Friday, April 28, 2006

George Allen: Even Dumber Than George Bush

Digby: Portrait of The Racist As A Young Man

Ezra points to this fascinating profile of George Allen in the New Republic by Ryan Lizza. You really have to read it to believe it.

I know little about Allen except that he sounds even dumber than George W. Bush every time I see him speak on television. Yesterday he was blathering on about something and I was struck by how his rosy cheeks and strange purplish hair made him look a little like Reagan. So he has Reagan's looks and Bush's brains. Oh Jesus.

What I didn't know was that he was a racist, sadistic prick. I now understand why he is such a Republican favorite. I had heard that he kept a confederate flag around and that he had a cute little "noose" hanging from a ficus tree. I didn't know that he had been a neoconfederate since he went to Palos Verdes High, right here in LA. (He didn't live in the south until he was a sophomore in college.)


In high school, Allen's "Hee Haw" persona made him a polarizing figure. "He rode a little red Mustang around with a Confederate flag plate on the front," says Patrick Campbell, an old classmate, who now works for the Public Works Department in Manhattan Beach, California. "I mean, it was absurd-looking in our neighborhood." Hurt Germany, who now lives in Paso Robles, California, explodes with anger at the mention of Allen's name. "The guy is horrible," she complains. "He drove around with a Confederate flag on his Mustang. I can't believe he's going to run for president." Another classmate, who asks that I not use her name, also remembers Allen's obsession with Dixie: "My impression is that he was a rebel. He plastered the school with Confederate flags."


...when his father was on the road, young George often acted as a surrogate dad to his siblings. According to his sister Jennifer, he was particularly strict about bedtimes. One night, his brother Bruce stayed up past his bedtime. George threw him through a sliding glass door. For the same offense, on a different occasion, George tackled his brother Gregory and broke his collarbone. When Jennifer broke her bedtime curfew, George dragged her upstairs by her hair.

George tormented Jennifer enough that, when she grew up, she wrote a memoir of what it was like living in the Allen family. In one sense, the book, Fifth Quarter, from which these details are culled, is unprecedented. No modern presidential candidate has ever had such a harsh and personal account of his life delivered to the public by a close family member. The book paints Allen as a cartoonishly sadistic older brother who holds Jennifer by her feet over Niagara Falls on a family trip (instilling in her a lifelong fear of heights) and slams a pool cue into her new boyfriend's head. "George hoped someday to become a dentist," she writes. "George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession--getting paid to make people suffer."

The New Republic article also reveals that Allen is wearing a confederate flag pin in his high school portrait (above): Dilatory Action: George Allen in High School

More on George Allen's racist past: Brendan Nyhan: George Allen's ugly history on racial issues

His incredible dumbness: Harvard Crimson: Bernanke Becomes Federal Reserve Chair

The New York Times reported that Sen. George Allen, R-Va., when asked for his opinion on Bernanke’s nomination, responded, “For what?” Informed that Bernanke had been nominated for the Fed chairmanship, Allen admitted that he had “paid no attention” to the hearings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As usual this article is a collection of hearsay and personal opinions of the writer. For starters how many kids drove around with the confederate flag on their cars. Having a Confederate flag is not a sign of a recist. If it was a Swaztica that is a different story. Non of the socalled personal statement indicatated that he was a racist. I am sure if you go back into anybody history you will find people that dislike them. So to base one opinion of something someone said or something somone supposedly did is not only petty but childish. As for holding his sister by the heals over Nigara falls, it is obvious you have never been there. It is not possible.