Monday, October 09, 2006
Please, Virginia, don't elect the stupid guy
I realize that most Chalicesseurs will agree with me totally when I say that I really don't want a guy like George Allen elected to the senate. Actually, right now I wish I still worked with Republicans so that somebody could tell me why someone would vote for Allen, because I really don't get it. Webb is only barely a Democrat, after all.
My issue isn't even that Allen is conservative, though I'm admittedly unlikely to vote for a conservative, it's that he's so damn stupid.
Let's start with the infamous "Macaca" incident. I mean, calling a dark-skinned chap who works for the other side a monkey isn't something I would really put past any politician, to be honest. But saying it really loudly while the "monkey" is pointing a television camera at you?
Only George Allen.
Now there's another little scandal out, Allen wasn't reporting some stock options to Congress. His argument is that the stocks weren't worth much, so he felt he didn't need to report them. Of course, nobody official ever told him he didn't have to report them, but he just assumed because I guess it sounded like a good idea to him. This is the sort of thinking we call "Jason thinking" in my house, after my brother who is about to go to jail for six months for some minor traffic violations that have gotten judicially out of hand due to Jason repeatedly assuming for various contrived reasons that various rules and paperwork didn't apply to him.
Posted by Chalicechick at 10/09/2006 01:20:00 PM
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I'm not sure that Allen consciously knew he was calling Webb's campaigner a monkey. If anything, I'm more troubled by his "Welcome to America, welcome to the real Virginia" comments."
a) This kid was born in the U.S. and is more of a Virginian (having been born in VA) than Allen.
b) Allen grew up in California. Where does he get off calling Hollywood not part of America? Is Allen himself a foreigner?
c) If this whole "Hollywood is not really America" concept is widespread among conservatives, does that mean every movie they see is a foreign film?
d) Allen is committing the same error that I think Democrats sometimes do, and that any adoption of the blue state-red state divide (which Barack Obama sensibly disparages, which among his other speeches about bridging differences and respecting others is why Republicans are sincerely worried about him as a threat) does. He is saying that even though he will be elected from all of a polity (in his case, the Commonwealth) only part of it really counts -- i.e. the part that he knows is locked up for him electorally. Northern Virginia isn't "real Virginia." I once wrote an op-ed for my college paper suggesting that NoVA secede from Virginia, as a way to find its Southern identity, but I was joking and not running for office. I think the whole trend toward picking out your bloc and pandering to it and insulting everyone whom you know isn't already in your corner is a disaster. I'm shocked that Howard Dean, of all the put-your-foot-in-your-mouth policitians, is the one promoting it, but I'm really happy about the Democrats' 50 state strategy and moves toward taking people's concern about abortion seriously and trying to reduce the number of abortions without making it illegal and thereby dangerous to women.
I'm not sure why Webb is "only barely a Democrat". There's no statement about abortion in the [issues section http://www.webbforsenate.com/issues/issues.php] of his web page, but other than that I don't see much there that isn't a pretty standard Democratic position.
Webb served in the Reagan Administration and claims Reagan and Jackson to be his favorite presidents. He's also pro-guns and is opposed to same sex marriage. I know these are standard positions for Democrats in Virginia (and the South generally), but they're not showing up in the party's platform.
(((I'm not sure that Allen consciously knew he was calling Webb's campaigner a monkey)))
I'm not sure that Mel Gibson conciously knew he was bitching about Jews at his traffic stop.
But sometimes we unconciously point to what we conciously think and don't ever talk about.
Even with all that's happened, Allen is still 4 points ahead- is Webb that bad a campaigner, or does Allen have charms that are not visible from 700 miles away?
Webb's campaign has been OK, but not great and Webb didn't do a great job on the debates, but on the whole, the issue is that outside of Northern Virginia, Southern Virginia is really conservative.
And Allen being an incumbent helps, too.
Yeah, I think people in Virginia just have gotten in the habit of voting for Allen. They've been doing it pretty steadily for the last 15 years, and apparently Allen polls better among older voters.
There's also the possibility that the charges of racism against Allen have made some white voters sympathize with him because they see the claims as trumped up by Webb's campaign and the media.
Personally, I think this race will turn on how the U.S. is doing in Iraq the week before the election. Webb's big distinction from Allen is that he's opposed to the Iraq war and not really aligned with Bush. If there's some big breakthrough like the capture of bin Laden, obviously that will help all Republican candidates. But I think Allen is likely to be particularly damaged by continued deterioration in Iraq. Something like a high profile massacre of Christians in Iraq could be enough to turn those who otherwise would be Allen voters toward Webb.
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