moment at least) the 8th Commandment. Keeping the 8th commandment is a big help in evaluating a candidate’s character and fitness for office in my estimation. I wouldn’t say adultery, or sexual harassment (whatever the specific facts turn out to be), are meaningless, but the 8th commandment if a bigger factor than either of those.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I agree with you that cain may not have expected to get this far, and that this explains him being so unprepared. Given his background, I really question whether he can ever muster the credibility to be the presidential candidate.

    But I still say that he could have avoided this particular pitfall by following Grover Cleveland’s example of instructing his staff to “tell the truth”, thus keeping (for the moment at least) the 8th Commandment. Keeping the 8th commandment is a big help in evaluating a candidate’s character and fitness for office in my estimation. I wouldn’t say adultery, or sexual harassment (whatever the specific facts turn out to be), are meaningless, but the 8th commandment if a bigger factor than either of those.

  • kerner

    (sigh)…is a much bigger factor, I mean.

  • kerner

    (sigh)…is a much bigger factor, I mean.

  • fws

    kerner 65

    I agree. and our politics are litered with the contrary, from fdr, eisenhower, jfk, clinton, sanford, edwards, paul mccain and newt, and david vitter and that guy from idaho who i think is still in office….

    barney frank on the other hand came clean didn’t he? and he is still in office. He seems to be one who did follow grover’s example.

  • fws

    kerner 65

    I agree. and our politics are litered with the contrary, from fdr, eisenhower, jfk, clinton, sanford, edwards, paul mccain and newt, and david vitter and that guy from idaho who i think is still in office….

    barney frank on the other hand came clean didn’t he? and he is still in office. He seems to be one who did follow grover’s example.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@67) said:

    our politics are litered with the contrary, from fdr, eisenhower, jfk, clinton, sanford, edwards, paul mccain and newt

    Um … ? Typo?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@67) said:

    our politics are litered with the contrary, from fdr, eisenhower, jfk, clinton, sanford, edwards, paul mccain and newt

    Um … ? Typo?

  • Helen K.

    Haven’t been following this, but just noticed after going to tODD’s last message. I bet FWS meant John McCain? Love your sharp eyes, tODD. (:

  • Helen K.

    Haven’t been following this, but just noticed after going to tODD’s last message. I bet FWS meant John McCain? Love your sharp eyes, tODD. (:

  • kerner

    “barney frank on the other hand came clean didn’t he? and he is still in office. He seems to be one who did follow grover’s example.”

    Right. And you’ll notice that when Clinton finally admitted it, nobody cared that much about his sex life either. Just think how much money and rancor Clinton could have saved this country if he had just said, “Monica Lewinski? Yeah. So what?” Or even, “A gentleman never discusses those things”.

  • kerner

    “barney frank on the other hand came clean didn’t he? and he is still in office. He seems to be one who did follow grover’s example.”

    Right. And you’ll notice that when Clinton finally admitted it, nobody cared that much about his sex life either. Just think how much money and rancor Clinton could have saved this country if he had just said, “Monica Lewinski? Yeah. So what?” Or even, “A gentleman never discusses those things”.

  • fws

    kerner @ 70

    yeah. but im not sure it is all so predictable. no one is saying boo about david vitter or newts history or even john mc cain. and they didnt exactly come clean. nor did that guy from idaho. forget his name…. They all share some pretty racy marital histories.

    And i am not sure it that should really be any of our business. We assume that the vocation of being a voter entitles us to sit in judgement on character . I am really uncertain that that is so. I think we are narrowly to consider : can they govern?

    why: the law of God demands that we show the same mercy and modesty over the flaws of others that we would, in our deepest desires, have someone show us. this is an almost impossible demand of the Law. We excuse and stutter and stumble over or failure to keep this Law. And it goes way beyond the letter of the Law.

    I think only Judges and juries have the right to remove someones public reputation.

    But then you are talking about the practical strategy a smart politician should follow to avoid what all of our Old Adams tend to do , which is to sin and judge when it is not our place to do so. And I think you are mostly right. but i note that there are those who did not come clean, like vitter most notably, who seem to have excaped the noose of being hung by public opinion. why do you think that is Kerner?

  • fws

    kerner @ 70

    yeah. but im not sure it is all so predictable. no one is saying boo about david vitter or newts history or even john mc cain. and they didnt exactly come clean. nor did that guy from idaho. forget his name…. They all share some pretty racy marital histories.

    And i am not sure it that should really be any of our business. We assume that the vocation of being a voter entitles us to sit in judgement on character . I am really uncertain that that is so. I think we are narrowly to consider : can they govern?

    why: the law of God demands that we show the same mercy and modesty over the flaws of others that we would, in our deepest desires, have someone show us. this is an almost impossible demand of the Law. We excuse and stutter and stumble over or failure to keep this Law. And it goes way beyond the letter of the Law.

    I think only Judges and juries have the right to remove someones public reputation.

    But then you are talking about the practical strategy a smart politician should follow to avoid what all of our Old Adams tend to do , which is to sin and judge when it is not our place to do so. And I think you are mostly right. but i note that there are those who did not come clean, like vitter most notably, who seem to have excaped the noose of being hung by public opinion. why do you think that is Kerner?

  • Dust

    Vitter did come clean! He had a press conference with his wife and children, he admitted guilt and asked for forgiveness. What else is necessary according to your fine Christian sensitivities?

  • Dust

    Vitter did come clean! He had a press conference with his wife and children, he admitted guilt and asked for forgiveness. What else is necessary according to your fine Christian sensitivities?

  • Dust

    oops…sensitivities should be “traditions” thanks!

  • Dust

    oops…sensitivities should be “traditions” thanks!


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