So far in this Herman Cain saga, we have seen only one accuser give a specific account of what happened. Mr. Cain has denied the allegation, and there is no plausible way for him to prove a negative. On my view, the burden of proof now falls on Sharon Bialek, and a mere accusation just isn’t sufficient. Given the above, commentators claiming to be conservative need to show better restraint. Pursuing the facts in light of the allegations is one thing, but to call for Mr. Cain to drop out of the race to avoid being a distraction is asinine. This is the big leagues, the land where the ends justify the means for too many. We need to remember that when we hear accusations. Whether or not the accusations are true matters, but I’ve sensed that too many of us have assumed they are. This is very dangerous. It provides a template for the left that all they have to do is accuse someone they do not like on our side, say it loudly enough, and repeat it, then they can run against the Mitt Romneys of the Republican Party.
The tragedy of all of this is that this piece does not have a chance to debate the merits of Herman Cain the candidate. It is a piece about hearsay, meaning the accusers and the left have successfully distracted us from the issues most important in selecting a leader. Character certainly matters, but think of the resources that have been diverted from discussing the merits of smaller government, tax reform, and all of the other issues that have recently energized the conservative base.
The left is succeeding in censorship, and the Herman Cain circus is but a microcosm of its tactics. The race for 2012 is not going to be easy, but we have to have the stomach to be confrontational, and those willing to sacrifice Cain based on the utter weakness of what we know so far, I am afraid we do not have the will to win. Our future is in front of us, and the choices are as lucid as I can ever remember. One path leads us to a Tea Party type atmosphere. The other is Occupy Wall Street. We know which we prefer, but how badly do we want it?