UPDATED: George Allen and the "Phony Racial Incident in Virginia"
Realizing that Jim Webb's campaign for U.S. Senate was seriously floundering due to lack of funding (recently being passed over for DSCC funding) and an inexperienced one-issue candidate... the campaign and its cadre of left-wing bloggers decided to play the race-card yesterday and attempt to create some momentum. There has been a great deal of commentary on this issue but I believe Real Clear Politics said it best:
Watch the video for yourself. It is pretty clear, at least to me, that Allen is good naturedly ribbing a guy who is following him around and harassing him. The reason for him being singled out is not because the Webb volunteer, is non-white, but rather because the guy is following Allen around, unwanted, trying to catch him on film in an embarrassing incident.
Do you honestly mean to tell me that if Sidarth was just there all alone, among a hundred people Allen would have singled him out because of his ethnicity? Gimme a break. The guy was singled out because he is there unwanted, filming.
James Webb has a lot of things going for him that many Democrats do not have, but stooping to cheap racial tactics isn't helpful and it is not smart politics in Virginia. He'd be better off sticking to the issues.
Yes, Allen mixed up the Webb staffer's name (and in all fairness it has been pointed out that even that may have been part of this race-baiting tactic and Sidarth may have deliberately given the Allen staffers a different name that sounded like an obscure racial epithet-- I have no idea if this is true and honestly doubt we'll ever fully know) but that is not the same as deliberately using a racial slur as the left would like us to believe. The blog A Shot of Southern Comfort delves into this issue:
He used a word that sounds like a racial slur, yes, but that doesn't mean that he meant it that way. The video plays MUCH kinder to Allen than the transcript reads, and the footage makes the Senator look downright playful. He looks into the camera. Allen is many things, but he is not politically stupid, especially on the stump. If he knew the phrase he was using was an ethnic slur, there is no way he makes the comment when he knows he is on camera. I really believe that the blogs/pundits who are portraying this as a "shuddering" statement are overplaying their hand to the point where they are bordering on "guilty by geography", as Lewis Grizzard famously termed faulty accusations o racism against Southerners.
The bottom line is that this was a comment poking fun at the Webb campaign and welcoming his staffer to America and Virginia as in Red America as opposed to the Blue America crowd to which Webb is pandering... Rural Virginia vs Hollywood (where Webb was off fundraising at the time of the comment). Anyone who views the video cannot possibly believe Allen is deliberately staring into the Webb campaign's camera and firing off a racial epithet... come on! And it seems rather hypocritical to me that these folks are complaining how Allen insulted and hurt Sidarth yet they were so willing to attack former Allen tracker Hunter Pickles' personal life including his significant other.
Kilo also has some solid analysis of the Webb campaign's desperate attempt to play the race card and shore up their African American base (which was solidly behind Miller in the primary).
UPDATE: From on High has some more coverage of this issue, including the ignored definition of the word "macaca":
I looked up the word Macaca in my handy English-Hindi dictionary. It reads:
Noun: Macaca mac kah' kah
1. One who goes around with chip on shoulder and foot in mouth.
No need for further explanation. Now it all makes perfect sense.
UPDATE II: Those playing the race-card tried to discredit Allen's claim that somehow the word he used was a variation of "Mohawk" by posting "photographic proof" of Sidarth without such a hairstyle (after all it would be impossible to simply cut his hair to discredit the argument and help his candidate, right?). Well I found this little picture:
Looks like a mohawk to me! Equally ridiculous is the fact that NLS is now trying to argue that criticizing "inside the beltway" elites is racist. I can't believe how quickly these folks throw intellectual honesty out the window in order to advance (apparently via the race card) their candidate's sagging campaign.
The campaign is now ON. We know what the Webbheads are capable of now. Its a game of race-baiting gotcha politics now, and its clear that the left in Virginia cares little for any issue. Webb is a cnadidate who is still basically a Republican, but is running out of the same emotion that drives his adoptive party--anger. Its time to stop messing around and call it like we see it. Its time for the few GOP bloggers here on the right that are in Virginia to fight back. All gloves are off now, everything is fair game.
Webb's a joke of a candidate, and his can only win with cheap tactics like this. He can't touch Allen on policy, he is ignorant to what is important locally in the state, can barely find Hampton Roads on a map, and can only talk through press release. Its time for James Webb, the politician, to be a man. If he thinks George Allen is a racist, I DARE him to say it Sept. 18th when they debate in Tyson's Corner. I want James Webb to have the stones to back up what his fanatical backers say. I dare him. Lets see how tough old "Born Fighting" really is.
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