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May 15, 2005


Good post. He's also really, really stupid.

Also posted at http://yglesias.typepad.com

Why should any of this disqualify George Allen from winning the Republican Presidential nomination, or even the Presidency? Bush spoke at the anti-interracial dating, anti-Catholic, and all around intolerant Bob Jones University. He had a good friend in his office as a governor who called African-Americans "n****r Chris" and "n****r Bob". He refused to endorse hate crimes legislation in the wake of the Byrd ... I don't know what you want to call it.

My money is on Rudy. I have to believe any of the Real Christian Conservatives could tear Romney to shreds. But Rudy could very well win all the Northeastern and two thirds of the Midwestern primaries. If he can get a few of the Pacific Coast and Interior West Primaries he'll be a lock.

He also grew up in southern California, so all of this is not only stupid by craven and insincere.

George Allen has about as much chance of becoming president as I do. Well, a little more chance than I do, but not much... Thank god. Also, what Praktike said.

Thanks for your reporting, Brendan. It's not hard to believe the stuff you cite...this is the moron who made the 'tea-drinker' comment the other day.

Hillary is an anti-semite, Dick Morris vouches for that.

Dont see that that would keep her from running and winning.

Of course there is Robert Byrd, but he unfortunately isnt running in 2008

I'm not sure how any of those sins could keep Allen out of office. Nothing too terribly grevious.

And I've met the man twice, I'd recommend that Democrats avoid the "stupid" accusations this time around, Senator Allen is as sharp as they come.

I thought George Allen was stupid, but then I realized it's his way of appearing folksy. He's actually quite intelligent if you close your eyes or hear him on the radio giving a protracted interview. As for his possible racism, I think it's fair game. He is the front-runner within Republican circles right now, and to be honest, I think a Republican challenger to Allen would make a name for himself by outing Allen as an outdated racist the party no longer needs to win elections.

FYI to the owner: this link just hit National Review's The Corner.

Given that no one has yet responded point by point to this stuff, I'll give it a go.

The noose: Let's not forget that Allen spent his formative years in Cailfornia. Trust me, the West saw quite a few tree-hangings for crimes committed (I had a great-great-uncle who was hung from a tree until dead for being a horse thief, and unless Irish count as lynching victims . . .

Confederate Heritage Month: In truth, as a Virginia resident who was born and raised in New Jersey, I don't see the merits behind a CHM. However, Virginia's racial history doesn't quite take the same path as other ex-Confed states. In the post-Civil War era, the two leading champions of civil rights were a Confederate General and a Confederate Captain of Cadets (the latter sued the state in 1902 claiming the state constitution disenfranchised African-Americans and thus violated the 15th Amendment - the Supreme Court dismissed without prejudice), while the leader of the racist Bourbon Democrats was a Union general. Still, I wouldn't have done CMH. As for the NAACP, at the time (if memory serves) it was run by Kwasi Mfume, who to many Republicans (including many of the 1 in 6 African-Americans who voted for Allen in 1993) is an extremist. Four years later, when the head of the VA NAACP endorse Mark Earley, a GOP candidate for Atty. Gnl. with a long history of African-American support as a state Senator, the national organization instigated a local coup and had him bounced.

Trent Lott: I can only assume it took Allen a while to notice what Strom Thurmond was actually saying in 1948 (non-history buffs took on average a month to have the controversy sink in, even my liberal friends had no idea what it was all about for two weeks).

The Civil Rights Act of 1991: if you realy think anyone who opposed against this was a racist, you travel in very small circles.

MLK: Keep in mind the MLK day was not an actually MLK day, it was to graft honoring MLK on Lee-Jackson day (yup, Bobby Lee and Stonewall Jackson). I'm not sure I would have been very comfortable voting for that.

The song: You have to have witnessed that to know what a complete f--- up that was. EVERYBODY voted against one or another replacement version.

Finally, Virginia, for all you holier-than-thous from outside, is the only state to ever elect an African-American governor (Doug Wilder). If Allen really were the racist you think he is, Wilder (who was outgoing governor when Allen ran for the job), would have moved heaven and earth to stop him. Instead, the rumor all around the state capital was the Wilder secretly wanted Allen to win. The two of them have mounted two state-wide campaigns in the last three years to stop tax increases in the state, and Wilder (who is now mayor of Richmond) gave absolutely no indication of any discomfort with him.

Sorry, Brendan, but I think your barking up the wrong -

Never mind.

Oh my God, he had a Confederate flag and as a Southerner he thinks that the war was mostly about States' Rights (or at least as governor he knew that was what the people of Virginia thought). And he presumably believes in the Death Penalty, I hope, for all murderers including those under the age of 18 too!

I am shocked, shocked, shocked, and I will remember this when I vote for him in the Alabama primary, unless, of course, he lily-liverly tries to worm out of it instead of embracing it. Will you Yankees never get over the Civil War? It's over and you won!

George Allen comes off as stupid and a dolt.
The John Bolton hearing last week didn't make him
look any better, either.

I've lived in Virginia since 1983 and watched Allen's career. George W. Bush and Allen are quite alike in intelligence, which is to say that their kind is especially tuned to politics, the getting and keeping power, and not running and efficient and neutrally effective bureaucracy bent to the common good. That said, in non-political smarts, Allen makes Bush look like Richard Feynman. Allen fills the void left by those smarts with an extra helping of ambition. He is nothing, and I mean nothing, but abitious. There is not a single decision that he has ever made, so far as I can tell, since entering public life, that was not designed to advance his career. The policies he put forward as governor made him popular, and when his GOP successor continued them, led to the latter's repudiation by the old line state GOP, the election of a Democrate to the Governor's mansion, and the restructuring of the Commonwealth's budget in a fashion that infuriated Grover Norquist. Given a choice between some higher taxes and cutting basic social services, the social services won out.

Some years ago, the Daughters of the Confederacy held its convention in the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, and it happened I was in the hotel for another gathering. Allen addressed the grand Ball, or whatever. I should tell you that, judging by the outfits the Daughters wore, if the South rises again, kitsch will kill it. I wandered into the Banquet hall and saw Allen sitting, the lone male, mired in a four-deep see of crinoline, silk, hoop skirts, big hair, and--yes--some woman who'd fashioned her gown out of heavy draperies, Scarlett-like. I so wished I'd bribed the photographer for a picture of that scene.

Rudy can't fail.
Giuliani/Allen - it's a big tent.

Not to mention the fact that the number of Ks in his favorite book is exactly divisible by three! Furthermore, he was obviously named George after George Washington, who owned slaves! His son is named Tyler, no doubt also a famous racist.

To make matters worse, his choice to run for Governor in Virginia, was specificaly because Virginia was part of the South and he was sending a code-sign to show that he would bring back segregation!

With all this ironclad proof, Brendan, it is obvious he has taken part in lynchings and was the mysterious fourth man in the killing of James Byrd in Texas in 2000!

What about the R he allows at the back of his name? People may think it means "Republican" but all white Southerners know the "code" just like they ALL knew what that the noose outside his office meant (he wanted to kill black people!) It means "Racist!"

That noose was the ONLY reason he won the election that year! There was and could be no other reason! If he should somehow win the Presidential election in 2008, he would single-handedly repeal the 13th Amendment and reclassify black people not just as slaves, but FOOD!

Thank you Brendan for bring this up with your ironclad proof of Allen's racism. He has to be stopped.

I know someone with a sniper's rifle ...

"A March 2005 report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that, "as governor of Virginia, [Allen] signed a 'Confederate Heritage Month' proclamation while dubbing the NAACP an 'extremist group.'""

1) The NAACP is an extremist group.

2) Since liberals try to tar every conservative or Republican as a racist, how is this item news? Liberals have been McCarthyites on race for years now.

Dukie dude, I've met and worked with George Allen and the last thing he is is a racist.

Lynchings? Good Lord. How many times did you visit George Allen's office? How many times have you talked to him? Ever seen that flag collection? Ever talked to him about it?

Good to see that your education is paying off.

I see all the wingnut defenders of Allen have arrived. I don't know what Allen's personal feelings on race are, but anybody who proclaims Confederate History Month should never set foot in the White House. Confederate traitors murdered 100 times more Americans than Osama bin Laden could ever dream of. The argument about Virginia's different post-war history vis-a-vis the rest of the South (in reference to Mahone's Readjuster movement between 1879-1883) is completely irrelevant. Eastern Virginia supported secession because it supported slavery and it refused to go to war against fellow slave-holding states. Western Virginia had very little slavery and thus supported the Union. War came, Virginia seceded, and the real patriots in the western mountains formed West Virginia. There is no "Confederate Heritage" outside the defense of human bondage, no matter how many non-slaveholders may have been drafted into the cause. Declaring that month Confederate Heritage Month should be enough to sink that rank opportunist Allen.

Uh, didn't Bill Clinton also sign Confederate Heritage Month proclamations as governor of Arkansas?

Never mind . . .

Bill says, "Uh, didn't Bill Clinton also sign Confederate Heritage Month proclamations as governor of Arkansas?"

Not that I'm aware of.

Elrod writes, "Not that I'm aware of."

A quick Google search would have made you awarre of the following:

"During his 12-year tenure, Governor Clinton never approved a state civil-rights law. However, he did issue birthday proclamations honoring Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. He also signed Act 116 in 1987. That statute reconfirmed that the star directly above the word "Arkansas" in the state flag "is to commemorate the Confederate States of America." Arkansas also observed Confederate Flag Day every year Clinton served. The governor's silence was consent." (http://nationalreview.com/murdock/murdock010603.asp)

But, hey, two standards are better than one!

If I'm not mistaken, Doug Wilder signed a Confederate Heritage Month proclamation too, perhaps the first Va. Gov. since desegregation to do so (no doubt as part of some cagy deal; Wilder was nothing if not a wheeler-dealer).

Allen is seriously, seriously stupid and seriously, seriously ambitious. He's risen by representing the worst of the modern Republican Party, and his sense of entitlement is almost boundless. It's hard for me to believe he could win a contested nomination, much less the Presidency. But then I could never have believed that a dimwit like Dubya would either...

Yet for dimwits ... they all seem to be remarkably good at beating y'all smart folk into the ground.

So here's to Republican dimwits! And even "smarter" Democrats ...

PS: Did you hear that Allen separates his whites and coloreds when he does his laundry? An innocent and common-sense practice? In Allen's case, I think not!

Furthermore, if you examine the record of Clinton of honoring the Confederacy's heroes, you would see that George Allen was controlling him at the time with the Jedi Mind Trick!

Brendan writes:

"Despite reader claims to the contrary, I'm not saying Allen is a racist -- I have no way of knowing what his private thoughts are."

Of course not. You merely said that having a noose in his office suggests an approving attitude toward lynching. I don't see how anyone could possibly take that to mean you were accusing him of being a racist.


Certainly, the points raised are cause for concern.

However, at EVERY step of the way, ALL assumptions are for the worse.

For example, on the "noose" issue. There is a claim that Allen is backpedaling on the use of the word "noose" and that he (or his associates) had previously used the word "noose"... but later tried to claim it was something different.

1st, even if he had used the word noose, it is still reasonably possible that he meant it in an "old west" law & order "cowboy" way and didn't intend for it to have "lynching" connotations.

2nd, in ALL the excerpts in this post used to "prove" that he (or his associates) did use the word "noose", EVERY single reference does NOT have a direct quote of the word "noose". In every single case, a reporter used the word "noose"... something which is not surprising as reporters HEAVILY TEND to be Democrats and they are well known for choosing words that disfavor conservatives. Just because a reporter chose the word "noose" doesn't mean that it ever came out of Allen's mouth.

I could go on and on... I think this whole fishing expedition is much ado about nothing... but maybe Brendon can get a job as a script writer working for Michael Moore.

George Allen probably isn't personally racist. After all, he's a Hollywood yankee pretending to be a southerner. However, as one writer notes, he is very smart and extremely ambitious in a political context, and therefore his record is indicative of pandering on racial issues. Furthermore, he is clearly engaing in some revisionism: the noose was a noose, not a lasso, and the confederate flag was decorated a wall in his house; it was not part of a collection. But then, what kind of integrity can you expect from a former UVA football player who appeared on a billboard advertising the VPI football team? (of course, I can't remember seeing him actually play in any games)
And Bill, really, being silent on the observance of confederate flag day does not equate with actively promoting and enacting Confederate Heritage Month. And yes, we do now celebrate Lee-Jackson-King Day in Virginia; it's a way of all groups, instead of lauding one gropup and poking a stick in the eye of another, as Confederate Heritage Month does.

I wouldn't worry about Mr. Allen. 3 more years of Bush and his "stay the course" crap should just about run republicans out of Washington. They could bring Reagan back from the dead and he'd still lose. But funnier things have happened.

By the way, someone used Dick Morris earlier to discredit Hillary. I'm no Hillary fan but if you use Dick Morris to make your point you've already lost.

I anxiously await a post about the senator who is referred to as "the conscience of the Senate", Senator Robert Byrd (D-KKK).

I wish I would have known he was a racist. I never would have sat and had dinner with him. I never would have had a cordial conversation, laughed, enjoyed chatting about nanotechnology and football. I feel duped, he seemed so genuine when we talked. I should have known that he was looking to hang me on that noose. Being Hispanic and all. My God. The black man sitting next to me should have been terrified.

I am in no position to paint Senator Allen as a racist, but the fact that he wants to be President of the United States and may have an affinity toward Confederate heritage bothers me. Also, I just confirmed something that I was recently told about Allen that may cause one to pause even further. Apparently, he did a guest cameo as a Confederate Officer in the 2003 movie “Gods and Soldiers”. This is very disturbing to me. That’s the only movie that gives him any acting credit. Why choose that movie to appear in, acting in that specific role? Not only does it bother me, it will bother the American electorate, when Democrats start releasing ads with pictures of Allen in Confederate soldier garb the week before the November ’08 election. I cringe to imagine the voiceover that they’ll use. All I know is that it will be ugly, and anything a person has ever done publicly is fair game in politics. If Senator Allen ever wanted to be President, this is an extremely stupid thing to have done.

Even if it was possible to avoid the fact that the Confederates were racists for believing they could own African slaves and their children, Confederates were still committing treason. I don’t like the idea of a President of the United States of America who may be proud of a history of treason against the United States of America. If we’re going to re-live the Civil War, I’m with the North. Lincoln was a true hero, Down with Slavery as an immoral and un-Godly practice, and GO UNION!



This is what passes for an 'ugly racial history'? Let's see... a noose under a tree means you might just condone lynching. Okay, on a rerun of the Bernie Mac show, he holds a rope in the shape of a noose when one of the kids on the show smart mouths him under a treehouse. What an ugly racial history he must have. I noticed one comment contributor who believed that Eastern Virginia 'supported secession to provide slave labor' for the vast plantations he seems to mistakenly believe were in the area. Eastern Virginia in those times was an area of smaller farms run by families, so I guess the contributor got his information from the same source that provides the 'koo-koo' sound he hears when there are no clocks around. The truth is, whether you like George Allen or not, he was a better governor than the former democratic amateur-part-time-governor-in-training we recently saw touted on the national level as a democratic possibility for 2008, the one-term high-tax politician Mark Warner. Allen also spent more time in the state working on state issues than his predecessor, Doug Wilder, who spent much of his term outside the state promoting himself for higher office. Like other posts have nicely pointed out, if you want to see racists, real live KKK racists, look at the democratic party, the party that opposed civil rights acts, the party with the plantation ( you can't make it without us) attitude to this day. If all you have on Allen is what you've posted, you haven't got enough to convince anyone who wasn't already voting democratic to begin with.

I love the way the current supporters of the party of Strom Thurmond and the Southern Strategy keep trying to drag up the ancient history of the Democratic Party. The fact is that the Democratic Party of the old Stennis-Rankin-Thurmond era is dead (and good riddance). The Republican Party of the LaFollettes (or even Teddy Roosevelt) is just as dead, sad to say.

There is no way around the fact that the Republican Party has built its success *since 1964* by endorsing racism and politicized pseudo-Christianity of the Robertson/Falwell ilk; and George Allen seems a likely candidate to carry on that pernicious tradition.

the one thing i remember most about George Allen is that as governor of Virginia, he was the chief architect of the state's prison "industry" that catered to minorities. State of the art basketball courts was a requirement.

The Republican Party of today owes its success to attracting the Southern Democratic bigots of the past.

Allen is the only presidential candidate to have a book published by a member of his family describing him as a young sociopath. I had heard he was the quietly the leading GOP presidential candidate because of his similarities to Dubya, the more you read up on him the more you see the parallels, from arrogant assh*le frat boy to shaky business dealings.

One thing that most media and blogs have missed is what a poor episode of public speaking this is. Not that these silly stump speeches are the stuff of greatness to anyway. (Wasn't this a "listening" tour?)Many have noted that Allen's noting of Sidharth's presence was a silly non sequitur to his presentation, but they overlooked how poorly he sounded doing it. He started out on the issue of “positive themes” but then oddly shifts the attention to “macaca.” Then, when he did, its as if he new he was straying from the practiced stump speech, and he lost his place. You can tell because he kept making a silly mistake--switching pronouns. Pointing to Sidarth, he first said “show it(the film) to YOUR opponent" and later followed with “His (Sidarth’s) opponent right now is with a bunch of Hollywood movie moguls.” It’s as if he knew it was a silly tactic and got all discombobulated, saying the wrong thing to Sidarth instead of MY opponent or perhaps, YOUR candidate. This is silly semantics, yes. But I think it gives evidence to show that Allen knew he had crossed the line and then started trying to talk his way out of it. A Poor, poor speaking effort. But par for the course for recently successful presidential candidates.

Just read: http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20060911&s=george_allen

Allen's mother was born in North Africa, of an old Sephardic Jewish family. That would make him a mongrel to his Conservative Christian Council friends. His tobacco spitting and cowboy boots are a pathetic attempt to run away from his background
It is an old phenomenon- the self hatng Jew

When will people wake up in this country. Racisim still exists. In essence we all have some for of racial preference. But this is ridiculous. This man has lied about how he feels. This man has called another human being a monkey, he had a symbol of lynching hanging in his office, called former teammates the "N" word.

But some people make excuses for it all. Call him for what he is...he doesn't like minorities. It's okay, this is still America and we can believe what we want. But I don't think he should be a politician. That is dangerous.

I noticed Allen has the ability to insult you while smiling at you. A real sweetheart. So what's the difference between "macaca" and "nigger"? I see none.

Oh my God, he's a White male and he's not ashamed! He must be some kind of EXTREMIST!

I'd vote for Allen with a clear conscience and a cheerful heart. On the other hand--and I say this as a lifelong Republican--I will not vote for Giuliani, Romney, or any other East Coast lunatic-fringe liberal kook masquerading as a conservative. I see no difference between either of them and Hillary, Ted Kennedy, or Obama bin Laden when it comes to the issues that matter to me.

It is almost ALWAYS those full of self hate that scream the loudest.

Let me just say this to ALL the "white" pure bloods who may harbor a secret "we are superior" than tho attitude...DNA don't lie.

Mr. Allen's Jewish blood (from AFRICA no less) has come out into the open. I bet that lynch rope, Flag, came down REAL fast after finding that out. (snicker)

Unless you have had a DNA test and can prove your "pure" WHITE EUROPEAN...best keep the racist points quiet. You might be talking about yourself.

George Allen calls non-white volunteer "macaca" can create a big issue in his campaign. It is dangerous to use this kind of statements at the time of presidential election.

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