Archive for Colin Powell

You Want a Piece of Him?

There’s an internal debate among GOP-ers over whether this is the guy you want out front making your case.

Fine. He may be the Dark Lord in the media—but I think history will reveal him to be the knight in shining armor:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney continued to take his case to the people this morning on CBS’ Face the Nation, with Bob Schieffer. As usual, he was an effective advocate. He explained why he is pushing back against the Obama administration’s attacks on how he and others conducted the war against Islamic terrorists:

It was a time of great concern, and we put in place some very good policies, and they worked, for eight years. Now we have an administration that’s come to power that has been critical of the programs, but not only that, there’s been talk about prosecuting the lawyers in the Justice Department who gave us the opinions that we operated in accordance with, or referring them to the Bar Association for disbarment or sanctions of some kind, or possibly cooperating with foreign governments that are interested in trying to prosecute American officials, those same officials who were responsible for defending this nation for the last eight years.

That whole complex of things is what I find deeply disturbing, and I think to the extent that those policies were responsible for saving lives, that the administration is now trying to cancel those policies or end them, terminate them, then I think it’s fair to argue — and I do argue — that that means in the future we’re not going to have the same safeguards we’ve had for the last eight years.

SCHIEFFER: Do you — is what you’re saying here is that we should do anything if we could get information?

CHENEY: No. Remember what happened here, Bob. We had captured these people. We had pursued interrogation in a normal way. We decided that we needed some enhanced techniques. So we went to the Justice Department. And the controversy has arisen over the opinions written by the Justice Department.

The reason we went to the Justice Department wasn’t because we felt we were going to take some kind of free hand assault on these people or that we were in the torture business. We weren’t. And specifically, what we got from the Office of Legal Counsel were legal memos that laid out what is appropriate and what’s not appropriate, in light of our international commitments.

If we had been about torture, we wouldn’t have wasted our time going to the Justice Department.

How can there be a debate on the issue if no one has the stones to put forward this argument? Cheney is all stones (I would say heart, but this is Cheney) and no apology: “We were defending our county. Any questions?”

And while we’re on the subject of his telling truths:

CHENEY: Well, if I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I’d go with Rush Limbaugh, I think. I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn’t know he was still a Republican.

SCHIEFFER: So you think that he’s not a Republican?

CHENEY: I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for president this time, Barack Obama. I assumed that that is some indication of his loyalty and his interest.

Rush, another truth-teller, has pointed out that the Republicans ran the least Republican candidate in the party (read: centrist, maverick, big-tent, etc.)—and Colin Powell still wouldn’t back him. Despite their long friendship. Rush reasonably deduced Powell’s choice was dictated by race; Cheney thinks it was party.

One of them is right, very likely both.


Rush to Judgement

This is absurd. Colin Powell says the Republican Party isn’t big enough for him and Rush Limbaugh to coexist. Nice, tolerant. Powell got such love for his endorsement of
that it’s gone to his head.

I like Powell, but his behavior in abandoning his fellow serviceman, John McCain, and then telling Republicans whom they can or can’t have in the party is hardly honorable.

Cue Rush:

The whole thing wears me out. It’s nothing new except now it’s coming from ostensibly the Republican Party. [...] I think Powell’s premise — and I understand what’s going on — I think Powell’s premise is all wrong. The Republican Party needs to stop listening to me. Basically, what that means is the Republican Party’s gotta throw you overboard; the Republican Party can’t win as long as it is defined by people like you and me, those of you in this audience. The simple fact of the matter is, folks, what makes this funny to me is that the Republican Party’s not listened to me in the last two years. And you might even say in matters of policy and so forth, the Republican Party hasn’t been listening to me for the last six years. And you might even say that the Republican Party is in the situation it’s in precisely because of the people like Colin Powell and John McCain and others who have devised this new definition and identity of the party which is responsible for electing Democrats all over this country.

Here is Colin Powell telling the Republican Party what to do after he voted for Obama! I know what really has Colin Powell upset, it’s because I said his endorsement of Obama was about race, and I’m not supposed to say those things. These things are supposed to go unsaid. The Republican Party nominated Powell’s perfect candidate. The guy’s going after moderates, independents, Democrats, a guy who is not conservative at all, McCain, didn’t stand up for much conservative, and he’s out there now saying he won’t support Palin if she seeks the presidency again, or he might not.

Let me get this straight. The guy who has supported the Republican candidate for president should be thrown out of the party. That would be me. But the guy who bolted and sabotaged the Republican nominee by endorsing the Democrat candidate should stay in and be part of the team that determines what the Republican Party is going to be. The turncoat, General Powell, is the one who the party is gonna listen to? McCain’s a moderate. I supported McCain. Powell, who wants a moderate, did not support McCain. It’s unreal. It’s just incredible. Look, I’m trying to be a little humble here, but it’s hard when you got all this other stuff going on and Republicans out there now continue to trash me. It’s flattering; it is amazing. At the same time, it’s mind-boggling how I get under their skin. What I’m learning now, folks, it really doesn’t matter about party. It’s not getting under Republicans’ skin now. It’s getting under the skin of Washingtonians. It’s getting under the skin of the Big Government people. These are liberals. There’s no such thing as a moderate Republican. A moderate Republican is a liberal.

There’s a lot more, but you get the gist.

I’ve been listening to Rush only for maybe the last four or five months. I’ve been alienated from Liberalism for more like seven years, but old phobias and prejudices die hard.

Dudes, the guy’s a hoot. I mean, I admire the hell out of Colin Powell, but there’s no doubt who I’d rather hang out with. Powell is humorless; Rush is outrageous. When Rush gets going on a rant, you can hear the pudgy hands banging on the console, the papers shuffling—it’s theatre. I don’t have to agree with everything (though I agree with most) to enjoy his show. You can keep your metrosexual NPR hosts; give me Red Meat Rush.

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Rum Jamaican

Colin Powell can skip this post because he couldn’t care less about Obama’s friendship with the terrorist Bill Ayers and whom he may or may not have killed and maimed when Barack was eight years old. We wouldn’t want to disturb the General in his labyrinth.

But for the rest of you:

I want to introduce Colin Powell to Nyack police Sgt. Edward O’Grady, Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown, and Brinks security guard Peter Paige. Powell may want to downplay Bill Ayers’s relationship with Barack Obama, but he does so out of ignorance and expediency. Obama knew about Ayers when he befriended him and throughout their relationship right up until the time it became an issue a few months ago. And keep in mind, Ayers wishes he and his fellow Weather Underground terrorists could have done more damage than murdering these three men. I have no respect left for Powell. None.

UPDATE: More links here and here.

Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown

Sorry about the quality of the image, but we have nothing more recent—as Officer Brown was gunned down by the Weather Underground 27 years ago.


About That Endorsement

Many have speculated on the reason behind Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama (not least ourselves)—racial solidarity, political calculations—but we missed the most obvious one: patronage:

“He will have a role as one of my advisers,” Barack Obama said on NBC’s “Today” in an interview aired Monday, a day after Powell, a four-star general and President Bush’s former secretary of state, endorsed him.

“Whether he wants to take a formal role, whether that’s a good fit for him, is something we’d have to discuss,” Obama said.

Nothing too strenuous, if you please, maybe a desk job or a no-show position. He’s already done hard work in Republican administrations (National Security Advisor under Reagan, C-in-C of the armed forces under H.W. Bush, Secretary of State under W.).

I’ve said more than enough about this already, but I think this underscores the disingenuousness of Powell’s claim to have wrestled long and hard with the problem. I don’t think he hesitated for a second.

I think I’ll start focusing instead on Secretaries of State Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger, and Haig—plus over 200 retired generals and admirals—who have endorsed McCain. But about whom you hear nothing.


Of Course It’s About Race

I don’t care if you love Rush Limbaugh or think he’s a big, fat idiot—it’s irrelevant.

This comment is indisputable:

“So what if it’s race?” Limbaugh said on his radio show. “Why is it so hard to admit that it’s race…What’s so problematic about admitting it?”

Limbaugh’s original comments came in an email to Politico reporter Jonathan Martin Sunday, when the talk-radio host took issue with Powell’s contention that his endorsement of the Illinois senator did not have anything to do with the color of his skin.

“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,” Limbaugh wrote in the e-mail. “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.”

The comments immediately caused a stir on several Democratic blogs and an Obama campaign spokeswoman called them “disgusting.” They were also heavily reported on several news programs Sunday night and Monday morning. But Limbaugh made clear Monday he is not backing down from them.

“I thought it should be about race,” he said. “I thought you liberals thought this was a historic candidacy because finally we are going to elect a black guy…why hide behind this, why act like it’s not about race?”

“This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare,” Limbaugh added. The talk radio host also criticized members of the media for not addressing his claim that Powell likely hasn’t endorsed white candidates who, according to Limbaugh, have similar political leanings and experience as Obama.

“Just so you know, I haven’t come up with any,” he said. “I worked diligently on this on the airplane on the trip home from Green Bay yesterday. I can’t find any of these inexperienced white liberals that Powell has endorsed.”

Why are liberals suddenly afraid of race? Many liberals I know (and even some conservatives) have been quite open about their racially-inspired support for His Oneness. What else is “transformational” about Obama? That he’ll be our first Communist president? Then say that.

What Rush said may be “disgusting” to you, but take it up with Colin Powell.

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And Did I Mention He’s Black?*

Two interesting reactions to the Colin Powell endorsement of Barack Angela Obama:

Michelle Malkin:

It’s not a surprise to anyone who’s paid attention to his pro-Obama murmurings over the last four months.

It’s a mistake, though, to attribute Powell’s endorsement primarily to some kind of race loyalty.

It’s Obama’s social liberalism, not his skin color, that attracts Powell most.

Rush Limbaugh:

“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,” Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.”

As for Powell’s statement of concern this morning about the sort of Supreme Court justices a President McCain might appoint, Limbaugh wrote: “I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star [general] and secretary of state and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let’s hear it for transformational figures.”

I come down on El Rushbo’s side on this one. I don’t think there’s even any argument about it. Obama was in the Illinois State Senate the last election cycle—he’s become “transformational” on the national scene how? Not by anything he’s done, save run a ruthless and successful campaign. That may be enough to win him the job, but I’m not convinced it’s enough for him to succeed at it.


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Another Body Snatched

The Pod People have another scalp to hang on their belt:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama, citing the Democrat’s “ability to inspire” and the “inclusive nature of his campaign.”

“I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Powell said he was concerned about what he characterized as a recent negative turn of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain’s campaign, such as the campaign’s attempts to tie Obama to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

“I think that’s inappropriate. I understand what politics is about — I know how you can go after one another, and that’s good. But I think this goes too far, and I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It’s not what the American people are looking for,” he said.

Anybody who didn’t see that one coming needs to be checked for macular degeneration. “Meet the Press” two weeks before the election? Twyla Tharp couldn’t have choreographed it better.

While I understand the symbolism behind Powell’s endorsement of Obama, I don’t see the logic of it. “Because everyone else is doing it, I will too” is what it sounds like. Transformational, inclusive, ability to inspire—notice he didn’t say that he thought Obama could do the job. Those traits describe Neil Diamond, and you don’t hear him running for president.

But I’m especially disappointed with Powell’s dismissal of John McCain. Given the media’s complete abdication of responsibility, McCain has had to educate a blissfully ignorant public of Obama’s background and make-up, which ain’t pretty. (And they haven’t even gone near the abhorrent Jeremiah Wright.) The truth hurts, General Powell. Shame on you for not acknowledging your candidate’s manifold faults, even if you have chosen to support him.