August 15, 2006

Republican presidential wanna-be struts his "positive" inclusive stuff

From a Washington Post editorial:
"My friends, we're going to run this campaign on positive, constructive ideas," Sen. George F. Allen told a rally of Republican supporters in Southwest Virginia last week. "And it's important that we motivate and inspire people for something." Whereupon Mr. Allen turned his attention to a young campaign aide working for his Democratic opponent -- a University of Virginia student from Fairfax County who was apparently the only person of color present -- and proceeded to ridicule him.

Let's consider which positive, constructive or inspirational ideas Mr. Allen had in mind when he chose to mock S.R. Sidarth of Dunn Loring, who was recording the event with a video camera on behalf of James Webb, the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Mr. Allen holds. The idea that holding up minorities to public scorn in front of an all-white crowd will elicit chortles and guffaws? (It did.) The idea that a candidate for public office can say "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!" to an American of Indian descent and really mean nothing offensive by it? (So insisted Mr. Allen's aides.) Or perhaps the idea that bullying your opponents and calling them strange names -- Mr. Allen twice referred to Mr. Sidarth as "Macaca" -- is within the bounds of decency on the campaign trail?


The original WaPo report on the event is here.

17 Comments:

At 8/15/2006 2:23 PM, Blogger tiz said...

Webb and wanna-be Mowen (earlier today) are doing something republicans are very, very good at - riling their base. I'm not saying all (or even most) republicans are racists/misogynists/homophobes, but they are good at pressing the appropiate buttons in folks that are. Get them mad at "the gays" or illegal immigrants or ridicule Hillary's looks and they'll forget they're voting against their economic interests. And when people like me get offended, well we're just uppity elitists who are way too politically correct.

If everyone of the bigoted persuasion suddenly lost their right to vote (which I'm not proposing - everyone should have the right to vote even if they do prefer to breath through their mouth), we would not see another GOP president for a while. It's the same strategy some democrats in the south (Faubus, Wallace, and to beat Paladin to it - Byrd) used to get elected in the middle-20th century and it is disgusting.

 
At 8/15/2006 8:24 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Allen is not someone I was rooting for, but when I read this story...he really scored points with me.
Everyone misses the point here by forgetting who was harassing who in the first place. The kid had no damned business there. If he was a campaign operative and he was filming Allen's appearances, then the gloves are off and he deserves to be ridiculed. What good was there by him being there?
Kudos to Sen. Allen for taking the bull by the horns and showing them who's in charge.
Macaca? Pretty tame stuff. I would have called him "Haji"

 
At 8/16/2006 2:10 AM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

Tiz, RTFP (Read The Full Post). George Allen is the clown that made the remarks to the UVA student, not James Webb.

I agree with your comment. Without seeing life from the perspective of a "minority" (by race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, etc.) or without truly empathizing with that perspective, people fail to see that they're being bigoted.

It's like believing that playing Country AND Western is musical diversity.

 
At 8/16/2006 7:53 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Frankly Nico, you're completely full of crap.

First of all, the guy had EVERY right to be there, number one.

Apparently you're not aware that it's very common and accepted practice in nearly any major campaign to have a representitive of the opponent's campaign video speeches and appareances.

This happens ALL THE TIME. It makes perfect sense. As a matter of fact Nico, I'd be surprised if Allen didn't have someone who videos all of Webb's appearances.

How can they know what the opposition is saying if they don't document their appearances.

To suggest that the guy is somehow "harassing" poor Allen is just plain stupid.

It's since been learned that "Macaca" is a French/Indonesian slang term whichn means "monkey" and is a slur on dark skinned people.

It just so happens that Allen's mother is of French/Indonesian descent.

If you think it's actually a reason to vote for someone because they're an insensitive racist, wow.

As to Allen's saying "Welcome to America and to the real world in Virginia", the videographer is an American citizen of Indian descent who has lived all his life in Virginia.

One of the tactics of right wing radio and others seems to be very appealing to some.

They've been on a crusade to somehow maintain that being crude, insensitive, and ignorant towards others is somehow a virtue, or at least should be excused.

This really holds great appeal to the mass of ignorant, stupidly racist, and hateful demographic.

Don't embarass yourself by trying to act as though being a stupid lout is a virtue.

 
At 8/16/2006 9:28 AM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

Speaking of what appeals to "the mass of ignorant, stupidly racist and hateful demographic", I'd say it would be tough to beat that "right-winger" Jesse Jackson's comment about NYC being "Hymietown".

What stupid, ignorant, hateful insensitive racists conservatives like Jesse Jackson are!

To say nothing of showing Joe Lieberman in blackface. But whatever.

Let's see how much time it takes the left-wingers here to spin furiously and tie themselves in knots explaining that Hymietown and Lieberman in blackface is of course acceptable, because as we all know liberals are incapable of being ignorant, stupid, hateful, racist, etc., it's just those ignorant, stupid, hateful, racist conservatives that do such things.

Spin away boys!

 
At 8/16/2006 12:33 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Dook...

Nice set up.

Is your hair blonde? Does your voice sound like fingernails on a chalkboard? You could be a right wing pundette with those clever tricks.

Of course, you set it up in hopes that ANY response, other than total agreement with your premise, will be dismissed as "spin".

Nice!

But you're looking desperate as usual.

Kind of scraping the barrel, aren't we?

The "hymietown" remark was made when?

That's right, it was 12 years ago.

I believe Jackson has since recognized and appologized for his unfortunate remark.

Let's get down to brass tacks. Are you suggesting there's more racists and bigots among liberals, or conservatives?

Did David Duke, the KKK grand poobah run as a Republican or a Dem? I forget.

Since Strom Thurmond changed to a Republican because the Dems came out for civil rights for blacks, are you saying that liberals are more racist than Republicans?

Don't make us laugh.

And Lieberman in blackface? Probably something which you simple couldn't grasp... an allusion to racism and "plantationism" that went right over your head in your rush to try to pin some sort of racist motives on someone who everyone with half a brain knows is not.

OK, let's hear you try to spin out of that. ha!

 
At 8/16/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

Oh, yeah, that Jesse Jackson guy. The Hymietown comment 22 years ago spoke volumes.

I guess since he ran for the Democratic nomination twice, we can officially call him a politician.

So, Dook are you equating Jackson's political resume/clout with George Allen's, an incumbent senator and former governor? Or are you just equating the stupidity of the comments?

Either way Jackson's Hymietown comment taught me long ago that he's all for civil rights, for a narrow segment of the population.

 
At 8/16/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for correcting my mistake Huck...

Dook had to go back 22 years ago, not 12 as I mistakenly said.

And trying to seriously suggest Jackson is a racist is ludicrous.

 
At 8/16/2006 2:06 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

What I'm asking for here, but will never get, is intellectual honesty.

If "Hymietown" is offensive (and this blows your theory that only those who have not experienced discrimination make such statements) so is macaca.

I knew Dope would spin this (I'm disappointed about HucK) because of the way he dismissed the Leiberman blackface incident.

So let's get real. Either all ethnic slurs are bad or they aren't. Those who only condemn slurs by the "other" but dismiss slurs by their tribe are hypocrites, or at the least applying a double standard.

I would think Jackson was a more credible candidate back in the '80s than Allen is now. I had never heard of Allen until this kerfuffle.

According to Huck, racism was OK 22 years ago, but god forbid not now.

How pathetic that Dope and Huck only denounce racism on the right and not on their side.

But hey, don't we all make ignorant, stupid, racist and hateful remarks sometimes? Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone. And let's offer up a prayer of thanks that our every remark isn't caught on tape!

PS: Why yes, Dope, my hair is blond. Why do you ask?

PSS: Allen has also apologized for his remarks.

PSSS: No, I'm saying that both liberals and conservatives can be racists. Stop trying to excuse your side while demonizing "the other".

PSSSS: Huck, you have broken my heart!

 
At 8/16/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Dook, you're about as full of it as a huge lagoon on one of those concentrated hog farms.

Did I say that the term Jackson used WASN'T offensive?

HELL NO! Yet that doesn't stop you from basing your entire comment on that false fact.

If your point was that the were both offensive, you wouldn't have gotten any argument from me.

And I was not aware that Allen has appologized, as well he should.

But why don't YOU be "intellectually honest", which seems to be the rightie's buzz word of the day, and admit that when it comes to racists and bigots, the Republican party is their party of choice.

 
At 8/16/2006 6:33 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

The only "mistake" Allen made here was apologizing to Macaca!

I have worked on many campaigns over the years, and attended lots of press conferences and speaking engagements. Yes, while there were occasional spies, they would never admit it, let alone show up with a camcorder. That's a new one on me. I'll say it again: Macaca had no business being there in the first place and what he was doing was a form of harrassment. You may disagree, but that's okay.

Looks to me like Macaca isn't even smart enough to be a good spy. How does a spy operate? He/she pretends to be a reporter or an "interested citizen". They can take notes or have a hidden tape recorder. At least show some class.

Any candidate worth his salt has other more subtle ways to do opposition research. You get friendly reporters and other people who talk off the record. If youir opponent says something really dumb, it will get out. If Haji hadn't shown up with a camcorder, this story would not have made the news. Allen's speech would have been just more boilerplate conservatism.

I figured out a meaning for macaca. We all know what "caca" is, right?! (Sh*t, for those who don't know).. "Ma" is midwesternese for "my". So, Ma-caca: It's like ma-truck, ma-house, ma-wallet and now "ma-caca"

It is time to get rid of this uptight political correctness. Let's lighten up and have a sense of humor! It seems that liberals have a sense of humor ONLY when it is something on youtube that pokes fun at Bush or maybe a comment that degrades Ann Coulter.

Otherwise, liberals become like a purse-lipped schoolmarm who berates the offender: "Mr Allen, I DON'T find this very funny!!"
And yet, 90% of us are giggling under our desks while Georgie gets in trouble for making fun of Ma-caca.

 
At 8/16/2006 6:47 PM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

Dook, sorry you're disappointed but let me reiterate what I said and add to it.

What Jackson said 22 years ago was offensive and, yes, racist. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now.

What I said is that those fail to see a things from minority perspective also fail to recognize when they themselves demonstrate bigotry. Call it "ethnocentric," but that word doesn't capture it all

I never said that only non-minorities make bigoted remarks.

I remember my wife telling me a story from her grad school days when a Hispanic professor was talking about diversity and minority perspectives. The prof looked at the class and seeing only white students made the comment that no one else in the room understood what it was like to be discriminated against. My wife rightfully took offense to that, because her prof was essentially basing that on skin color alone and had no idea what my wife had endured in life.

And I certainly didn't suggest that because someone is a minority, they achieve global understanding of bigotry. But they may be much more aware of the impact of their words.

As for Jesse Jackson, he showed me 22 years ago that he was anti-semetic. And, worst of all, I'm sure he was fully aware of it when it rolled off his tongue. It was a preplanned hateful statement with the purpose of energizing African-American support, just as Allen's comments were meant to draw a supportive reaction from the people of soutwestern Virginia.

Logically, I could take the argument further and say that everyone on earth is prejudiced and discrimnatory. We make personal choices and judgements everyday about things we buy, schools we attend, doors we hold open, cities we live in, friends we keep. Where I think we fail is when we make choices or judgements that fail to recognize or understand the value of things we are unfamiliar with purely because of unfamiliarity.

 
At 8/16/2006 7:03 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

And to follow up, Dope, for the record, I am NOT a bigot or a hater. I often support minorities at the polls. In 2004, I voted for Alan Keyes who is "Blacker" than the guy who defeated him. In the 2004 GOP primary, I was one of the 1% who voted for Chirinjeev Kathuria, a Sikh Indian who wore a turban. This fall I plan on voting for Jesse White (as always) + 3 women on the statewide ticket, over their white male opponents.

So as you see, I am not not ignorant or insensitive or intolerant. Only when it comes to this kid who videotaped Allen...because he is an idiot. It backfired on him. Deservedly so.

 
At 8/17/2006 4:15 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

With all due respect, I'd have to disagree that you're not ignorant or insensitive.

You seem to revel in the fact that you think it's funny to call someone a "monkey" simply because they have dark skin.

Secondly, I imagine you haven't worked on any national or higher level campaigns in the last decade or so, or you'd be familiar with the practice of taping opponent's appearances.

You berate the young campaign worker, insisting on repeating the derrogatory racist epithet, for not being a "good spy".

You're not getting it. He wasn't a "spy", as I say. It's so common that they don't have to "sneak" around and try to hide what they're doing.

As Allen said, the guy had been to many events taping them. That's how Allen knew who he was.

And as I said, I'd be very surprised if Allen didn't have an employee or volunteer doing the exact same thing to his opponent.

You also have the curious view that someone from an opponent's campaign has "no right" to be at a candidate's public appearances.

How do you figure this?

You must be all in favor of the Bush practice of keeping anyone who opposes him out of site and confined to fenced in areas. You must not have a problem with situations like what occured when Bush campaigned in Davenport where a father and his young son were harassed and made to remove a tee shirt which simply had something which either opposed Bush or supported Kerry, I dont' recall which.

I think all of that is nothing but an alarming effort to erode our cherished freedom of expression, and it's disappointing to see those who apparently welcome it.

I don't know if you've read Orwell's 1984, but it seems that today, many on the right seem to welcome the fact that things under this administration have consistently moved towards the nightmarish situation described in that seminal book.

Sorry for getting off topic there, but your saying that no one "has a right" to attend a political event if they're there to record it for an opponent is pretty shocking to me.

I also don't think it covers Allen in glory that he was obviously having a little bully fit about the fact that his remarks were being recorded. Why should he care?

Most of these creatures would step over their flaming mother to get in front of a camera.

And on one thing you're likely right. There are plenty of ignorant people out there who harbor a definite racist streak, though they may keep it well under wraps, and who might find this incident humorous.

I just wonder what would have been the reaction if say, John Edwards would have gone off on a black in the audience and repeatedly called him a "tar baby" or "jungle bunny" or something and welcomed him to "the real world".

I suppose you'd laugh that one off too? That's sad.

The idea isn't that any ethnic humor should be banished. It's not PC run amok, it's the fact that the idea that someone is inferior simply because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender should rightly be discouraged and condemened in public discourse.

When a person who holds themselves out as a presidential candidate, or a candidate for any office, for that matter, displays this sort of thinking, it's not something to be applauded, in my humble opinion.

Sorry you disagree.

 
At 8/17/2006 2:42 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

I just wonder what would have been the reaction if say, John Edwards would have gone off on a black in the audience and repeatedly called him a "tar baby" or "jungle bunny"

>>>Well, if he was big enough, Edwards could call him "Mandingo"!
(First there was Macaca, then there was Mandingo!)

I suppose you'd laugh that one off too?

>>>I dunno. It's pretty hard to top that video where John Edwards fusses over his hair like a Breck girl. Now THAT was funny.

 
At 8/17/2006 4:18 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well nico, it seems you're a proud racist. As sickening as it is, at least you're up front about it.

And God forbid a politician should be overly concerned with their hair. Like helmet hair Trent Lott or dozens of others.

Or worst of all, like the slime-bucket who was a principle reason we find ourselves in such a near hopeless mess in the mideast, the greasy weasel who slipped out of the administration when the wheels fell off the Iraq wagon and is now perpetuating global empire by heading the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, captured on tape before an interview taking his black plastic comb and STICKING IT ENTIRELY INTO HIS MOUTH lengthwise, and then using it to slick his hair back.

Thought I'd hurl. That's got to be on Youtube somewhere. I'll look.

 
At 8/17/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Sorry about being late to the discussion, but I must add...I do not know if jesse jackson is a racist, possibly no more or less than Mel Gibson.

However, Jesse Jackson has certainly utilized the threat of racism to line his pockets quite nicely.

Begs one to question what is worse, a racist, or one who exploits racism and exploits his racism for his own benefit?

 

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