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Howard Dean criticizes George Allen, himself
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, August 24, 2006

On yesterday's Hardball, Democratic Chairman Howard Dean insulted Senator George Allen, saying he doesn't "think [Allen] belongs in public service." The voters of Virginia have disagreed with Howard Dean every time George Allen has run for office, but Howard Dean has made a habit of telling voters who does and does not belong on their ballots.

But then, without apparent intentional irony, he went on to say....
MATTHEWS: In other words, you‘re saying [George Allen] doesn‘t belong in public service, because of why?

DEAN: Because he‘s always shooting from the hip. He never thinks through what he means, and he caters to the wrong instincts in people.
Yes, Howard "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for" Dean is criticizing Senator Allen for 'shooting from the hip'.

Yes, Howard "a lot of [Republicans] have never made an honest living in their lives" Dean is criticizing Senator Allen for not thinking "through what he means".

Yes, Howard "those white boys who run the Republican Party" Dean is criticizing Senator Allen for "using derogatory terms".

Yes, Howard "You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here" Dean is criticizing Senator Allen for allegedly insulting "people of color".

Yes, Howard "It's pretty much a white Christian party" Dean is criticizing Senator Allen for being racially insensitive.

And finally, Howard "I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks" is criticizing Senator Allen for displaying a confederate flag on his truck about 35 years ago...even as Dean touts a Democratic candidate, James Webb, who in 1990 praised "the bravery of Confederate soldiers" — that speech is still posted on Webb's website — in a speech given "to honor [the Confederate] army". Webb even argued that "there truly were different perceptions in the North and South about those reasons [for the Civil War], and that most Southern soldiers viewed the driving issue to be sovereignty rather than slavery." [update: Let me be clear. While the argument has some merit, it would get any Republican politician making it would be branded a Neo-Confederate]

Rhetorical excesses like those are to be expected, I suppose, from the Chairman of the Annoying Wing of the Democratic Party.
 
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What a macaca.

If I didn’t know any better, Jon, I would think you were on Allen’s campaign staff.

Tell you what, when Dean puts a noose up in his office and starts using derogatory terms to refer to people of color, telling them "welcome to America," even though they were born here, get back to us. You might have a point. Until then, your latest attempt at morally equating others to Allen is more than weak.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
What is even more delicious is that if I close my eyes...I can see Howard prefectly describing himself. Boy you really can’t make this stuff up, eh?
 
Written By: Unscripted Thoughts
URL: http://
Jon, outstandingly done. Poor Howard should never have been put in charge of the DNC.

And mkultra, come on, as DNC chair, Dean has shown all the political savvy of Pat Robertson.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
me thinks he doth protest to much...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
I’ve often wondered which of his Confederate ancestors Allen was honoring by hanging the Confederate flag: the ones from Michigan perhaps, or Ohio, California, or maybe even Italy or France? I am a southernor with ancestors who fought in the war and I wouldn’t even THINK of hanging that flag, knowing what kind of a symbol it has become to so many other people. George Allen obviously has no such concerns, even though he represents a large African American population. I think that should very plainly demonstrate EXACTLY WHAT HIS TRUE VIEWS ARE ON RACE. He is an embarrassment to my state and to the US senate. Believe me, he used to represent my district as a congressman; he has adopted the worst attitudes of the ’good old boys’ in every way possible.
 
Written By: tigermom
URL: http://
Tell you what, when Dean puts a noose up in his office and starts using derogatory terms to refer to people of color, telling them "welcome to America," even though they were born here, get back to us.
I see more people of color on my morning trainride than Dean:

1) Saw in his state during his tenure as Gov
2) In his capacity as Dem Chair. Dems are all white at the top...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
When then-Majority-Leader Trent Lott got in trouble over some could-be-interpreted-as-racist remarks, many of us had nothing good to say about the man, because he’s a political hack.

Just once, wouldn’t it be great for us to criticize a leading Democrat, and have mk go "You know, you folks have a point. That guy is a jacka$$."
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Just once, wouldn’t it be great for us to criticize a leading Democrat, and have mk go "You know, you folks have a point. That guy is a jacka$$."
Again, show me a leading Democratic candidate for President of the United States of America with a record on issues related to race that is comparable to Allen’s and I will call him or her a j*ck*ss. Show me one who has basically called a person of color a monkey at a campaign rally and then laughed about it. Show me one who was born and raised in California and only later in life adopted the Confederate flag as part of his "heritage." And show me one that had a noose - you know, the symbol of lynchings - hanging in his office.

Oh wait - you can’t.

Look, I’m all for Allen being the GOP nominee for Prez. I want him to be the nominee. Please nominate him. Please. I really do believe that he represents the mainstream of the Republican party. So please nominate him.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
It seems to me that playing gotcha with Dean at this point in his career is a little unfair. He’s the DNC chair. That’s a very different job than presidential candidate. Like his RNC counterpart, he’s supposed to get out there and repeat the talking points of the day. He’s supposed to be a partisan robot. No one ever thinks it’s odd when Ken Mehlman, doing his best impression of Baghdad Bob, spends an entire interview repeating ludicrous talking points about how everything is great in Iraq or the New York Times is committing treason, etc. But because Dean was such a big name before he took the job, his words are subjected to much greater scrutiny than Mehlman’s. Perhaps Dean is a poor choice for the job for just that reason, but it still seems a little unbalanced.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
mk, you’re missing the point as usual. There are lots of ways to be a jacka$$, and I’m not defending Allen. But if you think Howard Dean doesn’t deserve the criticism Jon laid on him, you’re living out in partisan la-la land.

Just to take a single quote that Jon noted, Dean is famous for saying "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for." Now to me, that’s a jacka$$ speaking. I’d feel the same way if Karl Rove or Ken Mehlman said "I hate Democrats and everything they stand for."

But you apparently feel differently. (If you don’t, feel free to chime in here now.)

If you don’t think what Dean said was stupid or over-the-top, well then, speaking of jackas$$es....
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Anonynous Liberal wrote:
Ken Mehlman, doing his best impression of Baghdad Bob, spends an entire interview repeating ludicrous talking points about how everything is great in Iraq or the New York Times is committing treason
So who thinks things

in Iraq aren’t better

than the NYT says they are?

So what is a newspaper doing if they are lying in time of war about how well things are going?

Ken Mehlman’s just stating the truth, as far as your example goes.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Ken Mehlman’s just stating the truth, as far as your example goes.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. What’s your point? Mehlman is not trying to state the truth; he is trying to state a partisan talking point. Occassionally that talking point will happen to be true, but much of the time it won’t be. The point is that Dean and Mehlman are not supposed to be straight-talkers. They are spinners. That’s their job as heads of the RNC and DNC. I don’t think Dean’s rhetoric is any more notable than Mehlman’s (or Ed Gillespie or Terry McCauliffe before them). Being aggressively partisan is in their job description.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
MK, you miss the point. Jon said nothing good about Allen in this post. He merely pointed out that Dean practices exactly exactly that for which he is criticizing Allen. It’s pretty hard to take seriously – kinda like your berating Jon for this post, or thinking that it is inappropriate to compare Dean and Allen for shooting from the hip if they haven’t made the exact same asinine comments. Seriously… Dean can say whatever he likes about Allen, so long as he doesn’t say “welcome to America” to a native American? What the hell kind of standard is that?

I have complaints about Allen. They are more substantive than his office décor or wardrobe accessories. You?
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
mk, you’re missing the point as usual. There are lots of ways to be a jacka$$, and I’m not defending Allen. But if you think Howard Dean doesn’t deserve the criticism Jon laid on him, you’re living out in partisan la-la land.

Just to take a single quote that Jon noted, Dean is famous for saying "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for." Now to me, that’s a jacka$$ speaking. I’d feel the same way if Karl Rove or Ken Mehlman said "I hate Democrats and everything they stand for."
No, Billy, you are missing the point. The point is very simple: Allen has said things and done things that suggest he is a racist. Dean has not. Let me repeat: Allen has said things and done things that suggest he is a racist. Dean has not.

If Dean says the GOP is an all white party, does that make him a racist? No. Why? Because even if it is not true, it does not suggest that Dean believes the white "race" is inferior to other races. Or if he says he hates Republicans, that does not make him a racist either.

Jon’s criticisms do not even deserve comment because one could make the same criticism about every single politician out there. Every single one criticizes his opponent for things he has done himself. Every single one. It’s hardly a brilliant or even notable observation.

Indeed, here is what Bush said on Monday in response to a question about Dems who propose to pull out of Iraq:
"I would never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees with me. This has nothing to do with patriotism. It has everything to do with understanding the world in which we live."
Now, Bush is the last person in the world who should be criticizing others about not understanding the world we live in. And yet it’s funny, I didn’t see Jon make a peep about it.

But here, Jon makes the observation not to be obvious, but to mitigate Allen’s race problem, when in fact the difference between what Allen has said and done and what Dean has said in done in no way does that. It’s the difference between night and day. And my point is to call Jon on it. To show that Jon is trying to muddy the waters when in fact the problem is very clear.

Look, if you think Dean is a racist, and that because he is, it is no problem that Allen is too. But Jon has done nothing to show Dean is a racist; and Allen has said and done much to suggest he is. That is the point, Billy.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
MATTHEWS: In other words, you’re saying [George Allen] doesn’t belong in public service, because of why?

DEAN: Because he’s always shooting from the hip. He never thinks through what he means, and he caters to the wrong instincts in people.
Actually...
Jon was pointing out how Dean sounds making this kind of statement when he (as Jon notes in numerous examples) Dean is constantly shooting from the hip.

And speaking of racist statements -
"You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room?,” Dean asked to laughter. “Only if they had the hotel staff in here"
Hmmmmmmm.....what did Dean mean by "Only if they had the hotel staff in here"
MK?
Help me out here and splain.

I think John is simply saying:
Kettle, meet Pot.






 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
If I didn’t know any better, Jon, I would think you were on Allen’s campaign staff.
You don’t know any better, but I am not on Allen’s campaign staff. I am, however, a Virginian, so this is backyard stuff for me.
Tell you what, when Dean puts a noose up in his office and starts using derogatory terms to refer to people of color, telling them "welcome to America," even though they were born here, get back to us.
My father once showed me how to tie a noose when I was young. Was that racist? Also, what racial connotations do nooses have in the Old West? The comment to Mr Sidarth was ill-conceived — an incredibly easy thing to do in spontaneous verbal sparring — but calling it ’racist’ was a real stretch. The "welcome to America and the real world of Virginia" was very, very clearly addressed to the Webb camp and in contrast to the ’inside the beltway’ and ’Hollywood’ areas to which he’d been referring. It was not a reference to foreigners, but to DC insiders and Elites vs ’regular people’.

Much like the media did with Gore in 2000 and Dean in ’04, they are building a narrative around George Allen based on the flimsiest of anecdotes, mischaracterizations and assumptions. And narrative trumps facts.
Poor Howard should never have been put in charge of the DNC.
I’m not yet sure that’s true. It may well be that an agitator is what the Democratic Party needs. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I’m withholding judgement for now.
I’ve often wondered which of his Confederate ancestors Allen was honoring by hanging the Confederate flag:
He had a flag collection. And he was in Virginia. Is it your position that flag collectors must have ancestors to represent each of their flags? Or that a Virginian must have a Confederate ancestor to own a Confederate flag?

I’d also note that the confederate flag seems to have an incredibly different symbolism among different people. Don’t assume that the confederate flag means to other people what it means to you.
When then-Majority-Leader Trent Lott got in trouble over some could-be-interpreted-as-racist remarks, many of us had nothing good to say about the man, because he’s a political hack.
I wasn’t blogging at the time, but I recall being underwhelmed by that ’scandal’. Lest I be accused of being a partisan apparatchik, though, I should also note that I was underwhelmed by the Hillary and Biden racial references, by Durbin’s "gitmo/nazi" comment, and many more.
It seems to me that playing gotcha with Dean at this point in his career is a little unfair. He’s the DNC chair. That’s a very different job than presidential candidate. Like his RNC counterpart, he’s supposed to get out there and repeat the talking points of the day. He’s supposed to be a partisan robot.
I agree that the role of a Party Chairman — and, frankly, of the Senate/House Minority/Majority leaders — is to be a partisan tool, with all the charming hyperbole that comes with that. Not sure it’s necessarily a bad idea to point it out when they’re being ridiculous tools, though.
Look, if you think Dean is a racist, and that because he is, it is no problem that Allen is too. But Jon has done nothing to show Dean is a racist; and Allen has said and done much to suggest he is. That is the point, Billy.
No, you’ve made inferences about Allen. And you’re using those inferences to build a narrative. That’s an effective media strategy, I’m sure, but it’s unfortunate for political discourse.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
If Dean says the GOP is an all white party, does that make him a racist? No. Why? Because even if it is not true, it does not suggest that Dean believes the white "race" is inferior to other races. Or if he says he hates Republicans, that does not make him a racist either.

Nope, it doesn’t. It makes him a race baiter.

"You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room?,” Dean asked to laughter. “Only if they had the hotel staff in here"

Again, excellent race baiting! He’s learned well! And talk about stereotypes!
Whoa.

Look, when I hear Allen and Dean both say "I am superior to all other races because I am White", I’ll believe they’re both racists.
Othewise there just stupid statements.

 
Written By: autot
URL: http://
Hmmmmmmm.....what did Dean mean by "Only if they had the hotel staff in here"
MK?
Help me out here and splain.

I think John is simply saying:
Kettle, meet Pot.
The kind of jobs to which Dean was referring are low paying jobs. It’s a fact in our country that minorities tend to hold those jobs in numbers disproportionate to their representation in the country as a whole. Is that a racist thing to say? Hardly. And by the way, do you know what the hotel workers at that hotel look like?

Stated another way, he didn’t call them monkeys.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
No, Billy, you are missing the point. The point is very simple: Allen has said things and done things that suggest he is a racist. Dean has not. Let me repeat: Allen has said things and done things that suggest he is a racist. Dean has not.

Just because you’ve got a one-track mind doesn’t mean the rest of us do. So let me repeat:

1. I am not defending Allen.

2. Dean is a jacka$$. There are plenty of ways to be a jacka$$ without being a racist.

Now, I’ve said all of this above. But you’ve seized on your narrative, and you’re obviously not letting go. You’re putting words in my mouth to avoid any conceivable admission that I might have a point, and looking silly in the process.

That’s fine with me. As I’ve said previously, I treasure your contribution to this forum, because you do such a good job of exposing the left as being incapable of serious argument or discussion. I hope you never leave.

 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
My father once showed me how to tie a noose when I was young. Was that racist? Also, what racial connotations do nooses have in the Old West?
Yes, Allen tried to pass it off as part of a western motif. But he called it a lasso. (You two better get on the same page.)
Mr. Allen described those as parts of collections of flags and Western memorabilia. "I had all sort of Western stuff in my office," he said, characterizing what others called a noose as "more of a lasso." He said, "It has nothing to do with lynching."
But here is how the Richmond Times Dispatch characterized it:
Visitors to his old law office near downtown Charlottesville used to see a grim and graphic reminder of his view of criminals.

Dangling from a ficus tree in the corner was a noose, a reminder that the Republican politician saw some justification in frontier justice.
Most cowboys don’t leave their lassos dangling from trees. On their saddles, yes. But dangling from a tree?

Nice try Jon.
The comment to Mr Sidarth was ill-conceived — an incredibly easy thing to do in spontaneous verbal sparring — but calling it ’racist’ was a real stretch
Not a stretch at all. As we discussed last week.
The "welcome to America and the real world of Virginia" was very, very clearly addressed to the Webb camp and in contrast to the ’inside the beltway’ and ’Hollywood’ areas to which he’d been referring.It was not a reference to foreigners, but to DC insiders and Elites vs ’regular people’.
Taken in isolation, maybe. But not when viewed in the context of calling the person to whom it was directed a monkey, using a derogatory term of foreign (read non-US) origin.

And even better is your incomplete quote, Jon. Here is what you excerpted:
DEAN: Because he’s always shooting from the hip. He never thinks through what he means, and he caters to the wrong instincts in people.
And you said that Dean was criticizing Allen for he himself has done. Funny, then, that you left out the very next line.
DEAN: Because he‘s always shooting from the hip. He never thinks through what he means, and he caters to the wrong instincts in people. And I think using derogatory terms to people of color is certainly something that a public servant might not do.
So Dean said Allen used a derogatory term to refer to a person of color. So I ask you again, Jon, when has Dean done that? Because, according to you, Dean was criticizing Allen for something that Dean himself does.
Nope, it doesn’t. It makes him a race baiter.
You obviously don’t know what the term race baiting means. I suggest you look it up.
Race baiting is the act of using racially derisive language, actions or other forms of communication to anger or intimidate a person or groups of people, or to make those persons behave in ways that are inimical to their personal or group interests.


What word did Dean use that was racially derisive? (I assume - with hesitation - that you know what the word "derisive" means.) I’m still waiting for an answer.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mk, you’re missing the point as usual. There are lots of ways to be a jacka$$, and I’m not defending Allen. But if you think Howard Dean doesn’t deserve the criticism Jon laid on him, you’re living out in partisan la-la land.
I .. will ... say ... this ... slowly .. Billy. For you.

Jon said that Dean was accusing Allen of doing the same thing that Dean himself has done. As I have just shown, Dean criticized Allen for - and these are Dean’s words ...

"using derogatory terms to people of color is certainly something that a public servant might not do."

My point was that Jon was wrong. Dean has never, to my knowledge, used a derogatory term to refer to a person of color. That’s what Dean said Allen did. And Dean never did that. Never. And yet Jon essentially said he did. (Of course Jon had to engage in a little clever omitting to make his point.)

Has Dean said some things he wish he hadn’t? Of course. Who hasn’t. But Dean’s primary criticism is that someone who uses a racially derogatory term is not fit for high office. That was Dean’s point. And no, Dean has not done that.




 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
My point was that Jon was wrong.
I .. will ... say ... this ... slowly .. mk

Jon can defend himself. I made one simple point that you have tried and tried to evade and change the subject away from. So let me say it slowly, for you.

Howard ... Dean ... is ... a ... jacka$$.

That’s all I’m saying. Repeat. That’s ... all ... I’m ... saying.

So come on back one more time, and show the readers that you’re the best commenter that at missing the point that QandO has ever seen.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
The comment to Mr Sidarth was ill-conceived — an incredibly easy thing to do in spontaneous verbal sparring — but calling it ’racist’ was a real stretch.
Maybe calling racist is a bit of a stretch, but “an incredibly easy thing to do in spontaneous verbal sparring”!?!

Really!?!

And what, pray tell, was this “verbal sparring”? Addressing a silent man with a camera in the crowd!?
Was this “verbal sparring”?

And I don’t know about an, “easy thing to do”, either. You know, when I’m addressing someone of whom I don’t know their name, “Macaca” doesn’t jump to the front of my mind.

“Hey you… Macaca…”
Yeah, unlikely.

Maybe…, “hey you, buddy”
Or, “hey pal”
Or maybe even, “this guy.”

But “macaca”!?
Yeah, I’m not from Virginia, and maybe referring someone as “macaca” is an easy thing to do up there, but I’ve never heard of it.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
I love this splitting hairs stuff. It’s tons of fun!

What word did Dean use that was racially derisive?

You mean what "racially derisive LANGUAGE, ACTIONS or other FORMS OF COMMUNICATION to anger or intimidate a person or groups of people, or to make those persons behave in ways that are inimical to their personal or group interests" he used?

Now I have to come up with the exact "Word" he used? Forget about what Language, actions, or other forms of communication he used?

I’ll just ignore the comment about the meaning of the word "derisive".

Look, we’re not going to agree on this anyway, so I wish you the best.
But I stand by what I say. When I hear Allen and Dean say "I am superior to all other races because I am White", Then I’ll believe they’re both racists.

And I’m referring to both of them, not just Allen. Otherwise, just dumb statements by both.


 
Written By: autot
URL: http://
Again, show me a leading Democratic candidate for President of the United States of America with a record on issues related to race that is comparable to Allen’s and I will call him or her a j*ck*ss.
Sen. Clinton and her "Ghandi gas-station" remark.

Put up or shut up, hypocrite
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
MKUltra says: Jon’s criticisms do not even deserve comment...

And yet...
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
So come on back one more time, and show the readers that you’re the best commenter that at missing the point that QandO has ever seen.
What you often characterize as "missing the point" is nothing of the sort. What it is, in almost all cases, is in fact a refusal to accept a premise on which the purported point is based.

Such a refusal gets people like you mad, angry and upset. You want people to agree with Jon’s point, that Dean is, in your terminology, a j*ck*ss, because Dean is allegedly criticizing Allen for the very same things Dean himself has done. You want acknowledgement. You want validation. But you don’t get these things. And that upsets you.

I think Jon’s point is not a meaningful point at all. Jon’s point is that Dean is uniquely like Allen because they have both said similar things. Dean shoots from the hip. So does Allen. So therefore how can Dean criticize Allen?

That’s Jon’s point. But it is meaningless. All politicians shoot from the hip. That criticism is meaningless. And I agree, that if that is all that Dean was saying, it would be a silly, asnine argument.

But that is not all that Dean was saying. He was calling Allen on his apparent racism. He was asserting that someone who makes derogatory remarks about people of color, remarks that essentially call them animals, aren’t fit to hold high office. And on that point, Dean is not being in any way hypocritical. And isn’t this really the debate? Not whether politicians shoot from the hip. But whether those who make racist coomments should hold high office. C’mon, can’t you at least engage in the debate?

Jon simply ignores this assertion, even though it was Dean’s main point. His deliberate ignorance of this assertion renders his point meaningless. Indeed, Jon’s point is that politcians act like politicians. Jon’s point is Dean’s main purpose was to criticize his opponent for "shooting from the hip," even though that is what Dean himself has done. But shooting from the hip clearly wasn’t Dean’s main concern. Indeed, Dean is not a dumb man. Why would he be more concerned with Allen’s knack for improvisation than with his apparent racist tendencies? It doesn’t make any sense. Even from a purely political point of view he would be more concenred with Allen’s racism than with his "off the cuff" tendencies.

C’mon Billy. Admit the obvious. Just once.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Maybe you need to know a little more about the human being that Senator and Presidential hopeful Allen called a "macaca" - twice - on tape - in front of an audience. From today’s WaPo:
S.R. Sidarth had built an impressive record of achievements for such a young man: straight-A student at one of Fairfax County’s finest high schools, a tournament chess player, a quiz team captain, a sportswriter at his college newspaper, a Capitol Hill intern and an active member of the Hindu temple his parents helped establish in Maryland.

But for all his achievements, the moment that thrust him into the national spotlight this month came when Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) called him "macaca."

The remark stung the young man of Indian descent. What hurt more, Sidarth said, was when Allen gave him a sarcastic welcome to his own country, his birthplace even. It was too ironic, he thought. "I was born and raised in Fairfax County, and he’s from California," said S.R. Sidarth, wearing khaki shorts, a yellow short-sleeve shirt and flip-flops a week after the incident during an interview at the campaign headquarters of Allen’s opponent, Democrat James Webb.

The full name of the suddenly famous 20-year-old is Shekar Ramanuja Sidarth. Following Indian custom, he goes by his surname. To some of his friends, he is simply "Sid."

He returned this week to the University of Virginia, where he is a senior majoring in American government and computer engineering.

Before college, Sidarth lived a somewhat typical, but distinguished, Fairfax County life. He attended the elite Thomas Jefferson High School, where he had a 4.1 grade-point average and scored 1550 on his SATs. He was a member of the chess club and the Spanish Honor Society and participated in the quiz show "It’s Academic." At 6 feet 4 inches tall, he also played defensive end, tight end, punter and kicker for the school’s football team.

Sidarth was ambivalent about his sudden celebrity. He twiddled a pen as he talked about his life, at times barely raising his eyes from the office desk where he was sitting. "I was just doing my job, and I got sort of pulled into this," he said.

Sidarth said the Allen incident hasn’t turned him off from politics, though he’s ruled out becoming a politician himself. Right now he thinks it’s more likely that he’ll become an environmental lawyer.

Growing up, Sidarth was consumed by chess, testing his mettle against computers and in tournaments. As an 11-year-old, he paid attention when IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated Russian chess master Garry Kasparov in a legendary showdown between man and machine.

"I guess I was pretty introverted. I guess being an only child was part of that. I was on the computer a lot," Sidarth said.

At U-Va., he joined the Quizbowl team and the Cavalier Daily. He also worked part time at the library and spent a term in Barcelona last fall, studying Spanish law and politics.

The Webb campaign wasn’t Sidarth’s first venture into politics. In 2003, he contributed $2,000 to the presidential campaign of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), according to campaign finance records. The next summer, he was an intern in Lieberman’s office.

His political interests follow family tradition. His great-grandfather accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to London for talks on political reform. His grandfather, R. Srinivasan, was secretary of the World Health Organization in the 1990s. His father, Shekar Narasimhan, aided some political campaigns, usually for Democrats but not always, Sidarth said.

Sidarth’s father, a prosperous mortgage banker, came to the United States to study about 25 years ago. His mother, Charu, a teacher of Indian classical dance, followed later.

Both played important roles in the founding of Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, one of the largest Hindu temples in the country, said Narayanswami Subramanian, the temple’s president. Shekar Narasimhan is a trustee emeritus, Charu Narasimhan chairs the board of trustees and Sidarth volunteers there.

"They’ve instilled in him all the values that are important to a Hindu: being honest, working hard," Subramanian said.

Ali Batouli, a senior biology major at Stanford University who befriended Sidarth in a 10th-grade calculus class, said Sidarth could solve complicated math problems in his head faster than anyone else. As a high school senior, Sidarth also seemed to know more than his Advanced Placement classmates about Virginia and United States government history, Batouli said.

Once, Batouli recalled, a roomful of Thomas Jefferson students were competing in an online academic contest against schools across the country. Sidarth answered most of the questions, helping the team to vanquish much of the competition.

"He basically knows a lot about a lot," Batouli, 20, said by telephone this week.

But Sidarth was not the kind to raise his hand a lot or show off, and he was interested in public service before any of his peers were, Batouli said. "On the weekends or something, I’d call him, and he’d be volunteering somewhere," Batouli said.

It was his volunteering that started the clock on his 15 minutes of fame.

On Aug. 7, Sidarth was given a digital camcorder, a copy of Webb’s Republican opponent’s schedule and orders to record Allen during his "Listening Tour" of Virginia. It is a routine campaign practice known as tracking, and both sides were doing it.

Sidarth set off in a dark green, 1996 Volvo 960 with a faded American flag decal in the rear window and a washed-out "God Bless America" sticker on the rear bumper.

At campaign stops, Sidarth said he and Allen’s aides made small talk about the long trek, whether they had slept well and the name of the staffer from Allen’s campaign who was doing what he was doing — keeping an eye on the opponent.

At one stop, the senator had even walked up and shaken Sidarth’s hand. Allen asked him his name and what company he was from, evidently thinking that Sidarth was a supporter, Sidarth said.

"I said, ’I’m following you around,’ " Sidarth said. "And he understood that."

On Aug. 11, Sidarth followed Allen’s bus into Breaks, Va., a town near the Kentucky border, for a GOP meet-and-greet. It was there that Allen segued into the riff directed at Sidarth.

"This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is, he’s with my opponent," Allen said.

"Macaca’’ is the scientific name of a genus of monkeys, and it is used as a slur in some cultures. Allen called Sidarth this week to apologize.

Sidarth said he knew right away that the word "macaca" was a put-down. He felt its sting.

"I had an idea of what he was getting at — that he was injecting some sort of derogatory comment toward me that had a racial bent to it. I knew that it meant ’monkey’ and it was used toward immigrants," Sidarth said. "I realized that I had been insulted."

But he kept filming. Allen kept going.

"He’s following us around everywhere. And it’s just great. We’re going to places all over Virginia, and he’s having it on film, and it’s great to have you here, and you show it to your opponent because he’s never been there and probably will never come so it’s good for him to see what it’s like out here in the real world," Allen said.

There were big whoops from the crowd, and laughter.

"So welcome, let’s give a welcome to Macaca here! Welcome to America, and the real world of Virginia!"
I could say alot, but why. This is why I am a Democrat. And this is why I am not a Republican, nor would I ever be. This kid stands for everything that is great about America. Allen stands in stark contrast.

Allen makes me ashamed to be an American. Sidarth makes me proud to be one.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
You don’t know any better, but I am not on Allen’s campaign staff. I am, however, a Virginian, so this is backyard stuff for me.
From the Captain at Captain’s Quarters:
In fact, thinking about it, perhaps George Allen’s staff might think about giving Jon a shout. They’re looking for an intelligent blogger, one who understands politics and writes well about it. If Allen’s team is serious, Jon would be a great choice, assuming he’s interested.
Jon, please, please, please take up this offer, if it comes. I don’t know you well enough, but you would probably fit in well with the Allen crew.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Dr. Dean is either one of the all time hypocritical liars or very dumb! I think the former but given how dumb the Dr. who is Senate Majority leader is it may be the later. In either case both physicians are good examples of why physicians should stick to their practice.
 
Written By: Rodney A Stanton
URL: http://
Amazing, isn’t it? Here is a guy who had the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination sewed up until he started opening that big, stupid mouth of his, and in less than a month he went from a candidate to an asterisk. Did he win even one primary?

So what does his party do? They make him the head of the DNC! Which means that the guy who couldn’t hold his own voters is now entrusted with getting and holding voters for everyone else. And they wonder why they lose elections?????

I have book coming out in two weeks, "The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics", which I have written with Barry Sinrod, a moveon.org member who fits the howard dean model perfectly. Regardless of party, any political partisan will love half the book and be outraged by the other half. If you get a copy, see what I say about Dean and his pals.

Ken Berwitz
 
Written By: Ken Berwitz
URL: http://
Ah, MK, now that you’ve shared his back story, I am much more sympathetic to Sidarth. Previously, I didn’t know that he was smart. And a football player! Before, he was just some dark-skinned interloper. But suddenly, he matters to me.[/sarcasm]

Again, I will ask if you can focus on the substance instead of the decorations. If Allen has met the Sidarth and has exchanged words with him, how could he have thought Sidarth was an immigrant? You like to talk about context, but the context of Allen’s remarks make it really, really clear that he is welcoming Sidarth to “the real world”, the parts of Virginia that are not D.C. suburbs. Can you honestly not find the meaning in the words? This French slur for Africans was used by a Virginian Californian against a native-born American of Indian ancestry, and you expect me to extrapolate that Allen is therefore yet another southern good-old-boy lynch-mob leader and racist. Um… Who exactly is guilty of slinging stereotypes a little too liberally? Allen? Or you (plural)?

I know that you think Allen is racist. We all know you wouldn’t vote for him. Your criticism of Republicans is as constant as the north star, as is the brutal treatment you get from your many detractors here at QandO, if you know what I mean. But you have given nothing of substance regarding Allen being racist, so all of your typing here is for naught. No minds have been swayed, because you won’t focus on the real issue – not just Jon’s actual point, but the point you think he should have been making.

In other words, you are practicing exactly that which you criticize Jon for doing; going off on a meaningless tangent and leaving the meat on the table.

As I said before, I have complaints about Allen. But if this is the best argument you or the Democrats can muster against him, it’s pretty weak. The things he says really are no worse than Dean, so I for one will be sticking to his voting record and his pet issues when judging him. You do what works for you.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
MultiKulti
From WaPo story above:
But he kept filming. Allen kept going.

"He’s following us around everywhere. And it’s just great. We’re going to places all over Virginia, and he’s having it on film, and it’s great to have you here, and you show it to your opponent because he’s never been there and probably will never come so it’s good for him to see what it’s like out here in the real world," Allen said.
I’d say that about answers your "Allen was welcoming Siddarth to America" racial charge. Clearly he was inferring/speaking to Webb, who only travels in the elite circle of NoVa.

Also you asked for instances of democrat racial slurs. How about:

HRC calling a gas station owner in St. Loius Mahtma Ghandi?
Biden’s comment that you can’t get served in a 7-11 without an Indian accent?
Perhaps it was Jesse Jackson’s love for the Jews in ’Himeytown’?
Maybe Mckinney’s charges that the Jews undermined her 2002 campaign?
Of course Dean’s mean spirited charge that the Republican party is a White Christian party. I wonder what he meant by that?

Will your denounce these bigoted remarks? I doubt it because you will claim that they were "different", that democrats can’t be bigots because they believe in multiculturalism, because they want federal programs to stop bigotry, yadda yadda.

Some of these points were raised above, but you conveniently ignored them. You are a nasty little pygmy who throws inuendo and smears around without regard for facts.

Oh, and just to set your racist mind at ease, I am referring to the image you present, not your race.
Not that there is anything wrong with pygmys...
 
Written By: johnCV
URL: http://
mkultra, if I follow your racism line I’m not sure I see your point.

Allen’s remarks have drawn much speculation that he is a racist.

Dean’s remarks, at the time he said them, drew much speculation that he is a racist.

You seem to believe that Allen’s remarks are more damning, and I agree. But I don’t see how you’ve invalidated Jon’s post. You say Dean isn’t being hypocritical when he says that those who make racist comments shouldn’t hold high office. Considering that he ran for high office, and that his comments were regarded as racist by many including minorities, how is what he said not hypocritical?
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Jon, please, please, please take up this offer, if it comes. I don’t know you well enough, but you would probably fit in well with the Allen crew.
Since you consider Allen a racist, and you just said you think jon "would probably fit in well with the Allen crew.", are you underhandedly trying to call Jon a racist? I hope not, because that would just be beyond the pale, even for you MK.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Like every other Democrat, MK makes a great show of being "racially sensitive" but I wonder why Dems like Dean or Bill Clinton never support or appoint blacks to their leadership positions....MK is all for having black folks in the penthouse, as long as they’re making the bed.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I know next to nothing about Allen, and care even less. This is just politics, a candidate makes a gaffe, and the opposition tries to make it as significant as possible. ("I voted for the $87B before I voted against it"). But the dean commentary I think sheds some light on a significant point. Howard Dean was passionate and exciting as a candidate, but he really did not have the right stuff to be President of the United States. Democrats were able to figure that out and they chose John Kerry, who was much less exciting, perhaps not as good as a campaigner, but if chosen in the general election would have executed the job competently.

If Republicans had this capability, John McCain would be President today.

I get that you can see hypocrisy when Dean criticizes Allen, but then again, looking for hypocrisy in politics is like looking for water in the ocean.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
I don’t know you well enough, but you would probably fit in well with the Allen crew.
That’s a beauty MK. In that one sentence, you completely undermine yourself. Well, that does it for me. I’m done reading your drivel on this topic and await with bated breathe for your next excursion.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
But the dean commentary I think sheds some light on a significant point. Howard Dean was passionate and exciting as a candidate, but he really did not have the right stuff to be President of the United States. Democrats were able to figure that out and they chose John Kerry
I disagree to a certain extent. Obviously, Dean’s self-admitted combativeness and inability to stop spouting off would hurt him in Presidential electoral politics, but, within limits, I’m not really sure it’d be a substantive liability as President. I think his ’04 problem was really a combination of (1) his hyperbolic rhetoric and far-left leaning supporters which branded him as a far-left candidate, and (2) the media’s willingness to construct a narrative around that perception, rather than around his actual policies.
I get that you can see hypocrisy when Dean criticizes Allen, but then again, looking for hypocrisy in politics is like looking for water in the ocean.
I don’t think it’s so much ’hypocrisy’. I think Dean is just throwing out bombs that he doesn’t really believe. And I’m pointing that out.

Allen, I think, is suffering from the same problem that Gore suffered in 2000 and Dean suffered in 2004. There’s a narrative being built up on very, very flimsy evidence and inference, and they’re creating a ’story’ about the candidate from almost thin-air. After awhile, the narrative becomes more powerful than the reality.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net

Kerry would have executed the job of president competently?

Based on what?

He has been a US senator for 22 years, with a Democratic majority about half that time. Can you tell us what he accomplished in his over a fifth of a century there? What major bills did he sponsor and push through? What initiatives he was the prime mover on?

And when you’re finished not having any answer (because there isn’t any), maybe you’d like to explain his abysmal attendance record for hearings held by the committees he has been on.

No accomplishements and a no-show at his committee hearings. This indicates competency and an ability to execute the duties of a head of state? I hope for your sake you didn’t mean this seriously, and that you were just practicing a standup routine for open mike night.
 
Written By: Ken Berwitz
URL: http://
You want acknowledgement. You want validation. But you don’t get these things. And that upsets you.
Nope. From you, I want humor. And I get it - in copious quantities.

One more time with feeling. As far as I’m concerned, someone who says "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for" is a jacka$$. I don’t need validation for anything so self-evident.

If someone said "I hate Democrats and everything they stand for", they would be a jacka$$ too.

And if someone consistently misrepresents what I say, puts words in my mouth, and obtusely refuses to take a simple point that I make, that person is also a jacka$$. A funny and entertaining jacka$$, it’s true. But a jacka$$, nonetheless.

Oh, and thanks for coming back one more time. Your persistence at missing the point and attempting to obfuscate it into something else sometimes amazes even me.

 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Being a proponent of small government, every time I see someone ask "Just what legislation did he/she/they sponsor?" makes me grit my teeth. I don’t care if they sponsored jack squat. What did they VOTE on? How did they vote? And what have they done to make this country a better place?

Listen, legislation that a congresscritter has sponsored doesn’t mean anything. Charles Rangle sponsored a bill to re-instate the draft. Did that mean anything? Considering that he voted against it and knew it had no chance of being passed? No. But he sponsored it. So what?

I’m was more worried about the fact that Kerry voted to restrict private ownership of firearms, increase taxes, and his actions during the Viet Nam war rather than any legislation that he may or may not have had a hand in creating. It’s going to be the same with this current crop of nominees. How did they vote? Did they even show up to vote at all? What can they do to make this country a better place?

And this flap over Allen is centered around one argument that the Democrats keep trying to push. "ALLEN IS A RACIST! ALLEN IS A RACIST!" That’s all their shrieking boils down to. Well, fine, if that’s what you want to think, run with it. But if you want to convince me that George Allen is a racist, you’re going to need more than one statement and the fact that he previously owned a Confederate flag. I’ve known plenty of good-ol-boys who had the Confederate flag on their pickup trucks, yet they had all kinds of people in their circle of friends. Tell me what counts more: A Confederate flag in a truck window, or the fact that the guy is drinking beer with his black neighbor at a barbeque? Who ya gonna believe? mk or your lying eyes?

mk, all you’ve got is "macaca" and a Confederate flag. Run with that. Really. Push it for all it’s worth, especially with political leadership that’s whiter than Wonder Bread. See you in November. I’ll enjoy seeing those arguments in a few months.
 
Written By: Raging_Dave
URL: http://4rwws.blogspot.com
Being a proponent of small government, every time I see someone ask "Just what legislation did he/she/they sponsor?" makes me grit my teeth. I don’t care if they sponsored jack squat. What did they VOTE on? How did they vote? And what have they done to make this country a better place?
You know I never thought of it like this before (though I surely should have). Thanks for this perspective. Maybe we should be asking what legislation did they attempt to repeal?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
It is not very flattering of you to show Howard with a big arrow on his nose.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Being a proponent of small government, every time I see someone ask "Just what legislation did he/she/they sponsor?" makes me grit my teeth. I don’t care if they sponsored jack squat. What did they VOTE on? How did they vote? And what have they done to make this country a better place?
Kerry is a Democrat. Restrictive legislation is their thing. His failure to pass legislation makes him a piss poor Democrat.

Aside from that, Dean, as executive of Vermot had better prep for the presidency than Kerry. And Dean seems to have better policies, with respect to free trade, guns, etc.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
This is what is wrong with america. The art of manipulation is at best lately. George allen is a racist. Only a hard core racist will make such a comment on camera because he is so use to make those kind of remarks. He is comfortable using those words. No excuse, i will have more respect for him if he were to at least be a man about the whole thing. How do you vote for such a lyer and a racist?
 
Written By: will
URL: http://

 
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