First, read this article here. It’s enough to make me want to weep for the children of men.
It wasn’t long ago that we all talked about rating the candidates. At that point I had already decided that, based on the available evidence, that Herman Cain was probably guilty of sexual harassment so I couldn’t vote for him in good conscience.
A lot of new information has come out since then, all of it bad news for Cain. I’m honestly curious what Rameumpton thinks that this point given the new evidence to evaluate. (If he still believes in Cain, that’s cool. This isn’t a challenge, just a question.)
Me personally? I’ve gone from believing Cain ‘probably’ did it to feeling that if I was in a court of law and I was a juror that I’d have no issue (at least given the current state of the evidence) convicting him as guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Of course new evidence could easily change my mind. But I have my doubts counter evidence is on the way.
Ginger White’s testimony, when bolstered by the other four women accusing Cain of sexual harassment plus the fact that his wife didn’t even know he was financially supporting Ginger White, is certainly enough to convince me beyond reasonable doubt that Herman Cain is a bona-fide monster.
I think one of the things that makes White’s testimony so convincing is actually the very thing that others will find problematic – she doesn’t excuse herself and admits to just how badly behaved she was.
I am enraged at what happened to Ginger White. It makes me boil with anger that she was taken advantage of by male bosses because she was in a difficult financial position. But she refuses to stop there. She goes on to basically admit that what started as desperation went on to become a game to her. In short, she basically stops short of admitting that she was a prostitute for these men, including Herman Cain.
I honestly see no motive for her to admit something like this other than she is coming clean. I guess you could argue that she is so desperate for the limelight that she is making this all up. But the level of detail in her story and the messy emotion and self incrimination seems to run against this hypothesis. I think she is basically telling us the truth. The outside evidence to go with it (mentioned previously) is enough to convict in my opinion. In any case, we all have to make up our minds about Herman Cain for ourselves. For me I am past reasonable doubt that he’s guilty.
And, for those that were holding out a story of “well, that was in the past and maybe he’s repented”, they must now contend with the fact that Cain still had a, um… mistress… on his payroll until a couple of weeks ago.
I remember only a few months ago seeing sounds bites of Cain professing his faith in Jesus Christ. I remember thinking in my mind “that’s so sincere.” I’m a duped fool and I admit it. And the republicans almost sent this man to the white house because he wasn’t a Mormon.
I haven’t felt this strong of negative feelings about a candidate since – well since Bill Clinton and… well… Newt Gingrich.
Actually, strike that. That’s an insult to Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. I have my doubts that either Clinton or Gingrich had actually legally committed sexual harassment. It sounds like Cain did. So he’s a whole new league of monster.
I can’t help but feel chilled over the story of how White and Cain met. If her story is true (and I currently believe it is baring new evidence) he apparently has the power to walk into a room and within an hour or two be able to tell which woman is desperate enough to go back to his hotel room with him in exchange for favors. Except that that’s not really true either. After all, his sexual harassment cases suggest that his powers sometimes misfired and did so more than once.
I’m glad that the Evangelicals did the right thing and dumped Cain once the evidence became overwhelming.
The Rise of Newt Gingrich
I’ve written in the past about how bigotry against Romney because he’s a Mormons is the true underlying cause for the rise of Newt Gingrich.
I wanted to talk about this a bit more. Let’s admit that there will always be some room for other interpretations. Heck, there is still some room for interpreting Cain as a victim instead of a monster. So certainly there is always going to be some room for doubt about just how much Romney’s Mormonism really played in the rise of Newt Gingrich as the Evangelical’s chosen candidate.
For those that feel I’m assuming too much here on religion playing such a decisive role, this article is worth a read. Here are some relevant quotes.
Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the Family Leader, an influential Iowa social-conservative organization, says groups like his are taking a hard look at Gingrich and have come away impressed. After a forum last month at which candidates discussed their faith, Vander Plaats, in consultation with his organization’s board, whittled the list of candidates the Family Leader may support to four: Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Gingrich.
He is articulating a very Christian-historical worldview. People are seeing he’s had a life transformation,” Vander Plaats says of Gingrich. “The second thing he’s got going for him is some people believe Newt is the best prepared to lead. And three is that he looks like the one with the best shot at being the alternative to Romney and defeating Romney. Believe me, conservatives want an alternative to Romney. They don’t trust him.”
So three days before Thanksgiving, a group of evangelical leaders met privately in a Des Moines office building to discuss throwing their support en masse to a single candidate. No decision was made, but the participants stressed the importance of coalescing around an alternative to Romney.
Of course quotes like this don’t specifically say it’s Romney’s religion that is the deciding factor. That would be bigoted and thus inappropriate, so I would have expected that. And, yes, Romney is far less than a perfect candidate. I don’t really feel that comfortable with him either. So why do I keep assuming religion is the deciding factor that caused the rise of each anti-Romney candidate and now Newt Gingrich?
But here is the thing I think people that ask that question are missing. First, can you honestly name a Republican candidate since Reagan that you were really excited about during the primaries? Can you even name one during the general election that you didn’t feel like you had to hold your nose a bit?
This is sort of how things go, especially during the primaries. We never like the candidates all the way because they are never what we really want. Truth be told, part of the reason that is true is because we all want different things. It’s not possible to please “us” in that sense. (Imagine trying to find a conservative candidate that pleased both Geoff and myself. It’s not possible!)
But honestly, it goes further than that. We’ve not had a strongly charismatic candidate since Reagan.
So I have to ask everyone to be honest with themselves about this. Is it really true that Romney is worse than: Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, George H.W. Bush (as perceived during his two elections anyhow – he is a one term president after all)? I really don’t think so. Romney is “no worse” than any of those candidates. None of them were rock stars that fit what we really wanted in a candidate.
Am I the only one that remembers Bob Dole claiming that tobacco wasn’t addictive because he was getting campaign money from the industry? Am I the only one that remembers that both Bush and McCain weren’t perceived as very conservative?
Yet in none of these cases did we ever see coalitions of people — specifically Christians — forming for the explicit purpose of making sure one candidate failed to get the nomination.
Besides, each of those candidates ended up coalescing into some decent level of support once it was clear that they were better than the alternatives. Romney is the only counter example to this. Why?
You can’t just point to Romney’s problems and expect a thinking person to think your seriously. Yes, Romney has flip flopped.
You mean Gingrich hasn’t just as much?
Yes, Romney’s not entirely conservative.
Yes, Romney’s too much of an insider.
Yes, Romney comes across like he’s running for president because his ego demands it.
Gingrich! Gingrich! Gingrich! (Hmm… sounds like Grinch.)
Add to this the fact that Pew studies do find a significant anti-Mormon bias that is affecting Romney. This is a case of it being as obvious as things get in politics.
The simple truth is this: Romney has no faults that Gingrich doesn’t do worse in save one area: He’s not Mormon.
I started thinking about what this all means. I suspect my wife is a pretty good example of mainstream Mormonism. I have to tell you that I have often seen her get excited when she hears some famous person or politician profess Christ.
My wife is typical of Mormons. She loves Christians. She doesn’t merely tolerate them nor think they are ‘as good as everyone else.’ She thinks of them as above the pack and better than the rest. That’s the honest truth.
We’re talking about a woman that served a mission, so she is no stranger to anti-Mormon bigotry either. But she honestly believes that this group of bigots within Christendom is a very small group. She had no idea, prior to this election, that this group of bigots is large enough to guarantee that Mormon can’t get the nomination even when all alternatives are nothing short of abysmal.
Nor did she had any idea that even those Evangelicals that aren’t in the 1/3 bigoted group had just enough sympathy to the bigot’s point of view as to not speak up and say something. She honestly did not realize that her positive feelings for Evangelicals in the public arena were not returned. I feel heart broken over this.
Of course Mormons and Evangelicals are competitors in the religious arena. It could not have been otherwise. It’s precisely because we’re so close religiously that we are the most direct competitors to each other. But this is precisely why Mormons have such positive feelings towards Evangelicals.
Now I have no doubt that Mormons have issues with with Evangelical doctrines. For example, you can go to a LDS Church and hear a Mormon speak out against the Trinity doctrine as taught by the creeds. And, yes, you can probably find Mormons that have real issues with Christian doctrines to the point of it being ‘prejudice.’ Prejudice is widespread amongst the human race.
But I have noticed a few things. First, Mormons police their own on this. Try to go to a Mormon church and talk about how Christians are bad or scary people, for example. Or even just speak ill of their doctrines in a mocking way. You’ll immediately raise the hackles of the other Mormons who do not find this to be acceptable behavior. In fact, in most cases you’ll be silenced. This is nothing like what happens in Evangelical anti-Mormon classes where Mormon doctrines are mocked and derided.
And this, I think, is the real difference. The fact is that Mormons are distrustful of Evangelical doctrines, but they are not distrustful of Evangelicals. Mormons have no issue with voting for Evangelicals, putting them into positions of power, nor working with them in common causes. In fact, they want to do these things because they are more comfortable with fellow Christians that live their beliefs.
The Evangelicals have not made this transition that Mormons have. They are still teaching about Mormons and Mormonism in such a way that people that leave their anti-Mormon classes don’t merely come away disagreeing with Mormons doctrinally – they come away with bad feelings towards Mormons as human beings. This is the essence of bigotry.
This is the real reason why many Evangelicals can’t vote for Romney now. In their view it isn’t that he is just a ‘less than ideal candidate’ (though heads and shoulders about the rest of the pack). No, in their view, he’s not really entirely sane given what they believe he believes.
Here Comes Newt
I have wondered if maybe more Mormons will see this and if it will cause more Mormons to be like me by choosing to vote Democrat as a protest vote as a way of sending a message to the Republican party to reform their bigotry.
So I asked my boss at work what she thought about the Republican primaries. She is a devote Mormon and, I knew, not that politically interested. How does this all come across to the average mainstream Mormon that isn’t watching closely. Here were my questions:
Q: Have you been watching the primaries?
A: No, not really?
Q: Do you know who the front runner is?
A: Seems like a few weeks ago I heard it was Mitt Romney. Is it still him?
(After catching her up about Gingrich surging. I even mentioned the anti-Mormon bias towards him. She basically accepted this at face value.)
Q: What do you think of Gingrich? Could you vote for him?
A: He seems pretty bright, I don’t see why not. I’ll have to study more about him though before the election.
I should just face reality. Newt is the Republican’s man. Yes, I know it’s unthinkable. When he gets the nomination it will go against every last ounce of conventional wisdom about how politics works. But unless we see some alternative out of the blue, Newt will get the nomination. I sure hope I’m wrong, but I’m probably not.
In the mean time. I think I’m done. I may just have to go join the Democrat party. Hey, in Utah, all the Democratic candidates are moderate or conservative anyhow. And at least they don’t hold weekly anti-Mormon for the sake of creating unfriendly stereotypes about others.