Isn't this, by the way, the Colin Powell who was first appointed to a big job by Mr. Conservative, Ronald Reagan? Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who pinned the four stars on General Powell? It was, ladies and gentlemen. And wasn't it George H.W. Bush who named him chairman of the Joint Chiefs, another Republican? And wasn't it George W. Bush who named him secretary of state? Yes, another Republican. By tomorrow this time, the political impact of the Powell endorsement will be mostly irrelevant, but his betrayal will be forever.Betrayal? Is Colin Powell "General Betray-Us" to you? Presumably, Powell deserved the positions the Republicans offered him, and these positions were not in exchange for future party loyalty. Powell never even stated that he was a member of the Republican Party. He was an independent thinker, which is one reason why his support was so valuable. [ADDED: Has Powell identified himself as a member of the party? On "Meet the Press," he kept saying "the party," but does at one point say "my own party." I was influenced by something Rush said on the Monday show: "I'll never forget Powell threatening with running for president back in 1995, remember that? And he wouldn't identify what party he was from. He had these approval ratings in the seventies. He knew if he identified himself as a Republican or a Democrat, that he'd lose some of the numbers, he wouldn't take a position on abortion, for example. Everybody on our side was so excited about Colin Powell. I said, 'Folks, don't you think it matters whether or not he's a Republican or Democrat? He won't tell us.'" Back to the Tuesday transcript:]
And you people in the Drive-Bys [i.e., the mainstream media] who have been out there claiming that my disagreeing when Powell says his endorsement of Obama is not about race, and I say, yes, it is, it's totally about race, is a transformational figure, what else is transformational about Obama if not his race?You know, it's possible to like and respect John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and still think the next 2 appointments should be made by a Democrat. That's my thinking on the subject. Political moderates tend to want a balanced Supreme Court, and replacing Stevens, Souter, or Ginsburg -- the 3 most likely departures -- with a reliably conservative Justice would upset the balance we have known for the lasts 20 years and more.
Everybody knows that Democrats in the media think history is being made here. What's so hard to admit you're supporting a guy because of race? And they're trying to tell me that I'm being racist and that I'm accusing Secretary Powell of being a racist. I'm not accusing him of being a racist. The Democrats have gotten away with defining our language or redefining our language for far too long....
What I said, my simple quotes to Jonathan Martin. "Jonathan, he says it's not about race. Okay. I'm going to search all the inexperienced white liberals that he's endorsed. I'll get back to you with what I find." Not only is that not racist, it's brilliant, if I say so myself, because it expresses it in a number of ways. What I'm saying is, well, this is interesting. He says it's not about race, but where all the inexperienced white liberals? Of course it's about race. And then when I said -- now, nobody brings this one up -- but he said he couldn't deal with two more Republican appointments to the Supreme Court. I said, "I didn't know he disliked John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia." I guess he also doesn't like the fact that it was Republicans that made him who he is. This is betrayal.
As for all that material about race, here's what Powell said:
So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world--onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.Powell used the word "transformational" in the context of generational change and also "who he is," which we can take to include Obama's race. That is part of "his ability to inspire." But it's absurd to say that race is the only reason Powell would support Obama. Limbaugh is relying way too much on a strained idea of party loyalty.
Tom Brokaw immediately pressed Colin Powell on the matter of race, saying: "And you are fully aware that there will be some--how many, no one can say for sure--but there will be some who will say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race."
If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect and regard for, John McCain, and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama. And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled on this. And I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president. And should that happen, all Americans should be proud--not just African-Americans, but all Americans--that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world.So he openly stated that he's excited about the prospect of a black President.
Back to Limbaugh:
What General Powell did is betrayal, and of course he's gonna say it's not about race, but if Biden were the nominee you think he'd be endorsing Biden? Do you think he would endorse Hillary? It's possible. I'll tell you why.Ha. Limbaugh backs down from his own theory! He loves his theories so much that he can't resist spinning out another one, even when it screws up the last one.
Because in addition to the race factor here, what's most important to Colin Powell is Colin Powell.Huh? Suddenly, Powell is a big egoistic careerist?
And that means what's most important to Colin Powell is his standing in the New York-Washington elite corridors of power, and he has been on thin ice since the Iraq war and since he went up there to the United Nations and made the case for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. So this gets him back in good graces, this gets him back in good stead....After a commercial break, he goes back to the issue of race:
Just one more stab at this, folks, this Colin Powell business. I'm not calling him a racist. I'm saying he's disingenuous. It's not about racism. It's about his lack of candor. He can't admit what's obvious. Race plays a huge role. The whole campaign is about race. It's "historic." Why is it historic?Hey, read the transcript I just quoted. He wasn't disingenuous. He said it! "And I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president."
Why can't you Democrats acknowledge this? What's so hard about it? Just say it! Be proud of it! It would have been refreshing if Secretary Powell had stated the obvious, not danced around it. But, see, if he'd admitted it was about race it wouldn't have helped him with the media.With the help of the media? Look at Brokaw's question! Limbaugh was tripping all over himself in this segment, and what would be so hard about admitting he was wrong? Just say it! Don't dance around it!