Saturday, April 29


Another really creepy Rethuglican.

So much for "authenticity." Here is a portrait of a chateau-raised, Copenhagen-dipping racist who was suspended from his California high school for writing graffiti aimed at inflaming racial tensions, who had no Southern heritage yet sported a Confederate flag pin in his high school yearbook picture and drove a Mustang with a Confederate flag decal -- and who just might be the next Republican presidential nominee.

A glowing National Review cover story, to take one recent example, trumpeted Allen's preternatural fluency in the sports metaphor-laden language of American masculinity. This gift for communicating in the vernacular of John Madden doesn't just distinguish him; it makes him the ideal vehicle for a particular brand of Republican campaign strategy.
There is a graveyard of old Allen personas--unpresidential personas, downright ugly ones--that could threaten his political ascendance. Even his authentic self--or, rather, the man described by his own family--might prove just as great a liability. His identity crisis has created the most intriguing duel of 2008: Before he runs for president, George Allen has to run against himself.
But, while Allen may have genuflected in the direction of Gingrich, he also showed a touch of Strom Thurmond. Campaigning for governor in 1993, he admitted to prominently displaying a Confederate flag in his living room. He said it was part of a flag collection--and had been removed at the start of his gubernatorial bid. When it was learned that he kept a noose hanging on a ficus tree in his law office, he said it was part of a Western memorabilia collection.
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.
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."



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