Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom. Originally posted on The New Civil Rights Movement:
Herman Cain is a re-enactment of Jim Carey’s “Liar, Liar” character and has told us over and over the past two weeks how much he disrespects and disregards women.
Two weeks ago Herman Cain was confronted with a volcanic media report by Politico.com that reported two unnamed women had accused him of sexual harassment 12 years ago during his tenure as the president of the National Restaurant Association. Both women received settlement compensation for their ill-treatment by Cain.
Then in rapid succession, there were three accusers (the third woman did not file a complaint against Cain), only to be quickly followed by a fourth accuser, Sharon Bialek, represented by Gloria Allred, celebrity lawyer known for her aggressive advocacy on behalf of women in high profile cases. Bialek, in a press conference, told the media the sordid details of Cain’s alleged sexual assault this past week when she described Cain as putting his hand up her dress while sitting in a car and attempted to grab her genitals – an act that could be defined as a third or fourth degree act of sexual assault in many states.
Since then, we have been witness to a total of four women, some named and others not, who allegedly have been harassed or assaulted by Cain, someone who is so taken with himself that he repeatedly refers to himself in the third-person, revealing a bit of grandiosity that could once be explained by his astonishing poll numbers in which he continues to lead Romney and Gingrich. Despite the revelation of the sexual harassment allegations against Cain, Republican voters continue to defend him, dismissing the allegations as not being important, or are viewed as calculated false attacks against a conservative candidate for president.
All this has happened, of course, before a single Republican primary vote has been cast. In the meantime, the Republican Party brand, what remains of it, is now tied to an obnoxious liar, who has probably harassed and assaulted women throughout his career. But Cain, perhaps concerned that these revelations could damage his candidacy, hired defense attorney Lin Wood, who said in an interview with the Atlanta Constitution that any new women who are thinking of coming forward with allegations against the candidate should “think twice” before they do so.
So the gloves came off – no holds barred, by the candidate himself and his front porch dog lawyer.
Not only did Cain threaten women this past week, but he couldn’t finish off his ugly business, without insulting two more women. His first target of scorn was former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi – the first woman ever to ascend to the one of the most powerful positions in American politics and now Minority Leader – referring to her as “Princess Nancy” during the Republican debate in Michigan. And feminist icon Anita Hill, whom Cain took a shot at by joking about among a group of supporters, jesting in laughter when asked about her, “Is she gonna endorse me?”
He is literally disgusting and a liar to boot. Cain has effortlessly revealed just how deeply sexist he truly is and reminds me of Jim Carrey’s “Liar, Liar” movie character, Fletcher Reed, who can’t help himself by telling his awful truth insulting all within earshot of his proclamations. Just like Reed, Cain has told us over and over during this past week, just how much he disrespects and disregards women.
Karen Kraushaar, the unnamed second accuser’s identity was revealed by The Daily (owned by Rupert Murdoch) which prompted her legal counsel, Joel P. Bennett, to announce that Kraushaar, a registered Republican and spokeswoman at the U.S. Department of Treasury (hired during the Bush administration to a non-political post) had reconsidered her silence and would now go public, along with the other women in a joint press conference to tell their stories of debasement by Cain.
Apparently now Kraushaar may never announce the sordid details of her Cain experience along with the other women, but we could easily predict the story line and fill in the details (perhaps they are taking heed to Lin Wood’s threats), but Cain has honestly earned the “slime” title outright, fair and square and that is really saying something exceptional about one of the most mediocre, uninspiring group of Americans (one exception is perhaps John Huntsman) who have ever tossed their hats into the ring for president with hopes of elevating themselves to the Oval Office. God forbid!
Wake me when it’s over. The end can’t come soon enough!