Welch is a writer from Blacksburg.
On the same day (Sept. 30) that The Roanoke Times unquestioningly regurgitated Sen. George Allen's PR, falsely suggesting that Allen had done something for African-American farmers, The Times also ran a letter to the editor by Dan Averill, saying we should look at Allen's record. Indeed.
For five years, and despite repeated urging by black farmers, Allen refused to do anything to assist them. Then, after the legal deadline for filing had passed, he submitted a faux bill to offset the rising chorus of claims about his enduring racism. The Roanoke Times owes its readership a correction.
Additionally, after many years of willful neglect and afraid his past would catch up with him, Allen co-sponsored a real bill to support African-American colleges. Voila! Thirty years of nasty behavior is supposed to disappear just in time for him to run for president. Had he actually learned something from past mistakes, some might have cut him some slack. Unfortunately, he hasn't learned, as illustrated by the fact that he had a noose hanging from a tree in his law office as recently as 2000. It's no wonder the black legislative caucus in Virginia has endorsed Allen's opponent.
Recently, in a stunt openly mocked on national television (making us a laughing stock), Allen literally stole an amendment to a defense appropriation bill, that was authored and previously distributed throughout the Senate a week earlier by Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Everyone there knew who really wrote the amendment, but Allen hoped voters wouldn't find out.
Durbin's bill explicitly included medical care for soldiers hurt in Iraq, whom Allen heretofore cared little about. Cutting ahead of Durbin on the established agenda, Allen asked to be recognized out of order. Reading from Durbin's photo-copied bill, Allen submitted it as his own. When called on his stunt, Allen claimed a difference between his and Durbin's: "will" had been changed to "shall."
As further evidence of Allen's lack of individual thought and action, he also voted to rubber stamp the Bush agenda 97 percent of the time. This puts Allen on the wrong side of too many issues to count, among them: the wrongful Iraq war; an increased risk of terrorism caused by administration recklessness; insufficient port, nuclear reactor and chemical plant security; mismanagement of the post-war period in Afghanistan and Iraq; the doctrine of pre-emption; plans for more wars; historic budget deficits; tax cuts for the rich, but 400,000 more children beneath the poverty line; the end of true congressional oversight; the ruinous No Child Left Behind; abysmal Hurricane Katrina response and the gutting of domestic emergency preparedness; torture; privatizing Social Security; medical savings accounts instead of expanding access to and reforming traditional health insurance; and spying on Americans instead of terrorists.
As further evidence of the blurring of the two Georges, the White House even dispatched Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Mary Matalin, to help run Allen's campaign.
Ninety-seven percent George (Allen), who even winked before his apology about the "macaca" episode, is winking and gaming various interest groups as surely as his mirror image in Washington. He says one thing and does another. Evidently, Allen doesn't get that 2006 is the year of accountability. And we, the governed, in whose name and on whose dime they work, will send the White House and the incumbent senator from Virginia a message this November.