Wednesday, August 16, 2006


In Deep Macaca

So hard to remove one's foot from mouth...especially after you've shot yourself in that foot:

The question was fiercely debated all day: Was "Macaca," which literally means a genus of monkey, a deliberate racist epithet or a weird ad-libbed word with no meaning? And what was Allen trying to say by singling out the young man of Indian descent?

Allen's defenders rushed to his side, saying the comments, though careless, do not reflect what is inside the senator's heart. Sudhakar Shenoy, an Indian business executive from Fairfax who has known Allen for years, said he "has been an incredible friend to Indians" and is not a racist. "I'd stake everything I have that George is not that kind of a guy," Shenoy said.
At this point, I'm not ready to call George Allen a racist. However, I feel pretty confident in saying that this man certainly doesn't have the political smarts (attack a rival's campaign worker with an ambiguously insulting word -- while the the GUY IS VIDEOTAPING IT) to even think about running for re-election to the Senate let alone for PRESIDENT. By the way, Mark Levin, following a candidate around is not a "dirty trick". It's long been part of the political game-playing:

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who during his campaign last year was dogged by young GOP operatives with video cameras -- usually called trackers -- chided Allen.

"It's insensitive," Kaine said. "Campaigns are tough. But George has been in campaigns. He knows there's trackers. It's just a fact of life. You should just do your thing and not single them out."

Big-time campaigns often assign trackers to shadow their opponents, hoping to catch the candidate making a gaffe or shifting the message to accommodate different audiences. Virginia Republicans have tracked Webb this year. Often, videos can end up in campaign commercials.

Jim Webb could not have imagined how well a regular campaign gimmick of sending a staffer in to film your opponent would turn out.

I'm sure Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and, cripes, Bill Frist, must be smiling right about now.

In the eternal words of Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"

UPDATE: I feel guilty in joining in the merriement that the Daily Kos folks are having at Allen's expense. However, this is too much. Apparently, Allen hasn't heard about the first thing one does when stuck in a hole -- STOP DIGGING!

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