Allen is Back

By Jeffrey Page
By rights, George Allen and Chuck Schumer should have disappeared from the national political stage, but the rules are different for politicians like these two characters with loose mouths. Allen is the Republican from Virginia who was defeated for another term in 2006, Schumer is the Democrat from New York who should have been defeated for a third term in 2010 but who was reelected.

Allen used a racial slur against a young man during the 2006 campaign. Schumer used a slur against a woman last year. Had you called an Indian-American man a “macaca” or if you called a woman a “bitch” while on the job, chances are you’d be canned. A good example of this are the three firefighters in Secaucus, N.J. who resigned two years ago rather than face charges that they harassed a gay couple living near the fire house. This week, the town voted not to rehire them. They’re gone, as well they should be.

Allen has announced he will seek to get his old seat back, and this week, the man who defeated him in ’06, Jim Webb, announced he would not seek another term. So, Allen, who should have been banished to an island someplace in Arctic waters, is back as a contender, not even having to campaign against an incumbent in next year’s race.

Allen, popular in Virginia, was on the stump in 2006 when he noticed a young man videotaping his speech. The man looked familiar. He was working for the Virginia Democratic Committee and following Allen wherever he went. I imagine this could prove very annoying to a senator. I imagine too that senators with any sense would just button it up and understand that this is part of modern political campaigning.

Not George Allen. He addressed the young man directly. Twice he referred to him as “macaca,” a term reserved by certain moronic white people such as Allen, to describe certain dark skinned people such as S.K. Sidarth, the man with the camcorder.

“Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia,” Allen continued. This was a stupid thing to say because it contained an unmistakable hint that young Mr. Sidarth was somehow suspect, maybe not even an American. But the truth of course was that S.K. Sidarth was born in California and raised in Virginia. He was as American as the distinguished gentleman from Virginia, George Allen.

Will America have the opportunity of listening to the outrageous George Allen again, maybe even in the Senate chamber? Only if we run out of luck.

Schumer, meanwhile, was rolling along last year toward an easy reelection against a candidate no one ever heard of, when he uttered an Allenism of his own, though in fairness maybe it was Allen who uttered a Schumerism.

Schumer was aboard an airliner for the flight to New York. With the plane still on the ground, Schumer was talking on his cell phone. A flight attendant asked him to hang up because he was delaying the takeoff. He ignored her. She asked again. This time he complied and, as she walked away, he turned to his traveling companion, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and uttered his one-word assessment of the flight attendant: “Bitch.” He was overheard by a Republican operative on the plane and soon his defamation was on the national wires.

One might be tempted to say that had Schumer dismissed a black person or a Hispanic person with slurs comparable to “bitch,” he would be a senator no longer. But this is America, land of the free ride. Schumer was reelected, and now George Allen gets a second bite of the apple.

Jeffrey can be reached at


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