The furor over the labor-sponsored super PAC ad that does its level best to portray George Allen as a racist is not a one-off event. It’s actually part of an effort that began on Tuesday, when the WaPo’s Laura Vozzella published this piece in the paper.
Here, Vozzella reports how offensive images posted some months ago on the Mecklenberg county GOP’s Facebook page were suddenly discovered. Well, not suddenly. Their discovery happened to coincide with an Allen campaign swing through Southside, and the existence of the photos was brought to the Post’s attention by the good folks at ProgressVA. The group is given some time to vent its spleen in Vozzella’s piece:
Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA, called the images racist. “I think the images are obviously offensive and seek to portray our president, and black men more broadly, as, quote unquote, savages,” she said. “I think it both perpetuates this totally debunked idea that Obama wasn’t really born here, that he’s not really an American.”
But that still doesn’t make the link to Allen. We have to read a few more paragraphs for that:
Scholl criticized Allen for associating with members of the group, seeking to connect the images to the “macaca” gaffe that was partly to blame for his Senate reelection defeat six years ago. Allen had lobbed the word, a racial slur in some cultures, at a campaign aide to his opponent. He has since apologized.
“For a candidate with his history of racial insensitivity not to be vetting the folks who are hosting campaign events, and making sure he’s not implicitly endorsing over-the-top racist statements about the president, is pretty incredible,” Scholl said.
The link — no matter how tenuous — has been made.
Now let’s unpack all this shall we?
George Allen attended a business roundtable event in Mecklenburg County. Several months before the event was even on his schedule (or for that matter, before Allen was the GOP nominee), a local GOP committee member posted some offensive pictures to Facebook.
Why would the Post decide this was Big News?
According to a source with knowledge of the paper’s decision-making process, “It was standard procedure. A liberal group came in with something damaging to Republicans, and [the editors] signed off on it.”
The source went further: “Groups like Progress [VA] know they can come in with something that will confirm every bad stereotype [the editors] ever had about Virginia, and it’ll wind up on the Metro page.”
For those who followed the WaPo’s coverage of the 2006 Senate race between Allen and Jim Webb, it’s like old times.
Still, it does make one wonder why ProgressVA felt compelled to say all this shows George Allen is a racist. After all, several polls, including that of the Washington Post, show Tim Kaine is pulling away from George Allen. If that’s true, why the need to put this out?
Because buried inside those numbers is a problem for Tim Kaine: he trails Mr. Obama among non-white voters.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows Allen and Kaine tied at 46 with 8 percent undecided. But Kaine is underperforming among non-white voters in the poll. President Obama has the support of 77 percent of non-white voters. Mr. Kaine clocks in with 67 percent of non-white voter support. Among white voters, the two Democrats have nearly identical support: Kaine has 38 percent compared to Obama’s 39 percent.
Should the President eke out a narrow win in Virginia, the fall off in support from minority voters for Mr. Kaine would likely send George Allen back to the Senate.
That’s why liberal groups have decided to trot out the racist water cannon. Drive-up Allen’s unfavorables among minorities, and drive them toward Tim Kaine.
This is all coordinated, folks. The WaPo was merely (though willingly) playing the role of useful idiot.
It also shows that Kaine’s admission of being open to slapping an income tax on everyone has shaken his campaign. He has to change the subject. Or in this case, he has to rely on his surrogates to throw as much mud as they can at Allen in hopes that we’ll forget about his tax gaffe in Fairfax.