Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sen. Allen rejects any claims of being a Jew

Senator George Felix Allen (R-Virginia), who seems to have a perpetual case of foot-in-mouth disease, recently appeared at a public debate with his opponent Jim Webb, former Navy Secretary to Reagan. He must be getting antsy, because he had a wacky and defensive reply to a FOX News reporter who asked him if his mother or any ancestors had any Jewish lineage:
"I'm glad you all have that reaction," Allen said to the audience as people jeered the questioner. Allen lectured Fox about the importance of "freedom of religion and not making aspersions about people because of their religious beliefs."
The question wasn't worded in the most polite of fashions, but since when is it a bad thing to recognize and take pride in having a Jewish identity? One wonders if Allen has known it all along and decided to camoflauge by wearing Dixie flag pins and posing for photos with the Council of Concerned Citizens or if he is more like Chappelle's blind character Clayton Bigsby.

Allen asks why is his ancestry relevant, and the answer is that it wouldn't be if he didn't make a career out of pandering to Southern Poverty Law Center-identified hate groups. Plus the defensiveness is just plain weird. He makes it seem like it's an insult that the reporter asaks him if he's a Jew. Which to him, it might be.

Who knows what goes on in his crazy mind? I'm curious to see how Dick Wadhams gets him out of this one. Allen's been pegged by local and national media as a racist, and the narrative's sticking in voters' minds. Plus, the term "macaca moment" is now part of the political lexicon:

After a 24-hour Iraq-a-thon, Sen. George Allen was clearly hoping that yesterday's debate in front of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce would offer up a different topic of conversation. So what does he get? A question about whether his mother taught him a racial slur and whether he's tried to cover up that his grandfather might have been a Jew.

It's been that kind of a month for the Republican once hailed as Virginia's sunniest politician. August's "listening tour" of the commonwealth, meant to display his great connection to the state he's served as governor and senator as well as voters' appreciation of that service, might as well have ground to a halt after his words to a dark-skinned volunteer for his opponent James Webb hit YouTube. Even conservative talk radio now defines an ill-fated blunder by a politician as a "macaca moment."

Keep up the good work, Felix! I guess this makes you drop even lower on the Haaretz rankings of presidential candidates on Israel, cuz if you can't even acknowledge your lineage you can't be trusted to vote for the homeland.


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