Paradoxically, Allen probably benefited from the half dozen years out of office. Otherwise, it would have been easier for Radtke to paint him as an entitled incumbent like Richard Lugar.
Politics is a business of second acts, and third ones. Memories often run short. One year, you don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore. A few years later, he’s president. One year, Bill Clinton is the youngest ex-governor in history. A couple years later, he wins back the job and keeps it for the next decade.
Apparently, Virginia Republicans have forgotten enough about Macaca Man to give him another chance at high office. This Virginian is ashamed to admit that he did not vote yesterday. But he is pleasantly reminded of one of his first-ever blog-posts at the Washington Times, in reaction to Allen’s Reed Smootian attack on Jim Webb’s racy novels:
George Allen is an opportunistic philistine.
What other conclusion to draw from the senator’s outrageous cherry-picking of “underage sex scenes” in his opponent James Webb’s novels?
Just imagine the “war room” scenario: of campaign underlings combing Webb’s books for naughty bits; of the “gotcha” smiles that lit up said underlings’ faces as they informed their boss they had yet more ammo with which to outflank Webb from the left.
At first, Allen’s aggressive push to peel off women from Webb’s base of support — which began with the unearthing of an article Webb had written that was argued (perfectly justifiably) against allowing women in combat — was tolerable in a certain tactical sense.
This latest salvo would be silly, if it weren’t so demeaning — not to women, as Allen would very much like us to believe of Webb’s fiction writing, but rather to the basic idea of narrative art.
A little hot under the collar, I think.