Bipartisan Liars: Lowering the Bar

The final nail in the Cain campaign’s coffin is a disheartening reminder of how far Americans have come in being vulnerable to figures “telling public lies with the utmost sincerity.”

Four years ago, John Edwards gave us a preview of hypocrisy taking a candidate close to the White House, but his mendacity was hidden by six years in the U.S. Senate and a substantive campaign, however undercut by his personal enrichment, to highlight growing income disparity in the nation.

Herman Cain’s rise and fall shows how low the bar is now set—-a man with no elective experience, with no substantive proposals beyond an empty 9-9-9 slogan, with aggressive ignorance about foreign policy and no presidential qualifications whatsoever is brought down from the top of the opinion polls by what his lawyer accurately calls “private, alleged consensual conduct between adults.”

No matter how much bravado he shows in aggressively denying that affair, Cain is caught between clear evidence of more long-term sexual misbehavior and his insistence that all charges against him are false. The issue is not whether he is an adulterer but a chronic liar.

In 1992, Bill Clinton, with Hillary standing by her man, could go on 60 Minutes and weather the Gennifer Flowers story, the kind of behavior that would later stain his presidency with impeachment, but Clinton had been a governor and Oxford scholar who was running a substantive campaign.

Now, with Herman Cain being brought down for perhaps the wrong reasons from a position he never should have occupied in the first place, prurient attention may navigate to Newt Gingrich’s three marriages, two adulteries and financial misconduct during and after his tenure as Speaker of the House.

MORE.

         

Author: ROBERT STEIN

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5 Comments

  1. OK, time to get off the Cain Train of Pain and onto a bigger and more deserving target, Newton. Named after the guy who let the apple define his career, Newt prefers Tiffany to Macintosh. Now this is the real white whale and folks from all political persuasions can enjoy trying to harpoon the “non-lobbying” lobbyist.
    Of all the candidates, he is the one Capt. Ahab and the Dems can really want to nail. The other candidates will look like mannequins in a Lord & Taylor Christmas (it that still allowed) display, as Newt goes splat, or not, remember what happened to Ahab.

  2. Are you sure Newt is the whale and not Ahab?

  3. Ahab, had a mission to get the whale, he was pissed but not a phony hypocrite.

    Once they finally stop piling on to the dead body of Cain, they will finally sharpen the harpoons for Newt. Obviously, it takes a little time for attack machines to get into gear.
    Maureen Dowd did a good job today on Newt.

  4. True, Ahab wasn’t a hypocrite, just obsessed (terminally) – and the whale had the last laugh. You’re right about the upcoming harpoon-fest.

  5. At this point in the campaign, “Polling data” just shows who’s “Interesting”, not who’s really ahead, or likely to win.
    Newt’s got Brand Recognition, his scandals are, pardon me for saying so, rather mundane politics for D.C.-and almost to be expected for a long-time Legislator. Same for his Hypocrisy-which is, in spite of everything, a bit less than John “I ran three times for this” McCain.

    but…

    Newt’s about fifteen years late for a run at the Oval Office. He was MORE viable in the ’96 election year, than he will ever be again, including THIS year. It’s that he’s a Southern White Man from Georgia, running against a Yankee with some African Heritage. The jokes write themselves on this.

    If Newt shows traction in the Primaries for REAL, expect to see the editorial page sporting Klan-Robed Republicans and allegations of cross-burning.

    Forget his peccadillos, lobbying, weird book deals and paid speechifying, ’cause Newt is just the WRONG ethnicity to take on Obama.

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