Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 25, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DID HE OR DIDN'T HE?....This story may or may not be true, but legend has it that during one of Lyndon Johnson's congressional campaigns he decided to spread a rumor that his opponent was a pig-fucker. LBJ's campaign manager said, "Lyndon, you know he doesn't do that!" Johnson replied, "I know. I just want to make him deny it."

I have a feeling that George Allen can relate.

UPDATE: I should probably revise and extend here. I don't actually think the charges against Allen are false. The fact that Allen is now spending a lot of time denying the charges just happened to remind me of the LBJ story, that's all.

But it was a bad analogy. At this point, three separate people have confirmed Allen's use of the word "nigger" during the 70s and 80s (Larry Sabato, Chris Taylor, and Ken Shelton) along with a couple of other anonymous sources. What's more, it fits pretty well with what we know about Allen's youthful efforts to reinvent himself as a Southern redneck after growing up in Southern California. Sounds to me like he's toast.

Kevin Drum 3:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (110)

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Comments

kevin, you think allen didn't do those things?

I bet he did.

Posted by: Dave on September 25, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bambi killed in the name of scaring people into knowing their place.

I dunno. Three complaining witnesses (though two are anonymous). And the best denials Allen can round up are "I don't recall that, doesn't seem like something my best friend would do." Does not look good.

Too bad Webb can't raise enough money for it all to matter.

Posted by: plunge on September 25, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

So Kevin admits the story that Allen used the n-word is a lie made up by Shelton? Thanks for saying so. I don't believe it either. I think it just goes to show you how low liberals are willing to go to have Webb defeat Allen. You libs are despicable. If anyone's a racist, it's the libs. First they exposed themselves as anti-Semites by attacking Allen for his Jewish heritage. Now they're making up lies about him using racial slurs.

Posted by: Al on September 25, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, thinking like Cheney and his ilk...Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. If there is even a 1% chance that Allen is a racist, pig fucker then he should withdraw his candidacy.

Posted by: ckelly on September 25, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

The best LBJ story I ever heard:

One day at a Cabinet briefing, LBJ was angered at some bad news about Vietnam. He stood up, unzipped his pants, and laid his penis on the edge of the table. Then he pointed to it and said, "Ho Chi Minh will never get THIS!"

Of course it could be apocryphal, but I tend to believe it, as I've heard other people confirm that LBJ liked to whip it out and show it to people.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on September 25, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

If there is even a 1% chance that Allen is a racist, pig fucker then he should withdraw his candidacy.


hell no. he should stay the course and get his ass handed to him in November

Posted by: cleek on September 25, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Allen may not be a pig-f-er (as far as we know), but he does view African-Americans as n-words. Anyone who is as obsessed with the Confederacy as he is, certainly does. That's precisely *why* such people are so fascinated with that racistocracy.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Al, everything anyone ever says bad about a Republican is made up.

C'mon up, dear -- cartoons are on!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on September 25, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, Cleek. Santorum has made clear the GOP's stance on bestiality and Dubya's already worried about those human-animal hybrids. If he's a pig-fucker let him face the Republican voters as such.

And if he's a racist, let the voters make chicharones out of him.

Posted by: Constance Reader on September 25, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

One day at a Cabinet briefing, LBJ was angered at some bad news about Vietnam. He stood up, unzipped his pants, and laid his penis on the edge of the table. Then he pointed to it and said, "Ho Chi Minh will never get THIS!",

Later on, Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe and cured LBJ of this particular habit.

Posted by: anonymous on September 25, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats have been using the same dirty tricks for thirty years. AND they have the media on their side. It's only the American people's strong devotion to common sense that keeps the Democrat party out of power.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 25, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, a guy that displays a noose in his office using the n-word is just so implausible.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on September 25, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder what terms of endearment he had for Doug Williams when he won that superbowl for the Redskins? Doug wasn't too black until he came ouot opf Grambling and into the NFL. Then he got really black, really fast.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

What is it they say--"If it walks like a duck ..."?

Looks like Mr. Allen spent a good part of his life trying to convince folks that he's a stars-n-bars-wavin', tabacky-chawin', noose-hangin' racist. So he walks like one, and now we know he talks like one. Folks down in Virginia sure know how to keep a secret in plain sight, don't they?

Posted by: Sensitive Guy on September 25, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

I like the LBJ story about the President walking across the tarmac and being intercepted by a young nervous officer.

"Sir, that's not your helicopter"

"Son, they're all my helicopters."

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on September 25, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Dave: My guess is that Allen did indeed do it. But I don't know any more about it than you guys.

Regardless, I still think he knows how LBJ's erstwhile opponent felt. At this point, it hardly even matters whether he did it. The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist. That's pretty bad news for the GOP's chances in Virginia this year.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on September 25, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Publican Party, Publican Party, Publican Party. Every time you neo-con asshats drop our "ic" I'm dropping your "Re" three times. Democrats have fared better throughout history than Publicans have.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Im not sure there is much of a parallel here.

First, the LBJ anecdote involves an allegation made up by candidate, not a classmate and team member.

Second, Macaca

Third, In 1993, as a candidate for governor, George Allen displayed a Confederate flag in the very first television ad of his campaign. Almost not surprisingly, Allen's senior high school picture shows the Senator sporting a Confederate flag pin on his lapel. In college, Allen proudly displayed the Confederate flag on the back of his pickup truck and in his college dorm room where the flag "was an explosive issue." (The New Republic, 5/15/06; The New Republic, May 8, 2006)

Fourth, while serving as Virginia Governor, Allen sought out a relationship with the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a successor organization to the White Citizens Council, a recognized hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and one of the largest white supremacist organizations. A picture of Allen posing with CCC officials was featured in the CCC Summer newsletter that summer. While discussing the photo, a CCC organizer in the picture said, "It [the picture] helped us as much as it helped him... We got our bona fides."

Fifth, from 1998 to 2000, George Allen displayed a noose in his office. Allen regularly defended the noose, arguing, "It has nothing to do lynching," and is "more of a lasso." After being pressed for literally years, Allen finally admitted in 2006 that it was, indeed, a "little old noose." (The New York Times, 6/19/05; The New York Times, 2/2/05; MSNBC, 5/24/06)

Sixth, Allen specifically alleged that he learned more about racial harmony at this same time as a football player.

Finally, do you think the three complaining witnesses are liars or delusional?

He may be a victim, but its hardly anywhere near the LBJ anecdote.

Posted by: Catch22 on September 25, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Wait -- I think one's "feelings" when one is hit with an out-of-the-blue completely false accusation that you can only deny but can't disprove (like pig-fucker) are totally different from the feelings when you are hit with something that you know to be true and would like to repress or deny from your own past.
Come back to the reality-based world, Kevin: the feelings are not totally unrelated to the actual truth or falsehood of the accusation, so if you think it's true, then you can't think that Allen's feelings are the same as LBJ's putative opponent.

I understand the point you're getting at, which is that the denial of the story gives it yet another day of news, but that's very different.

Here the relevant comparison is to a famous predecessor in Allen's own Senate seat, William Scott, who in the 1970s was declared the Dumbest Senator and the next day held a press conference to deny it.

Posted by: Mark Schmitt on September 25, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist. That's pretty bad news for the GOP's chances in Virginia this year.

Why? Seems to me they'd elect one of their own.

Posted by: Fed Up With The South on September 25, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Whether George Allen is a racist has never been in doubt. The campaign is now about whether he is a foolish racist who doesn't know how to keep his racism off the front page. That is not someone that most "respectable" racists are likely to vote for.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

The ironic thing about all of this, is that Allen isn't actually a racist.

He's a scat-fetishist, so he wasn't calling the guy "macaca" - he was giving him a complement saying "My Caca".

Posted by: (fake)rdw on September 25, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist.

Huh. And here I thought that the thing Allen most worried about is the fact his jewish heritage is now publicly known. Wonder how his buds at the CCC feel about him now?

Posted by: wepe on September 25, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist. That's pretty bad news for the GOP's chances in Virginia this year.

Why? Seems to me they'd elect one of their own.

It sure hasn't hurt his elections up to this point. Better for allen is that he's an adopted confederate. They love that kind of 'respect' down there.

Posted by: klyde on September 25, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Actually - I've been thinking that liberals, progressives, and peace activists, should routinely burn Confederate Flags at protests.

Let's see the pig fuckers come up with a confederate flag-burning amendment.

I think burning a confederate flag nicely symbolizes what liberals are against in this country.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 25, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

George Allen inspires a new expression: like a deer caught in a mail box.

Posted by: Ross Best on September 25, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: Honestly, I didn't know what "macaca" meant before all of this either.

No? That's what Allen says, too. So, prior to the videotaped incident of him using the word, it would have been natural for you to call someone "macaca" also?

But you've quit doing that now, too, right?

Posted by: bigothunter on September 25, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

What we know for sure:

1) Allen wore a Confederate pin in high school in
California

2) Allen displayed the Confederate flag

3) He went out of his way to be photographed with
leaders of the CCC

4) He lied about knowing whether his mother was
raised Jewish (it's admitted that she told him
in August, but he denied it after that).

5) He taunted a dark-skinned man (born and raised
in Virginia, unlike Allen himself) about not
being sufficiently Virginian.

That's quite a damning pattern, just based on the
facts which can't be disputed. He's clearly a
bully and a liar; and if he isn't a racist
himself, it's strange how many times throughout
his life he just happens to have been associated
with symbols of racism. And his, at best,
incuriosity about his mother's family puts the
lie to his claim that he's just interested in
his "heritage".

Put a fork in him, he's done.

Posted by: Richard Cownie on September 25, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

OBF, that's brilliant.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'm stocking up on confederate battle flags and zippo fluid, OBF.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

If there is ANYONE who would have done this, it is LBJ. Brilliant political idea though.

Posted by: Chris on September 25, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

"The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist. That's pretty bad news for the GOP's chances in Virginia this year."

"Why? Seems to me they'd elect one of their own."

While it's true that racists will usually elect one of their own, in the South we prefer racist politicians who keep their racism subtle. Let us know - quietly - that you share our prejudices, and we'll sweep you into office.

But we don't like politicians who embarass us and make us look bad to the rest of the country. Southern racist politicians who get publicly outed as racists are swiftly abandoned.

Allen's done.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on September 25, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

What I love most about the burn Confed flags idea is that when someone burns a US flag, what they are angry about is really better symbolized by the Confed flag. In a way, burning the Confed flag helps relieves the US flag of the evil part of its legacy.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm stocking up on confederate battle flags and zippo fluid, OBF.
Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

My goal:
Purchases of confederate flags for the purpose of desecration outnumbers purchases of confederate flags for the purpose of display.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 25, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Some people seem to think this race is some how over despite Allen being an incumbant and ahead in the polls.

This is going to be a competetive race, but Allen still has one HUGE advantage:

Allen has the money--some $12 million, dwarfing the $1.1 million Webb raised through June 30--to ensure a presence on radio and television.
Posted by: Catch22 on September 25, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: Later on, Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe and cured LBJ of this particular habit.

ROTFLMAO

Posted by: alex on September 25, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, I'm a little confused: did George Allen fuck a pig or didn't he?

Posted by: D'oh Jones on September 25, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

All Allen has to do is call a carrot a beet.

Posted by: Will on September 25, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

When it comes time for people to go into the voting booth and pull the lever, the ironic thing is that the very racists that Allen has courted throughout his political career will vote AGAINST him now that they know that he has Jewish ancestry.

Not only that, but he's a damn dirty Frenchman -- and speaks the language fluently. Quelle horreur!

Posted by: Stefan on September 25, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Where's Allens life time record of adoration for African Americans?

Is it symbolized by the confederate flag?

Is it implied when stating that the United States is a Christian or European country?

His mother is from Algeria - that means he's part African American himself.

Posted by: Bubbles on September 25, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, I'm a little confused: did George Allen fuck a pig or didn't he?

That is definitely not kosher!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

will vote AGAINST him now that they know that he has Jewish ancestry.

That's a wee bit vague. Isn't the truth that both his maternal grandparents were Jewish? In the minds of many that makes Allen himself Jewish.

I think that Allen will have trouble getting his base out in Nov.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Can I start a movement to exile the pig-fucker from our tribe?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

I think burning a confederate flag nicely symbolizes what liberals are against in this country.

Sounds right to me.

Osama_Been_Forgotten: care to set up an Confederate Flag Burning Day? That way we could all post up pictures/videos of us burning confederate flags at the same time. Yes, we'll lose the South completely, but we've lost so much of them already that at least this way was can focus more time and attention on the West and Southwest.

Posted by: Edo on September 25, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

e's in our tribe, Global Citizen? I want out.

Posted by: Edo on September 25, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Global, would that be a "lost" tribe?

Posted by: Keith G on September 25, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote:
"The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist. That's pretty bad news for the GOP's chances in Virginia this year."

Then klyde wrote:
"Why? Seems to me they'd elect one of their own."

"They" is no longer a majority in Virginia, thank god. While Virginia is still a "red" state, the Dixiecrats are on the wane as Northern VA and the Hampton Roads area ballon in size. Most of the voters in these areas will vote for a moderate Republican but prefer a moderate Dem to a unreconstructed Dixiecrat type -- witness the crash and burn of Jerry Kilgore's campaign.

Allen won in the past because he could dog whistle the racists and still keep the moderates. No longer -- 24 hour internet coverage has shown a bright light on the darker side of Allen and the moderates now outnumber the racists.

The money advantage? Doesn't matter -- Allen is already well known in the state, so more ads won't matter. What matters is the extensive coverage of his campaign gaffes -- his disapproval ratings are really high right now. The voters are now trying to decide if Webb is good enough to throw out the devil they do know.

Posted by: HokieAnnie on September 25, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

The way I heard the story, it goes like:

His advisors said: "Lyndon, you can't prove that."

He looked at them and replied: "No, but I kin make the son if a bitch DENY it!"

Posted by: Daddy Love on September 25, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist

No, no. Only about 70% of the campsign is about that. The other 30% is about whether Allen is a secret self-hating Jewish anti-Semite.

The Allen campaign is now a textbook example of a candidate losing control of the media. As far as I can tell, Webb had little to do with this. Allen couldn't keep his big mouth shut, he just had to call that kid "Macaca". Then he got all bothered and huffy when a reporter asked him if he had Jews in his family, as his grandfather was imprisoned by the Nazis and the topic had come up in the past. Why couldn't Allen just have said "Gee, I dunno, blah blah tax cuts"? It was a Dukakis moment in reverse- in response to a question that required humor and coolness, he looked crazed.

After all that, a story citing Allen's own former team-mates about Allen hating blacks seems really believeable.

Keep in mind the people harping on how it's a "smear" are the same people who will tell you with a straight fact that John Kerry shot himself (not very deeply) to get his medals, despite tons of evidence from the US Navy and Kerry's shipmates that this was not the case.

If this is a Webb smear, Allen created the frame himself. If this is not a Webb smear, expect even crazier stories to emerge over the next few weeks.

Posted by: Alderaan on September 25, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

The voters are now trying to decide if Webb is good enough to throw out the devil they do know.

Posted by: HokieAnnie on September 25, 2006

I agree. Webb better batten down the hatches. Allen is sure to go negative in the biggest way possible. Destroying Webb is Allen's last chance. If you are a Webb supporter, beware, Allen is going to be the one falsely accusing Webb of being a pig-fucker.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 25, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

At one point LBJ was royally pissed that a member of his cabinet had not been as publicly ebullient about policy.

One morning the offending official was sent to the residence for a sit down. Actually only LBJ sat down. In mid tirade, Johnson walked into the head demanding that the official follow.

In mid sentence, the President dropped trou and performed his morning constitutional never breaking eye contact with his thoroughly unnerved victim.

Posted by: Keith G on September 25, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

The voters are now trying to decide if Webb is good enough to throw out the devil they do know.

And that's why the money difference is key. Allen can use his millions to drive up Webb's negatives. Webb needs money to counter Allen's negative campaigning and to proactively push out a positive message.

Posted by: Edo on September 25, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Dave: My guess is that Allen did indeed do it. But I don't know any more about it than you guys.

Regardless, I still think he knows how LBJ's erstwhile opponent felt. At this point, it hardly even matters whether he did it. The whole campaign is now about whether George Allen is a racist. That's pretty bad news for the GOP's chances in Virginia this year.
Posted by: Kevin Drum

"Regardless"? "hardly matters"? So you don't really care if he's a racist or not? Otherwise, he doesn't feel like LBJ's opponent, who was not what LBJ said he was and they both knew that. Allen is a racist, and we know it and he knows it. It's about an open a question as OJ's guilt.

Posted by: Jim on September 25, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

The deputy fire chief of Mesa, AZ was caught fucking a neighbor's sheep this year.

Mesa, AZ is also a Republican paradise with very low taxes and almost no city services.

Posted by: Hostile on September 25, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: Later on, Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe and cured LBJ of this particular habit.

ROTFLMAO
Posted by: alex on September 25, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I borrowed that joke (okay, stole) from the old alt.folklore.urban USENET group. I figured if it was good enough to make milk come out of my nose, it was good enough to pass on.

Posted by: anonymous on September 25, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

EDO, I absolutely agree. I hope the Democrats and Webb people are listening. Allen is going to spend everything he has trying to Swiftboat Webb. Webb has to be prepared to counter Allen.

Of course, I might be wrong. It is possible Allen will talk all of this personally and will meltdown like Harris trying to reconstruct his image. I don't think any professional in Allen's campaign will be fooled as to the possibility of that succeeding near term.

The Democrats have to prepare the base for the negative attacks on Webb. That is a race that needs some money.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 25, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

how could you jump off the reality based band wagon. There is the ever so minor difference that LBJ's opponent definitely did not, and GFA definitely did. And I say definitely given that a so cal white boy running around with confederate flag and confderate flag pins and nooses, and hanging out with the CCC and all the other stuff we have absolute factual confirmation of, definitely said n***r at some point in his life, and yes it probably was when he was 18-22 college jock in virginia. this is the stupidest posting I have seen of yours. shame on you.

Posted by: drsteveb on September 25, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

I 'ere ya, Edo. But that pesky little bit of Torah law that makes us Jewish whether we are religious or not also applies to him. There is always a catch with matriarchy, isn't there? We can't get out, and we can't kick him out. Oh well, we don't have to embrace the son-of-a-bitch like he is Elijah at the Passover Seder.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

kevin

the Allen story is worth blogging about. The LBJ story is, apocryphal or not, both illustrative of Johnson's personality and his political methods. Plus it's damn funny, like many LBJ stories.

but i'm not certian that both stories fit into the same piece in any coherent fashion, since it seems form the facts on the ground that Allen is indeed a pigfucker, and it's not simply an allegation from his opponent that's making hm deny it. it's more like it's coming from someone who saw him fucking that pig.


Posted by: Woo Pig Sooie on September 25, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

This story may or may not be true, but legend has it that during one of Lyndon Johnson's congressional campaigns he decided to spread a rumor that his opponent was a pig-fucker. LBJ's campaign manager said, "Lyndon, you know he doesn't do that!" Johnson replied, "I know. I just want to make him deny it."

Whatever happen to libel lawsuits? I mean this comment right here: "I know. I just want to make him deny it," is fairly ugly admission.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 25, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

GC, I don't think you need to worry. Now I'm not a Rabbinical scholar, but isn't the rule that he is considered Jewish as long as he hasn't converted (uncoerced) to another religion? Allen doesn't look coerced away from Judaism to me, so I think that your tribe is in the clear.

OTOH, my guess is that anti-jewish bigots look at the issue in purely hereditary terms.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Since suspension of disbelief has become a way of life under Republican rule, sure, I believe Allen stuffed a deer head in some poor bastard's mailbox.

Posted by: Lucy on September 25, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Cheryl

Remember this allegedly happened in Texas during the 1950's. Well back then lots of people admired politicians with the kind of deviousness LBJ displayed. In truth, the story is probably something LBJ made up to enhance his mythic image.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 25, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

I've heard that LBJ story many times since I moved to Texas. I was thinking of it this weekend when I read about Mike Wallace's smirking little brat sandbagging Clinton. That one kind of back fired, didn't it?
Also thought of it when the NYT and Joe Lieberman sandbagged Lamont at that dinner by bringing up and distorting Lamont's eight year old private constituent letter regarding Lieberman's grandstanding during the impeachment. And then when Lamont addressed what he really wrote, they said LAMONT was the one digging up ancient history to run a negative campaign.

As for the LBJ story, I remember it differently. Pedophilia instead of pigf*cking. But I've also heard different versions, such as Nixon being a sheep f*cker. I doubt if it was true (well, maybe the Nixon part). I think he probably said it as a joke, using an exagerated version to make light of a tactic that he and his listeners were probably all to familiar with, both as slimers and slimees.

Posted by: jussumbody on September 25, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

The version I heard was that LBJ got the rumor started by denying it himself. Something along the lines of "It is awful that someone is spreading a false rumor that my opponent has sex with pigs."
Slick

Posted by: Kevin_r on September 25, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Nice to see what a high opinion many here have of Virginians.

Sixteen of nineteen of Allen's teammates denied he said "nigger" or was a racist. That probably doesn't work too well as a headline.

He'll win, by the way.

Posted by: Brian on September 25, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

As for Allen, I don't for a minute believe he's never used the word nigger. Lots of people much less sympathetic to the Southern Cause or segregation have used the word in moments of anger. His association with the CCC and use of an obscure white supremacist slur, Macaca, are all the proof I need.

And Allen can't be considered technically Jewish due to his maternity, since his mother is only Jewish due to her paternity, and therefore she would be considered a gentile under that rabbinical rule. He's just Jewish in the same insignificant way that I'm a little bit Swedish.

Posted by: jussumbody on September 25, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Over breakfast one morning, my ex-girlfriend referred to someone we mutually disliked as a 'cocksuker.' My glee was so apparent that the conversation shifted to discuss the source of my joy. I don't why, but it delights me to no end when women use that term. It seems as though I have a similar response when Kevin Drum writes 'pigfucker.'

Posted by: Scott Herbst on September 25, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Sixteen of nineteen of Allen's teammates denied he said "nigger" or was a racist. That probably doesn't work too well as a headline."

Sixteen teammates who couldn't or wouldn't confirm that Allen used the word is not the same as 16 who denied it. How could 16 people claim that someone never used a word unless they heard every single word that person said? But as a headline, that would be a good example of Kevin-r's spreading a rumor by denying it.

Posted by: jussumbody on September 25, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum, your LBJ story and the allegation that Allen liked to throw around the word "nigger" aren't "on all fours", as they said in law school. They aren't even on three legs together. Their only congruence is that they're stories about unsavory behavior. The LBJ story is vaguely funny because 60 or 70 years ago, we like to imagine, a politician just didn't use word's like "pig fucker".

George Allen doesn't pass that test: he's embraced the Old South's venality and culture of grievance so ardently that it's surprising he hasn't changed his name to Rhett Butler. He's actively wooed racists. It would be unbelievable to think that he hadn't casually tossed around "nigger" or told racial jokes. And don't forget: his vocabulary is the least of the accusations.

A man who would call a question about being Jewish a disparagement isn't exactly someone with racial blindness deeply ingrained.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 25, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

A thousand pardons, j. Though I think that "denied" works pretty well. Few people would expect that to mean anything more than that they never heard him say it.

Posted by: Brian on September 25, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK
Whatever happen to libel lawsuits? I mean this comment right here: "I know. I just want to make him deny it," is fairly ugly admission.

Libel lawsuits by public figures have, because of the 1st Amendment, a very high bar of proof. A popular legend that no doubt did not become known until after the statute of limitations had expired for any action for libel would not be particularly useful in meeting that burden.


Rumor is not evidence.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 25, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

LBJ NEVER said that! Period. No Serious scholarly work has EVER suggested he did. Please stop spreading that rumor about one this countries greatest Presidents!

Posted by: Alex on September 25, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

And Allen can't be considered technically Jewish due to his maternity, since his mother is only Jewish due to her paternity, and therefore she would be considered a gentile under that rabbinical rule. He's just Jewish in the same insignificant way that I'm a little bit Swedish.
Posted by: jussumbody on September 25, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, that just means that jews wouldn't consider him a jew, but a nazi would. What was the rule? You had to be less than 1/8 jew? (who knows? frankly, who cares? - only the KKK people he's counting on to elect him care.)

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 25, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

It is possible Allen will talk all of this personally and will meltdown like Harris trying to reconstruct his image.

here's to hoping; my fingers are crossed that this is what will happen.

Posted by: Edo on September 25, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just thrilled at the loophole that allows Edo and I to exile his sorry ass. I didn't know his mother was Jewish though her father only. She isn't Jewish if her mother isn't Jewish. Case closed. If my son marries a shiksa my grandchildren will be half Jewish, but they will not be Jewish.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

out out out! He's out.

cue rumor mill: George Felix Allen is now out of the closet. ;->

Posted by: Edo on September 25, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

I think a campaign revolving around whether one of candidates is a pig fucker could pull some serious voter turnout.

Bob

Posted by: SOCK PUPPET!!! on September 25, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Same point, different story: When George Smathers ran against Claude Pepper in the Democratic primary for Senator from Florida many years ago, he criss-crossed north Florida delivering the same speech: "My opponent is a shameless extrovert. His sister is a noted thespian in New York City. Both of his children matriculated while at college." Or so the story goes. Smathers won, of course.

Posted by: Henry on September 25, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't know his mother was Jewish though her father only. She isn't Jewish if her mother isn't Jewish.

Does no one click on the link?:

Allen later acknowledged publicly for the first time that his grandfather, a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, was Jewish, and on Monday he said both his maternal grandparents were Jews.

As I said upthread, both his maternal grandparents were Jewish, but his mother presumably willingly converted and raised her son Presbyterian, IIRC, so Allen himself isn't Jewish by Rabbinical standards, although most assuredly he is by racist standards.

But really, who -- other than bigots -- cares whether he is or isn't Jewish? The salient point is that he is a racist.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

As a footnote, Reform Judaism did away with the sexist notion of maternal-only descent.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

But really, who -- other than bigots -- cares whether he is or isn't Jewish? The salient point is that he is a racist.

Touche. I guess I got a little semitic-elitist there for a minute. As to the maternal-only descent rule: That is our tridentin mass.:)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 25, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

More people are coming out with recollections about Allen's racist language.

The latest charge is by an anthropology prof and dates back to the early 80s.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sixteen of nineteen of Allen's teammates denied he said "nigger" or was a racist. That probably doesn't work too well as a headline.
Posted by: Brian

more accurately, 16 of 19 denied ever hearing him say the word.

unless they were in his pocket the whole time ... next to his confederate pin.

Posted by: Nads on September 25, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

more accurately, 16 of 19 denied ever hearing him say the word.

I doubt even that. All I have read is that a few have publicly denied hearing him use the N-word. I'd like to see Brian's source that 16 have.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see where Brian got his misinfo, from the original Salon article.

Here's what Salon actually says:

Salon has interviewed 19 former teammates and college friends of Allen from the University of Virginia. In addition to the three who said Allen used the word "nigger," two others who were contacted said they remember being bothered by Allen's displaying the Confederate flag in college, but said they do not remember him acting in an overtly racist manner. Seven others said they did not know Allen well outside the football team, but do not remember Allen demonstrating any racist feelings. A separate seven teammates and friends said they knew Allen well and did not believe he held racist views.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

The question about Allen isn't whether he said "macaca" or not (he did) and it isn't whether he concealed his jewish heritage (he did) it isn't even about whether he used the
word "n****r" frequently while in college (I
don't know and I don't care) it's about the
way that he deals with problems.

Whatever he did, he surely has shown us his
character -- and he's shown himself to be
a sleazy, dishonest, erratic little phony.

Of course folks who only listen to talk radio will blame it on the media, but the media only reported facts (remember? their job?).

Allen turns out to be a sniveling coward with no moral center and without the ability to come forward and say (a) he did something wrong a long time ago and he doesn't believe those things any more and regrets his actions; or (b) yes, he did those things and he does believe them, and he wants the votes of the people who agree with him and share his beliefs; or (c) he misspoke and regrets it and he apologizes.

Allen isn't enough of a man to do these things. Instead, he makes up stories about what he meant
by "macaca" (a well-known insult in at least two languages I know, one of which he speaks).

He's a coward who dresses up in cowboy boots.
He's throwing away a good, safe Republican seat.
If he had any integrity he'd resign and let a
reliable Republican congressman step up and save the seat.

Posted by: nurtz on September 25, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Nineteen players on his college football team. Those guys must have been tough. No subs and 3 of them went both ways. I have a whole new respect for Allen and his teammates.

I have a hunch there were more than 19 players on his team.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 25, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

3 of them went both ways.

Just wait until that story hits the front page!

Seriously, one of Brian's misinfo pts is that the 19 were all former team memebers. They were not. They were "former teammates and college friends". Not all of them were team members. Notably, it appears that none of the people interviewed for the story are black, though four of his former team members are.

Also notable is that the main source for the story maintained a connection with Allen after college in that they both played in the same intra-city football league. He probably knew him the best.

Posted by: Disputo on September 25, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

>Sounds to me like he's toast.

White,

Or Wheat bread.

(Hmmmm...White...me thinks. Sorry...Just had to do it.)

Posted by: James on September 25, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK
he's toast. Kevin Drum 3:27 PM
You do realize that it is the state of Virginia your talking about? Racism has never been a hindrance to being elected to office in the south.
the same dirty tricks for thirty years. AND they have the media on their side....American Hawk at 3:45 PM
I didn't know Lee At water and Karl Rove were Democrats and that FoxNews is a front for the Democratic Party Posted by: Mike on September 25, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I didn't know what "macaca" meant before all of this either.

That's fascinating. Really.

Posted by: obscure on September 25, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Kevin. This post goes quite well with this one.

Let's hear it for "real issues."

Posted by: rnc on September 25, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

My guess is that Allen did indeed do it. But I don't know any more about it than you guys.

Now THAT'S what I call reporting!

From Allen's website

Posted by: rnc on September 26, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

In a certain way, the Democrats could not have dreamed up a more perfect test for Mr. Allen and the conservative midterm electorate of Virginia. If this issue sticks, it means the election itself becomes a referendum on whether or not Virginians are still willing to elect a known racist to a national office.

I confess I didn't see it coming. Despite being some kind of legend, I thought Webb was just too liberal on social issues to win enough votes in the south and west, and conservative in ways just too eccentric to matter much (the Vietnam War only seems to matter for Democrats if you turned against it, not if you continue to think it was a good idea). This isn't a presidential or gubernatorial election year, which means that we probably shouldn't expect the DC suburbs to turn out the same way they did for Governor Warner.

But for the record the cracker in me thanks Mr. Webb for his preposterously romantacized book about the Scots-Irish. I may be only about 5-8% Lowland Scot but if the biologists are correct that a boy's intelligence is determined largely by the direct maternal ancestry, mine comes disproportionately from the people most commonly referred to as white trash in this country.

Posted by: Linus on September 26, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

Robert KKK Byrd D= West Virginia.....

Posted by: Ct Mom on September 26, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin -

If Allen lived in the south, or even close, in the period up to about 20 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is almost a GIVEN that he would have used the "N" word as a matter of course.

I grew up in and around St. Louis, which was then referred to as the northernmost southern city. The "N" word was so common that it was a real effort for most people there and points south to learn NOT to use that term. I, for one, thought it was the NORMAL word, as half of the people I knew pronounced it very close to the word "negro", from which it derives. For those who didn't live with it, be aware that it was not considered a slur most of the time. It was just the word that was used. That and "coloreds". We all learned to change our vocabulary at different rates, and it is rarely heard anymore. That is a good change.

If I grew up a racist (I am of mixed European and Hispanic heritage, so I was subject to some racism, too), I didn't know it at the time. It simply was the reality of the time, and what I grew up with.

If Allen was old enough to be in college in the mid-70s, he is in my age group, and he would have grown up with that culture, too. Any claim that he never used the word is an outright lie. Every jock, every redneck, most every person of every class used the word, even blacks of the time, and in many contexts - not all of which were negative. People of today can look back and be shocked, but if they are, they are foisting today's values on the past, which is fruitless and pointless.

Anyone who used the "N" word should treat it like being asked if they ever smoked grass. They should say, "Yes, I did, because I simply didn't realize how insensitive it was, and how wrong. When I realized it, I stopped using the term."

To deny it outright is patently dishonest.

We all did.

Allen included. He would simply not have fit in if he never used the term. That his associates who have come forward think he was racist means little. As I said, everyone changed at different rates, so those who changed earlier would have thought the slower ones were more racist than they were. In many cases that was certainly correct, but not in all. Allen MAY have been one of the slow ones. That he certainly used the word is part of history. That he stopped at some point (if true) is to his credit. That he lies about it by denying it is not.

The reality of pre-1980 Southern USA was that the word was commonly used, and that it faded out slowly over a couple of decades. It is not gone completely even now, but it is said in whispers when used nowadays. The users of it should be ashamed of themselves now, but in those days it was normal. They are times best left behind, at least in that regard.

Posted by: SteveGinIL on September 26, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

SteveGinIL explains it well.

The problem is not that Allen used the N-word; the problem is that he now denies using the N-word, which demonstrates that he is an unreconstructed racist, as opposed to the example that all the wingnuts like to proffer, that of Byrd, who admitted his past stupidity, repented for it, and moved on.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

...as opposed to the example that all the wingnuts like to proffer, that of Byrd, who admitted his past stupidity, repented for it, and moved on.

Byrd's most recent use of the word was in 2001, and, as all powerful Democrats are, he was forgiven instantly by liberals for doing something a Republican would have been skinned alive for.

"Move on" is what Democrats say when they don't want moral judgment applied to one of their own.

Posted by: virginiaslim on September 26, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers - Geogre Allen is a manly man's man Southern man. He is not gay. He only went both ways when he was in college and that was just experimentin'.

Posted by: Lynrd Skynrd on September 26, 2006 at 3:48 AM | PERMALINK

I prefer my Democrats be racist. I don't vote for them multi-cultral Dems from the cities who act all superior by having black friends

Posted by: virginiaslim on September 26, 2006 at 3:50 AM | PERMALINK

I am one who still thinks the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq were good ideas. Could they have been implemented better? Sure. Absolutely.

I have learned from these historical mis-cues. If ever it becomes necessary again for America to invade a nation because, for instance, the slightest possibility exists that said nation has sponsored, harbored, or simply failed to prevent a WMD strike against the USA it knew was in the works, and we subsequently invade that nation, then I know what to do.

Knowledge always has such a whopper of price tag. If I could get a do-over on the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Period I think I could prevent much of the racism that so harmfully was generated.

Posted by: Mike Cook on September 26, 2006 at 6:18 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: amr铃声 on September 26, 2006 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

"If I could get a do-over on the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Period I think I could prevent much of the racism that so harmfully was generated."

Now that Pluto's been sent down to the minors, could you create a replacement?

Thanking you in advance.

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

I think Allen's racism was most on display in his irate denunciation of his Jewish heritage.

Contrast and compare to Madeline Albright's reaction on learning she was Jewish.

Turns out Allen's maternal grandparents were BOTH Jewish (not just his grandfather) so, qed, he's Jewish, too. He may not acknowledge it (and who would not if they weren't a racist?) but he's Jewish enough that he would have be gassed in Nazi Germany.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 26, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Sixteen of nineteen of Allen's teammates denied he said "nigger" or was a racist."

Now this is just proof of nothing.

It just means (if they're being truthful) that he never said it in their presence.

No proof at all that he didn't say it when they were NOT THERE.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 26, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the big to do about the GOP apologizing for using racism as a vote getter in the past. With the macaca episode and the "blacks don't swim" episode, can we just agree that was a load of bs?

Posted by: Barb on September 26, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Here's something I don't get. My wife and I both attended the U of Virginia for 4 years just before Allen did. The going thing at UVa in those days wasn't to be a "redneck," but a "gentleman."

Men wore jackets and ties to class.

Even the football jocks, of whom I knew quite a few, didn't go around dropping the N-word. Not even Yankees. It was a culturally conservative place, yes, but overt bigotry was seen as tasteless, if nothing else.

If Allen acted as described, he'd have been seen as a legendary campus asshole, and people would definitely remember.

UVa makes a mark on people. Alumni stay pretty connected to the school, and to each other. They pretty much run Virginia. The odd thing, assuming these tales are true, is that it's all taken so long to come out.

Posted by: jethro on September 26, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ah fuckt me a pig, then mah deah mammy made me a ham sammich outen him.

Posted by: George Felix Allen Jr. on September 27, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, if anyone has some spare cash to pitch in, help the Webb campaign a bit. As toasty as Allen may appear to you now, the VA philistines are so pig-headed that they still need beating down.

Posted by: Neil' on September 27, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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