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Friday, September 29, 2006

VA-Sen: Say Hello to Spitgate

Posted by James L.

First it was Macacagate. Then it was Deerheadgate, and, uh, Rugbygate. The slow drip of questions surrounding George Allen's racist past have turned into an all-out deluge this week with witness after witness stepping out of the woodwork and revealing more incidents of Allen's legacy of racism.

But forget about all that stuff for a moment. Lost in the shuffle of these explosive revelations is another one of Allen's nasty habits that speaks volumes to his character: George Allen likes to spit on women's feet. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but bear with me and say hello to Spitgate.

First, check out this Dailykos diary posted by a former writer for a Southwest Virginia newspaper to set the mood (emphasis added):

Mr. Allen visited our town to announce a major contract for the local defense plant. I was there because my editor had sent me. [...]

Governor Allen rode up in a big recreational vehicle. He looked so tall as he came out of the house-on-wheels. He was wearing a nice suit and his hair was neatly combed. He smiled and worked his way into the platoon of defense workers, who seemed to be all men. I looked around and realized I was the only female standing on the pavement in the sunshine. How about that?

I listened to what the governor was saying. My editor had told me Mr. Allen would talk about jobs and how wonderful this new defense contract was. I listened carefully, but the governor did not say a word about jobs. Instead, he made a few jokes with the workers, then he pulled a small, flat can from his jacket pocket. He asked if anybody else "dipped." One of the workers said yes, he dipped, but not the same brand, and all the men laughed.

Mr. Allen used his fingers to pinch out a clump of the finely chopped tobacco; he mashed it into his mouth and grinned, licking his lips. His bottom lip pooched out where he had lodged the tobacco. The other men chuckled like they were having a grand time.

Then the governor walked toward a building with some men who were not part of the platoon of workers. These other men were clearly Important; they wore suits. One of the suits had already told me I was not allowed to go into the building because a defense plant has Secrets.

I followed along as the governor walked, waiting to hear him say something about jobs. The situation began to look as if I would have to return to the newspaper office without hearing him say anything about "our fine workers." I didn't understand; I had to ask a question.

I stepped near the governor and smiled, told him my name and that I wrote for the local newspaper. Then I asked him a softball question, what some reporters call a "set-up."

"Does Southwest Virginia need these jobs?" I asked.

He stopped and looked straight at me. He had to look down at me, because he stood so tall in those cowboy boots. I thought I spotted a twinkle in his eye, and for a moment, I suspected he might give a humorous, light-hearted answer. Then he leaned forward and looked all the way down at the pavement. I figured he was planning a perfectly crafted answer to my question. I put pen to paper, ready to take it down. His lips puckered as if he might speak.

Then, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia gathered up a glob of tobacco-laced saliva. He used his lips to squirt it out, as if he had practiced. The spit landed just at the tip of my shoe. He grinned, but didn't say a word. Then he walked into the building.

Rude, boorish, and completely disgusting, to be sure, but it's just a weird isolated story, right? Wrong. You don't have to dig deep to find numerous eerily similar stories on Allen's behavior around women when he's got a nasty gob of tobacco in his mouth. In fact, when I first read that diary, my mind was jarred as I recalled a story that Sarah Carter, the daughter of Nevada Senatorial candidate Jack Carter and granddaughter of President Jimmy Carter, shared in a July DailyKos comment:

My husband’s family lives in Virginia. Several years ago, his little sister went with a friend to a parade where George Allen was making an appearance, and her friend’s Mom got a chance to speak to Allen. While they were talking, he was chewing tobacco. He spit on the ground and a fleck of brown spittle landed on my sister-in-law’s shoe. She was horrified.

So now you know: George Allen spits on little girls.


Seeing a pattern emerge yet? No? Well, here's some more, courtesy of the New Republic's Ryan Lizza:

It's credible enthusiasm given that, this afternoon, Allen resembles a froufrou version of Toby Keith. He is wearing a blue button-down shirt and brown pants accented with a fat brass belt buckle that says virginia in stylized, countrified letters. And, of course, he's wearing the cowboy boots. They are black, broken in, and vaguely reptilian. From his back pocket, he removes a tin of Copenhagen--"the brand of choice for adult consumers who identify with its rugged, individual and uncompromising image," according to the company--and taps a fat wad of the tobacco between his lip and gum using an impressive one-handed maneuver. As the scrum breaks up, Allen turns away and spits a long brown streak of saliva into the dirt, just missing one of his constituents, a carefully put-together, blonde, ponytailed woman approaching the senator for an autograph. She stops in her tracks and stares with disgust at the bubbly tobacco juice that almost landed on her feet. Without missing a beat, Allen's communications director, John Reid, reassures her: "That's just authenticity!".

"Authenticity," John, or just another one of George Allen's disturbing personal habits? Or just another one of his ways of demeaning people?

No, I'm not done yet. There's yet another story of Allen's salivary dark arts, this time from the letters section of the Bristol Herald Courier. The original page seems to be scrubbed, but luckily Google's cache caught it for posterity:

I was not surprised by Sen. Allen’s crude remarks aimed at a Democratic campaign worker. Several years ago, while I was engaged in research at the Dickenson County courthouse, I heard that then-Gov. Allen was on his way to a groundbreaking for the new Red Onion prison. A friend and I drove up to the site, not realizing until we arrived that it was a Republican-only event.

Allen was escorted by a politician who, noting our presence, made some comment to him and pointed at us. We stood with a small semi-circle of onlookers waiting to shake Allen’s hand, but he deliberately skipped the two of us and continued shaking hands with others in the line.

He made a few remarks to the crowd and then stood with his back to us, turning once to aim a jet of tobacco spit directly at our feet. Although he had never met us before, he made us well aware of his sentiments. A small incident, yes, but very revealing of his attitude. He did not intend to treat Democrats with the slightest common courtesy.

So there you have it. Four separate stories of people stepping forward with George Allen's saliva on their shoes. The consensus is pretty clear: George Allen gets his kicks by spitting on or at people. Coincidentally, all of them have been women.

Posted at 01:03 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Virginia | Technorati

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Coincidentally - or not.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 02:53 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

IF YOU SPIT ON ME THERE WILL BE A WAR!!!!! that's the reason he spits on women. he is a bully.

Posted by: breid1903 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 09:24 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

that is great investigating, who ever found all this dirt. we can only hope the people of VA see how disguisting this man is, through his actions, his elections, his morals, and his record.

Posted by: tyler [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 10:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My wife was the recipient of Mr. Allen's disdainful spital at the Red Onion prison site on the Dickenson-Wise Co. line. George Allen doesn't wear a smirk on his face for no reason. He thinks that he is superior. It is revealing that the vulgar disrespect that my wife experienced has been experienced by other women.

Clearly, Allen uses the "good ole boy" image as a way to ingratiate himself with the old boys but also as a way to show contempt for women. Of course this wins him some points with those good old boys who also hold women in contempt, but most old boys don't think disrespect for women is cool.

Posted by: spitback [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 12:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Just to point out; Webb dips too.

I'm not saying he spits on people, but he dips. So, let's at least focus on George Allen's habits of spitting on people, not on his habit of dipping.

Posted by: Kyle Bishop [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 12:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, no one was maligning Allen for dipping (even if it is a nasty habit, I just don't care what he puts in his mouth). We were maligning him for being a slob and displaying a petty, disrespectful attitude towards women in each of these incidents.

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 12:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

All of the post-"macaca" comments haven't surprised me at all. Geo. Felix Allen spent most of his formative years in Palos Verdes, California, a swank community overlooking Beach Boys country, where I grew up. Palos Verdes and its neighbor communities were virtually all-white from the '50s well into the '70s (when I left for college). In fact, a local har-har comment that I heard frequently as a kid was, "Why do they--" "they" meaning the N-word "--need a suntan? Har har."

Posted by: MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 02:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

When will we hear that Allen once shot at the ground while demanding that someone dance for him?

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 02:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Just so you all know Webb and Allen are tied at 43 according to a new Mason Dixon poll. Here is the link... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15065908/

Posted by: UVA08 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2006 07:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Another story here is Red Onion State prison which Gov. Allen was opening. This prison became one of the most racists, abusive prisons in the country under his govt. Human Rights watch even wrote it up. Allen's actions go far beyond just being crude to human rights violations.

check out a soon to be released film about Allen's prisons http://www.uptheridge.org or read the Human Rights report. http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/redonion/

Posted by: Appalachia [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2006 10:29 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment