October 22, 2008

Rush Limbaugh tripped all over himself yesterday, talking about Colin Powell.

From the transcript of yesterday's Rush Limbaugh show:
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?

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.
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.

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."

Powell said:
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!

98 comments:

sean said...

Huh? Colin Powell has stated that he is a Republican. (And as far as I know, he was telling the truth, and is registered as a Republican.) So the word "betrayal" is perfectly appropriate, just as it is perfectly appropriate for Democrats to accuse Joe Lieberman of "betrayal."

In either case, the obvious response is "I am putting country ahead of party." Which is fine, but you must not expect your fellow party members to be very appreciative.

Stephanie Carnes said...

"Powell never even stated that he was a member of the Republican Party."

He did, and when asked if he was still a Republican, said, "Yes."

ElcubanitoKC said...

I think it's silly to give so much importance to Powell's endorsement. That's all.

bleeper said...

When people say it's not about the money, it's always about the money.

Powell wants a new job, and by endorsing someone who looks like him, he will find plenty of work in the near future.

His endorsement has no value, but Rush's rants are amusing.

Larry said...

What I heard over and over from Powell is "I am black, he is black."

Nothing else matters.

Quayle said...

I saw Bill Clinton on a rerun of Letterman last night.

I longed for him to be able to take a 3rd term this election.

And I've never, ever liked Bill Clinton.

PatHMV said...

Well, Rush didn't say that Powell had betrayed the country, but that he had betrayed the party. That's a simple, true statement. In politics, when you decide to stop dancing with the person who brought you to the dance, that's a betrayal of sorts.

It may be a good thing or a bad thing for the country, for the individual, or for the party itself, but it's still a betrayal of sorts. There might be good reasons for the betrayal... he might think it's better for the country for a variety of reasons, he may be dissatisfied with the leadership of his party, he may feel he himself has been previously betrayed by the party.

"Betray" has a variety of definitions, but I think Rush is using it in the usual sense of "to be false or disloyal to" the person or group betrayed.

Original George said...

Buffett.

Volcker.

Powell.

The greyhead club is massing around Sen. Obama.

Based on his background, he appears to be a malleable person, i.e. his involvement with Ayers and the Chicago machine.

The eminence grise guys want a piece of Sen. Obama because they sense he's not his own man.

Salamandyr said...

Powell has always been a squish, a "moderate" Republican. And he has a pronounced tendency to bite his boss's hand.

Back in the early 90's, when Clinton was trying to integrate gays into the military, Powell, at the time an active duty member of the Armed Forces, publicly undercut the authority of the Commander in Chief to keep it from happening. Personally, I think Powell was probably right on the merits, but it's not the place of a member of the military to publicly pick fights with the President. For those of you who wanted integration, Powell's your man for why it didn't happen.

What respect I had left for the man pretty was pretty much destroyed when it turned out he had known all along who was the responsible for the Valerie Plame mess, and hid it from his President and the public because he was afraid it might lose him some point or two in the game he was playing with the Defense Department.

So quite frankly, at this point, Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama is a good reason for me to vote for John McCain.

Phil said...

Limbaugh is now a parody of himself. His explanation stinks of racism. This is not a shock and would not be a big deal except for the fact he is THE leading opinion maker for "conservatives" and the vocal base of the GOP.

So would Powell endorse Condi Rice or Clarance Thomas for president? I think not. This is not primarly a race issue. Powell is articulating the disgust of many moderate republicans and he said Palin was a big factor in his choice.

All of you "real" Americans can keep ignoring reality and get those Palin 2012 buttons ready.

ChiBlue said...

The following high-profile Republicans have endorsed Barack Obama for President:

Christopher Buckley
Susan Eisenhower
Kenneth Edelman
Michael Smerconish
Wick Allison
Andrew Bacevich
Doug Kmiec
Lincoln Chafee
Jim Leach
Colin Powell

Yet, Rush Limbaugh and others on the right single out Colin Powell to say that his endorsement was only about race. What about neocon Ken Adelman's endorsement? Or National Review's Chris Buckley? I guess they must have that white liberal guilt. Oh wait, they're not liberal. Well, there goes that theory. Maybe, just maybe they all think that Obama would make a better president than McCain. Just a thought.

It's entirely unsurprising how quickly the right turned on Colin Powell and began to use his race (which they've all of a sudden discovered) to discredit him. To these people, blacks are always provisionally admitted to their club. Once they show any signs of "race loyalty," they'll be roundly attacked in the most vile ways.

Black Republicans and conservatives aren't really individuals to the right; just symbols, tools they use to blunt accusations of racism. The right's reaction to Powell's endorsement makes that fact so clear.

It's amazing how the far right has sunk in so short a time. I'm just so glad to be around to see it. This movement deserves to die a slow, painful, public death.

Invisible Man said...

What I heard over and over from Powell is "I am black, he is black."

Nothing else matters.


Now that's a true window into a commentor's soul right there.

Michael_H said...

I can take or leave Rush Limbaugh.

Nothing said by Colin Powell convinced me that his endorsement of Barack Obama was anything other than an affirmative action endorsement.

AlphaLiberal said...

Betrayal? Is Colin Powell "General Betray-Us" to you?

Ohhhhh..... niiiiiiice!

There's another funny page out there, from a DailyKos diarist, showing all the other Republicans backing Obama because they're black: Christopher Buckley, Ken Adelman, Ike Eisenhower's granddaughter, Republican drunk Christopher Hitchens,etc. it's pretty funny but I can't find it.

Yeah, Limbaugh sure is a class act, isn't he? He routinely spouts patently false and easily disprovable stuff.

rhhardin said...

Limbaugh was mocking the media regularly over their caring what Colin Powell thought, in some incident a few years ago when it was the daily headline.

I think that history plays into this.

Likewise he will be against abortion whenever it comes up again, not because he's thought about it more but because he has a winning opening that he remembers, as in chess.

It's also the reason that there are topics on which Limbaugh is insufferably boring; lines he takes that don't work as he imagines as radio. Economics, abortion, social standards, to name three.

On the other hand, there's nobody better at conveying the daily news of the left. They're comic material universally.

Meade said...

Whatever you do, Br'er Rush, with your sagaciating corporosity, don't be throwing Br'er Colin into that briar patch!

AlphaLiberal said...

In other news we knew already, al Qaeda wants McCain to win:

Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.

Hat tip, TPM

al Qaeda needs more of the caveman ("Og mad. Og smash") foreign policy McCain promises for their recruitment and support.

m00se said...

Limbaugh? Hyperbole?

Say it ain't so!

I can't believe that you listen to him and expect reasoned discourse.

*sheesh*

1jpb said...

The reason Powell's endorsement matters is because BHO is supported by Powell, Buffet, and Volcker.

Folks can say Wright, Ayres, terrorist, socialist, commie,....

Then I get to say:
But, you're not as knowledgeable and experienced as Powell, Buffet, and Volcker...and they support BHO.

Ha!

P.S.
If it didn't matter Rush wouldn't be working so hard to fight it.

rhhardin said...

"Betray" has a variety of definitions

So we don't nestle weightless
In each other's hearts! The soul,
Then, is a raptor -- eagle
Or falcon, and if the soul
Is a raptor some other
Soul must be prey. Is that it?

Betraying is letting loose.
The tame caged fox is betrayed
To the hounds. Or: I betray
My heart to you. Give it up,
That is, into your keeping.
Your treachery and rapture.

...

``The Language of Love'' Vicki Hearne _In the Absence of Horses_ p.3

Skyler said...

Ann said,

"Huh? Suddenly, Powell is a big egoistic careerist?"

No, it wasn't really all that sudden. A lot of us in the military knew that decades ago.

ChiBlue, no one has heard of any of the names you've listed except for Powell.

Ann Althouse said...

"Colin Powell has stated that he is a Republican."

Well, if I got that point wrong, I got it wrong because of something Rush Limbaugh said on his Monday show. Note the added material in the post.

KLDAVIS said...

"But it's absurd to say that race is the only reason Powell would support Obama."

That's disingenuous of you, Professor. Rush isn't saying it's the only reason. He's saying there's a 'but-for' causation in effect with regard to Obama's race and Powell's endorsement (a cause-in-fact, if you prefer). It's perfectly illustrated by his point, that there is no way Powell would endorse a similarly (un)qualified white politician.

Harwood said...

Powell never even stated that he was a member of the Republican Party.
----
Interviewer: "Are you still a Republican?"

Powell: "Yes."

madawaskan said...

Powell on Bosnia-

Powell's position only hardened after Clinton took office. In his former job as House Armed Services Committee chairman, Aspin had argued forcefully against applying the Powell doctrine to Bosnia. "If we say it is all or nothing and then walk away," Aspin protested, "we are sending a signal... that there is no downside to ethnic cleansing." He continued to make the case during his first months at the Pentagon. "There it was again," Powell recalls of the case for bombing, "the ever-popular solution from the skies, with a good humanist twist." Acutely aware of the general's stature, the Clinton team quickly caved in. "So long as Powell didn't want to bomb," claims a former White House official, "we weren't going to bomb." America would have to wait for Powell to retire before it put a halt to the killing.

From Kaplan.

Yes! Colin Powell is always right and he's never in it for himself or thinks he alone knows best.

He ran to The New York Times and wrote an Op-Ed opposing CLINTON the Commander in Chief and Powell wrote this Op-Ed when was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [ a pattern that was repeated, and repeated again.]

So now the Democrat party is not only BOUND by the ANTI-WAR base Colin Powell has been bought and paid for by Obama who has promised Powell an advisory role.

Genociders Unite!

Oh Happy Day!

madawaskan said...

You've got a Republican isolationist backing a Democrat spoken isolationist yet the Intelligentsia are still hoping that they alone know that Obama has fooled the Democrat anti-war establishment and that he is-

LYING.

Good one.

Who is fooling who?

LarsPorsena said...

Colin Powell is the greatest general since Al Haig.

integrity said...

I go to luch every day at 11:30AM and listen to Rush for the last 1/2 hour of his show when I can. Anyone listening knows he is on drugs, either back on Oxtcontin or onto something new.

Yesterday Rush sounded like he was on the verge of a breakdown. He is only days away from a complete meltdown.

Could not have happened to a nicer guy.

madawaskan said...

I believe Colin Powell when he says he isn't supporting Obama based on race-it's more dangerous than that-it's the SHARED ISOLATIONIST policy.

So Republican pundits miss this point.

Of course they've been rabble rousing their own isolationists so they can't legitimately go there.

Terrorism is too difficult for the talk show host to get his audience to understand.

It breaks the pattern of history, establishes new rules, doesn't honor the old nation state boundaries so of course sport caster geniuses from both the Left and the Right like Keith Olbermann and Rush Limbaugh take the path of least resistance...

Keith said...

The conservative movement would be better served if it realized that Rush, Hannity, et al were really not interested in advancing their cause(s). At heart, they are self-promoters, interested only in themselves and in an accumulation of wealth (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

If there is anything that they have done in their careers that would disabuse me of that notion, I'd love to hear a counter argument that makes sense, other than the usual "they are proud Americans, cause they champion conservative causes". They know that loud controversy draws listeners, and they have a good business model that works for them. Good for them; but they really do not have the best interest of the country in their souls. And, yeah, if Rush can look into Powell's mind, others can look into Rush's.

Rush is a sybarite, loves a jet-set lifestyle, and has had a few morality issues in his life. Strange that (some) conservatives have fetishized him.

AJ Lynch said...

Bottom line is can anyone answer Rush's immediate question Althouse?

List other inexperienced, liberal, white candidates who Powell has endorsed?

Floridan said...

Skyler: "ChiBlue, no one has heard of any of the names you've listed except for Powell."

Sarah, is that you? Shouldn't you be campaigning instead of posting on Althouse?

Palladian said...

"In other news we knew already, al Qaeda wants McCain to win:

Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency."

They're a lot like you, Alphie. They love to get bitch-slapped and smacked around and they know that if Obama wins, all they'll get is long, slow blowjobs and tender massages.

Keith said...

List other inexperienced, liberal, white candidates who Powell has endorsed?

That would be Michael Bloomberg for mayor of NYC...

Palladian said...

"ChiBlue, no one has heard of any of the names you've listed except for Powell."

I know! Who the fuck are those people? "Life-long" Republicans, I'm sure.

I've said this many times: there is absolutely no conservative justification for voting for Obama. If you hate McCain/Palin so much, and you're an actual conservative, you'll sit this election out. But if you vote for Obama, you're not a conservative. Either you're deluding yourself or you're lying. There's been a lot of self-delusion and lies about this campaign season, hasn't there?

AJ Lynch said...

Keith:

I don't think anyone except you would claim Bloomberg lacked experience!

Paul Zrimsek said...

In 7 years al-Qaeda has gone from making terrorist attacks to welcoming them. Another Bush failure!

Salamandyr said...

ChiBlue, a fair number of those people are nobodies, a few of the others are RINO's (I mean, Lincoln Chafee? Really!), and not a single one of them is a Conservative. You might as well be listing Jeffords.

If I came to you bragging about Bush's bipartisanship using Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller would you find that convincing?

SteveR said...

"high profile Republican" and Lincoln Chafee? Does not compute.

Maybe one but certainly not both.

Titusdoesntbottom said...

Powell is a traitor.

When is Condi Rice going to get on one of these programs and betrayus.

Go Phillies.

reality said...

"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."
-------

"the balance", eh?

I admire your writing quite a bit, but that's essentially nothing but a falsehood presented as a fact; to be slipped past the reader as one of those "of course everyone knows..." things.

I believe the accepted term for such is 'propaganda'.

Any rational assessment of the past 20 years (the past 40, really) has to
acknowledge that the country has been moved steadily and obviously in the direction of the 'liberal' agenda of ever more power concentrated in an ever-growing government.

And SCOTUS was indubitably a part of that entire slide.

That's far, far from 'balanced'; regardless of whether one arbitrarily labels half the court L and half as C.

It's like calling the GOP of today 'conservative'. You can say it, even repeat it over and over; but it doesn't make it so.

In regards to Powell, wasn't he the colonel in charge during the My Lai massacre or some other nasty incident?

From many things read over the years, I've ended up with an impression of Powell as someone who has repeatedly wallowed in shit, while coming out shiny and rose-smelling every time.

ps; Obama's 'change' facade is falling off in very large chunks now, isn't it?

Soros, Buffet, Biden, Powell...

huh...

Host with the Most said...

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?

Yes, Ann. You of all people should get that.

Where's your evidence otherwise?

Host with the Most said...

What is so amazing to me is the value put into the stature of a Colin Powell by so many who seek to degrade John McCain.

America-haters most.

Hypocrites all.

BJK said...

You guys (and ladies) are all skipping over the money quote from Ann's Blog post.

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.

McCain's only chance to win Ms. Althouse's vote would have been a willingness to nominate some Justices that his base wouldn't approve of. Considering Ann is a Con Law professor, that balance is probably more important to her than it would be to most (myself included). Given that, all Obama has to do is show himself reasonably capable, and he earns her vote. Safe to say he's done that.

Seeing as how Roberts and Alito are the reason that I voted in favor of President Bush....I can't even fault her for it. I just wish it didn't take reading the tea leaves to decipher the rationale.

Dan said...

The irony here is biting. Isn't blind party loyalty just another form of identity politics?

Matunga ka Lukka said...

As someone who is not a white Christian Colin Powell said something that needed to be said and i am disappointed that neither candidate has made any mention of it during the long campaign season. From the transcript

I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

To me, as an immigrant, the best part of the United States is the open acceptance of anyone irrespective of color, or religion and your actions speak louder than who you are. And the Republican party and some conservatives have forgotten that basic tenet that makes America the shining beacon.

madawaskan said...

OK-

Probably most here don't give a damn about Bosnia given the Liberal laissez-faire attitude with regards to Rwanda so here is one you might give a damn about-

Christopher Hitchens on Powell-

However, weeks after Clinton was elected and eight days before he was inaugurated, Powell appeared before the Naval Academy and enjoined his audience to consider resigning if they opposed an end to the ban on gays in the military. Not long before that, he had written and signed an Op-Ed in the New York Times flatly opposing military intervention in the Balkans

Funny how Liberals "forget" how they hated Powell-now that he has become so useful of late, and not just the Obama endorsement.

madawaskan said...

bjk-

Well knowing Republican luck it'll be Alito that goes.

Ann has devoted her life to that-Con Law-so it is completely rational and understandable.

jdeeripper said...

Suddenly, Powell is a big egoistic careerist

Powell has always been a brown nosing, egotistical careerist. Nothing sudden about it.

And of course he supports Obama because the two of them are black.

Totally predictable. The surprise is an example of what I call The Garcetti Effect. Named for LA DA Gil Garcetti who thought a black jury would put facts and justice before racial sympathy in the OJ Simpson case. They didn't and White folks were surprised.

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.

Now that's where Powell is being disingenuous. Powell and you Ann know damn well that the President merely nominates a candidate for the court and that the Senate must confirm that person.

The Democrats control the senate majority and will not accept a so called conservative nominee. A President McCain would know that.

No doubt President McCain would speak with Senator Leahy and ask for a list of acceptable moderate nominees.

Bill Clinton asked Judiciary committee chairman Orin Hatch for the names of acceptable candidates and the conservative Mormon Republican gave him the names of Ruth Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer.

Powell is using the phony fear of a right wing court to cover his purely racial motives in supporting Obama.

The Garcetti Effect is as basic to American race politics as evolution by natural selection is to biology.

Then again many Americans are creationists.

marklewin said...

Rush (i like to refer to him as 'flush') and Sean Hannity (I prefer to call him Sean the Pawn) have helped educate the masses on conservatism and increase their numbers significantly. However, Flush and his ilk also impose a ceiling on the growth of a healthy conservative movement and stifle it's development. Flush and Pawn's cognitive rigidity and histrionic, immature emotional style (i.e. seeing Powell as betraying the party) ultimately prove to be quite limiting for conservatism as it apparently ties it solely to the Republican Party and it cannot easily encompass multiple variables and dichotomies. Conservatism, in the eyes of all too many, will now forever be identified with the likes of Flush, Pawn, and George W.

Henry said...

ChiBlue, no one has heard of any of the names you've listed except for Powell.

I know Lincoln Chafee. I voted for him. I'll vote for him again if he runs again.

I've always liked Chafee. He is idiosyncratic, unpretentious, independent, and completely honest.

But I'm not at all surprised he would support Obama, despite Obama being none of those things. Chafee's also a dreamer.

sonicfrog said...

Skyler sayD

ChiBlue, no one has heard of any of the names you've listed except for Powell.

I have, except for

Michael Smerconish
Wick Allison
Andrew Bacevich

There is an angle no one is talking about. This has a tinge of revenge mixed in. Powell has a legitimate reason to poke a stick in the eyes of Republicans - Feb 5, 2003. He has long regretted his speech in front of the U.N. a speech based on shoddy intelligence that, point by point, was either later proven to be wrong, or worse, later shown to be fabrications. It is a stain on his record. I would venture to guess Powell made up his mind to endorse Obama the moment McCain set aside his campaign staff in favor of Bush / Rove acolyte Steve Schmidt and company.

Doyle said...


List other inexperienced, liberal, white candidates who Powell has endorsed?


Open question: How stupid and racist do you have to be to find this argument compelling?

LarsPorsena said...

Stolen from another site:
(Don) Imus sent a reporter into Harlem, to talk with three likely voters. He began by asking them who they planned to vote for. Not surprisingly, all three said Barack Obama. When asked why they couldn't support John McCain, they cited opposition to the GOP candidate's "policies."

Then, the interviewer turned the tables on his subjects, assigning McCain's positions to Senator Obama.

Q: "Do you support Obama because he's pro-life or because he wants to keep our troops in Iraq to finish the job?"

Each of the interview subjects expressed support for one of the McCain positions--as long as it was ascribed to Mr. Obama.

And, during the same segment, none of the respondents voiced any reservations about Senator Obama's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin



Let's 'splain this.

(The link with the audio will be up later.)

ricpic said...

Powell is only General Betrayus to those who harbored illusions that he was ever more than a calculating careerist.

AllenS said...

Lars, that was Howard Stern who did that.

AJ Lynch said...

Can't answer the question huh Doyle?

I am so racist I once voted for W. Wilson Goode for mayor. That proves I was pretty stupid once.

LarsPorsena said...

AllenS:
"Lars, that was Howard Stern who did that."

Sorry, you're probably right. Still, it does remind me of Colin Powell being sort of a man on the street.

LarsPorsena said...

AllenS:

I stand corrected and here's the link:
http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=194983

Methadras said...

Mr. Barely himself stated that Powell was already working for him in an advisory capacity. The endorsement, as opportunistically timed as it was, was a foregone conclusion. Why all the hubbub other than to make this a [gasp] black general, ex-sec. of state endorsing a barely [150 some odd days] senator who also happens to be black? Now Powell doesn't get to be called an Uncle Tom anymore. I'm sure he's relieved.

Sigivald said...

I must join in on the attack on "balanced Supreme Court".

What "balance" might this be? I don't see "annoying both the left and the right with more or less arbitrary decisions" as a balance.

I'd rather have a court full of Thomases and Alitos (Alitoes?) who'd annoy both the left and the right with consistently reasoned decisions based on the actual text of the Constitution and laws, as opposed to emanations, penumbras, intuited trends of "consensus" that don't actually exist, and all the rest.

Is that "balanced"? I don't care, at least without an explanation of what's being balanced against what and why that's supposed to be important.

(I don't want support-this-policy/oppose-that-policy ideologues from either side, at least beyond the extent that some policies must be supported or opposed based on the Constitution.

But that's not what I get the feeling that "balance" is supposed to mean here. On the other hand, its meaning is deeply unclear.)

ElcubanitoKC said...

Matunga, I am also an immigrant, someone who came from somewhere else. I have been more discriminated against and attacked by liberals than by anyone else. Why? Because I don't like socialism, because I find political correctness stupid and counterproductive, and because as a large collection of "minorities" into one person, I do not allow them to clump me into any group or use me as a token of any kind.

Now, let's go back on topic.

Zeb Quinn said...

You may be tools, Obama supporters, but being unabashed tools doesn't become you. Limbaugh's main point here is the simple observation that Obama's candidacy is about race, 100% of the time. A white guy with the credentials or bona fides of Obama, such as they are, would never be anywhere close to being the Democrat nominee. It's race that got Obama there. It's the same observation Geraldine Ferraro said in the primaries. It's so obviously true you have to do pretzel-like contortions in logic to avoid it. Limbaugh's other point, which Althouse didn't excerpt, is you guys ought to be proud of it. Lead with it. Say, yes, race is what it's about.

EDH said...

Mickey Kaus also believes the Powell endorsemnt has a short half-life.

"Boil across You Tube"? It's not even boiling across HuffPo. It's not, you know, compelling viewing. Maybe if you put some cats in it. .... My guess isn't that the Powell endorsement will fade quickly. My guess is it's already faded. ...

I agree. The reason: Powell presented an uncharacteristically weak analysis for his transformation, enabled only because Brokaw bastardized the MTP format by allowing Powell to speak uninterrupted for several minutes.

For example, a simple question to Powell about Biden's opposition to ejecting Saddam from Kuwait would have rebutted his "concerns" about Palin.

chickenlittle said...

Althouse wrote:
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.

Maybe for you, but we already know that Obama rejects the moderate likes of even a Roberts (Obama's Saddleback thoughts).

So you think it's alright that Obama will likely appoint and get confirmation of some pretty far left justices because that will still result in some balance?

I don't get the math. I see the court as pretty balanced right now. Regardless of who retires first, I see a much greater risk of Obama tipping the court one way than McCain the other way.

Sheesh, I'm begining to think Yachira was on to something in a different thread.

garage mahal said...

You may be tools, Obama supporters, but being unabashed tools doesn't become you. Limbaugh's main point here is the simple observation that Obama's candidacy is about race, 100% of the time.

He'll get over it. Well actually he won't, which is even better.

Colorado2993 said...

If you argue that Colin Powell endoresed Barrack Obama because he is black and proof is that he hasn't endorsed any white, liberal, cantididates, then one could say that the only reason to endorse Palin was because she is a woman.
Rush Needs to Watch himself. If one rebuplican has his own opinion then all of a sudden a man who is the most popular republican in the US, a four star general, and long time republican is a racist liar concerned only with his own career.

ricpic said...

Reporter: And you are supporting Obama for what reason, General?

Powell: Why his candidacy is - harrumph harrumph - historic!

Reporter: In what way, exactly?

Powell: In what?...everyone knows it's - harrumph harrumph - historic!!

Reporter: Is it because Obama is black?

Powell: Are you implying?..dastardly, a dastardly slur, Sir. No such thing. No such thing.

Reporter: Well then what is the reason?

Powell: Are you dense, Sir? Historic - harrumph harrumph - HISTORIC!!!

matthew said...

*sigh*

As someone who tends to be mostly moderate (though I lean democratic), the immeadiate branding of someone who disagrees with you as a traitor bothers me.

Too many jims said...

jdeeripper said...
Now that's where Powell is being disingenuous. Powell and you Ann know damn well that the President merely nominates a candidate for the court and that the Senate must confirm that person.

The Democrats control the senate majority and will not accept a so called conservative nominee. A President McCain would know that.

No doubt President McCain would speak with Senator Leahy and ask for a list of acceptable moderate nominees.


If Powell and Prof. Althouse "know damn well" that a so called conservative nominee will not be put forward, doesn't McCain know that too? McCain has said that he will nominate judges/justices like Alito and Roberts. If he knows he will not nominate people like that then isn't he being disingenuous on the matter? Shouldn't he come out and say: "As President, in consultation with Leahy, I will nominate judges/justices along the line of Kennedy and Souter." As it is, I don't think it is disingenuous of people like Powell to take him at his word regarding who he will appoint.

AJ Lynch said...

Colorado:

God you liberals are so dense. (can I say God and not offend you?).

Palin is a conservative. Rush has endorsed many conservatives before her.

Got it now?

Obama is a far left liberal - how many far left liberals prior to Sunday has Gen. Powell endorsed?

Kirk Parker said...

What Sigvald said: who wants balance between those who think the court's job is to be a court, and those who think they are supposed to be a super-legislator? Give me 9 justices like Thomas who will say "X is a terrible law, I'd vote to repeal it if I were in the relevant legislature--but I can find nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the stupid legislature from making their stupid decisions in this particularly stupid way." (Or words to that effect.)

Oxbay said...

Althouse writes: "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."

I've seen similar things written in the past few years. It might be accurate and it might not. As far as Souter resigning, no way, they will have to pry his cold dead fingers from his poison pen. The same goes for Stevens. As for Ginsburg - how could one tell?

mccullough said...

Powell said about Obama that "he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president"

I suppose he deserves some slack because these are (somewhat) extemporaneous remarks, but Obama is not president yet much less a successful president much less an exceptional president.

Obama's a smart guy (so is McCain) but this is a bit much to say at this point. If Obama is as bad as his detractors claim, then there's no way he will be anything but a bad president, maybe even worse than W.

His potential to be as bad as W. seems more likely than his chance to be successful like Clinton or exceptional like FDR and Lincoln.

Let's all keep track of how many soldiers are killed in Afghanistan when Obama ramps up the war there and also how much money is spent there. As Iraq and Viet Nam have shown, Americans don't want a lot of bloodshed in places they can't find on a map and as 9/11 recedes no one's going to care as much.

Obama's job-killing economic plans could also be disastrous.

He might very well makes us long for the days of W.

jdeeripper said...

Too many jims said...If Powell and Prof. Althouse "know damn well" that a so called conservative nominee will not be put forward, doesn't McCain know that too?

I didn't say that. I said:

Powell and you Ann know damn well that the President merely nominates a candidate for the court and that the Senate must confirm that person.

It doesn't matter who McCain nominates only who the Senate confirms. This Senate will NOT confirm a so called conservative.

McCain has said that he will nominate judges/justices like Alito and Roberts. If he knows he will not nominate people like that then isn't he being disingenuous on the matter?

Of course he is. President McCain doesn't want his nominee to be put through the degrading dog and pony show only to be rejected. And any nominee smart enough for the job is smart enough to know what would be in store for him.

Shouldn't he come out and say: "As President, in consultation with Leahy, I will nominate judges/justices along the line of Kennedy and Souter."

He should press the issue of one party consolidation of power in Washington on all issues. The economy, the judiciary, etc. He should say - "I will appoint the most reasonable people I can find within the constraints of a Democratic party controlled Congress." He should say - "I will be the voice of moderation to reign in the power of the Democrats, etc etc."

As it is, I don't think it is disingenuous of people like Powell to take him at his word regarding who he will appoint.

It's either disingenuous or a sign of a lack of intelligence and knowledge of how the selection/confirmation process works.

Calling it disingenuous is the least insulting way of putting it.

Shanna said...

Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is?

This has bothered me as well. I don’t know about anybody else, but I have pretty much tried to set anyone straight who calls Obama a Muslim in my personal life. There are a ton of reasons to vote against him, but this is not one of them.

Of course, talking about how he’s not a Muslim leads to talking about the church he went to for 20 years and all the stuff they preach, but that’s a different story. Maybe if McCain hadn’t made that off limits they could more forcefully rebut the “muslim” thing, while scoring some political points at the same time.

Of course, Rush is an entertainer, first and foremost. I totally don't care what he thinks about anything. Giving him this much attention just plays to his schtick.

Revenant said...

Calling this a "betrayal" is wrong. Powell isn't a servant of the Republican Party. He isn't even a servant of the United States, anymore.

Powell chose racial solidarity over ideological solidarity. That's unfortunate, and I would say ignoble as well -- but it isn't a betrayal of anything except, perhaps, his principles.

Oxbay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oxbay said...

Powell is a self described Rockefeller Republican. McCain is the best chance for a guy like Powell to vote for a Rockefeller Republican since Rockefeller himself ran for his party's nomination.

Instead he's publicly supporting the most extreme left wing major party candidate since McGovern.

He mentions people from his own party referring to Obama as a Muslim. Who has done that? There was a lot of that kind of talk about Obama early in the primaries. The Democratic primaries. I haven't heard any Republican refer to Obama as a Muslim.

James said...

chickenlittle said:

"So you think it's alright that Obama will likely appoint and get confirmation of some pretty far left justices because that will still result in some balance?

I don't get the math. I see the court as pretty balanced right now. Regardless of who retires first, I see a much greater risk of Obama tipping the court one way than McCain the other way."

Except the problem in your argument is that the Justices that would be retiring are ones that most of the conservative commentators on this site would call "far-left" if not "radical" jurists. Thus, Obama replacing them with what you call "pretty far-left" judges would maintain the balance. Not all that hard to understand.

garage mahal said...

I'd love to see one Republican tell Colin Powell to his face that he's lying about his motives in his endorsement. Never happen.

chickenlittle said...

@James,

Two points: First, no one has clue who will be leaving. I don't recall anyone fortelling O'Connor stepping down or Rehnquist dying on cue, but maybe you do.

Second, Presidents tend to appoint justices consonant with their philosophy, taking into account their chances for approval (Hell wasn't Harry Reid on board for Harriet Meiers?).

Surely you can see that the political flavor of upcoming vacancies is not a given, while the flavor of Obama's likely choices is. There is a certain risk of a very liberal court.

With McCain, the risk of a conservative choice may be there but it won't go through. There's no certain risk of a conservative court.

AJ Lynch said...

Garage:

Powell probably believes he is not basing his endorsement primarily on Obama's race. Powell is also trying hard to convince people of that.

He is entitled to his opinion and so am I.

Do you agree?

Roger J. said...

Gen Powell was an intensely political general--you don't get to be a four star without political savvy. But I respect his service as a soldier as well. He has every right to endorse anyone he wants to. But his endorsement is certainly not going to sway my vote. His endorsement is not going to sway a lot of votes one way or the other, IMO.

In the larger scheme of things, it appears to me that race relations have been set back considerably as a result of this campaign. Should Obama lose the election, it will be assumed to be because of racism; if Obama pulls a Jimmy Carter as President, it will be because of racism. And even if he is wildly successful as a President, some will continue to believe it was all because of race. If we used Martin Luther King's standard about content of character that would be wonderful--but it really has come down to the color of his skin, and IMO the democratic party has played and continues to invoke racism. And we can, as a country, continue Gunner Myrdahl's mythmaking.

Trooper York said...

I believe that Beetle Bailey has also endorsed Senator Obama.

He seems to have a lot of support in the military.

Trooper York said...

On the other hand Otto, Sgt Snorkels dog has endorsed Senator McCain.

But only because he heard that Sarah Palin was a pitbull with lipstick and he got all excited.

Politics and endorsements can turn on a lot of strange things.

garage mahal said...

AJ
We have no way of knowing, which is my point.

holdfast said...

Why does Obama want Ken Adelman's endorsement - he is the author of the "cakewalk" quote on Iraq? Clearly this guy is wronger than Cheney - why would Obamabots tout him?

Powell was spectacularly wrong when he advised Bush pere to call off the war after Powell's delicate sensibilities were upset by scenes of the "Highway of Death". I am not saying that we should have gone to Baghdad in '91, but a few more days of beating the crap out of the Republican Guard would have been a very good thing - at least for the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs.

As SecState Powell was remarkably lazy and hardly travelled (some say because his wife didn't like it). The Plame affair is another black mark. His habit of being Woodward's biggest source is also not particularly attractive.

Powell has made a great career out of being a uniformed politician and the Republican't token black guy. He wasn't much of a troop leader after Vietnam, preferring to play Pentagon power games. Absent his advice to Bush 41, he would have been a perfectly adequate CJCS, but nothing more.

carly said...

Powell has always done what's good for Powell. So it's no surprise that he's endorsing Obama; and it's no surprise that he's doing so at this very late date--when it seems pretty certain that Obama will win.

Betrayal? Maybe. I'd say it's just more of the same opportunism we've seen from Powell before. Opportunism or racial solidarity? Eh, probably more the first. But race must be a factor as well; why else would Powell emphasize that Obama's is a "transformational" candidacy? What ELSE about it is "transformational"?

I'm not a Rush listener, but I did think his remarks about Powell's SCOTUS digs were spot on.

veni vidi vici said...

"he has both style and substance"

sure, Colon. Got the style part, but what substance, really?


Seriously, though, to understand Limbaugh's point and how it does have salience, rather than "tripping-all-over-itself-ness", one must begin from the premise that Obama's policies are standard-issue Democrat/liberal doctrine. This is not difficult to do, given there was no daylight between the policy proposals of Obama, Hillary or Edwards or any of the faceless losers that dropped out of the primaries earlier on; the Democratic primaries were always a popularity contest. Ted, just admit it.

Acknowledging the foregoing, Powell's arguments are largely horseshit, unless there's something unduly "historic" about electing a president from the out-party after two terms of the other.

Powell's endorsement was weak anyway because he waited until there wasn't much risk in making it. On the other hand, I find the argument interesting that the Obama campaign would've preferred to wait until another week or two passed before rolling Powell out just before the election (to pacify any fence-sitters) but had to accelerate him because McCain's closing the gap.

Ultimately, though, tempests and teapots. But yeah, I'll agree that Rush has often lately been sounding like the babbler on the train platform watching the caboose fade into the distance because he spent too long in the station's loo.

antiphone said...

In the larger scheme of things, it appears to me that race relations have been set back considerably as a result of this campaign. Should Obama lose the election, it will be assumed to be because of racism; if Obama pulls a Jimmy Carter as President, it will be because of racism. And even if he is wildly successful as a President, some will continue to believe it was all because of race.

So, what lesson to you take from this Roger J., White candidates only? What about Sarah Palin, can we conclude that if McCain/Palin loose will it be assumed to be because of sexism? If they win will it be because of gender?

Methadras said...

Revenant said...

but it isn't a betrayal of anything except, perhaps, his principles.


I wonder how much it costs to get those principles back? Judas was cheap, but I get not getting called an Uncle Tom anymore has it's value somewhere.

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

I'd love to see one Republican tell Colin Powell to his face that he's lying about his motives in his endorsement. Never happen.


I would tell him to his face that he basically did it to eliminate the moniker of Uncle Tom from his portfolio because that is the primary reason he did it. Everything else is political icing. If Mr. Barely loses, then Powell loses nothing.

Matthew said...

i cannot help but think you are insulting upwards in the hope of being mentioned by rush.

jdeeripper said...

Colin Powell is in the house .

"I stand before you tonight as an African-American," Mr Powell said.

"Many people have said to me you became secretary of state of the USA, is it still necessary to say that you are an African-American or that you are black, and I say, yes, so that we can remind our children.

"It took a lot of people struggling to bring me to this point in history. I didn't just drop out of the sky, people came from my continent in chains."

419 baby, yo yo yo!!!

The really embarrassing thing about Colin Powell's hip-hop routine

jdeeripper said...

Shocker!! Colin Powell has revised his opinion on the US military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

Powell in now a full blown supporter of gays in the military!!

Way to go Colin!

jdeeripper said...

Colin Powell trying too hard to be black!

Jeez, has this guy come out of the racial closet or what!

knowitall said...

I think people tend to put everything on race when someone of the opposite race endorses a candidate. Now with Powell endorsing a liberal illuminati, what does that say? Is he too racist for not sticking to his party?