The political situation is already so nutty that my mind reels, and it's hardly just begun.
Last Friday, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) called a young man in the audience on his "listening tour" a "macaca" -a racial slur meaning monkey, in case that wasn't obvious. He followed up with "welcome to America". Edifying. Irony being the force it is, the 20-year-old audience member was, of course, born and raised in Virginia. He's of Indian descent, so his skin color is different from Mr. Allen's -thus "justifying" the assumption that the young man must be an immigrant. As though, even had he been right and the man was a recent immigrant, that was reason to call someone a monkey.
A few days later the Allen campaign did offer a back-handed apology. Nonetheless, in a reasonable world, Senator Allen would be an embarrassment to the Republican Party and the country. This is the man who displayed a noose in his law offices, displays the Confederate flag at his home, and opposed the creation of a holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Yeah, he's a prize. But he's running with the support of the Republican Party, and he's ahead in the polls.
I freely and a little proudly admit that my pull with the Republican Party is non-existent. However, there is a concerted effort to keep this faux pas front and center. Among other things it has given a struggling (and admittedly a little unimpressive) Democrat a chance in an important Senate race. Mr. Allen is free to be a bigot and free to talk about it, but it seems sad to me that bigotry is selling as a platform of a candidate for the United States Senate. That we can work to change. Color of Change is sponsoring a petition drive asking the Republican Party to withdraw support from Sen. Allen. In a reasonable world, they wouldn't want to be associated with this sort of behavior. We'll see. Follow the link above if you want to sign the petition.