The primary elections for Jim Webb’s soon-to-be open U.S. Senate Seat here in Virginia is quickly approaching on June 12, 2012. Due to high name recognition, former Senator George Allen leads all opponents in the polls. However, like the grassroots nationwide who has thus far rejected establishment favorite Mitt Romney in the presidential primaries at the behest of the Republican establishment, the grassroots in Virginia continues to feel dissatisfied in giving establishment candidate George Allen another bite at the apple. Like it or not, we need as many Senate Seats as possible to repeal four years of Obama and cannot afford to give Allen another chance to hand the seat over to a democrat. He will lose the General election.
There are many problems with George Allen.
In the past this site has discussed Allen’s pro-life votes, ownership in plan-B pill stock, high NRLC record, support for Planned Parenthood funding and inconsistency on whether he was pro-life or pro-choice. (Hint: if you are sometimes for life and sometimes against it, you are pro-choice). The point is, Allen is all over the place.
We have discussed his votes to increase the debt ceiling four times, his love of earmarks, his support of the minimum wage and the fact that he did little to stop republican majorities from spending, spending, spending, but today I want to address the reasons he will lose the general election. There are two. First, he won’t have the support of independents and second he won’t have the support of the far right. That leaves him with little support.
In 2006, conservatives (myself included) all over this Commonwealth worked long and hard to pass the Virginia Marriage Amendment and get George Allen re-elected. We passed the Amendment but George Allen couldn’t manage to defeat a political newcomer in Mr. Jim Webb. While his people worked hard, Allen was sloppy. Most notably, Allen made a politically-juvenile, undisciplined and most of all highly offensive comment to a Democrat tracker. The man was a student of Indian descent with a dark skinned complexion at an Allen campaign event. Allen referred to him as “Macaca,” which translates as “monkey.” Soon thereafter other accusations of bigotry and racism on the part of Allen came forward. Allen isn’t a racist, but there are serious and legitimate concerns as to why that word would come out of his mouth.
To this day, Allen claims he simply made it up the word as jibberish to mock the student’s haircut as a Mohawk. Many reports indicate that the student did not in fact have the Mohawk hairstyle, making the joke even more curious. It is a convenient coincidence, or inconvenient in the case of Allen, to stumble upon a word that has been used as a racial slur for some Africans.
It has been reported that Allen’s mother is French Tunisian and that he too speaks French. It has been speculated that he had consciously or subconsciously heard the epithet from his family. Whatever the story, racism is the media narrative in Virginia and Allen, after five years has failed to competently put this behind him. The incompetence to let one word define your career alone validates my vote of “no confidence” against him.
Before any of this began, Allen presumed he would be the next POTUS. I remember his beaming smile at campaign events where supports would chant “President Allen.” But he forgot who he supported here in Virginia first and foremost. He cared more about his stock options in abortion methods than he did about the unborn or pleasing his base. He cared more about what the middle of the electorate thought than his base when he joined the NAACP.
That’s right. George Allen became so desperate to win that he joined the NAACP. Let me repeat for effect, George Allen joined the NAACP to show everyone how tolerant he was. It was like a guilty perpetrator screaming out “it wasn’t me!” at a crime scene. Many of us did not appreciate that. Allen took his voters for granted and paid a huge price.
Allen supporters act as if it is a foregone conclusion that Allen will defeat Tim Kaine. He probably won’t.
Both candidates have similar “favorability” ratings in the polls. But soon, Allen will once again be blasted in the media over his past comments, the “Allen is a racist” narrative has already been written and attached to Allen and will be hard to get out from under. Many Virginians automatically think “macaca” when they hear Allen’s name. This isn’t a guy that excites the base, in fact he worries us that he could lose again.
Next year is not going to be an easy Presidential election. The democrat base will be out in full force behind their guy, while republicans could be fighting with one hand behind their back if Romney or Gingrich gets the nod. Neither Mitt nor Newt has coattails long enough for any candidate to ride on. As unpopular as the Democrat party is right now, Kaine still leads Allen in 3 out of 4 RCP polls. That is a problem. He couldn’t win last time, he is behind this time. What has changed with Allen?
Allen has already shown an inability to win. That is not to say he can’t win, but the chances are against him. There was a time when a candidate could run over and over and over and eventually win. Now days, voters don’t like losers we like winners. Allen lost his last race on the national stage. These guys have hard time recovering (See Rick Santorum). I can’t see anything that makes me think he is now a winner.
Finally, we have to ask ourselves if a huge fight over Allen is even worth it. Wouldn’t we rather give up our fall supporting someone who would join Jim DeMint in the Senate rather than their best friend Mitch McConnell? Allen is a vote for the establishment. It isn’t even re-electing a guy we like alright that wrongly sided with big spending Republicans during the last decade. No, this guy was someone we were fortunate enough to get rid of and now we are going to bring him back? When did he ever cut the deficit?
Allen is the kind of guy who votes to bring Obamacare to the Senate floor but because republicans don’t have 60 votes to overcome a filibuster comes back to us and says, “sorry, I tried.” We need someone to join with our tea party senators. We need someone that will push through repeal no matter the cost. Or push is through reconciliation (what is good for the goose is good for the gander). We don’t need a guy looking to protect his Heritage Foundation record, we need someone protecting the budget from out of control spending. Will Allen fight to repeal Dodd-Frank? Will Allen use any means necessary to repeal Obamacare even pushing his friend Mitch to use the reconciliation process? Will Allen now oppose debt ceiling increases without spending cuts as he has failed to do FOUR times before?
We already know the answer to those questions is “no.” Therefore, we also must say “no” to George Allen.
In the end, Allen is likely to either lose a tight race to Kaine or join McConnell in the Senate with a robustly tepid neo-conservatism. I think I’ll choose “C” – none of the above.