Thursday, November 03, 2011

Cain employs the goat defense!

Steve Sack in the Strib:

Herman Cain's campaign has been caught up in allegations of sexual harassment. Nothing has been proven, and the original Politico story was probably premature. The reactions from the Cain campaign, however, have been interesting, especially since the campaign had, from reports I read, ten days to prepare for it.

One of the ways that law professors use to describe pleading alternative defenses is to use what I call the goat case hypothetical. It is possible, in modern civil procedure, to defend an allegation that your goat ate your neighbors cabbages this way:
1. I don't have a goat.
2. He didn't eat your cabbages.
3. The cabbages were rotten and therefore worthless.
Any one of those is a defensible position. But taken together, they are not, obviously, because they are contradictory. Each destroys the credibility of the other.

And so it is with Herman Cain. He's damned by the conflicting statements coming out of his own mouth, much more than anything Politico wrote.

UPDATE: In a Slate article reporting the the Cain campaign is considering suing Politico over the original story, we get this gem:
Cain’s campaign says that it has had an attorney advising it since Saturday (one day before the story broke) on crisis management.
Worth every penny, that advice, I'd say.

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