George’s handlers have found their perfect messenger. It doesn’t matter if he understands the message; just that he can stay on message. Allen is an empty vessel who’ll do and say whatever it takes to play. But even with a tighter muzzle, they can’t shield the lack of intellect.
Napoleon used his Corporal as a sounding board for his orders. If the man could understand what was conveyed, Napoleon assumed it interpretable by his subordinate commanders. George Allen, in his charade as a Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar, is rolled out to deliver Madison Avenue tested bromides. In front of his paying audiences (asking price: $20,000 per appearance), there is little threat he might be called out and even less chance he’ll address any objection that his arguments are flawed.
But on the campaign trail he leaves a record of his disregard for fact. No matter the amount of rote drill he is given, he cannot escape evidence that discounts his arguments without a practiced duck and weave. “See me afterwards and let’s talk,” is his routine way of setting aside any question that doesn’t conform to dogma.
At a spring appearance during the Republican primary campaign for his old Senate seat, one of the economic prescriptions featured today in the Richmond Times Dispatch rundown of the Allen plan was challenged. Allen wants to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
Allen’s primary argument then was that the rest of the world has a rate in the area of 20 percent and we had to be competitive. A CPA in the audience, who was clearly a frustrated Allen supporter, pointed out that the last time this was tried, when Reagan reduced the rate from 50 to 35 percent, the rest of the world taxed at around 35 percent and responded to our reduction by dropping rates to the now prevalent 20 percent. Allen could have learned a lesson about markets if he’d listened or had the requisite intellect. Instead he put off the man with his standard and his handlers re-crafted the message. Now he uses hiring and investment as the rationalization despite the fact taxes don’t really factor into those decisions. There really isn’t a high bar for a Reagan Presidential Scholar.
Among the things that George Allen’s handlers want to do is to avoid paying their fair share. It isn’t the small businesses about which they are concerned (Allen’s explanation of how “Obamacare” will affect small businesses is twisted, painful, and confused). They refuse to acknowledge that protecting the interests and security of the actual corporations they are fighting for, the multinationals, costs a load of money. They’d prefer you and I foot the bill with our treasure and children’s blood. Maybe we should send each company a bill for the portion of overseas representation provided by our government on their behalf; or the value of open sea lanes; or the infrastructure that moves their goods and services to and from “free” markets; or the lives spent protecting them.
And if this initiative were to succeed, the rest of the world suffers with us. George Allen wants to discount the benefits of being an American company, drive the tax base of the remainder of the world into the ditch, and pass the bill to you and I or our children and grandchildren. Damn genius.
But he learned existentialism at the knee of his “the future is now” father. It took years for the Redskins to recover from the spendthrift coach who mortgaged the future for instant gratification and never won a Super Bowl.
“George was given an unlimited budget and he exceeded it.” – Edward Bennett Williams, Redskins owner reminiscing about Coach George Allen Sr.
There was a hint that Allen is running out of gas (and money) as he made his last campaign swing through the Shenandoah Valley. He had his protective posse with him. And there were hangers-on like Rob Bell (Republican Delegate from Charlottesville) who really wasn’t there for Allen but who has his eyes on succeeding Ken Cuccinelli as spokesperson for the politically paranoid. Bell is hanging his star on establishing that his opposition pedophilia is a distinctive achievement and on his support of quasi-issues like Question 1. But it was in Allen’s delivery that desperation was sensed. In front of audiences clearly supportive, he came across at times almost whining that his points should be self-evident; he can, after all, find no flaw in them.
If we didn’t know what we know about Allen, he’d be an almost sympathetic character. But we do know and he is contemptible. Let’s hope the future was six years ago and he is turned away this one last time. Virginia and America cannot afford him.