What is it with these people?
Inside the Beltway
The Washington Times - October 23, 2006
By John McCaslin
Supporters of Virginia Sen. George Allen -- or perhaps in this case we should say supporters of his wife, Susan Allen -- are outraged by a letter to the editor from Jan Falk of Fairfax Station, published Thursday in the Centre View newspaper in Centreville.
"If this is how she is teaching her children to talk to people, then I can only feel sorry for her children and her family," one Allen supporter said of the letter. "What a sad state of affairs when adults are teaching our children to be disrespectful to those we may not agree with."
Mrs. Falk's letter, "True Story About 'Mrs. Macaca,' " reads in part:
"To the Editor: We had an interesting experience at Clifton Day this year. Myself, my 11-year-old son and a friend were walking up the street in the big crowd when we encountered Mrs. George Allen and her entourage ...
"We are a very political family and we talk politics around the breakfast and dinner table on a daily basis. For some reason, Mrs. Allen introduced herself to my son, who has a sweet 'howdy-doody' face with freckles. Here is the exchange:
"Mrs. Allen: 'I am Mrs. George Allen.'
"My son: 'You suck.'
"Me: 'She's Mrs. Macaca.'
"Mrs. Allen: 'Oooooo, don't teach your children to hate.'
"Me: 'Teach your children to think.' (We chant) 'Stop the corruption.'
"And she was whisked away by her handlers. I get the sense, like George W. [Bush], she isn't used to opposition and the usual crowd is laced, ahead of time, with only supporters. I have never been more proud of my son. We are teaching respect on a case-by-case basis, not on arbitrary parameters having to do with social position or age."
Mr. Allen is running in a very tight race to keep his Republican Senate seat against Democratic challenger James H. Webb Jr., former secretary of the Navy.
Today there is a follow-up column from John McCaslin describing how his mailbox overflowed with emails from readers, including Democrats, who were upset about how Susan Allen was treated. His favorite was from David Hoyt who said:
"I guess Mrs. Falk doesn't realize the foolishness of teaching her children respect on a case-by-case basis. Suppose her children decide some day that she doesn't deserve respect. Wouldn't that be a delicious outcome? After all, when you make it a subjective decision as to who deserves respect, well you get what you deserve."
This must be the type of parent raising the angry anti-war, anti-Bush demonstrators I encountered in Richmond last week.
I noticed Mrs. Falk mentions herself first in her letter when listing those involved - "Myself, my 11-year-old son, and a friend..." - which goes against the way my parents raised me: "God first, others second, myself third."