Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A Southern Gentleman of the traditional sort, from California
September 24, 2006 9:09 PM   Subscribe

He loves tradition: "[He] said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place'."

He gives free food to the poor: "After they had killed a deer, [he asked] where the local black residents lived. [He] then drove... to that neighborhood with the severed head of the deer. 'He proceeded to take the doe's head and stuff it into a mailbox'".

And even before "macaca", he enjoyed giving out clever nicknames: "[He] gave him the nickname 'Wizard,' because he shared a last name with.... the imperial wizard of the United Klans of America".

(But don't call him a Jew! That would be an "aspersion.")
posted by orthogonality (145 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Let me kick this one off:

Fuck George Allen.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:13 PM on September 24, 2006


I take it there's an election coming up?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:15 PM on September 24, 2006


This never came up befoe?

Let it be no surprise to the average American that most people use an epithet to describe those of another culture.

And I've heard that story about you being color-blind before, so save it.

George Allen is a piece of shit. But he's Virginia's piece of shit. It ain't like they don't know him.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:22 PM on September 24, 2006


God I so wanted to post this!

But I wasted my post on this lame dupe. Arg.
posted by delmoi at 9:23 PM on September 24, 2006


It ain't like they don't know him.

considering how much he's dropped in the polls since the "macaca" incident, it seems perhaps they didn't know him as well as they thought they did.
posted by pruner at 9:25 PM on September 24, 2006


Let it be no surprise to the average American that most people use an epithet to describe those of another culture.

Yeah, but how many of them stick a dead deers' head in someone's mailbox based on their living in "the black neighborhood nearby"

Read the article, this goes way beyond using the N-Word.
posted by delmoi at 9:25 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Fortunately for us, this post doesn't violate the McCain Feingold "roll back the First Amendment" campaign law. At least so far. (The 60 day blackout period has already started.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:25 PM on September 24, 2006


I can't stand anti-semites, even Jewish ones. So does Allen support Israel's current government?
posted by davy at 9:26 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


He's not MY piece of shit! I only moved to VA last December!
posted by pmbuko at 9:27 PM on September 24, 2006


Fortunately for us, this post doesn't violate the McCain Feingold "roll back the First Amendment" campaign law. At least so far. (The 60 day blackout period has already started.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:25 PM CST on September 24 [+] [!]
Anyone have any idea what that was about?
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:40 PM on September 24, 2006


How is this not character assassination from left? How is this any different from the right digging for floozies to lodge allegations against Clinton?
posted by Jasper McLean at 9:41 PM on September 24, 2006


You're fucking kidding, right?
posted by hototogisu at 9:43 PM on September 24, 2006


To have your character assassinated, you must first possesss upstanding character. George Allen does not qualify. Despite Virginia voting red most of the time, many of its citizens know he's full of shit. (I did, anyway, before I moved.)

Here's hoping it matters.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:45 PM on September 24, 2006


This wouldn't have mattered in Virginia as little as ten years ago, but the explosive growth of the Northern Virginia area (basically, DC Suburbs), has really changed the voting demographics here. I still think he has a strong chance of winning this election. Considering Webb's headquarters in Charlottesville opened tonight, I'll head down there soon and volunteer for his campaign.

I really, really, really want to see Allen lose.
posted by AaRdVarK at 9:47 PM on September 24, 2006


thatwhichfalls writes "Anyone have any idea what that was about?"

Den Beste's a polymath and autodidact. (Are you aware that Steven den Beste is known all over as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that den Beste before his marriage habitually practiced celibacy.)
posted by orthogonality at 9:48 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


He seems so disconnected with reality, but I guess that is normal when viewing the world through a white hood.
posted by caddis at 9:49 PM on September 24, 2006


Fortunately for us, this post doesn't violate the McCain Feingold "roll back the First Amendment" campaign law. At least so far. (The 60 day blackout period has already started.)

Yes, it doesn't because basically all internet communication is exempted by the FEC.
posted by delmoi at 9:54 PM on September 24, 2006


Seems like a nice guy.

(on a sidenote, it wouldn't surprise me if more Senators and House members had similarly racist backgrounds -- the Conservative Rich White Male formula is there)
posted by spiderskull at 9:55 PM on September 24, 2006


Man, Jim Webb is one lucky bastard. This race was only barely competitive before Allen's meltdown, and Allen has like six times as much money.
posted by delmoi at 9:57 PM on September 24, 2006


steve, that was pretty weak ... on the other hand, you got people to bite

and jasper ...

How is this any different from the right digging for floozies to lodge allegations against Clinton?

actually, it's not ... they found some people who recall allen doing and saying some questionable things ... and they found at least one floozy who liked to do things to clinton's little dawg ...

you really ought to be used to it by now ... because after all, the media are just ensuring that we have perfect candidates for office ... because as a perfect society, a perfect country and a perfect people, we deserve nothing less

just think of the election campaign as a long reality show and you'll get used to it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:58 PM on September 24, 2006


What an asshole, I hope he gets buried.

thatwhichfalls: It is a common and substantive critique of the amendment (although is totally tangential in this thread). For a good summary, see here, here [pdf], and here.
posted by Falconetti at 9:58 PM on September 24, 2006


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
posted by interrobang at 9:58 PM on September 24, 2006 [8 favorites]


While I have no sympathy for Allen, I'm not really getting the whole "Jewish" story. I mean, the racist aspect of Allen's character is disgusting, but I don't really understand why the whole thing about his mother being Jewish is being talked about as much as it is.
posted by Stauf at 10:08 PM on September 24, 2006


thatwhichfalls: Anyone have any idea what that was about?

I presume Steven is referring to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. One of its provisions bans corporations and labor unions from using soft money to run "issue ads" that mention candidates for federal election (but don't expressly advocate for a candidate's election or defeat) in the 60 days prior to a general election. Ads that don't expressly advocate for a candidate's election or defeat normally can use undeclared "soft money." asically, during the last two months of the campaign corporations and labor unions either have to run ads that don't mention federal candidates by name (if they want to use soft money), or if they do wish to mention them by name they have to use hard money (so they might as well expressly advocate for a candidate's election or defeat, if that is their intention).

So, I assume Steven is implying that he feels this post is perillously close to being an "issue ad" funded with soft money from MetaFilter Network LLC that mentions Allen, and hence close to running afoul of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.
posted by RichardP at 10:09 PM on September 24, 2006


When Nixon was busy spying on his 'enemies' and otherwise breaking the law, the question before the Congress became, "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"

Ever since then, the criminals running the GOP have made sure that their presidential candidates could never plausibly be accused of knowing anything.

(See, for example, the presidency of Reagan, who narrowly avoided impeachment only because it was generally accepted that the man obviously did not know anything.)

Then they moved on to the Bushes, Greater and Lesser, who also relied on their cluelessness as a defense.

Now the GOP is grooming an even bigger idiot for the presidency. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you Coach's son: George Allen.

Of course he's a racist. Haven't you heard the man speak? The man is stupider than George W. Bush.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:11 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Stauf writes "but I don't really understand why the whole thing about his mother being Jewish is being talked about as much as it is."


Mostly because it's been rumored for years, and people aren't sure to believe him that he didn't know about it. I think he didn't know, but a lot of people think he hid it to seem more acceptable to Virginia voters. Ironically, like a light-skinned black, to pass. And because he initially called the question about it an "aspersion", implying being Jewish is something bad or shameful.
posted by orthogonality at 10:18 PM on September 24, 2006


I assume Steven is implying that he feels this post is perillously close to being an "issue ad"

he's probably got his email all composed and is reloading the page every 5 seconds so he can push that send button
posted by pyramid termite at 10:21 PM on September 24, 2006




oh oh ... i've done it now ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:23 PM on September 24, 2006


Jasper: You might fool yourself that the two are equivalent, but there is a very big difference between sexual infidelity and racial hatred.
posted by mistersquid at 10:25 PM on September 24, 2006


I <3 interrobang
posted by cortex at 10:26 PM on September 24, 2006


While I have no sympathy for Allen, I'm not really getting the whole "Jewish" story. I mean, the racist aspect of Allen's character is disgusting, but I don't really understand why the whole thing about his mother being Jewish is being talked about as much as it is.

Because he flipped out about it and was trying to hide it.
posted by delmoi at 10:31 PM on September 24, 2006


I think character suicide is a more apt term than character assassination.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:34 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Through this rulemaking, the Commission recognizes the Internet as a unique and evolving mode of mass communication and political speech that is distinct from other media in a manner that warrants a restrained regulatory approach. ...

As a whole, these final rules will make plain that the vast majority of Internet communications are, and will remain, free from campaign finance regulation. To the greatest extent permitted ...the Commission is clarifying and affirming that Internet activities by individuals and groups of individuals face almost no regulatory burdens under the Federal Election Campaign Act. The need to safeguard Constitutionally-protected speech allows no other approach.
-- FEC.
posted by delmoi at 10:35 PM on September 24, 2006


Thanks everyone for the clarification - I've lived in the US for seven years and I still have problems keeping up.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:39 PM on September 24, 2006


I'm not really getting the whole "Jewish" story. I mean, the racist aspect of Allen's character is disgusting, but I don't really understand why the whole thing about his mother being Jewish is being talked about as much as it is.

Because he sought to distance himself from his family's past (as if he was shameful of such -- and resorting to a flippant reference to the prohibition of Jews and pork/pigs, etc.).
"His Jewish heritage is 'just an interesting nuance to my background,' Allen said, adding: 'I still had a ham sandwich for lunch. And my mother made great pork chops.'"
posted by ericb at 10:42 PM on September 24, 2006


One of its provisions bans corporations and labor unions from using soft money to run "issue ads" that mention candidates for federal election (but don't expressly advocate for a candidate's election or defeat) in the 60 days prior to a general election.

There's nothing in there about corporations or labor unions, near as I can recall. It bars what it deems to be "electioneering" ads from corporations, labor unions, civic groups, professional associations, houses of worship, leagues of computer gamers, Common Cause, whoever.

or if they do wish to mention them by name they have to use hard money

Corporations and labor unions can't give "hard money," which is just a straightforward campaign donation. They're specifically forbidden from doing so.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:46 PM on September 24, 2006


Sounds like a lovely southern-fried piece of crap to me. I hope he gets drop-kicked out of office by the Challenger.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 10:47 PM on September 24, 2006


*to the prohibition by Jews and pork/pigs*
posted by ericb at 10:47 PM on September 24, 2006


How is this not character assassination from left?

Maybe because there's nothing wrong with being Jewish. Or hadn't you noticed?
posted by dhartung at 10:50 PM on September 24, 2006


Jasper: You might fool yourself that the two are equivalent, but there is a very big difference between sexual infidelity and racial hatred.

What's interesting is how similar they are. Racism is a huge, huge taboo in this country. You know, all through history sexuality was taboo. You don't talk about it, you don't do it outside of marriage, etc. And so sexuality became this secretive thing, it became 'naughty' and perverted. People would feel guilty about it and feel guilty about not being able to overcome their 'lust'.

The worst swear words were sexual words, like "fuck."

Now Racism is probably our biggest taboo, especially in liberal circles. People who don't get bothered by the F-word are bothered by the N-word, or other racial epitaphs, and people feel guilty about racial prejudices they pick up.

But Allan is a weird dude when it comes to racism. I think his family was pretty racist his mom actually said "now you don't love me?" when she told him she was a jew. I mean WTF is up with that? It's fucking weird.

And now this, which everyone suspected, but putting a deers head in someone's mailbox? What the hell? It's like you can see this guy's basic racism being perverted into weird forms by cognitive dissonance perverted by needing to keep quiet about it.
posted by delmoi at 10:54 PM on September 24, 2006


(should be ... and perverted by..._
posted by delmoi at 10:55 PM on September 24, 2006


delmoi writes "putting a deers head in someone's mailbox? What the hell? "

Hey, man, maybe he was contributing the deer head to the United Negro College Fund.

I mean, it's not like he hung a noose outside his law offices. Oh, wait....
posted by orthogonality at 10:57 PM on September 24, 2006


I don't see a damn thing wrong with being ethnically Jewish, and I don't see practicing Judaism as any worse than practicing Islam, Christianity, Scientology, or standing on your head chanting "Send davy money!"
posted by davy at 10:59 PM on September 24, 2006


...but I don't really understand why the whole thing about his mother being Jewish is being talked about as much as it is.

It's the classic irony of trading places as a star-crossed bigot. This guy is now living out the narrative of a morality tale, during an election no less.
posted by Brian B. at 11:01 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


ROU_Xenophobe: Corporations and labor unions can't give "hard money," which is just a straightforward campaign donation.

Not directly, no. In an effort to keep my response short, perhaps I overly simplified it. They can give "hard money" in the sense that they can establish PACs and direct them to make contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections.
posted by RichardP at 11:10 PM on September 24, 2006


So, to recap:

Allen has a demonstrable history of racism as well as tons of circumstantial evidence that suggest he hasn't changed his spots.

E.g., confederate flags, racial epithets, derogatory statements, deer head harrassment, the lynching noose, "macaca" and political connections with the CCC (which is the kinder, gentler KKK).

Then he tried to hide his Jewish ancestry. And when asked about it, wigged out and called the question an "aspersion". Then tried to backtrack and downplay it by making the pathetic porkchop comment.

The Republicans may be dismayed that this is coming out now because Allen's self-destructing. But they gotta be happy they're learning what kind of ugly man he is before he got into the Presidential primaries.
posted by darkstar at 11:34 PM on September 24, 2006


The first Jewish president is a Republican? Oy.
posted by mediareport at 11:40 PM on September 24, 2006


What really cracks me up about Allen's "more cracker than thou" stand is that he is from California.

I guess since he isn't a fruit, he had to be a nut.
posted by QIbHom at 11:44 PM on September 24, 2006


McCain or Guliani will get the nod in '08, so this isn't too big of an issue. The interesting thing about all this is how the macaca thing was such a catalyst. I mean after macaca all this stuff just comes tumbling out, and all fed by the presses desire for a story that fits into a narrative, such as the "George Allan is a racist"
posted by delmoi at 11:54 PM on September 24, 2006


McCain for the nod, as long as he keep his temper in check. Hes the only serious Repub who has a chance (as of now), personally I'd love for kittenkiller Frist or any of the other ravering nutters to get it, but McCain. Allen is just a bit demented nowadays, wonder if he'll survive?
posted by edgeways at 12:01 AM on September 25, 2006


McCain for the nod, as long as he keep his temper in check.

Actually Guliani is ahead in the early polling, which is interesting, but if the machine gets behind McCain they'll prevail. In a fair fight Guliani could take him, because he's just a better speaker. McCain is so damn bland. The last time I saw him on the Daily show he looked depressed. And his teeth are so damn yellow compared to his pale skin and white hair. It's kind of weird looking.

I wish they'd pick frist as well.
posted by delmoi at 12:10 AM on September 25, 2006


...but I don't really understand why the whole thing about his mother being Jewish is being talked about as much as it is.

Maybe this needs to be spelled out, but an idiot like Allen (and he really IS stupid, you need to see him in action to believe just HOW stupid) has a lock on the racist vote in Virginia.

And maybe it also needs to be spelled out, that the 'racist' vote is not a negligible constituency in American politics.

...and racists tend to not like Jews, either.

Thus, Allen's panic at being 'outed' ...Thus, his instinct to call the question about his possible ancestry an 'aspersion'. Thus, the day or two of hilarity that it took his staff to convince him that he had better admit it.

Because Allen's being a Jew (one half or one-quarter Jewish, whatever) is certain to cost him support among his base. Because, you know, his supporters are as dumb and evil and bigoted as he is.

(And the evil overlords of the GOP are grooming this clown to be our next president.)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 12:49 AM on September 25, 2006


Actually, a lot of Republicans think highly of Mitt Romney.

Who is Mormon.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:08 AM on September 25, 2006


"Now Racism is probably our biggest taboo, especially in liberal circles. People who don't get bothered by the F-word are bothered by the N-word, or other racial epitaphs"


I'd be upset if someone put the N-word on my tombstone too.
posted by stenseng at 1:50 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Actually Guliani is ahead in the early polling, which is interesting, but if the machine gets behind McCain they'll prevail. In a fair fight Guliani could take him, because he's just a better speaker. McCain is so damn bland. The last time I saw him on the Daily show he looked depressed. And his teeth are so damn yellow compared to his pale skin and white hair. It's kind of weird looking.

I believe the McCain backed off on the anti-torture legislation because he was worried it would outlaw his campaign.
posted by srboisvert at 2:20 AM on September 25, 2006


I'd be upset if someone put the N-word on my tombstone too.

*sniggers*

But "Fuck" would be a great epitaph. It summarizes exactly how I'd feel about dying.
posted by pracowity at 3:08 AM on September 25, 2006



posted by matteo at 3:20 AM on September 25, 2006


McCain will win it all in '08. If he runs against Hillary, he'll win by a landslide.
posted by Bort at 4:12 AM on September 25, 2006


I'd take my own advice to Republicans as seriously as I take their advice for my fellow Dems, but McCain is not a lock for the nomination in 2008. The RNC hates the guy, and he's thought of as Clinton-lite by the Limbaugh faction. Allen was supposed to be the sure thing, but now I don't know. If he can't even keep his senate seat, I'd agree that Romney might be the darkhorse. Giuliani ain't gonna happen -- he's a "homo lover" for many Republicans (their term, not mine).

2008 POTUS is going to be a nasty, nasty fight. With Allen going down in flames, I'm happy to await more infighting amongst the Iraq occupation crowd. (Maybe more pressure on Rice to run? That's a longshot and a half, but maybe. Hillary just gets more and more confident seeing this stuff, which is a bad thing IMO.)
posted by bardic at 5:02 AM on September 25, 2006


How is this not character assassination from left? How is this any different from the right digging for floozies to lodge allegations against Clinton?

Well, because character assasination requires that the charges be exaggerated or demonstrably false, as the charges against Clinton turned out to be. Are you saying that these charges against Allen are flase? If so, provide some links, please, so we can move on to something else.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:46 AM on September 25, 2006


Not to interrupt too violently this serious discussion of regional and national politics,

but George Allen is a dumbshit cunt.

Now, however, he can aspire to be
a dumbshit selfloathing cunt.

*trundles in Jay and the Americans to sing "only in America, land of opportunity..."*
posted by the sobsister at 5:56 AM on September 25, 2006


George Allan is probably a racist. Either that, or he's been the victim of a bizarre combination of lying old friends and personal stupidity.

That being said, way too much has been made of the Jewish thing. Yes, he freaked out, but in the context it's not unreasonable to assume the question was an attack. It's fairly unusual and pretty inappropriate to ask about a politican's ancestory in a confrontational way like that. It needn't be the result of racism, or fear about what his base would think . It's probably just the result of a man feeling cornered and attacked.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:00 AM on September 25, 2006


"Maybe because there's nothing wrong with being Jewish. Or hadn't you noticed?"

What about their large noses and feasting on Christian babies?

"Hillary just gets more and more confident seeing this stuff, which is a bad thing IMO."

God protect us from a Hillary nomination.
posted by klangklangston at 6:01 AM on September 25, 2006


Thanks for the clarification, orthogonality. I think the thing that bothered me a bit was the idea that this can be viewed in a way that suggests, "he didn't tell us that he had Jewish ancestry; did we ever really know him/what else is he not telling us?". That kind of reaction just seems distasteful to me. The rest though (his reaction to it as well as the irony of the situation, etc.) makes sense.

That said, I laughed at this:

And Democratic strategist Paul Begala offered this line straight from the borscht belt: "Mel Gibson asked for his contribution back."
posted by Stauf at 6:19 AM on September 25, 2006


The interesting thing about all this is how the macaca thing was such a catalyst.

I was surprised too - thought it would be a one day story and was stunned to see the polls tanking and the issue dragging and Allen making all those groveling apologies - so I talked to a Va political analyst about it. He said a classic case of a pol playing into his negative stereotype. If Kerry had "screamed" in Iowa in 2004, no one would have cared. But Dean has been framed as a nut by his opponents, so anything he did that looked nutty would kill him. The analyst said everyone in Virginia already knew Allen's racial sensitivity was questionable, so when he called the kid Macaca - on camera - it galvanized a lot of previous concerns. By then wigging out when asked if his mom was Jewish, it just underlined the point.
This guy had been the front runner for 2008. Now he's toast, even if he does get reelected.
I was in a NYC cab the day after the debate and heard right wing talk radio that I don't normally listen to. They were going *apeshit* about the liberal media using religion to attack Allen. It was amazing how, in all their high dudgeon about the "witchhunt," they were unable to hear how clearly they were saying being Jewish is a bad thing that you use to attack your opponent with.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:28 AM on September 25, 2006


I don't really understand why the whole thing about his mother being Jewish is being talked about as much as it is.

It's also important to realize that reporters have also asked John Kerry, Madeleine Albright, and Wesley Clark about their Jewish ancestry. The difference is that Kerry, Albright, and Clark didn't totally flip out when journalists asked them about it.
posted by jonp72 at 6:51 AM on September 25, 2006


George Allen Doesn't Care About Black People
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on September 25, 2006


yes, but in Kerry's case it was about his Jewish father, right? that makes him a Gentile anyway (remember: it's all about matrilineal descent)

The denial of one's Jewishness is a tragic and time-honored tradition among Jews
posted by matteo at 7:01 AM on September 25, 2006


"'He proceeded to take the doe's head and stuff it into a mailbox'"."

That was either a really small doe or a really big mailbox. Putting animal parts in a mailbox may be funny if you're fourteen but beyond that it just proves you're an idiot.
posted by MikeMc at 7:32 AM on September 25, 2006


Allen's attempt to portray himself as a Confederate flag lover who speaks in racist code words to his "base" also makes his Jewish ancestry relevant and newsworthy. Reporters have even discovered Jewish ancestry among neo-Nazi and KKK members, such as Daniel Burros (the factual inspiration for the movie, The Believer) and Frank Collin (the lead "Illinois Nazi" behind the march at Skokie). If the racist beliefs of Burros and Collin led newspaper reporters to uncover Jews in their family tree, I see no reason why George Allen's ambivalence about his Jewish ancestry isn't newsworthy as well, especially when you consider that Burros and Collin never held public office, but Allen does.
posted by jonp72 at 7:33 AM on September 25, 2006


Webb just had a fundraiser with Stephen King and John Grisham
posted by empath at 7:53 AM on September 25, 2006


For Reform Jews, lineage is not matrilineal. Having a Jew for either parent makes you Jewish. There are 1.5 million of us in the United States, which is about a quarter of the American Jewish population, so I would argue it's not all about matrilineal descent.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:00 AM on September 25, 2006


Bon mots from "the sobsister" :

Not to interrupt too violently this serious discussion of regional and national politics,

but George Allen is a dumbshit cunt.

Now, however, he can aspire to be
a dumbshit selfloathing cunt.


Gee...isn't it enlightening about a person's character when they diss someone else's bigotry (George Allen) by degrading another group of people (your friendly neighborhood cunts).

God, you really are an ignorant dumbass, sobsister.
posted by bim at 8:05 AM on September 25, 2006




As an aside to Mr. Allen, does anyone have the exact wording of the question made by the reporter Peggy Allen. The audience booed the question, and rightly so - the wording of the question was disgusting.

I mention this just to put the entire "reaction" he had into perspective. He of course has many things to react to and may well be running from his ancestry - in either case the reporter should be given some criticism for the phrasing of the question.
posted by fluffycreature at 8:28 AM on September 25, 2006


*by the reporter Peggy Fox* not Peggy Allen.
posted by fluffycreature at 8:28 AM on September 25, 2006



Having a Jew for either parent makes you Jewish.


no, having a Jew for either parent makes you Jewish for other Reform Jews. Having a Jewish mother makes you Jewish for all Jews. I know what you're saying, and I personally embrace your point, but still.

posted by matteo at 8:41 AM on September 25, 2006


What really cracks me up about Allen's "more cracker than thou" stand is that he is from California.

Not merely from California. He's from Palos Verdes (he graduated from Palos Verdes High School in 1970), which is about as hoity-toity Southern California WASP as it gets (outside of Orange County).
posted by blucevalo at 8:45 AM on September 25, 2006


and re: Grisham at the Webb fundraiser. I mistakenly thought Grisham was a Republican (but then I only read two books of his, A Time to Kill and The Firm)
posted by matteo at 8:45 AM on September 25, 2006


George Allen was the first politician I ever hated, starting at age 10 when he was elected governor of Virginia and very promptly cut funding to the local museum run by my friend's father, and this Salon article makes me so incredibly happy that I cannot properly express it in words.
posted by stemlot at 8:45 AM on September 25, 2006


don't be a dick bim
posted by afu at 8:46 AM on September 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


As an aside to Mr. Allen, does anyone have the exact wording of the question made by the reporter Peggy Allen.

The exact wording (the reporter's name is Peggy Fox):

"It has been reported that your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?"

A weird question in many respects, not least of which is the bizarre phrase "at which point Jewish identity might have ended."
posted by blucevalo at 8:48 AM on September 25, 2006


blucevalo - Thanks, that's it. I heard this on NPR and the air just left my lungs.

What is unfortunate is the media has not quoted the question and as far as I know the NPR show is the only place I have heard it. Again, his reaction is under question but you have to hear the question to frame the discussion.

I don't know how she can get away with such a question - she says she was trying to determine if Allen is running from his history. I can see that, but the question was deplorable.
posted by fluffycreature at 8:53 AM on September 25, 2006


it was deplorable, and worse. in her defense it may be an ignorant and bigoted way to ask, "when did you convert to Christianity?"
posted by matteo at 8:55 AM on September 25, 2006


afu said -- don't be a dick bim

One man's macaca is another man's cunt, afu.

Where you stand depends on where you sit. ;)
posted by bim at 8:55 AM on September 25, 2006


I moved to VA when I was 10, back in 89. When Allen became gov'nor in 93 I had no bad feelings bout him, and even as he was senator I had a good opinion of him. But recently with all this macaca BS and the shit he did in Congress stealing that guy's bill I just think he's a total idiot and a discrace. But then again I believe whatever the Daily Show tells me to. : )

I will most definately be voting for Webb this November, not just because of Allen's stupidity but also because I want to see every Senator and Representative to US congress voted out of office this time round. Time for a change.
posted by daHIFI at 9:18 AM on September 25, 2006


"2008 candidate 20 degrees of the starboard bow, range: 500 yards, speed: 8 knots. Sir."

"Fire torpedoes!"

"Direct hit midship."

"Officer of the deck, make our depth 800 meters, 30 degrees down bubble."

/scene
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:21 AM on September 25, 2006


What really cracks me up about Allen's "more cracker than thou" stand is that he is from California.

Sounds like someone moving from Connecticut to Texas. For example.
posted by hoborg at 9:44 AM on September 25, 2006


the question was deplorable

Huh? Watch for yourself; Wonkette has the video and a dead-on take. The question was perhaps clutzy and, horrors, a bit aggressively framed, but asking a guy who plays to racist voters about his family's Jewish past now counts as "deplorable"? And here I thought it counted as "tough journalism." In this case, it revealed quite nicely that Allen feels it's an "aspersion" to call him a Jew.

That said, in modern U.S. politics, using the Orthodox Jewish definition to embrace as Jewish someone who was raised in another faith entirely is hilariously stupid.
posted by mediareport at 10:05 AM on September 25, 2006


Let's circumcise him!
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:12 AM on September 25, 2006


stupid my ass, Allen is eligible for Israeli citizenship
posted by matteo at 10:12 AM on September 25, 2006


I love seeing these southern cracker morons trying to deny their racist past. Should any of the jocks from my high school ever run for national office, I'll be there and it won't be anonymous.
posted by 2sheets at 10:18 AM on September 25, 2006


stupid my ass, Allen is eligible for Israeli citizenship

Because Israeli citizenship is based on a hilariously anachronistic ancient tribal standard. And that matters in modern U.S. politics how, exactly?

I mean, it matters to Allen's racist voters, sure. But there's no way reasonable observers should be thinking this guy is Jewish. The "but your grandmother's mother was!" standard is religious fundamentalist horseshit.
posted by mediareport at 10:27 AM on September 25, 2006


Yep, exactly; was just about to say the same thing.
posted by Stauf at 10:31 AM on September 25, 2006


Who Is George Allen, Anyway? -- "In a campaign, developments that might otherwise be one-day stories end up crystallizing deeper doubts about a candidate."
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on September 25, 2006


Macaca and the Jewish stuff is old news now. He's getting some attention today for promoting this new idea, that there should be a state constitutional ban to gay marriage.
posted by peeedro at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2006


The question was perhaps clutzy and, horrors, a bit aggressively framed, but asking a guy who plays to racist voters about his family's Jewish past now counts as "deplorable"? And here I thought it counted as "tough journalism."

Yes, and blucevalo's partial quote left out the part that explains the rest: she begins by saying "You've denied that your mother is Jewish; it has been reported that her father, your grandfather Felix..." (quoting from memory: wording may not be exact). If he has in fact denied that she's Jewish, then asking about it is just as fair as asking about a claimed college degree, job, or anything else that the questioner suspects to be bogus. And then Allen (before his "aspersions" flipout) says that as far as he knows his mother was raised Christian, just like him, which was a lie—she had already told him she was raised Jewish.
posted by languagehat at 11:33 AM on September 25, 2006


Well, peeedro, if he can't appeal to one group of bigots, he can appeal to another, I guess.

languagehat has the right take, imho. Allen had denied his Jewish ancestry, after he'd already been informed of it. He knowingly LIED about it.

That's fair game for a reporter to ask about, in my book.
posted by darkstar at 11:37 AM on September 25, 2006


It gets better:
High-school classmates recall that before a basketball game against a black team, [Allen] and friends secretly scrawled anti-white racial slurs on their school building, in an attempt to build resentment toward the black players. When asked last spring by Ryan Lizza of The New Republic about the incident, he denied any racial dimension.
posted by orthogonality at 11:45 AM on September 25, 2006


Wow. That Webb video is outstanding.

Simply outstanding.
posted by darkstar at 11:48 AM on September 25, 2006


Yeah, every Democrat on earth must be wishing right now that somewhere there was video footage out there of Ronald Reagan praising them to high heaven.
posted by mediareport at 12:18 PM on September 25, 2006


That video is impressive.
posted by ericb at 12:30 PM on September 25, 2006


George Allen's own sister on George as a boy: "I was so happy during the summer of 1969," she writes. "My brother George was leaving home."

She explains:
We all obeyed George. If we didn't, we knew he would kill us. Once, when Bruce refused to go to bed, George hurled him through a sliding glass door. Another time, when Gregory refused to go to bed, George tackled him and broke his collarbone. Another time, when I refused to go to bed, George dragged me up the stairs by my hair. George hoped someday to become a dentist. George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession--getting paid to make people suffer.
posted by orthogonality at 12:39 PM on September 25, 2006


Because Israeli citizenship is based on a hilariously anachronistic ancient tribal standard.

Well, if you say so.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:43 PM on September 25, 2006


More from George Allen's sister, Jennifer:
Explaining why she is scared of heights, Ms. Allen writes that “Ever since my brother George held me over the railing at Niagara Falls, I’ve had a fear of heights.”

Referring to George’s relationship with one of her boyfriends: “My brother George welcomed him by slamming a pool cue against his head.”

Referring to George’s habit of terrorizing a Green Bay Packer fan in their neighborhood, Jennifer wrote that the fan’s mailbox often “lay smashed in the street, a casualty of my brothers' drive-by to school in the morning. George would swerve his Mach II Mustang while Gregory held a baseball bat out the window to clear the mailbox off its post. . . . Lately, the Packers fan had resorted to stapling a Kleenex box to the mailbox post to receive his mail. George's red Mustang screeched up beside us, the Packers fan's Kleenex mailbox speared on the antenna.”
posted by ericb at 1:01 PM on September 25, 2006


Well, if you say so.

Come on, Astro Zombie. Are you really suggesting matrilineal descent as a way to confirm membership in a religious group *isn't* anachronistic?

It's fundie literalist nonsense, made no less so by the fact that it's Jewish fundie literalist nonsense.
posted by mediareport at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2006


I understand that there's a rule about mother vs. father, but I think that for many people who care about this kind of thing, it's more to do with whether you have any "Jewish blood" in you than which side of the family it came from. So that issue seems like a red herring to me.
posted by uosuaq at 1:37 PM on September 25, 2006


It's fundie literalist nonsense, made no less so by the fact that it's Jewish fundie literalist nonsense.

I don't know. What the modern, unhilarious way to delineate tribal identity? I didn't realize we were so backward.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:41 PM on September 25, 2006


Whoops, slipped into caveman talk there, I guess I am backward.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:49 PM on September 25, 2006


*isn't* anachronistic?

wtf?
kashrut, in the era of refrigerators, is anachronistic, too. same for halal -- I hear the threat of trichinosis is mostly under control, at least in industrialized countries. the Christian idea of Jesus being "taken up" is anachronistic, too -- people don't really fly (well, before the Wright brothers came along, at least. Buddha walking and talking as a newborn? etc.

good luck "modernizing" world religions -- I suppose it never occured to billions of people until now. write to your local Orthodox Rabbi and explain to him that a simple DNA test can prove that the sons and daughters of a Jewish Man and a Gentile woman are Jewish, too. I bet they don't know that!

posted by matteo at 2:23 PM on September 25, 2006


“What the modern, unhilarious way to delineate tribal identity?”

Well, Tarzan, typically it’d be smaller groups. Tighter knit units like sports teams or military units, etc.

Other (obvious) considerations aside, I think it speaks volumes about someone’s character that they play on a team and still differentiate themselves by color.
There’s no “I” in team, but apparently there’s room for racism. Jesus, what an asshole that guy is.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:30 PM on September 25, 2006


I do like tight knits.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:32 PM on September 25, 2006


He's getting some attention today for promoting this new idea, that there should be a state constitutional ban to gay marriage.

You can set your watch to Republicans, I swear.
posted by bardic at 2:38 PM on September 25, 2006


> write to your local Orthodox Rabbi and explain to him that a simple DNA test can prove
> that the sons and daughters of a Jewish Man and a Gentile woman are Jewish, too.
> I bet they don't know that!

Heh. The Science of Ineffable Qualities. I didn't know there was a gene for Jewishness until just now. Interesting!

Along those same lines I was drinking egg creams with Rabbi Akiva last night and he let it slip that there's a spectrophotometer test for kosher just waiting to be discovered.

posted by jfuller at 3:52 PM on September 25, 2006


jfuller writes "I didn't know there was a gene for Jewishness until just now. "


There's not. But there is "Cohen Modal Haplotype" that tracks the hereditary priest kohanim class/caste/family/whatever.
posted by orthogonality at 4:27 PM on September 25, 2006


I was throwing back gin and tonics with Hillel, but I don't remember what was said.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:35 PM on September 25, 2006


Are you really suggesting matrilineal descent as a way to confirm membership in a religious group *isn't* anachronistic?

Well, it's more efficient and accurate than patrilineal descent, because women just can't control their humours and a Jewish baby daddy might not be the real baby daddy, because, you know, all women are demons and vipers and scorpions and witches and whores.

Plus that newfangled DNA testing is expensive and, genetically, Jews have big noses because air is free. And you can't go around changing thousands of years of tradition just because something else actually works better, or, indeed, at all.

It's not anachronistic, it's not fundamentalist. It's just typical human bull.
posted by Sparx at 5:03 PM on September 25, 2006


> I was throwing back gin and tonics with Hillel, but I don't remember what was said.

I heard that! Akiva won't ever play on Fridays so Friday night I go drink single malt with Will Wallace and Robby Burns. You'd think I'd have some great war stories to tell, and some killer dirty limericks, even if they are in Gàidhlig. But no, not even one.

posted by jfuller at 5:12 PM on September 25, 2006


Another person comes forward and says Allen used the N-word:
"Christopher Taylor, an anthropology professor at Alabama University in Birmingham, Ala., said that in the early 1980’s he heard Mr. Allen use an inflammatory epithet for African Americans. Mr. Taylor, who is white and was then a graduate student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said the term came up in a conversation about the turtles in a pond near Mr. Allen’s property. According to Mr. Taylor, Mr. Allen said that 'around here' only the African Americans — whom he referred to by the epithet — 'eat 'em.'"
posted by ericb at 5:28 PM on September 25, 2006


Uh oh, Larry Sabato just went on Hardball and said straight out that Allen used the N-word. He indicated it was personal knowledge. When asked directly, Sabato said that he wasn't going to answer yes or know, that it was a good question and it was nice to talk about it.

NY Times also running a story about another witness to use of N-word in the 1980s.

Abandon ship!
posted by Ironmouth at 5:30 PM on September 25, 2006


sorry, yes or no. Also, Allen and Sabato graduated from UVA the same year, and Sabato stuck up for the original accuser, Shelton, saying he was a stand up guy. It appears that Sabato was well-aquainted with the Allen circle back in Charlottesville.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:31 PM on September 25, 2006


I saw the Sabato interview too. It was weird that he wouldn't just come out and name his source, but it's obvious that said source doesn't want to be named. I expect the guy will be holding a press conference by the end of the week. Sabato is a pretty smart guy (and kind of the BMOC of UVA, what with all the TV time he gets) and he wouldn't have gone this far if he wasn't prepared to name a source, eventually. And he cares enough about his career in wonkery to know that it doesn't end here.

Republicans are funniest when they're running around lighting themselves on fire. Saves members of my party a lot of trouble.
posted by bardic at 6:27 PM on September 25, 2006


MSNBC's Chris Matthews' interview with Larry Sabato here.
posted by ericb at 6:31 PM on September 25, 2006


Sabato is his own source. He's not protecting any source but himself. He heard Allen say it himself. He left no doubt. He pointedly refused to answer the yes or no question if he had heard Allen say the n-wod himself. Sabato heard it himself, he just doesn't want to say it. Go to the end of the interview, where Matthews asks him directly. He refuses to answer, acknowledges that the question is a yes or no question and he just refuses to say.

By Wed. Sabato will admit that he heard Allen say it personally while they attended UVA together. This one can only get better.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:36 PM on September 25, 2006


He pointedly refused to answer the yes or no question if he had heard Allen say the n-wod himself. Sabato heard it himself, he just doesn't want to say it.

Yes -- at the 5:50 mark in the MSNBC video.

Also --- "There's other evidence that I'm not going to go into on your show, Chris, sorry." at the 5:25 mark.
posted by ericb at 6:41 PM on September 25, 2006


Drip, drip, drip.
posted by ericb at 6:42 PM on September 25, 2006


I'm all for the Allen pile-on, but I am so tired of seeing Larry Sabato on TV practically every night here in Richmond.

That said, I heard a (possibly apocryphal) story passed down from a friend in law school now about S.R. Siddarth and Larry Sabato that's pretty funny. Apparently, to get into Sabato's class, you have to write an essay explaining why he should let you in. S.R. Siddarth's essay? One page. "I AM MACACA."
posted by emelenjr at 7:25 PM on September 25, 2006


Sabato heard it himself, he just doesn't want to say it.

What the fuck's the point to going on TV to do *that*?
posted by mediareport at 7:58 PM on September 25, 2006



That said, I heard a (possibly apocryphal) story passed down from a friend in law school now about S.R. Siddarth and Larry Sabato that's pretty funny. Apparently, to get into Sabato's class, you have to write an essay explaining why he should let you in. S.R. Siddarth's essay? One page. "I AM MACACA."


Not apocryphal
. (See the last two paragraphs. He didn't even write one page, just the three words.)
posted by Wet Spot at 9:13 PM on September 25, 2006


Hehe. I went to grad school in Charlottesville. What I heard about Mr. Sabato was that his typical syllabus consisted of at least five of his own books for each of his classes. And a few other things.
posted by bardic at 9:28 PM on September 25, 2006


Jesus' General ftw.
posted by bardic at 4:47 AM on September 26, 2006


...and racists tend to not like Jews, either.

unless, of course, they're Jewish racists. Ironically, bigotry is an equal opportunity phenomenon.
posted by jonmc at 6:18 AM on September 26, 2006


A GOP consultant goes on record that George Allen used the N-word several times in public settings in the 1990s, including when making references to Jesse Jackson and former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder.
posted by jonp72 at 6:57 AM on September 26, 2006


"Around here, only N----rs eat 'em".

Jesus, what a pathetic attempt by a California poseur to role play the stereotype of the Southern cracker.

It's offensive to blacks, but surely it's equally offensive to real Southerners.
posted by orthogonality at 7:07 AM on September 26, 2006


Now two different women are claiming George Allen intentionally spit tobacco on them.
posted by orthogonality at 7:23 AM on September 26, 2006


For Reform Jews, lineage is not matrilineal. Having a Jew for either parent makes you Jewish. There are 1.5 million of us in the United States, which is about a quarter of the American Jewish population, so I would argue it's not all about matrilineal descent.

The important aspect of Jewishness for this discussion is that Judaism is misidentified as a "race" rather than what it is, a collection of ethnic groups who unite (somewhat awkwardly) under the banner of a broad cultural framework. It's a framework that is so broad that it can be difficult for many non-Jews to recognize many of the less common strains, but there you go.

But for the racialists in the United States, being one-quarter Jewish is probably similar to being one-quarter black. If you're one quarter jewish/black, you are jewish/black.

“What the modern, unhilarious way to delineate tribal identity?”

I usually call it something extremely unhilarious like "fully enfranchised citizen of a liberal democratic state."

Or citizen, for short.

It's not really a tribe as much as a secret society. Initiation never ends. If you're a member of of my particular liberal democratic state, don't forget that we'll be taking communion on November 7th^.
posted by illovich at 7:31 AM on September 26, 2006


"...and racists tend to not like Jews, either."

What about all the racist Jews I've known who were always going on about "Schvartzes"? In America Jews are white people of a certain ethnicity who largely follow a certain religion, like Polish Catholics. Whites who are "racist" against Jews are just plain stupid.

And/or what illovich said.
posted by davy at 7:52 AM on September 26, 2006


Kinky Friedman also likes the N-word.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:20 AM on September 26, 2006


A GOP consultant goes on record

There's a huge difference between going on the record and going on Capitol Hill Blue.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:24 AM on September 26, 2006


There's a huge difference between going on the record and going on Capitol Hill Blue.

The consultant not only used his real name, but said that he would be willing to testify to the same facts under oath. What the hell does somebody have to do to be "on the record" as far as you're concerned? Oaths written in blood? A notary's mark on his left buttcheek? Does he have to do a "pinky swear" any time he makes a statement? Read the flippin' article, jeez...
posted by jonp72 at 10:29 AM on September 26, 2006


What the hell does somebody have to do to be "on the record" as far as you're concerned?

Doug Thompson is not some fresh off the street GOP operative, he's a regular contributor to Capitol Hill Blue, a shithole rumor factory that's been discredited more times than I've had hot dinners. Capitol Hill Blue is not a reputable source. Doug Thompson is not a reputable source.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:59 AM on September 26, 2006


My point being that being a statement in Capitol Hill blue is about as meaningful to the public record as a statement in The National Enquirer.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:03 AM on September 26, 2006


Tbogg, "The Soft Bigotry of Bigotry"
posted by bardic at 5:48 PM on September 26, 2006


Also: "I apologize if my comments offended the young man."

Note how, often with politicians, he's not actually apologizing for the remarks or admitting guilt.
posted by hoborg at 10:31 PM on September 26, 2006


Like with popes.
posted by homunculus at 11:44 PM on September 26, 2006


Truman used the N word, too
posted by matteo at 2:50 AM on September 27, 2006


« Older A case of Horlicks for 1,000 - 2,000 British Pound...  |  Remember when Uwe Boll challen... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments