Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Cain And Accusations

Mona Charen at NRO wonders whether Cain is being borked or is being evasive because there is something to this.  Her thoughts are here, and I have little to add.  Nor do I know much about the accusations and their likelihood of being true.

And that's a revealing limitation on my part.  I am very likely to make my decision about whether Cain is guilty on the basis of how he responds to the accusations, not any basis of examining the facts.  It's a shortcut we use a thousand times a year - does Jack seem to be lying?  A great timesaver.

The weakness is rather apparent, though.  It's a good rule of thumb, but not a perfect one.  In particular, excellent liars exploit this human tendency by imitating innocent people, and distracting us with how terrible the accusers are.  Bill Clinton was exceptionally good at this.  He didn't act like a guilty person, and he didn't go over-the-top by trying to act like a completely innocent person.  He acted just like a person who was guilty of some small, unimportant thing, but outraged that people would accuse him of something large.  Of course he drove 6mph over the speed limit, but really...

Even after some large things turned out to be true.

And now here I am, doing what I complained about others doing, because it's a timesaver.  I don't want to put in the energy to read up on this.


Dubbahdee said...

The fuse is lit. It will reach the powder eventually. It will either sputter pitifully, or explode impressively, but it's only a matter of time before Mister Cain's campaign is so much political pink mist.

terri said...

I have tried to read up on this, but everything I have read so far seems rather vague and short on details.

Probably the most condemning thing in my mind is Cain's contention that he simply doesn't remember the incidents and doesn't know much about the accusations or settlement.

That seems weird to me. You can bet if I were in a position of power and authority and someone made any kind of accusation against me....I would remember every detail. It wouldn't fade into my memory even if the accusation was false and the problem was short-lived.

But...I remember all sorts of incidents and details about my life. Not everyone is like that. My own husband doesn't remember all sorts of things from his childhood or moments in his life that I would have considered significant.

Questions about how he felt at a certain moment in time, or what his reaction was to something that happened in the past often have no detailed remembrance.

So...maybe Cain is just one of those kinds of people.

Sam L. said...

It's been said that he's been accused because he's black. I read elsewhere that no, it's because he's Republican. My take is it's because he's not Obama, and the Dems attack anyone who isn't Obama with the help of their wholly-owned subidiaries in the media.

Der Hahn said...

Considering the nature of the complaint, I don't consider Cain saying he doesn't remember them to be particularly damming.

Considering the trajectory of most of these stories it's likely that the offended woman (women) didn't ever make the accusation to Cain's face. They spoke to a human resources person at the NRA. It's entirely possible that Cain was never informed, epspecially since the complaint doesn't appear to have generated appearances before a court. I believe this is usually done for good reason to protect the complaintant from potential retaliation but it also means that an accused may not never know of the complaint.

Much harrasement law is based on the perception of the comment by the person making the complaint and a lack of objection when the incident occured is not considered a defense by the accused.

Texan99 said...

I'm skeptical because this is coming up 12 years late. Yes, I understand there was some kind of confidential settlement, but the fact remains that it was kept confidential for 12 years, then suddenly it came out just as Cain was getting traction in a presidential bid. As far as I know, the confidentiality imposed by the settlement hasn't changed in the meantime.

So maybe there was something real there, but I'm going to take some serious convincing.