When Politico reported Sunday night that Herman Cain was accused of sexual harassment while running a restaurant trade group, comparisons to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas were impossible to resist.
They are terrified of strong, conservative black men, conservative pundit Ann Coulter said breathlessly of liberals. This is another high-tech lynching.
Fox News host Sean Hannity asked on Twitter if people see the similarities between the attacks on both men.
Cain Says Accusations Are False
Cain on Monday said the accusations against him were false and maintained that he was unaware of a cash payment or settlement to his accusers.
Politico reported that during Cain's tenure as CEO of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999, two female employees complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable.
The women left their positions at the lobbying group after signing agreements that provided them with financial payouts. Politico said it confirmed the women's identities, but withheld their names for privacy reasons. One woman's identity was made known to the Cain campaign before the story was published.
Amid the comparisons to Thomas, even Cain's own campaign team lamented that sadly, we've seen this movie played out before.
Cain, too, had seen the movie. In May, he told conservative publication, The Washington Examiner, that liberals would come after him like they did to Thomas, who was accused by lawyer Anita Hill of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
To use Clarence Thomas as an example, I'm ready for the same high-tech lynching that he went through -- for the good of this country, said Cain. I'm ready for the same high-tech lynching.
Indeed, that loaded line of defense--high-tech lynching--was taken right from Thomas himself. On Oct. 11, 1991, days before Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52 to 48, denied every allegation Hill leveled at him.
It is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you, said Thomas.
Of course, the circumstances surrounding each case are different for both men.
Alleged Incidents Occurred Before Cain Was a Well-Known Conservative
The women subordinate to Cain made their allegations after they felt harassed, long before the former Godfather's Pizza CEO became a conservative superstar and ascended to the top of the Republican presidential field. The allegations also surfaced through a media investigation.
The allegations against Cain have yet to be fleshed out, unlike those against Thomas. His accuser, who worked under Thomas during his time as head of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, made her allegations public during Thomas' televised U.S. Senate confirmation hearings and discussed in detail the allegations against the future Supreme Court justice.
Hill testified that Thomas would discuss sex acts he saw in porn films and had asked her out on a date. She also recounted one of the oddest episodes she remembered in which Thomas asked about a pubic hair on a soda can.
Despite the specific allegations, they were Thomas' word against Hill's.
In Cain's case, his word is up against his accusers, the restaurant association's legal counsel and any documents produced from an investigation that Cain said exonerated him.