Talking Points Memo reported Tuesday that Virginia Governor George Allen's homepage featured a photo gallery from the embattled governor's "Ethnic Rally".
The grip 'n grin with African-Americans and Vietnamese supporters or various minorities willing to take a picture with a bigoted, tall white guy is too funny to be real. But, remember, Allen is running for re-election in Virginia and this sort of stuff works in the South.
Allen's problem is that he's caught in the middle of a statewide election with blatant overtones for a future presidential run. The fact that the guy likes to flag the Confederate flag or calls Indian men "macacas" isn't really relevant to Virginians, who would mostly call such people far more vulgar names.
Americans will forget the macaca slur because, frankly, nobody knows what it actually means. It's one of exotic sounding words that just sounds bad. My dad use to call us macacas when we were young. I thought it was a playful moniker akin to calling a bunch of rambunctous kids little monkeys.
What they should not forget if Allen wins re-election and cashes the victory into a run for the Republican nomination is that the man stands strongly against the equality of blacks and minorities as a whole. If he can muster the will to win over the religious right of the GOP, Allen will become the standard-bearer for the legacy of George W. Bush. There is simply no other possible candidate capable of being downright racist in front of the ultra right wing while being able to seem palatable to the rest of the political spectrum.
If and when the Confederate flag debate is again discussed, it should be strongly noted that the flag not only represents the most reprehensible period in our history, but is also the same flag that flew over a rogue Southern government during the Civil War. Is this the cultural divide Allen will exploit in the next two years. You betcha, good buddy!