Do Democrats get it?
The video and story is available at the Washington Post.
The accusation is that a word used by George Allen, and recorded by and pointed towards a Webb staffer, was an ethnic slur. Democrats have been calling George Allen stupid and a sure loser after this. Seems like a stretch to me.
George Allen certainly seemed to be familiar with the cameraman, and believed that the name he used was the name of the staffer. Democrats believe that Senator Allen was trying to use a term that is the Indian word for "monkey". So Democrats want us to believe that Allen is a huge doofus, but is familiar with a language from halfway around the world? That is certainly not consistent.
This is a blatant use of race baiting. James Webb is seriously hurting right now, and Democrats are obviously afraid of the possibility of George Allen running for president in 2008. So what's the solution? How about taking up a weak case for racism? Never mind Joe Biden's explicit reference to Indians in 7-11s or Dunkin Donuts.
No doubt, the blogosphere is loud about this, and will be for the next couple weeks. But most people will recognize this issue for what it is and will drop it; do not expect it to be too persistent in the MSM, particularly with issues like Lebanon and Iraq maintaining the interests of the country and the Commonwealth.
UPDATE 9:50 PM: Kilo, wise as ever, gives a calm and reasoned response to WaPo's analysis.
And there is something I am still wondering about; why have so many passed judgment on Senator Allen when (1) we see nothing that happened outside of this short clip between Allen and Siddarth (could Siddarth have lied to the Allen campaign about his name?) and (2) Senator Allen has not had a chance to explain his side of the story? Support on this blog will remain with Senator Allen, because I am not a one-issue voter and I believe that even if Senator Allen was being derogatory towards Siddarth, he deserves a second chance.
UPDATE 2 8/15/06 1:10 AM: eirishis at A Shot of Southern Comfort gives a fair analysis, sounding quite a bit like Jaded JD in the comments at NLS. And meanwhile, Waldo and Chad are nowhere to be found on this topic. Perhaps they knew best in this all by not knee-jerking.