Colin Powell’s Decision and the death of today’s GOP

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.


  1. bryan mcclellan

    I meant nothing derogatory, his neocon stripes are as such and will not change no matter how eloquent the narrative.
    He played in the Bush sandbox and therefore lost his dignity, honor, and trustworthiness.The latter of the three being the most important of those, and which the prior two depend on for validation.

  2. Chick

    I doubt that Powell is a neocon, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t carry out their agenda if Powell’s leader wanted him to.

    I think you could trust Powell more as President rather than as any thing subservient. If Powell is in a serving position, you’ll have to decide if you trust tose above Powell. That is where Powell’s allegience resides.

  3. DejaVuAllOver

    I once got fired for refusing to jury-rig a fire alarm system in a very large public building without proper (fire dept.) approval. I sued, and won, after a six year battle. At first, everyone was behind me and said they’d help and fight and what a travesty it all was, yadda, yadda. But when people realize that living by your convictions takes some courage and some willingness to endure some hardship, you’d be amazed at how quickly people become sheep.

    Colin Powell is a good man, IMHO, who, while showing courage on one battlefield, is a complete and utter wimp on another. He has a LOT of company. I wouldn’t be too surprised if these dumber-than-toasters rednecks who claim they’ll fight the government for our freedom will be the ones turning us all in, to be hauled away to FEMA’s concentration camps. Cowards, every dang one of ’em.

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    In all fairness, I should have mentioned that even wimps sometimes grow backbones. That may just be the case with Powell. Well done, sir. A little late, but helpful, nonetheless.

  5. SteveMNJ

    It is amazing what I read here and on other websites where we can post comments. There is someone who always questions the experience, or lack thereof; can Obama lead, can he keep us safe, etc. Simply put he can. It did not much in the way of experience for the wonderful Repub Bush admin to get invovled in two wars, both of which are a disaster. That is a fact. The other garbage about Ayers, Accorn is part of the normal smear campaign the Repub party does. While eveyone is so concerned about the trivial matters, what is lost are the facts. The last 8 years have been the worse in US history. We went from a budget surplus to a deficit of epic proportions. We are at war, the economy has tanked, this is an admin that let a city die, New Orleans. Or did all of you forget that fact as well. Mr Powell and Chris Buckley had the guts to come out as they did. Here are two prominent conservative Republicans making a statement on what is wrong with the current admin and GOP. Maybe it is time the rest of you take an honest look at your party. Are they really serving you in your best interests? Based on the acitivities of the last 8 years and more recently with the econonmic issues, I do not think so. Oh, in case you did not notice, Chris Buckley is white.Or did you not notice.

  6. keith

    Ladywolf wrote:

    …So now they are outright calling Obama a terrorist, instead of just insinuating.

    This is truly disgusting. And so many ignorant, uneducated USA citizens will believe it. Amazing.

    Such disgusting tactics might work this time. But they probably won’t work for very much longer.

    Ours is an ever-more diverse (and younger) nation. The old prejudices of race and ethnic origin (and their tenuous links to “terrorism”) that have divided us for generations (and which the likes of Karl Rove and company have been shamelessly exploiting to their advantage) are now dying right along with that portion of our population who believe and espouse them.

    In fact, it may very well take another generation or two before the majority of people who have known nothing else but to perpetuate such bigotry and baseless dogma to completely disappear from the ranks of voters.

    That’s because, as Professor Doctor Max Planck, winner of the Nobel Prize for physics and one of the greatest physicists of the early 20th Century once said, “Innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and the growing generation is familiarized with the innovative ideas right from the beginning.”

    I think we are already seeing this happening with Mr. Obama’s candidacy and his growing popularity in this election.

    However, what remains unknown at this point is whether a majority of bigots are still alive and shamelessly willing to express their horrifically entrenched prejudices at the polls come election day.

  7. SteveMNJ


    I could not agree with you more. I had a converation with my father who now lives in Florida. He is agast at the 1930’s-50’s thinking when it comes to race. There are people his age that will not vote for Obama because of race. It is these very people who stand to loose the most, i.e Medicade/Medicare reductions, etc. Just read some of the posts here and on some posts on Republican slanted newspapers. It boggles my mind the reasons people are supporting McCain-Palin. It goes to the sheer ignorance of many Americans. They continue to support and vote against their own best interests. As proof look at the reaction to Palin’s appearance on SNL. Why is that taking center stage when more banks may be closing up and or merging or as I read today Texas Instruments cutting 650 jobs. May not be the 1000’s of other companies, but more Americans are loosing their jobs. But Palin was on SNL !

  8. TRM

    Wow I see that many of you have much to say about this, and I say who f**kin cares? Does it really make a a bit of difference or are you magicaly convinced that Obama is your savior? Stop bitching just to bitch. There I said it.

  9. Watchman

    So Powell breaks with his party and supports Obama. Will nobody wonder aloud if this has anything to do with the fact that both Powell and Obama are black?

  10. cawren

    Perhaps having:

    Ms. Palin has close ties to the some pretty interesting people in Wasilla.

    Google: Steve Stoll and Palin.

    Extreme? Anti-American? You must judge for yourself.

    PLEASE do your own research.

    This Woman Could Become President.

    Over the past year McCain, Obama and Biden have all been raked over the media coals.

    She will not take any real questions.

    Please do your own research.

  11. bryan mcclellan

    Blocked Colon,
    I don’t trust anyone that’s been in bed with Bush and Cheney.A large part of America if not wary will be roped in by the Hero scenario of yet one more of the architects of the last eight years.

    Powell has been silent for the most part in accepting that his role in the run up to the Iraq war was akin to playing as a one man band for the sons of bitches in the White House.He willingly played every instrument that was given to him and his hands are as bloody as GW’s.

    He has not given real substantive testimony regarding his role and should be called before the Senate under oath to clear the air surrounding his hollow excuse for lying to the American public.

    McCain will have a field day with this endorsement if he stays on the Obama hangs out with terrorists theme, and who could deny that Powell and his mis-representation of the Iraqi threat and the over 4,000 deaths that his good soldier mentality fostered is not terrorism?

  12. Ladywolf55

    Speaking of terrorism, I was talking with a friend today who received one of those McCain “robocalls” yesterday.

    I asked for the exact wording they used regarding the terrorist issue. They said, “Do you really want a terrorist in the White House?”

    She got so mad she nearly broke her own phone. So now they are outright calling Obama a terrorist, instead of just insinuating.

    This is truly disgusting. And so many ignorant, uneducated USA citizens will believe it. Amazing.

  13. ekaton

    John McCain wants to give every taxpayer a $5000 tax credit to help pay for health insurance. With around 130 million federal income tax payers in the U.S. this amounts to a $650 billion reduction in federal tax revenues yearly. Assuming McCain’s plan would cover citizens of all ages and replace Medicare, which cost $395 billion in fiscal year 2007, we would still have a $255 billion yearly reduction in tax revenues.

    Where will Mr. McCain find this money? Is he going to borrow it and add to the already $10 trillion national debt, to be repaid with interest? Is he going to drastically cut the military budget and end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan? Is he going to close the more than 700 U.S. military bases worldwide? Is he going to raise taxes first before implementing the tax credit? Just asking.

    — Kent Shaw

  14. RueDee

    Robbin’ de ‘hood Mccain’s spreading the wealth is the same as Bush’s redistribution. Take from the poor and middle class and give to the rich. So pick your spreader.

  15. Malibu

    Thank you Mr. Kezelis, fine commentary and I fit right in to Secretary Powell’s opinions. It was a proud man in his payback for being used and abused by the GOP in is speech to the U.N. Many of us did not buy the WMD threats.

    Kent you ask very valid questions that nobody can answer, not even Senator McCain. It is what we call “zee ole bullsheet”

  16. gazelle1929

    But. But. But. Sorry Palin said that half a trillion was going to be budget neutral. Do you mean she lied to me? Last sixpack I drink with her, you betcha.

  17. RevereP

    These are true facts, not politically motivated distortions. We are at war and everyone should be questioning whether Obama has the integrity and ability to lead this nation at this time. And, would he keep this country safe, or will his affiliations with radicals/terrorist lead to more devastation? In my opinion, I don’t believe he has what it takes. Let me explain another connection to a radical/terrorist. In 2006, Obama campaigned for a relative in Kenya, who was running for the Presidency. Obama’s cousins name is Raila Odinga. Subsequently, Odinga lost by 230,000 or so votes. He did not accept the loss. So he called for demonstrations by his political supporters who in turn committed ethnic cleansing and genocide. Point blank, this guy tried to subvert the election process and use blackmail until he got what he wanted. Here is a video that gives a good accounting of the events along with photo’s as proof of Obama and Odinga campaigning together. And Obama, used U.S. taxpayer money for this and his Senatorial position to help this terrorist. Titled: Barack Obama & Raila Odinga – Link: –

  18. Rob Kezelis

    having read about those circumstances in the Economist and euro sources, I suspect that your news comes from two sources, such as they are: Rush & Sean.

    I am sorry for you and your self-imposed ignorance. I really am.

  19. gazelle1929

    “These are true facts”

    As opposed to untrue facts?

    This claim has been thoroughly debunked. There is NO evidence that Odinga is related to Obama. Obama made a public appearance with him back in 2006. So what? I rather think you should question Obama’s ties to John McCain. He has been seen on stage with McCain time and time again. Certainly there must be something going on that we don’t know about.

    Please peddle this crap elsewhere.

  20. Hal Brown

    I think Powell’s endorsement will persuade a significant number of moderate Republicans and Reagan Democrats to vote for Obama.

  21. gazelle1929

    “an old republican retread”????? Powell the Hammer just drove in the final nail into the coffin of the once-proud Republican party. They are toast. Put them with the No-Nothings, the Whigs, the Federalists

    Colin Powell is perhaps the only Republican I can think of off hand whom I would trust implicitly. He is a man of honor and integrity, a seasoned warrior and diplomat, and himself would have made a fine President. Your denigration of him is way off base.

    The idea of Colin Powell as a neocon is just absolutely laughable.

  22. bryan mcclellan

    Well Hal, Powell followed the lead dog in 2,000 and now he’s again opting to go with the guy out front. In a true Joe Lieberman style switcheroo an old republican retread is suddenly seeing the error of his ways? NADA! He’s not to be trusted because he’s carried the water far too long for Bush.

    If the Dems want to win it they had better stay as far away from the neocon gene pool as possible.

    Just my opinion, and having little to no trust in politico’s motives is that Obama should say thanks but associating with republicans is not how I prefer to win this election.Too much foul baggage.

  23. Rob Kezelis

    Gaz, were they not known as the
    Know Nothing Party,
    as well as the anti-immigration “American Party”
    which claimed that it was more patriotic than the other parties? And they hated other religions, accusing them of being anti-American, unpatriotic and more beholden to the religion than America?
    Damn. that sounds so familiar.
    Come to think of it, the Know Nothing Party is the perfect description of today’s GOP.

  24. gazelle1929

    Oh my God. I really did say No-Nothings. Of course it’s the Know Nothings. Thanks. I’ll not change the original post, of course, but I will bow my head in shame!

  25. storky

    We’ve already got terrorists in the White House – the current Bush Administration. The answer to the question is obviously, NO, We don’t want terrorists in the White House! That’s why we’re voting for Obama.