Can Christians Forgive Newt?

Newt is quickly moving up in the polls, which means it is time to re-vet the longtime Washington politician.  That means its time to rehash Newt’s past.  Newt has come out saying that he has reconciled with God and has worked to put his family issues in the past.  The question is if that will be enough for the remnants of the Moral Majority and the Christian Right.

Newt may square up pretty well against Romney and Cain right now.  Cain is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal with three possible outcomes, only one of which can benefit him.  The first outcome, Cain slips up and is proven guilty.  This will end his Presidential ambitions.  Second outcome, there is no clear resolution and the Cain decision comes down to public opinion.  This could hurt Cain’s chances if Newt continues to emerge as a strong contender on ideas.  Third outcome, the facts come out and completely discredit Cain’s accusers.  The mere injustice of the attempt to destroy Cain could easily rocket him to the top of the Republican field as a martyr of the racist left.

Romney’s religious status may not be the nail in his coffin in a matchup with Newt.  While Romney’s Mormonism turns off many conservative Protestants, Newt’s Catholicism will have the same affect on that same small portion of conservative Christian Republicans.  Overall, Mormonism and Catholicism won’t change the score for either of them.  However, Romney’s fidelity and family life is a major point in his favor.

Conservative Christians can be a funny breed.  Morality and grace are a constant tension for Christians.  I John 1:9 says that if Christians confess their sins, Christ is faithful and just to forgive them.  Therefore, if Newt has truly confessed and repented of his infidelity and divorce, he is forgiven.

Can Christians forgive Newt?  Can they overcome his past?  The question Newt has been facing over and over as he rises in the polls is whether character matters.  Newt’s answer is pretty good.  Yes, character matters.  Yes his past has not demonstrated the character he wants to see in a President, but that past is 30 years ago.  Newt’s mention of himself as a grandfather drives home the point that he is much older, and much more mature.

Newt can win, but he has to win over social conservatives first.  This means Newt has to find forgiveness from more than just God.

Why the Cain story is so big

Let’s be honest.  There really isn’t much to this Herman Cain story.  After a week of the media acting like Cain had raped a woman, had an affair with an intern or broken some federal laws or something, all we know is that he allegedly did something to someone a couple decades ago. In the grand scheme of things, the Cain story is the biggest non-story since we discovered that George W. Bush was a drunken AWOL airman because Dan Rather had a fake letter that said so.

The intensity with which the media has been following this story has consumed major media resources.  So let’s look at what the Cain non-affair story might be hiding.

– Administration scandals such as Fast and Furious and the Solyndra affair continue to get juicer as Congress subpoenas the administration for documents they have been slow about releasing

– Occupy Oakland protests show the true nature of the Wall Street Mob as protestors get violent and start destroying public property.  The movement is finally stooping to the level we have come to expect from liberal, leaderless mob protesters, especially union supported mobs.  Now the media is working hard to find OWS protesters who look enough like they are in charge of something who will disavow the violence.  Of course, poll that crowd and you are sure to get even responses either way.

– Speaking of union led protests, a story that has barely entered the Cain filled news cycle is yet another document shred drill at the ACORN offices in New York City.  ACORN is shredding documents and firing workers as fast as they can to cover up the extent of their involvement behind the scenes with the now Democrat bought and owned Occupy Wall Street movement.

– Wall Street meanwhile ended a winning streak on Friday after job growth came in lower than expected and downright anemic compared to what the economy needs to start making significant strides towards reaching reasonable employment levels.

– After taking millions in bonuses, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae execs are reporting billions in losses and Freddie Mac is asking for $6 billion in new bailout funds.

– Obama’s jobs tax hike bill continues to face bi-partisan opposition, though he is choosing to blame it all on Republicans.  Meanwhile, Democrats are blocking Republican jobs provisions that don’t kill jobs at the same time by raising taxes.

– And perhaps the biggest scandal fresh on the scene and being ignored by major media outlets is the Jon Corzine fraud story.  Remember Bernie Madoff?  He was the guy who tricked investors into giving him money in a grand pyramid scheme which worked great until he ran out of money.  Corzine did it the legal way.  Corzine’s investment company, MF Global, found a legal loophole that allowed him, without investor knowledge, to take funds out of investor accounts as a “loan” to fund business operations.  When the investors went to get their money, they found it wasn’t there.

So how is what Corzine did legal, you might ask?  Simple.  Jon Corzine is a well connected Democrat, former senator and New Jersey governor.  He was a star at Goldman Sachs where many administration officials cut their teeth.  When Obama regulators considered eliminating the loophole that allowed Corzine to steal from his investors’ brokerage accounts to fund business operations, Corzine himself personally lobbied them (all his friends), into not regulating out that loophole or even requiring proper accounting for it.

Throughout the 2012 campaign, we will continue to hear the same mantra about how we need regulation to prevent what happened in the past from happening in the future.  In this case, we have another example of the hand in glove relationship between Democrat politicians, Democrat corporate CEOs and Democrat regulators.  And as usual, the media ignores it.  Why?

Because a conservative allegedly did something offensive to a female employee 20 years ago.  For all we know, he picked his nose while she was in the room.  No names, no specifics, just enough to inspire the tabloid writers we used to take seriously.

Cain Confirms he Did Not sexually Harass Anyone and Does Not Know About Any Financial Settlement

Bookmark and Share   In a late morning interview on Fox News, Herman Cain offered his first effective responses to a Politico report that he was accused of sexual harassment in the 90’s when he served as president of the National Restaurant Association.

Acording to Cain, he made three critical points.  First, Cain makes clear that he never sexually harrassed anyone.  Two; he was falsely accused of sexual harrassment by two women during his time at the National Restaurant Association, but inestigations found the accusations to be baseless.  The third and now the most tricky clarification made by Cain is his denying that he ever knew about any settlement made by the National Restaurant Association with the two accusers.

Cain state’s that if someone under him did reach such a settlement, he hopes they did not pay much for it, because the charges were baseless, but he adds, he does not know of any such arrangements.

Politico reports that the National Restaurant Association paid the two female litigants an undisclosed amount of money and in return agreed to a termination of their ties to the lobbying group and would never discuss the matter.

Of all the clarifications the one that could produce the most trouble for Cain, is the one in which he claims to be unaware of an settlement with the the two women who accused him of harassing them.

If anyone from the restaurant lobbying group comes forward with evidence that confirm a conflicting report that Cain did know about the settlement, this story will continue to grow and could consume Cain’s candidacy, regardless of his innocence or guilt regarding sexual harassment allegations.

From a purely political and strategic point, so far this incident is one of the first signs of the negative aspect of his not being a politician.  Up to now, a large part of Cain’s popularity has been due to his not be a politician.  And while that is a good thing, in politics it has a down side.  The lack of political experience that is shared by both Cain and his campaign organization leaves him  at a disadvantage when it comes to effectively handling political bombshells such as this.

In politics, the blast from an explosive story like this has the same damaging affects regardless of whether that which detonates the explosion is true or not.  The way the campaign handles the aftermath of the explosive details, is the ultimate determination of how it affects his candidacy. 

In this case, the Cain campaign knew that Politico was investigating this story for as much as ten days prior to their posting it on the internet.  A skilled campaign team would have undermined the story and either come out ahead of it, or gotten together with legal representatives of the National Restaurant Association and sat down with Politico to present them a convincing case for their being no validity to the charges.  An even better thing to do would have been to both sit down with Politico and also come out with the story in advance of them. 

By not going with any of those alternatives, Cain now rightly or wrongly sits in the hot seat.  And if it can be proven that the National Restaurant Association did  reach a financial settlement with two individuals who falsely accused Cain of sexual harassment, and that Herman Cain did know about, Cain will not come out of this a winner.  If that happens, his credibility will be significantly undermined.  At the moment, I tend to think that the next shoe to drop will deal with whether there was a settlement and if there was, as President of the restaurant association, how could he have not known about it.  Then the question becomes, why did Cain deny knowing about it.

Now, in more ways than one, is the moment of truth for the Cain campaign. 

If his campaign does not handle this situation deftly and put it to rest quickly, he will find that while being an outsider has its advantages in politics, cats can’t bark and dogs can’t meow.

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