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Oy Vey Department

Gary Farber thinks Republican Senator George Allen is a schmuck:

Amygdala: GEORGE ALLEN: NOT GOING FOR THE JEWISH VOTE. Oy. And it's great to know that he believes that being asked if he has Jewish ancestors is an "aspersion"...

John Podhoretz's desire to avoid offending any Republican politician unnecessarily leads him to be... more polite:

The Corner on National Review Online: Felix Macacawitz [John Podhoretz]:I really don't want to be on Jewish Patrol here in the Corner, but does anybody agree with me that George Allen's response yesterday to a reporter asking him whether his grandfather Felix had been born Jewish was just... weird? Through body language and tone, Allen acted as though the question were absolutely beyond the bounds of all rational discourse....

[I]t's beyond ludicrous to ask a question about a grandparent's faith in the middle of a substantive debate. It doesn't matter a whit whether Allen's grandfather was or was not Jewish. Still, Allen said angrily, "I hope you're not bringing my mother into this" before lecturing Fox on how America gave people the right to religious freedom and that Thomas Jefferson believed in religious freedom and so on. It's not like Fox asked whether Allen's grandfather had been a member of the Nazi party, or had owned slaves, or been in prison, or something. What's more, Allen himself had made reference to his grandfather's imprisonment during World War II. Anyway, seems to me that what might appear at first to be one of those gotcha moments delivered by a candidate to a hostile reporter is, on second glance, just off somehow...

"Just off somehow" is a very polite way to describe George Allen, whether you're thinking of the young George Allen--a suburban California teenager infatuated with the Confederate States of America--or the current older George Allen--half-Jewish and anxious to have the voters of Virginia not regard him as a guy who likes Jews too much.