Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What if it's NOT the left attacking you, Mr. Allen?

I read a very interesting post at a blog I had never been to this evening. It's certainly not a website I went searching for, but it came up through my google news search on George Allen. I was intrigued by the title, "Who outed George Allen?" and I think the author may not be very far from the truth.

It has been hashed and rehashed around the blogosphere and in the media that George Allen is just not the man who was once thought of as destined to be on the 2008 Presidential ticket for the Republicans. Politicos from both sides of the aisle cite many different reasons for this change of heart. We have heard that George Allen is too far to the right and that he is too close to George Bush at a time when Republicans are trying to cut ties with the President. It's been touted that he doesn't have wide spread support among the majority of Republican voters, many feel that he has had less than impressive terms as both Governor and Senator, and then there are those that feel George Allen is simply not ready for the job. And of course, there are those who think that he is now unfit on account of his battle with a racist past. So which is it?

Well, it could be one, or two, or many reasons; it could be a myriad, really. It could also be that the powers that be, the big spenders, the CEO's of the hard core Christian Right have quietly decided that George Allen should be taken out of the equation for some or all of the above.

On 9/25/06, the Revealer, a self described 'daily review of religion & the press', published a short post, titled "A Christian Soldier Court-Marshalled". I apologize in advance for the reposting of the author's harsh language.
Prediction: George Allen, Virgina Senator, Republican presidential hopeful, is toast. Why? Because he used a bit of French slang, "macaca," the equivalent of "nigger," for an Indian-American volunteer in his opponent's campaign? Because of new revelations from his old football teammates that he used to stick to plain old "nigger" as a favorite slur? Because he's a Confederate flag waver? Because he characterized questions about his Jewish background as "aspersions" cast upon his character? Nah. If Allen was an ordinary Republican, he could probably shove all this under the rug. The difference here is that for Allen to catch up to the McCain, he has to run as the Christian Right's preferred candidate. And the Christian Right -- the pro-Israel, pro-"racial reconciliation" Christian Right -- doesn't want a wanna-be cracker (Allen's from California) carrying its flag. The liberal blogs, Salon, and now the mainstream media (AP) have been making hay out of Allen's bigotry, but the media that matters in this case won't be public. It'll be email. It'll be telephone calls. It'll be the quiet, behind-the-scenes conferencing by Christian Right powerbrokers who are about to pull the rug out from Allen.
I was shocked as well. And intrigued.

To me, this race really took on a life of its own after Macaca-gate, and we all know what's been going down since that fateful day; a day we can all agree George Allen wishes he had never seen, real Virginia or not. I have always credited the breaking of that incident and Allen's subsequent downfall to the bloggers and the almost instant media frenzy that surrounded the issue for weeks and soon to be months. People claimed it was a leftist blood lust, but people also claim that the only reason George Allen began his string of apologies was because of the early reaction the right wing site The New Republic had in response to Senator Allen's emerging race problems. Clearly, the New Republic articles were posted before the incident in Breaks, so...is it safe yet to ask, "What did Ryan Lizza know, and when did he know it?" And while we are on the subject, what did Bob Gibson know, and when did he know it? If Bob Gibson has known "for years" that George Allen was Jewish, and Ryan Lizza of a well-known conservative website has been commenting on Allen's racial problems since at least April, then it is quite clear that there is some "common-knowledge" about Senator George Allen among certain circles. It was bound to come out, and it sounds like some people were more than ready to let Allen's plans for 2008 die a slow death, in the hopes of at least hanging onto a seat in the Senate.

Perhaps after the primary, they quietly dropped race list further down the list.

So what was the cause, and who was the cause for the early stirrings of Allen's troubled past?

I don't have an answer. My gut feeling is that this entire demise has been a combination of a bunch of publicity and a few dramatic gaffes in a battleground state, the netroots, a great candidate, a bad candidate, and the desperation of one party vs. the thirst for change of another. I also think we have been a bit lucky. We were able to keep Allen fighting to stay above Webb by facing his own worst campaign enemy: himself. But this quote, from "Daniel Pulliam", begs to ask the question:
Is this a liberal attempt to oust a senator with hopes of regaining a Senate Majority? A smart Democrat would save this material for 2008 in order to throw the GOP presidential nomination process into chaos. Who is attempting to out what appears to be at worst a closet, or at best a former, racist and possible bully, before he became the religious right’s standard-bearer?

Ryan Lizza’s articles in The New Republic didn’t happen in a vacuum. I doubt he woke up one morning and thought, “I need to investigate Sen. Allen’s racial attitudes.” I also doubt that Michael Scherer of Salon thought, “I will call all of Sen. Allen’s teammates from his time as the quarterback of the University of Virginia to find out if he said some racist things back in the day.” And to cap it all off, the issues raised in the book by Allen’s sister, Jennifer, in her book Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach’s Daughter, have been around for six years (surviving Allen’s first election) and no one seemed to notice until now. So what gives?

Who is out to trash a potential leading candidate of the religious right?

I have a feeling all we will ever find out is whether or not it worked.


Blogger Phriendly Jaime said...

Unfortunately, the first link to the article doesn't take you directly there, it re-routes to the homepage. But, the title is on the left, "Who Outed George Allen?"

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Douglas LeBlanc said...

Our links on GetReligion do not redirect to the mainpage.

This is the direct link to Daniel Pulliam's post:


7:49 AM  
Blogger Phriendly Jaime said...

Thanks for letting me know. Last night, it was not, it was taking me directly to the homepage. Thanks again.

8:28 AM  

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