Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I fell for the Webb Campaign Spin Machine

Why is the webb campaign pushing this rediculous story about Allen "recoiling" from a question about his mother, or trying to hide his "jewishness"? I assumed it was more of their fixation on the jewishness of their opponents, or just a way to find SOMETHING in the debate they could say that would keep them from having to discuss their candidates ANSWERS.

But having watched the Wonkette video several times, I now know why -- it's because that video shows a powerful Allen standing up for a real principle, while Webb sat mutely. And because the news media was covering the story as an inappropriate question and a good answer.

Even Virginia Centrist started with that view, and in fact made serious posts (which I agreed with) that we shouldn't be blaming democrats for the reporter's question.

But then the Webb team got Dana Milbank on their side, and off they went, accusing Allen of hiding his mother's heritage -- when he in fact ANSWERED about his mother's heritage as it could actually APPLY in the real world. He made it clear it was none of the reporter's business, but he answered based on how HE understood his mother's heritage, likely based on his being her son and having lived with her for so many years.

Fox's question was inappropriate, and not just because it was asking about Allen's mother, but because the entire context of the question was derisive, and actually continued the implication that Allen's mother was a racist who taught him Macaca. (her first words were "Following the macaca incident". Oh, and those of us who are familiar with Lowell didn't miss the reference in Fox's question to Allen's middle name being "Felix".

And remember, so far as we know, Allen's mother is NOT jewish. The article cited was just speculating, and had no proof -- she apparently never claimed a jewish heritage, and her daughter's book doesn't mention it. There's nothing wrong with being a mormon, but if someone called me one I would deny it.

Allen's blog has the video up, so people can judge for themselves about this silly "recoil" comment. It doesn't appear as if they believe the hype about the video.

Anyway, having fallen for their tricks, I overreacted in my post below and in comments in NLS, because I'm really getting sick and tired of this race and religion-baiting. But that's what they want, us to get mad instead of focusing on the issues.

Because the LAST thing the Webb camp wants is for us to actually examine the ISSUES from this debate.

Update: The Washington Post has an actual NEWS story about the debate, in addition to the opinion piece by Dana Milbank that they published on page A2. This one is in the Metro section, here's the official news take on this silly story:

At times the candidates' responses got heated. One of the journalists who asked questions forced Allen to defend his mother, while Webb again was dogged by charges that he is insensitive to women in the military. The candidates also argued over how best to fight the war in Iraq and whether the United States should involve Iran in Iraq's future.
A panelist asked Allen, who says the word was made up, if he might have learned "macaca" from his mother, who is part French Tunisian. The panelist also asked whether his mother was Jewish.

"I hope you are not bringing my mother into this," Allen said.

In other words, Allen had to defend his mother against charges that she taught him racist words.

Read this article, it actually discusses the issues of the debate.


Anonymous said...

I had to edit the previous anonymous poster's comment, because he included the m-word.

Here is is in "cleaned-up" form:

Hmm, one minute Senator {m-word} believes that asking if he has any Jewish ancestors is "casting aspersions" on him, the next minute he's embracing his Jewish heritage:

So which one is it? I guess this is the kind conundrum that you get when you try to pander to the bigots in your electorate, but try to pretend you don't. Also indicative of the kind of doublespeak that passes for "straight talk" in the current GOP.

6:48 PM

Charles said...

A typical democrat, to uneducated to understand simple logic.

You wonder how he gets through the day, trying to figure out whether he should wear his left shoe, or his right shoe, because he couldn't wear BOTH of them now, could he?

The reporter was casting aspersions on his family, suggesting his mother was a racist jew, and wondering when their family "abandoned" their heritage.

It had nothing to do with being jewish. He was always proud of his family's heritage, and was not ashamed to find that his grandfather, who had fought bravely against, and was imprizoned by, the nazis in north africa in WW2, also was jewish.

He has no idea if his grandmother was jewish, and his mother never considered herself jewish.