Thursday, August 24, 2006

Monkeys on my back

It has been widely reported that yesterday Sen. George Allen apologized over the telephone to S.R. Sidarth, the Jim Webb volunteer tracker who videotaped the senator, on Aug. 11, calling him “Macaca,” and welcoming him to Virginia, etc.The Washington Post's editorial page apparently doesn’t think much of George Allen’s most recent apology:

“...The senator’s gesture was apt, but it hardly seemed sincere. Even as he apologized, his campaign continued its two-faced strategy of simultaneously scoffing at the entire incident as what Dick Wadhams, Mr. Allen's campaign manager, has said is a contrivance. To Mr. Wadhams, politics means never having to say you’re sorry.

“Mr. Wadhams, an itinerant political hit man known for his nasty attacks on opponents, told Republican leaders in a memo sent over the weekend that the Webb campaign and the media had ganged up ‘to create national news over something that did not warrant coverage in the first place.’”

It does seem the Allen camp has struggled way too long, talking all the while out of both sides of its mouth, to put this episode aside. Yet, "Macaca" remains sticking to Allen like flypaper.

As a media expert, Wadhams has looked more like a rube than a guy who really knows how to play the game. He’s actually done almost as much as his boss -- a clumsy ex-jock who got caught slurring his faux good-ol'-boy party attitude -- to keep this story at the top of the news. Which has kept the Allen campaign in total damage-control mode.

As long as Wadhams, the high-priced spin doctor, casts Allen as the victim in this scenario the feeding frenzy isn’t going to stop. He doesn’t seem to know another way to play it.

Or, perhaps, the Republican overall template for strategy doesn’t allow for a 2006 candidate to simply admit he’s wrong about anything. We’ve seen that bull-headed tactic from President George Bush, now we may be seeing the same rigid pose with Allen, the wannabe Bush.

It's still August and the once thought to be unbeatable Allen campaign is busy eating itself alive. This is truly amazing.
‘toon by F.T. Rea; © 2006


Eoghann said...

The horse is still dead.

F.T. Rea said...


You wish...

Mosquito said...

An excellent piece. You do a great blog...I visit regularly.


Insider said...

if the word is so offensive, why is everyone using it?

F.T. Rea said...


Context is everything. Saying the word is one thing, directing it at someone in a certain context is another.

Now the word, "macaca," is being repeated because is has become part of the popular culture. It’s potential for jokes has not run its course, yet. Too late to stuff it back into its pre-gaffe obscurity.