Friday, September 29, 2006

George Allen: Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune, something to make us all happy

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. As George Allen's campaign for Senate circles the drain ever faster, we need to see exactly what about him charmed the pants off the Republican Party:

From Free Republic:
Speculation rages as to who will run for president in 2008. It takes only a few minutes of conversation with Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia to understand why top-level Republicans are encouraging him to run. His easy charm, straight talk, quick wit, mental acuity and experience separate him from the pack of would-be candidates.

Formerly the governor of Virginia, Sen. Allen also served as a U.S. representative and in the Virginia House of Delegates. Now serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he's putting his experience to work around the globe.

Hokay. Well, at Stones Cry Out we find:

George Will profiles Virginia Senator George Allen today in his column and provides some insight into why the Senator may be the best candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Except, whoopsie, when we go to the ClownHall link for George Will, we find a 404 error:

The page cannot be found

The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Dang. We'll have to search elsewhere for our Right-Wing wisdom. In fact, here's some now. From the Portsmouth, NH Sea Coast Online:
U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia came out on top in a N.H. Insider poll that asked people whom they would vote for if the 2008 Republican presidential primary were held now.

The poll took place between June 8-13, and targeted N.H. Republican insiders, activists and leaders via e-mail, said Stephen DeMaura, founder of the N.H. Insider Web site.

Ouch. Well, let's see what the L.A. Examiner says:

If Republicans decide to replicate the style and substance of President Bush when nominating a potential successor in 2008, they will likely choose another conservative named George.

George Allen, that is, the junior senator from Virginia, who agrees with Bush on most major issues. On their few points of disagreement, such as immigration and campaign finance, Allen sides with the more conservative Republicans who will dominate primary election voting.

Here is a piece from the American Spectator that, while being a puff piece on Allen, actually exposes his sins, all the while excusing them. It's worth a complete read:

But make no mistake -- George F. Allen is running for president. Or he just happens especially to enjoy primary states. In March and April, he visited Iowa, New Hampshire, Texas, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

How is it that all these optimistic folks missed some of his real back story, from the Wikipedia entry:

It was revealed on August 8, 2006 that Allen, who opposes abortion (except in cases of rape, incest, life of the mother, and prior to viability), owned stock in Barr Laboratories Inc., the only American maker of the Plan B "morning after pill", an emergency contraceptive that is supposed to prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of intercourse.

Allen has a long history of interest in the Confederate flag, in spite of his never having lived in the South until his transfer from UCLA to the University of Virginia as a sophomore in college. The May 8, 2006 and the May 15, 2006 issues of The New Republic reported extensively on Allen's long association with the Confederate flag. The magazine reported that "[a]ccording to his colleagues, classmates, and published reports, Allen has either displayed the Confederate flag – on himself, his car, inside his home – or expressed his enthusiastic approval of the emblem from approximately 1967 to 2000." Allen wore a Confederate flag pin for his high school senior class photo. In high school, college, and law school, Allen adorned his vehicle with a Confederate flag. In college he displayed a Confederate flag in his room. He displayed a Confederate flag in his family's living room until 1992.

The Nation
reported in 2006 that Allen, as Governor, initiated contact with the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), one of the largest white supremacist groups. The CCC descended from the segregationist White Citizens' Councils of the Jim Crow-era South.

On September 24, 2006, Washington correspondent Michael Scherer reported that the magazine had interviewed nineteen of his teammates and that "[t]hree 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."

The question thus becomes: What exactly would have been his bona fides as a Presidential Candidate? "His easy charm, straight talk, quick wit, mental acuity?" "...replicate the style and substance of President Bush?" Sure. No one doesn't believe that image sells, more and more all the time. The days of electing a Roosevelt, Eisenhower, or Nixon based on their experience, background, and intelligence are likely gone forever. Those dudes were ugly! As late as the '60s, that didn't matter. Today an empty suit with a decent face like GWBush or Allen, without an original idea in their head, can get total party support.

Why? Here's why, from earlier:
"George Allen, that is, the junior senator from Virginia, who agrees with Bush on most major issues. On their few points of disagreement, such as immigration and campaign finance, Allen sides with the more conservative Republicans who will dominate primary election voting."

In other words, as long as you adhere to party dogma, and don't embarrass yourself too badly, you can get elected. Allen passed the first test, but failed the second.

This demonstrates once and for all the complete lack of seriousness, of gravitas (haven't heard that word in a while) of the modern Republican Party. George Allen was their poster boy. And, with his clear rascism, his frat boy buffoonery, the macaca moment, and his lack of intellectual achievement, he still is the poster boy for the Republican Party.

He just won't be in office anymore.

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