It's official: the Democrats now control the Congress. And If ever there was an idiot in politics, it would now have to be George Allen.
Why? First, some back-story. When I was a student at George Washington in the mid-'90s, I worked for a man who would interview political figures for TV with a method of using syllogistic reasoning to more or less corner his subject into accepting his premise. (Unfortunately, it did not help that the host was simply one of the least telegenic people I have ever known, even for public access TV, where most of his shows ended up).
Nevertheless, since most politicians are utterly unfamiliar with their rational faculty, the results of the these interviews were usually quite amusing. (In fact, the host got one congressman to physically assault him and the camera crew, and got an utterly exasperated Nancy Pelosi to continuously repeat "Yes can mean no-and so what?!" over the many contradictions inherent in the minimum wage).
Perhaps one of the sole exceptions to the normal outcome of these episodes was when the show interviewed George Allen, then serving as governor of Virginia. Allen totally understood what was going on—and he totally embraced it. Here was a man who was unafraid to go were reason, logical and principled consistency led him. In the end of the interview, Allen evoked Jefferson, clearly denoting the proper aims of government, and it was simply one of the most fantastic moments I have ever seen in modern politics.
So years later, when I heard Allen was running for Senate, I thought excellent-we will finally have our voice. Somewhere along the way however, Allen allowed himself to get intellectually waylaid by the conservatives. Reason soon proved an alien friend, and Allen spend more time electioneering for a concrete-bound, myopic party that developing a legacy of thoughtful legislative achievement. Instead being a man of rational moral principles, Allen became a power-luster.
Add the fact that Allen at least appeared to harbor racial animus (who keeps a noose in his office and waves the confederate flag as a young man and calls a person "macaca" on the campaign trail and still expects to have the credibility to govern a people), and his whole advocacy of the gay-bashing "marriage amendment," and Allen become the A1 master-grade idiot of the election cycle.
I read tonight that Allen is just shocked that he lost his election, but I must say, I'm not. I think it's tragic given the hope he offered earlier in his career, but in the end, Allen got exactly what he deserved. I have no love for his successor, but as far as Allen is concerned, I'm not the least bit sad to see him go.