This morning on NBC’s “Meat” the Press, Tom Brokaw almost ignored Colin Powell when he said he supports Barack Obama. Brokaw’s performance cemented the observation that he really needs to step down from that chair. Besides, Brokaw is not a member of the press, he’s just raw meat.
Colin Powell, a general, former head of the Joint Chiefs, a potential presidential nominee, and a former Secretary of State, has been a lifelong Republican. Despite soiling his reputation with his pathetic, spin-based UN performance in support of an Iraq invasion/ocupation, more than 80% of Americans still hold him in high esteem. No career is perfect, and Powell has had his share of trouble, even dating back to Viet Nam. Yet, he was also a voice of reason, measured, polite, knowledgeable, informed, and very, very smart.
Even though he knew that he faced two bitter enemies in Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, he continued to provide counsel and advice, as well as play the roll of the good foot soldier, following orders and obeying decisions of his commander in chief. That explains quite a bit about his UN performance.
I suspect that he did not realize in his darkest dreams, the Dick Cheney was using the NSA to spy on him and his aides, or that Condi Rice’s lines were also bugged by Cheney. I suspect it would not have changed the advice he gave.
But it was not Cheney, Rumsfeld, or even his former boss, George Bush, that led Powell to today’s decision to back Barack Obama. It was the cluster-fuck that is the McCain campaign that drove a loyal Republican to abandon his party this time around.
McCain’s campaign is pathetic, and growing worse each day. The vile racist and venomous attacks on “Libruls,” socialists, Democrats, blacks, and “Obama bin Lyin” are attracting growing numbers of potentially violent, truly offensive, uneducated rednecks who can probably count their own remaining teeth on both hands. Add to the mix the reprehensible robo-calls by the McCain camp, and it is easy to see why General Powell believes that the Republican campaign is simply unsupportable. When a man of his experience and education points to Sarah Palin’s selection as absolutely unacceptable, it tends to have some weight to it.
What is amusing is how violently the ultra-Reichists of the GOP react. Chris Buckley lost his job because he endorsed Obama. The Chicago TRIBUNE (!) endorsed him. (so did the Suntimes, but that was always expected).
The LA Times, Houston Chronicle, New York Daily, Washington Post, and many others are going the same way. And just as quickly, GOP pols, including US Senators, are complaining about the McCain tactics, the tone of their campaign, and telling them to stop. But it is no longer the case of McCain being tone deaf, but stone deaf and politically blind. His one last chance to change the contest would require him to pull all robocalls, fire Sarah Palin, and put in a younger, smarter, experienced person who America would be comfortable with. But that won’t happen. Instead, McCain will continue along his current path. And because of that, watch other high ranking GOPers join Colin Powell.