Saturday, November 04, 2006
As Jim Webb observed of Allen, "The fish [does indeed] rot from the head down." First the debasement, then a little historical flip-flopping.
Last summer, as everyone by now surely knows, George Allen singled out a college student volunteer from the Webb campaign and called him a "macaca," an ethnic slur which means monkey in some parts of Africa. Allen insisted he meant no harm; he had no idea what "macaca" meant, even though the word originated from his mother's homeland.
Well, it seems back in 1993, Allen received a few headlines while governor when one of his senior advisers casually called Virginia road crew members a bunch of "wetbacks." Let's see if you can find a familiar story thread...
From a Sept. 11, 1994 Washington Post article:
Great gnashing of teeth. And of course Barbee immediately "apologized, saying he didn't realize the word [was] an ethnic slur."
Walter E. Barbee, whom Allen appointed to the executive committee of a strike force assigned to reshape Virginia's government, used the term while discussing state contracting with private businesses at a recent public meeting. Barbee commented that he had noticed trash pickup crews had plenty of "wetbacks on the job."
Yea, and Howling Latina bets Allen didn't know the N-word was a racial slur, either. Remarkably, Barbee's account sounds exactly like the tale Allen has been going around telling folks in trying to explain why he called a young man of Indian decent a "macaca." And just about as credible!
Now a little Allen historical flip-flopping.
Before the governor's mansion in Richmond was a gleam in Allen's eye, he rabidly opposed gun control. But then he decided he'd like to be Virginia's next governor, and guess what? Allen did a little flip-flopping to get the job.
As reported in a June 3, 1993 Washington Post article:
George Allen...[a] longtime opponent of gun control...now says that if elected ovenor, he will not try to repeal the one-gun-a-month law that he denounced while while it was being debated by the General Assembly earlier this year.
Allen's "open mind" in 1993 sounds an awful lot like this year's "strategy adjustments" Allen mentions when speaking of Iraq; just a little "adjustment" during the waning days of his campaign to align his unpopular stance with the sentiments of Virginia voters whom he hopes will keep an "open mind."
Allen also said at a news conference...that he has "an open mind" about a state commission that will discuss whether to ban assault weapons.
But one thing Virginians may wish to keep in mind when they go to the polls on Tuesday is that no sooner was Allen elected governor than he signed a divisive concealed weapon bill into law.
In other words, Allen will say anything to obtain power, stay in power and then immediately renege on any promise of temperance.
It's all part of the record, courtesy of LexisNexis.