For Southern rights, hurrah!

by David Weigel

What's the biggest shock in this video? That George Allen cameoed as a Confederate officer in the 2003 dud "Gods and Generals"? That someone dug through all 300 hours of "Gods and Generals" to find George Allen's cameo? That the Macaca story has been going on for seven days?

It's a good find, but Allen's star turn was widely reported at the time. The bigger scandal (and it wasn't much of one) back in 2003 was the cameo of Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd (WV). Byrd leapt at the chance to play a Confederate general even though he's supposed to embarrassed about starting his political career as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan. But Byrd's appearence (discounting the beard) makes far more sense than Allen's. Byrd, remember, is a slightly reformed Dixiecrat, born in 1917, sent to Congress in 1953, and an opponent of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Allen was born in 1952 and grew up in Southern California. It's a perfect example of Allen's bizzare fetish for the worst aspects of a culture he's only tenuously connected to.