Memo To George Allen

Memorandum

TO: George Felix Allen, Jr.

FR: Skeptical Brotha

RE: Your obvious and unapologetic racism

I've got a bright idea George. How about you hold a press conference to address the allegations of your obvious and unapologetic racism surrounded by colored folks? What do you say? I am sure there is a plethora of right-wing Negroes willing and able to prostitute themselves once again to benefit a racist of your presidential stature.

Whom should you invite, you say? Well, for starters, I think you should invite some of those crackheads that endorsed Michael Steele last week. You know, for authenticity. Then you could send out a desperate S.O.S. to some of the black fools who've worked for you: Kay Coles James and the President's personal shoplifter, Claude Allen. Claude who, you say? You know, he was Bush's domestic policy advisor and the homophobic wingnut you tried to appoint to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. I am sure they can vouch for you in the most unbelievable fashion possible.

We cannot forget to invite the homegrown fools: Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and State Senator Bennie Lambert. They've already embarrassed themselves before God and man by endorsing you already. Speaking of embarrassing Negroes, we cannot forget to invite Dr. Walter Williams, the hateful black conservative Economics professor atGeorge Mason University. There is a treasure trove of self-loathing Negro academics out there to choose from. You can extend invitations to Affirmative Action opponents Thomas Sowell, former Ambassador Allen Keyes, Shelby Steele, and last but not least, John McWhorter.

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MyDD Accountability Adwatch: Jim Webb

Wow, this is powerful.  Thoughts?

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Allen's 'Ethiopian' problem: that Sabato intervention

I weighed in in comments on yesterday's thread dealing with the Salon piece - not to defend Allen's honor (as if he had any), but to point out the flakiness of the journalism.

Since then, the gentlemen of the press have presented to us a second guy on the record (an anthropologist, this time) with a rather conveniently he said, she said Allen nigger quote that it seems his conscience had only just now suddenly troubled him about.

And, for good measure, we have a Third Man: none other than Larry J. Sabato, the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia.

In an appearance on Hardball (to judge from the clip), he's giving a standard polisci prof analysis of a campaign - the VA-SEN campaign - when, around 27 seconds in, he says that Allen had a redneck image as a student, and drops in the magic words if you want to know the truth.

Well, we're all thirsting for a bit of pravda, and Matthews, almost tripping over himself to be casual, asks Sabato to define what he means.

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George Allen's Credibility Problem

As Matt notes in the previous post, Salon's Michael Scherer did some top-notch reporting on Sen. George Allen's background and finds some rather disturbing facts out of his past -- specifically, that former teammates of Allen's remember the Senator having harbored some seriously racist feelings during his time on the University of Virginia football team in the 1970s. As Scherer notes, Allen opened the door to such an examination by claiming during a recent debate that he learned from playing football that race did not matter.

By contrast, Allen has pointed to a different lesson from his days of football playing in recent public statements. On "Meet the Press," he said his football career was an experience that taught him racial tolerance. "I grew up in a football family, as you well know, and my parents and those teams taught me a lot," Allen said on the program. "And one of the things that you learn in football is that you don't care about someone's race or ethnicity or religion."

Scherer goes through and makes a fairly compelling case that Sen. Allen was being extremely disingenuous is his description of his football years. You can read selections from Scherer's article below in Matt's post or check the whole piece out at the link above, but suffice it to say that Allen's claims are not backed up in reality.

This was not the first time in recent weeks that Allen has been caught misleading voters and the press. We all know, of course, about Allen's shifting definition of "macaca," the racially insensitive term he used to denigrate a 20 year-old supporter of Democrat Jim Webb. Additionally, questions about Allen's credibility were raised in the wake of his response to a debate questioner who asked him if his mother was of Jewish origin.  As The Washington Post's Michael D. Shear subsequently reported, Allen's response was factually incorrect -- and he knew it.

Allen's heritage became an issue in the Virginia Senate campaign Monday, when television reporter Peggy Fox raised it at a televised debate in front of 600 business executives in Fairfax County. Allen repeated what he has said in the past: "My mother's French-Italian with a little Spanish blood in her. And I was raised as she was, as far as I know, raised as a Christian."

In fact, Allen had just recently learned about their Jewish roots when he made those comments. Allen declined to comment, but his mother said she had sworn him to secrecy.

As bad as the debate over whether George Allen is racist has been for both his ability to win reelection this year and his chances at securing the Republican presidential nomination in four years, Allen's exposure as a politician willing to say anything -- including statements he knows to be untrue -- to get elected are quite problematic. Though voters might forgive Allen for what appears to be a past rife in racism (voters' forgiveness far from assured, but it is possible), it's not clear that they will forgive someone who has repeatedly lied to them during this campaign. Certainly the media will not. And as more sticky situations arise during this campaign, as they seem likely to given all that has happened in the past couple months, a candidate with a track record of dissembling and a campaign staff that won't answer reporters phone calls (Scherer writes, "Chris LaCivita, a consultant to the Allen campaign, hung up when a Salon reporter reached him mid-afternoon Sunday") isn't going to gave such an easy time spinning back into control or regaining the confidence and trust of voters.

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George Allen Losing His Senate Seat

This is deadly for Allen.

Three former college football teammates of Sen. George Allen say that the Virginia Republican repeatedly used an inflammatory racial epithet and demonstrated racist attitudes toward blacks during the early 1970s.

"Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,'" said Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback. "He used the N-word on a regular basis back then."

A second white teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retribution from the Allen campaign, separately claimed that Allen used the word "nigger" to describe blacks. "It was so common with George when he was among his white friends. This is the terminology he used," the teammate said.

A third white teammate contacted separately, who also spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being attacked by the Virginia senator, said he too remembers Allen using the word "nigger," though he said he could not recall a specific conversation in which Allen used the term. "My impression of him was that he was a racist," the third teammate said.

Shelton also told Salon that the future senator gave him the nickname "Wizard," because he shared a last name with Robert Shelton, who served in the 1960s as the imperial wizard of the United Klans of America, a group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.

It's not just that he's a straight up racist.  It's that he's been so evasive about it, at one moment apologizing and at another moment going on the offensive.  He looks just weak.

This is a huge opening.  You can help by giving to Jim Webb and getting him the resources to get elected.

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