LL Cool H, you guys: Ladies Love Cool Herman. More specifically, they love coolly accusing him of sexual misconduct. Last night, Cain told Wolf Blitzer that soon, someone somewhere would “accuse me of an affair for an extended period of time.” He meant the affair lasted for an extended period of time, but it will probably work the way he said it, too. As you can see, claiming that Cain grabbed your boob or dated you for 15 years or whatever in order to derail his otherwise perfect presidential campaign has become a real fad. You know what else is a fad? Lying. It’s so popular that people don’t even realize they’re doing it anymore, the way you had to tell your friend that he was saying smokin’! too much in 1994. In last night’s preemptive denial of whatever thing he absolutely did not do with the lady he knew was about to accuse him of something, Cain forgot that not everyone has just watched The Mask. Quote after the jump.
Here’s Cain going on CNN to tell us that we’re going to be hearing a lot of crazy stuff about him soon, but don’t worry—everything is okay:
I don’t want to specify because I don’t know what’s in the story…We will address these when they come out, but at this point, I just wanted to give you a heads up. I don’t have anything to hide and we will address the details as we know them.
“Let’s tell the truth,” your girlfriend says when she comes home from her business trip. “You go first.” Cain’s assertion that he will reveal the details of his own relations with Ginger White once he knows them sounds kind of weird if you proceed from the assumption that everyone is speaking honestly. He doesn’t have anything to hide, but he’s also not going to say what happened until she does. The explanation that it’s because “I don’t know what’s in the story” seems odd from a man whose official position is that he’s about to counteract a lie with the truth. Later. Just as soon as he knows the details of what, um, he really did.
His remarks make more sense if you proceed from the assumption that everyone—White, Cain, probably Blitzer—is lying. I’ll bet there is something kind of weird about candidate Cain’s fifteen-year friendship with a woman his wife has never met. I’ll also bet that “affair” doesn’t quite capture it. What is a 13-year affair, anyway? Does that mean they hook up whenever Mrs. Cain leaves for the annual Patient Lady Convention? Did they go on vacation, say, three or four times over a 13-year period? You can’t be having an affair all the time. “Affair” is an emergent property, which is why most people prefer factual information about events to, for example, vague denials of things other people haven’t said yet.
Here’s a fact: if you send Herman Cain a text message from Ginger White’s phone, he will call you right back. He will do that even after you have publicly accused him of having an affair with you. The moment Cain calls back is a detail of both the Slate and Washington Post stories, and both neglect to tell us what he says next. Probably it’s less “hey baby” and more “this is William Saletan, isn’t it?” We don’t know, which again forces us to A) issue a big old Fuck You to contemporary journalism and B) turn to facts. Here’s another one: White has produced phone records that show texts and calls between herself and Herman Cain every other day for the past two years.
That’s not necessarily an affair, because what is an affair anyway? Cain has nothing to hide, even though he’s not going to tell us what he’s not hiding until he knows what he needs to deny. And besides, the things he doesn’t need to hide are none of our business, anyway. All the things he didn’t do are perfectly fine, as his lawyer pointed out in a separate statement to CNN. “[T]his appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults—a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public,” wrote L. Lin Wood, whom Cain hired the first time he was accused of sexual harassment this year. It does appear to be an accusation of alleged private consensual conduct, or a [so she says][I’m not saying he did it][none of your business][okay anyway,] to use the terms of art. Cain is against gay marriage, by the way.