/>In football, there are penalties for piling on and unsportsmanlike conduct.
In politics, you can get away with almost anything.
Democrats are playing a very dirty game - the political equivalent of a
crack back block - in their attempt to smear Sen. George Allen, (R-Va.) and
elect his Democratic opponent, James Webb. The latest is a charge by an
acquaintance and a former college football teammate at the University of
Virginia that Allen used the "n word" and other racial slurs in the early
1970s. Allen adamantly denies it, but these days the charge alone is enough
to sully one's reputation and create doubt in some minds.
Allen's chief accusers are R. Kendall Shelton, a radiologist in North
Carolina, who says he used to be a Democrat but is now an Independent, and
Christopher C. Taylor, an anthropologist at the University of Alabama.
Shelton says Allen's alleged racial slurs make him unfit for public office.
That's funny. Before these allegations, Allen was fit enough to serve as
governor of Virginia and as a United States senator. And it is more than
coincidental that this sliming is taking place just six weeks before an
Unlike the "macaca" incident a few weeks ago, which he allowed to fester and
did not apologize for until the political damage was done, Allen wasted no
time responding to this latest charge. Among those rushing to his defense
was another former teammate, Rob Berce, a wide receiver who graduated in
1976. Berce told The Washington Post, "I have never heard him use that word"
(the n word). He just seemed to be a pretty upfront, good guy."
The head football coach at Wake Forest University, Jim Grobe, told the Post
he is "shocked" by the allegations. "I never heard George say anything like
that," he said. Even Allen's first wife, Anne Waddell, denied Taylor's story
that Allen used the n-word during a visit to their house. "I can say with
absolute certainty that (Taylor's) recollection that George said anything at
all that could be considered racially insensitive is completely false. He
would never utter such a word." You can't do much better than to have an
ex-wife as a character witness.