Skip to main content

If you're a Republican politician, you really know things are getting bad when a leading conservative magazine attacks you, brutally mocks you, and otherwise rips you to shreds.  Well, that's exactly what has happened to George Allen, with The Weekly Standard's just-released October 2  issue.   It's bad news right from the git-go, with the front-page picture of Allen and a monkey (see above) and the article's title, "George Allen Monkeys Around: Forget the presidential campaign. Can he still win his Senate race?" 

Ouch. That's bad. But it gets worse.

After a lengthy discussion about how much Allen's sister hated him and about George's growing up "in a testosterone-heavy household," the article gets into Allen's political career. It's fairly flattering on his time as governor, except for a couple of big problem. First, it cites Ryan Lizza's extremely negative, May 2006, New Republic cover story on Allen.  Then, it proceeds to denigrate Allen's time in the U.S. Senate, commenting drily that "Allen is less a skilled legislator than a talented executive."  The problem, of course, is that Allen is running for re-election for 6 more years as a legislator.  Whoops. As if all that's not bad enough, the magazine also points out that Allen's "top three accomplishments" in the Senate are "thin branches from which to hang a presidential bid."  Not good.

But it gets worse.  The article next turns to a lengthy, blow-by-blow, extremely unflattering description of the whole "macaca" incident.  While the Weekly Standard does not believe Allen actually is a racist, it does call him an "oaf" and asserts, point blank, that Allen is "at odds with Virginia's future."  A lengthy discussion follows about how Virginia is rapidly turning "blue."

The article then turns to the recent Webb-Allen debates, concluding that Allen lost the Meet the Press debate "soundly."  As to the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce debate, here's what the Weekly Standard has to say (bolding added for emphasis), and it's devastating:

Among conservatives, the conventional wisdom is that Allen won this second debate, but that since it took place in the middle of a weekday, he will be unable to reap the benefits of victory. This is wrong. While Allen might have had a good showing substantively, the story that emerged from the debate was his irate reaction to WUSA-9 television reporter Peggy Fox's question on a recent report in the Forward that he might have been descended, on his mother's side, from the Lumbroso family of Sephardic Jews.

Fox embarrassed herself by asking the question as though she were the grand inquisitor at a show trial. But Allen embarrassed himself too, first by standing there, agape, staring at Fox for asking the question, then by refusing to answer it. Worse, Allen lied. He told Fox, "My mother's French-Italian with a little Spanish blood in her. And I was raised as she was, as far as I know, raised as a Christian." It turns out, of course, that the report in the Forward was accurate; by the end of the week, Allen had admitted that his mother informed him in late August that she was raised a Jew. Etty Allen said that she had asked her son to keep her heritage secret, which might have led to his dissembling at the Chamber of Commerce debate.

Still, Allen's move to embrace this newly uncovered part of his heritage has been flawed. He clumsily joked to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that his mother's Judaism is "just an interesting nuance to my background" and "I still had a ham sandwich for lunch. And my mother made great pork chops." His campaign quickly accused Webb supporters of anti-Semitism for posting video on weblogs of Allen's reaction at the McLean Hilton debate. But this attack was silly. Webb's supporters weren't criticizing Allen for his heritage; they were publicizing his fumbling attempt to cover it up. As this goes to press, the issue shows no sign of disappearing.

In recent days Allen has been recast as a sort of bumbling phony, confused about his identity and his message. His encounter with S.R. Sidarth and his campaign's lame response tripped him up, but that was only the beginning. Steve Jarding, a Democratic consultant and adviser to Webb, said that what hurt Allen most about "macaca" was that it subverted his image as a likable guy. "Ninety percent of Virginians are aware of that tape, according to our polling," Jarding told me. "It cast a doubt on everything George Allen built up over 25 years."

Wow, that is some seriously bad press right there for George Allen. First of all, we've got the conservative Weekly Standard stating point blank that Allen lied about his Jewish heritage. And, while criticizing Peggy Fox's question as too harsh, the Weekly Standard rips into Allen for his godawful, bizarre response.  Second, the magazine totally absolves the liberal blogs of "anti-Semitism," calling this entire right-wing, pro-Allen line of attack "silly." It even goes so far as to call Allen a "bumbling phony!" And remember, this is not coming from a liberal blog or the so-called "liberal media," it's coming straight from one of the leading, most respected conservative magazines in the country.  That really hurts because it's very difficult for the Allen apologists to write it off or explain it away.  It certainly will be fun to watch them try, though! :)

In the end, the Weekly Standard concludes that Allen could be saved in this campaign by one thing and one thing only - money, and lots of it!  But even there, the Weekly Standard believes it's a problematic situation for Allen, given how "free media have dominated the campaign--the stories on macaca, the Lumbrosos, and so on."  The magazine believes that "this will only continue if Allen keeps performing as badly as he has in recent weeks." 

Ee gads, is that all?!?  Sadly for Allen, it isn't; the Weekly Standard can't resist taking one final parting shot at him:

If he fails, it will be only partly because the Virginia that captured his heart as a young man is slowly vanishing. Mainly it will be because of Allen himself.

As I said, this article is brutal.  How will the Allen campaign, already reeling, deal with THIS?!?

Lowell Feld is Netroots Coordinator for the Jim Webb for US Senate Campaign.  The ideas expressed here belong to Lowell Feld alone, and do not represent those of Jim Webb, his advisors, staff, or supporters.

Originally posted to lowkell on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 03:07 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

, Meteor Blades, skybluewater, pontificator, Greg Greene, Al Rodgers, wozzle, Waldo, MichaelPH, Angie in WA State, buffalo soldier, planetniner, Sasha, KeithH, Terri, dwellscho, JR, coral, RF, pine, mikepridmore, Bill in Portland Maine, Phoenix Woman, tankej, Radiowalla, CrazyDem, MadRuth, Sally in SF, lanshark, eleming, Rayne, teacherken, bluecayuga, laurak, ali in nyc, smartypuss, houndcat, tikkun, Kimberly Stone, Pandora, GregP, joeltpatterson, Unstable Isotope, Mullibok, saraswati, RunawayRose, Winger, John Carter, bosdcla14, Stoy, ParaHammer, Shockwave, Jambro, LynChi, donna in evanston, Wintermute, raygunnot, SanJoseLady, Victor, Jay C, lysias, Stein, darrelplant, John Campanelli, mainely49, Mnemosyne, suswa, djinniya, candace in sonoma, TX Unmuzzled, ZoBai, StevenJoseph, kdub, Bexley Lane, vawolf, DFWmom, blksista, frisco, velvetdays, sobermom, Luam, tjekanefir, mataliandy, catchawave, exNYinTX, DaveW, Jerome a Paris, PeterSD, bookbear, linc, msstaley, Cecrops Tangaroa, Vitarai, Plan9, sardonyx, Soy Lechithin, Eternal Hope, RubDMC, dc 20005, km4, tlh lib, Disgusted in St Louis, concernedamerican, Xeno of Elia, meanandgreen, Hatu, bronte17, VirginiaDem, Ashy Larry, DickCheneyBeforeHeDicksYou, DrKate, wonkydonkey, guyute16, Doc Allen, nyceve, Ti Jean, agentcooper, Jeffrey Feldman, grrtigger, srkp23, Loquatrix, jerseyjoew, peace voter, demokath, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, Glic, gayntom, mrblifil, kgerber, Transmission, roses, chechecule, JuliaAnn, jukeboxgrad, VaAntirepublican, bincbom, k2winters, exconservative, MJB, BruinKid, EdwardsRaysOfSunshine, oceanview, erquirk, Jesterfox, Gonzophile, jted, lirtydies, Alna Dem, admiralh, CocoaLove, celticshel, suzq, CydeWeys, Barbara Morrill, mihan, Winnie, missliberties, crkrjx, worldbeggedyoutovoteKerry, BmoreMD, Nancy in LA, Hush, mad ramblings of a sane woman, gmb, Nina, besieged by bush, Stampy51, astronautagogo, niteskolar, Black Maned Pensator, Penny Century, dwahzon, attydave, On The Bus, nika7k, snakelass, beachmom, lecsmith, RenaRF, sommervr, Liberaljentaps, faithnomore, Democratic Hawk, redrelic17, TheJohnny, bwintx, jinny, Sam Loomis, craigb, zerelda, ybruti, davybaby, Curt Matlock, Man Eegee, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, poemworld, HK, rickeagle, kd texan, eve, snowbird42, bibble, rickroks, macmcd, iliketodrum, Gowrie Gal, AUBoy2007, Tirge Caps, a517dogg, davidkc, waitingtoderail, frostyinPA, davidincleveland, bloomer 101, historys mysteries, BadgerGirl, Harkov311, Treg, Ckntfld, enough, Brian Patton, Sam I Am, coloradobl, LarisaW, alaprst, Silence Do Good, LisaZ, subtropolis, Bodean, ignorant bystander, OpherGopher, Jashugan, sndeak, Mephistopheles, basquebob, stitchmd, Hugo Estrada, 5oclockshadow, Kdoug, KiaRioGrl79, Ranting Roland, Richard Carlucci, Simpletonian, klk, Claybow, lennysfo, Papagoose, IL dac, majcmb1, eyama, tutone, chicagovigilante, EconAtheist, jorndorff, thered1, John DE, GreyHawk, ladybug53, calderonn, Gordon20024, Kayakbiker, annefrank, Todd Smyth, nwsound, Phil S 33, rpm5250, BobOak, libbie, lasky57, demmefatale, RickE, LieparDestin, Marcus Junius Brutus, Thaddaeus Toad, Zack from the SFV, Cannabis, Zergle, Floja Roja, desordre remplir, Shaking the Tree, deacon, pmob5977, Rogneid, mkrc98, phriendlyjaime, proudprogressiveCA, hcc in VA, IkeArumba, distributorcap, kkjohnson, chiefsjen, OldCoastie, orphanpower, Asinus Asinum Fricat, bently, xaxnar, SoulCatcher, Audio Guy, martini, occams hatchet, trashablanca, Sanuk, gwilson, danmac, chicagoblueohio, Do Tell, kraant, tommymet, blacklib, StupendousMan, cas2, vigilant meerkat, sherlyle, Rippe, edwardssl, sambar, BlueInARedState, Mahanoy, leo joad, Curlew, DC Scott, Russgirl, 4thepeople, Yellow Canary, Chincoteague, kestrel9000, sessal, Squirrel2634, withthelidoff, Magnifico, Esjaydee, mango, Wary, kck, TalkieToaster, JCWilmore, global citizen, StrayCat, cats in the curry, arbiter, everhopeful, VegasLiberalStevo, paul2port, Caoimhin Laochdha, NewAmericanLeft, MO Blue, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, vcwagner, myrealname, oxley, The Rejectionist, smari006, sharilynn, ChapiNation386, vox humana, Mad 60, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, BB10, Cato the Elder, Daemion Moreau, Lew2006, AmySmith, imorroy, BlueInVA, DangDemocrat, Granny Doc, kidneystones, Prose Of Sharon, Temmoku, brian77, Craig Burnham, ritzl, McSnatherson, One Pissed Off Liberal, beaukitty, smaugg, pinkhardhat, doribell, Mike McL, schlagle, Cronesense, Ambivalent Mumblings, sistersilverwolf, dgdeakin, Cat Whisperer, blueinvirginia, Loudoun County Dem, imaliberal, BreezyinVirginia, indy2dem, travelerkaty, VA02 femocrat, EdSF, Outrider, ebilm, TtexwiTyler, rgjdmls, Blue Waters Run Deep, shruticounseling, kenoyer130, Maria19Rodriguez, St Louis Woman, SecularProgressive, klondike, stratocasterman, Heyroot, RamR, Demi Moaned, DemMarineVet, Djinna, Alter Ego Manifesto, SBE, Progressive Chick

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site