Herman Cain Wraps Himself in the Flag to Deflect Sexual Allegations

I don't know if Herman Cain is innocent or guilty of the allegations made against him of unwanted sexual advances and harassment. If he's innocent, I don't blame him for making defiant speeches.

But I do blame him for answering these allegations while standing in front of five American flags.

I'm sure his team of handlers considered a patriotic backdrop of five American flags to be suited perfectly to Cain's efforts to deflect these accusations. But these accusations were and are of an intensely personal nature. They have nothing to do with national policy or issues, and there's no reason other than a cynically manipulative one to surround Herman Cain with so many flags.

Inappropriate sexual behavior raises questions of character and even of criminality. We don't know if Cain is guilty of such behavior. What we do know is that he's willing to wrap himself in the flag in order to deflect these charges. And that, to me, reflects poorly on his judgment and his character.

Professor Astore writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and can be reached at wjastore@gmail.com.