Don’t Mess With Mama

There is, it is true, something creepily anti-Semitic (given the history of what anti-Semitism sounds like) about asking a candidate, in a televised debate, the following:

It has been reported, your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?

I mean, wouldn’t you expect the next question to be a request for his papers?
For all of that, though, it seems to me that the larger lesson of this flap about the question and George Allen’s response, when combined with earlier questions about whether Allen had learned the word “macaca” from his mother, is that you don’t mess with a man’s mother, ever. I’m guessing that voters in Virginia who watched that debate understood that without having to have the newspapers explain what it all means.

10 thoughts on “Don’t Mess With Mama”

  1. Are there no substantive issues to debate that this is what the Webb-Allen race has come down to? I’m on the Maryland side of DC, so I am going to have to deal with not one, but two ridiculous Senate campaigns (not to mention all the other MD races, including one for Comptroller where for some reason the Dem candidate thinks his pro-choice bona fides are somehow relevant).
    I’d say wake me in November, but I don’t want to miss the Mets winning the Series.

  2. Allen may very well win, but does anyone else find it troubling that he was so embarrassed by the revelation of his Jewish ancestry? Barry Goldwater handled it better, and that was in 1964 when anti-Semitism was a far greater force in American politics than it is now.
    Anyway, I wouldn’t count on Allen being there in 2008. He’s doing a terrible job in this campaign and if I were a Republican strategist, or even a Republican, I’d look elsewhere in the Presidential election.

  3. I expect Allen to win – Webb is poorly funded and has not run a very professional campaign – but I’m definitely not alone among conservatives who entered 2006 thinking that Allen looked good on paper but was questionable how he would play on the trail and who now are convinced that he’s not presidential material. I’m looking elsewhere.

  4. Crank – I am open to another candidate, but I don’t see another COnservative out there. Rudy, and Mitt are both way to liberal for me and I wouldn’t vote for McCain for dog ctcher. That leaves Newt and I am not sure I am ready to get on that train.

  5. I’m in the same camp as Crank. I was leaning towards Allen, but he has not impressed me. Maddirishman has a point, though I’m definitely more favorable to Newt than he is. Romney’s pretty conservative on most issues, and he’s certainly to the right of McCain and Rudy. But the field does look weak right now.

  6. What we can hope is that Allen learns from being on the national stage in this race and is able to translate that into a solid push.
    I think Newt is to far removed from the House to be considered on first glance as a credible candidate by the masses.
    I firmly believe the Allen or Jeb are the best hopes for Conservatives and Jeb still says he isn’t running.

  7. Terry Schiavo proved just what Jeb is made of. Hard right conservatives are as reactionary as hard left liberals. John Danforth is correct. His party was hijacked. Someone like McCain, or someone like Bill Clinton, or Bill and GHW Bush should start a new party, call it the Madison Party, and bring that middle 60% of the country into the mainstream of politics.

  8. Daryl,
    What would be the mainstream unifying positions that your “middle 60%” would coalesce around? My guess is my definition of mainstream is considerably different from yours. I won’t attempt to debate the size of that middle whether it is 30% or it is 60% is unimportant. What matters is why are they in the middle. For most it’s probably because they agree with one party on some issues and the other major party on other issues. Problem is they don’t all come down on the same side of those issues. The rest of the middle is made up of people who just don’t follow politics like those of us who read this junk on the internet.

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