Last year, during the Republican presidential primaries, I noted [Newt Gingrich—GOP’s Anti-White Quota King] that Newt Gingrich's support for affirmative action was going unmentioned by the Main Stream Media or his primary opponents—despite the former Speaker's attempts to portray himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.
Republican voters were not taken in by this and Gingrich was soon dispatched to political oblivion.
Allen won the Virginia GOP primary earlier this month. He will face another former governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, in the general election in November. The Senate seat became open when Democrat Jim Webb—who defeated Allen in the 2006 Senate race—decided not to run for reelection.
Unlike Gingrich, Allen actually does have some conservative credentials. As governor, Allen signed proclamations recognizing Confederate History Month. He opposed a state holiday for Martin Luther King when he was in the Virginia House of Delegates. He used to display a Confederate flag in his office and in his house. [Defending George Allen, RealClearPolitics, By Ruben Navarrette, October 1, 2006]
Allen even posed for a picture with Gordon Baum, head of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a white advocacy group, in 1996. According to Baum, a co-founder of the group, it was Allen who sought him out at the 1996 CPAC convention to pose for the photo, which appeared in the summer 1996 Citizens Informer, the official newspaper of the CofCC. [Beyond Macaca: The Photograph That Haunts George Allen, by Max Blumenthal, The Nation, September 11, 2006].
Allen also held the line against Affirmative Action quotas as governor of Virginia. He sent back the "Minorities in Teaching" bill that would have imposed quotas and granted race-based scholarships to blacks. While campaigning for Congress in 1991, Allen said he would have voted against George Bush's quota bill (the 1991 "Civil Rights" Act). [Robb Says Allen Not Sensitive To Race, By Warren Fiske, The Virginian-Pilot, November 1, 2000 (Pay Archive)]
For a while it seemed that Allen was the rarest of Republicans—a conservative who actually stood up for and defended his own (white) base. Popular as both a governor and a senator, Allen seemed on the way to an easy reelection to the Senate in 2006—and there was serious talk of a 2008 presidential bid.
But then came the infamous "macaca" incident. On August 6, 2006, Allen was campaigning in Berks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border. He noticed S.R. Sidarth, an Indian-American staffer for the Webb campaign, was taping his speech. Allen—clearly annoyed—referred to Sidarth as "macaca over there" during his speech. The word "macaca" is supposedly a racial epithet for blacks in some Latin American countries.
Allen probably was using a gibberish term to refer to the man taping him. But the episode blew up. The MSM were more than happy to portray Allen as a racist. And he began falling in the polls.
Allen tried hard to spin the incident. He apologized to Sidarth and said he meant to say "mohawk." Then he said he meant to call him "caca." [A New Explanation For "Macaca?" Hotline On Call, August 16, 2006], Needless to say, these ridiculous explanations only made things worse.
Desperate at the prospect of losing his Senate seat, and eager to put the "racism" charge behind him, Allen then attempted to move to the left of Webb on affirmative action.g
At one point, Webb—paradoxically a former Republican, Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, and a respected conservative intellectual who had switched parties over the Iraq War—had called Affirmative Action “state sponsored racism.” During the Democratic primary, Webb amended his position, arguing that quotas should only be given to blacks and that other non-whites should not be eligible for race preferences.
Of course, Webb’s amended position is still terrible. It scapegoats whites for the problems of blacks and legalizes discrimination against European Americans.
But at least it offers some protection to whites as they become a minority in the U.S.—and in Virginia.
Allen made his move during a speech at Hampton University, a historically-black college in Virginia. In a blog posting titled, “George Allen Panders,” National Review Online's Roger Clegg describes the speech:
Apparently Senator Allen has decided—perhaps after consulting with Senator Lott—to make up for his macaca moment by doing some serious race-pandering, according to a news account of a speech he gave today at Hampton University. The pandering had three parts, all troubling. [Allen Touts Tech During Hu Visit, By Jim Hodges,DailyPress.com, August 30, 2006] First, he bragged about a silly bill he has written that would provide more federal money for science and technology infrastructure at universities—but not if the schools have too many white students at them. That is, eligibility for money hinges on the school having a high enough percentage of nonwhite students.
Second, he bragged about his support for another bill that, says the article, “would offer scholarships to minority students.” Now, if the bill offers money to all students, including minority students, then there’s no problem, but it seems likely that the bill either limits eligibility to minority students or gives them a preference, in which case there certainly is a problem.
Finally, Allen says, “My opponent [i.e., James Webb] has made some outrageous statements about affirmative action.” Webb initially—that is, before doing some pandering of his own in the Virginia’s Democratic primary—opposed all racial preferences (right); now he has modified that position to oppose racial preferences to anyone except African Americans (wrong), but to support help for the poor of all colors (fine). Now, Webb is wrong to have backed off from his categorical opposition to racial preferences, but even his current position is less “outrageous” than Allen’s, if Allen thinks that African Americans AND Latinos AND Native Americans are all entitled to preferences (as his science infrastructure bill suggests).
The article ends by quoting Allen: “Every single American—regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or religious beliefs—should have that opportunity to compete and succeed on a level playing field.” So Allen can redeem himself by elaborating on this quote and declaring that he thinks nobody should be discriminated against or given preference by the government on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, or religion—and modifying his legislative stance accordingly."
Of course, Allen still has not “elaborated” on his support for race preferences. And who would believe him if he did? This unprincipled oaf will say whatever he needs to get elected.
His pandering did bring in some short term benefits. Allen was endorsed by black Democratic state senator Benjamin J. Lambert III, who made it clear his support was provoked by Webb’s less-than-enthusiastic support for quotas. "Affirmative action was one of the things that helped the black students and black people, period," he said. "When you start talking about not being for affirmative action, it really turns people off." Black Democrat Says He Will Back Allen, Not Webb, By Michael D. Shear, Washington Post, September 13, 2006).
Something called The Latino Coalition also put out a press release [PDF] endorsing Allen. President Robert Deposada made it clear that Allen’s new support for preferences was the main factor in their endorsement:
“His [Webb’s] rhetoric against affirmative action as ‘state sponsored racism’, goes as far as to threaten the existence of key programs like the Small Business Administration’s 8-A program, which is of critical importance to many Latino-owned small businesses in Virginia,”
But Allen’s newfound friends could not save him. He lost the election by less than 10,000 votes. This despite the fact that 58% of whites voted for Allen.
Six years later, Allen is obviously hoping Virginia Republicans have a short memory.
Unlike Jim Webb, Democrat Senatorial candidate Tim Kaine has no qualms about race preferences—so quotas might not be an issue in the election.
And if it is, Allen has already taken preventative measures. As a member of the Board of Visitors of Harrisonburg VA’s James Madison University, his wife recently joined in the unanimous vote to install as president the notorious quota commissar Jonathan Alger.
But we can be sure the “macaca” controversy will be resurrected by the MSM. Allen will almost certainly grovel again—and probably emphasize his strong support for Affirmative Action.
And that might not be the only issue where Allen alienates the GOP’s white base. Allen once had a strong record on immigration. While in the Senate, he was one of the first Republicans to oppose the 2006 Bush-McCain amnesty.
Before the recent GOP Virginia Senate primary, the Campaign for Liberty sent out a questionnaire to all four candidates. One of the questions: “Will you vote to oppose all taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants?”
Allen left this question blank. His three primary opponents answered yes.
Allen’s pandering is catching up to him. Allen’s primary opponents in the GOP primary together got 35% of the vote—significant against a narrowly-defeated former Senator. Particularly given his closest competitor in the primaries: Tea Party candidate Jamie Radtke, a former receptionist and babysitter for Allen, who despite being unknown and underfunded, hurt Allen by hammering him from the right. (Radtke did mention illegal immigration but mostly focused on budgetary issues.)
The demographics of Virginia have changed for the worse, from a GOP point of view, since 2006. Allen—like Romney at the national level—will need over 60% of the white vote to win. A platform of Affirmative Action quotas and tax-funded benefits for illegals is simply not the way to get those votes.
If Allen wants to pander, let him do it to voters who might actually vote for him.
Peter Bradley [email him] writes from Washington D.C.