Colin Powell: Not worth the airtime and bandwidth

For a guy out of office and not going to seek any, people are paying an awful lot of attention to Colin Powell.

And they shouldn't.

This puts me at odds with folks of the right who are irate at Powell and those who welcome his continued participation.

Hey, if Colin wants to stay a Republican that's fine. The bottom line is he never was a very partisan Republican and I don't think we should lose any sleep if he disagrees with much of what the party is doing. (as an aside, lets also not scream in horror everytime some Republican says he's not a Rush fan.   Makes us look rather thin skinned) 

Powell is one of those folks who although they emerge from humble beginnings are now firmly entrenched in the D.C. establishment. He has never sought elective office not campaigned much for others. and indeed suggested in 2000 he would have been willing to serve in a Gore administration. Nope, he's the inside guy to staff the less partisan levers of the federal government.  An establishment guy.

And from 1980 to 2008 that was usually a place where a Republican was pretty welcome, since we either held the White House or Congress for 26 of the 28 years.  And now it isn't.

Powell may use the rationalization that the party drifted to the right, though clearly it was more vocally conservative on many issues prior to George W. Bush's definition of the party. And using Sarah Palin as an excuse won't wash.  Evidently the equally derided Dan Quayle was insufficient reason for Powell to search for the exits back then.    

I also reject the charge by Limbaugh that Powell was solely motivated by racial kinship in his Obama endorsement.  Had Obama been unacceptable to the Beltway bramin, he'd have been unable to gain Powell's support.

Nope, this was all about Dr. Gallup. Powell is a symptom of much of what defines a moderate--they are dyed-in-the -wool frontrunners. Had McCain been leading Obama into the homestretch I have no doubt the General would have been side-by-side with Mac singing his praises.

The argument being made now by the Beltway establishment is that we need to cater to the interests of folks like Powell to gain back our path to elective success.  I'm not for RINO bashing as a path to power, but let's be real. This proposal is simply backasswards.

Moderates won;t come back to the ranks of the Republican party because we beg them. They will come back because we look like we are going to win some elections and we make the otther guys look extreme or incompetent. The DC press has cause and effect reversed.

Indeed consider this. If Powell was convinced that the GOP couldn't mount a comeback he wouldn't leave the door open to come back in.  A general always thinks strategically.

Colin Powell endorsed and worked for Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, all of whom were to the right of John McCain..  It wasn;t the policies that drove him off in 2008, it was the popularity. Powell's influence would have sunk with the ship had he endorsed McCain.

I think the Republicans should be a "big tent" party. My point is the first thing to do is to build the tent, not worry so much about the folks who will always stand around the periphery waiting to be cajoled inside.

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Comments

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I'm not really sure I understand your argument here. Colin Powell went against the Bush administration when the intial decision was being made to invade Iraq at a time when a majority of the country thought that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks and supported a U.S. led invasion. He played important roles in the first Bush administration, the early part of the Clinton administration (particaulary in Bosnia and Somalia) as well as in the second Bush administration. Further on the talk shows this morning the beliefs being expressed by Powell were echoed by Ridge and Gingrich. He is an important figure and his ideas are important and do have a fairly large following.

Instead of making the claim that General Powell simply picks and chooses his fights based on Gallup polls it may be more appropriate to say he recognizes changes in the country and realizes when it is time to chart a new path.

well, I stand by my position

If we are discussing foreign policy expertise I will credit Powell. I do not credit him with being a significant contributor to domestic political strategies.

Perhaps General Powell has prevailed on the Obama adminstration not to renounce in toto the prior strategies in dealing with Islamic terror. If so,  he did the nation a service.

My point is General Powell will chart a new path back to the Republican party after it displays its ability to win elections. Not vice versa.

 

 

Reply

General Powell is injecting his opinion into the conversation about the Republican party because he does not think the current path is one that will lead to election victories in the future. Instead of rallying around extreme rhetoric from people like Rush Limbaugh, who scares away anyone who considers themselves moderate, the party should adopt policies that are more moderate and appear to a greater portion of the electorate. Like I said earlier Powell and other powerful republicans, including Gingrich who could be preparing a campaign run, are beginning to express a simliair viewpoint to Powell. If the party does begin to shift its thinking towards more moderate positions then chances are very high that Powell will agree with that.

This is not Powell charting a new path back to the party, it is Powell charting a new path for the parties future that he feels will give it the best chance to succeed in winning elections. In my opinion he IS making his decisions on what he thinks is best for the party and not on Gallup polls. It just happens that he is expressing opinions that differ from the party at a time when the Republicans are poorly represented in the polls.

well, herein is the problem

The Republican party right now can only define itself as a party in opposition to President Obama. Therefore, unless someone like Powell was to fully renounce their prior support for Obama, it's sorta hard to use his agenda as the basis to fashion a winning strategy.Like I said, he is liable to be on the perphipery of the tent, not the center.

I really think focusing on personalities like Limbaugh, Cheney and Gingrich is misplaced. We need to focus on a cadre of leadership DOB after 1955, which excludes all of the aforementioned.   

I agree that creating an

I agree that creating an agenda based on a prior Obama supporter is not the best of ideas; however, there are ways that Powells past support for Obama can be used to the Republicans advantage. Since the party is being defined as only an "anti-obama" party the wide spread coverage of someone like Powell has the ability to draw people who are unsure of their affiliation back to the republicans. I think there is a substantial group of people out there who would listen to Powell because of his support for Obama and there is a large group of people who agree with the ideas that Powell is expressing. If it is possible for Powell to have this influence then he could be the one to draw people in intially and then someone else could push this new platform backed by a new, moderate base. Obviously this idea has huge problems because of the divides it would create in the party, but that divide may be unavoidable.

For post 55 people do you mean someone such as Bobby Jindal (I'd be interested if you could provide with a list of people to research)

well

proven right !

 

Skull and Crossbones t-shirt

So you think winning elections should be the main goal...

...of the Republican party, rather than supporting the party's political platform?  If this is so, why bother having political parties at all? What does the party gain by placing someone into public office who doesn't support their party's political platform?

As our present situation would indicate, the party doesn't gain anything by electing public officials who pursue their own agenda at the expense of the party's political platform.  Indeed, when this is allowed to occur, the demise of the party, itself, isn't far off

ex animo

davidfarrar

Impressive logic....

"He does not agree with us, so he's irrelevant."

General Powell has been speaking out because the blowhards of the far right have been declaring that a True Republican cannot possibly show any respect to The Enemy On The Left (or to borrow a phrase: "That One").  Powell has declared himself and been a Republican since he has left the military.  He takes pride in some fo the things the GOP has stood for in the past.  But he's been disappointed or disgusted by some of the acts of the W administration (including embarrassment at some of his own actions in their name).

So when some fat, hypocritical, drug-addled entertainer gets on the air and tries to take away that identity from General Powell, he fights back.  When the ex-VP who worked so hard to take away the rights the General fought so hard to preserve comes out and spews vitriol at him, he fights back.  And when loudmouths have taken to the air and declared "you're one of us or you're one of them" about anybody who is not a right-wing-whacko, the General speaks up...  He's speaking for those whose voices cannot be heard because the loudmouths are the only ones on the air (or at least the only ones we ever hear about).

Not sure you got the point

I think that Rush going after Powell is a sideshow too. The fact the Left raises this simply validates my belief that this is a distraction to making progress.

Sideshow?

No - I did not miss your point of the back-and-forth being a "sideshow", because nowhere in your article is there a reference (direct or implied) of the whacko vs. Powell dialogue being a sideshow.  You clearly state that Powell is to be ignored because he is not part of your group circling the wagons around Rush & Co.

General Powell is doing what he feels necessary to have the GOP break out of that circle-the-wagons mentality.  You have an active debate going on in the GOP right now, and I think it will be detrimental to simply ignore who do not agree with you 100%.

Quite frankly, I am having a real hard time understanding those who look at Rush (drug-addicted hypocrite), Cheney (failed VP), Newt (failed Speaker chased away due to improprieties) and see them as guardians and leaders with the ideas to bring the GOP back to the forefront.  General Powell is a proven leader, a man of honor, and you are brushing him aside with accusations of his being a cheap opportunist.  And you claim to be "values voters"?  You ought to be ashamed.

To become more relevant, your party needs to take back true conservatism, not the whiney harping that Rush & Co produce.  They are too busy trying to cry their way back into power and defending the past 8 years of their rule (which was hardly conservative on any front) instead of sitting down and thinking about how policies based on conservative beliefs can improve on the situation W & Co. left us in.  Come up with some GOOD plans and present them to the American people and give the people a chance to consider them.  Simply yelling at the top of your lungs "COMMUNISTS!  SOCIALISTS!  NAZIS!" will not get you where you want to go.

RNC = Rush, Newt, Cheney

RNC = Rush, Newt, Cheney.

Three old fat guys, with 11 draft deferments and 7 marriages among them, bragging about torturing enemies and pontificating about the sanctity of marriage.

That should bring the electorate flocking back.

who's refighting the last eight years?

Not me . We need to move forward with new leaders. And Powell is part of the past.  Seems the Left is eager to live in the past; that might explain an economic agenda which is FDR on steroids.

 

Nice comeback, Potsie!

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Substance vs. Blind Ideology

 Every time I see an interview with Colin Powell, I am in profound admiration although we are not of the same political party.  He is that rare public figure who speaks with REAL authority. He is a blend of brilliant intellect and solid moral values.  When he speaks, people take him seriously because it is obvious to them that he is his own man and not just some political hack spouting the obligatory talking points. Is it surprising that Powell's approval rating among Americans is more than that of Limbaugh and Cheney combined?

Trying to come up with a winning strategy for the GOP when that strategy is being articulated by hypocrites is doomed to failure: multiple infidelities (Gingrich); tough talk on defending America from a coward who took five deferments during the Vietnam era (Cheney) and the  all talk, no walk drug addict and pedophile (Limbaugh). Good luck with those "new leaders." 

 

 

 

I also believe Powell is an opportunist.

I lost all respect for Powell when he went along with George Bush and supported the Iraq war at the UN. I don't know what the real answers might yet to turn out to be regarding that war, but I am pretty sure Powell's own Vietnam experience told him to stop and proceed with far, far more caution. A greater man would have -- should have -- resigned rather then be forced to play the fool and keep his job. I never really took Powell seriously after that.

 

ex animo

davidfarrar

if have lost respect for

if have lost respect for Powell, then must have lost respect of Cheney and Bush as well and  also the entire Republican stance on the war in Iraq to date.

You misquote me, sir.

As I said, I am not sure how history is going to judge the decision to go into Iraq. But I do know, if Powell had major misgivings about going to war with Iraq, it was his duty -- at that level of leadership -- to resign rather than continue to play the game.

As far as the Iraq war goes, I supported it then. I support it now. I think it was the right thing to do. Hell, we were at war with Iraq anyway, might as well go in there and get the crummy, little bastard, so WE KNOW he don't have, and WE KNOW he won't have, any weapons of mass destruction.

ex animo

davidfarrar

 Powell was duped by 16

 Powell was duped by 16 words. The aggressive campaign by the Bush administration made people believe that Iraq had nuclear weapons. Add to that, there was a procedure of overlooking and signing papers in the White House that passed by him without him looking at it. In the end, he warned Bush about the quagmire and Bush did not listen.

How Powerful Can 16 Words Be?

Powell did resign in 2004 along with three other cabinet members. 

Powell Announces His Resignation (washingtonpost.com)

Resigning after the fact, sir...

...means nothing. Powell's whole life experience at that time prepared him to be able to see with perhaps far more clarity than any of those around him, including President Bush, the full impact of going to war. If he wasn't absolutely sure this was the right course to take at that time, his duty to the Republic was to resign before the country went to war, not afterward.

The man is a political opportunist.

ex animo

davidfarrar

Had Powell resigned (which I

Had Powell resigned (which I also think he should have prior to the UN fiasco) I believe in light of what we now know about the phantom WMD's the Republican party would be in even more dire straights than it is now.

Powell's credibility gave cover the Bush administration first term. Without it, the party may well have collapsed by the 2004 election and opposed to the '06 and '08 elections.  By the time of Powell late resignation, the horses had already left the barn.

Okay, so while we are both looking into our own...

...crystal balls here. If Powell had proven himself to be a genuine leader of the first rank and resigned before the fact, he might very well carry far more political weight today than he presently does. In fact, he might very well be our Republican president today. What that would have foretold for fiscal conservatism, I cannot tell. My crystal ball seems to have clouded up on that point. But if you want me to speculate...since Mr. Powell supported Obama, presumably, he would have had no particular problem throwing this country's economy into a deficit-spending death-spiral in an ilconceived effort (just as President Bush and Obama believe) to mitigate the effects of a worsening economy, perhaps even more -- which probably would spell the doom of the Republican Party as we know it today. At least at present, we can rightfully blame the Democrats and, specifically, Obama, for the destruction of the economy and stand ready to reap the political dividends at some point further down the road. 

ex animo

davidfarrar

You can also shake your fist

You can also shake your fist at the moon. But I digress.

 

unacceptable to the Beltway Bramin

I agree with almost everything in your post. The line that resonated with me the most, was: "Had Obama been unacceptable to the Beltway bramin, he'd have been unable to gain Powell's support."

I've thought for many years that Powell's motivation has been to win the approval of the Beltway elite. My guess is that he is one of the most sought after "gets" to attend DC social functions. Dems like him because he will attack Republicans publically, and the MSM will always cover that.

Kinda like McCain, before he became the Republican candidate.

Your Lede

For a guy out of office and not going to seek any, people are paying an awful lot of attention to Colin Powell.

And they shouldn't.

 

If that's true, it should also apply to Rush, Newt and Cheney, among others.

Powel and Iraq

Powell may have had misgivings about Iraq.  He did the research himself working with the CIA, and I imagine the DIA, NSA and his very own Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He made his own presentation to the UN. I agree with those who say Powell should have resigned if he had misgivings. However, I sugest to you that Powell's misgivings were not with the evidence but just whether we should go to war to stop Sadaam from being a future threat. He was probably at home among the Kumbaya, lets keep talking and everything will go away people. The decision to go to war was based upon PUBLIC LAW 107 OCT. 16, 2002, which listed 23 reasons for going to war with Iraq. The law did not claim Iraq had WMD as of September 2002. However, the Duelfer report states that Sadaam had WMD and they eventually found over 500 munitions. The Duelfer reports also states that the "ISG technical experts fully evaluated less than one quarter of one percent of the over 10,000 weapons caches throughout Iraq. Duelfer's final conclusion was "[Saddam] wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction when sanctions were lifted."

Two Senate reports and an independent report concluded the Bush Administraion did not deceive the  n  

eive

Remember the reason to go back to Iraq - Pre-emption. You might want to stop embarassing yourselves and read some source documents before prattling on about things you have only read about in the Pravda media and foolish blogs.

Powell and Iraq - follow up

"Two Senate reports and an independent report concluded the Bush Administraion did not deceive the  n 

Sorry about the incomplet paragraph.

 

Two senate reports and an independent reort concluded that the administration did not falsify or misuse intelligence  in the runup to the war.

Powell burnt the bridge, not Republicans...

...by endorsing Obama, Powell dowsed the bridge w/gasoline and threw the flaming torch.  He burnt that bridge himself.  To blame Cheney, Limbaugh or hard core conservatives is disingenuous. 

Had Powell, Condi Rice and Lynn Swan been out on the road, aggressively and vocally campaigning for McCain on a national level, it would have dramatically shifted momentum of the campaign.  If they had all campaigned "loud and proud" for the Republican Party the msm could "not" have ignored them.  It would have made a difference and, in my view, McCain could have squeaked by with a victory.

I think Swan did some low key campaigning in PA.  But Rice and Powell totally  abandoned the GOP.  The Party that has done so much for them and their careers.  Powell, especially, should hang his head in shame for his endorsement of Obama but the man has no shame. 

Mark my words, it'll come back to haunt him one day. Darvin Dowdy

 I disagree with your

 I disagree with your assessment. Powell can hang his head up high. He was duped too many times by the Bush administration. We saw the arrogance and ignorance and the neocons for 8 years. Powell owes no one. Powell supports Obama as well as Warren Buffet and others, as the republicans had lost their way. Maybe he did not leave soon enough, I don't know. He wanted the best for the country. There were many times on TV that he could have said something and he declined out of respect, but deep down inside we all knew that he was screwed over.

Cheney has a one track mind on terrorism when we have a dozen other problems to deal with. Limbaugh and Hannity are a joke. Cheney "deficits don't matter." Limbaugh and Hannity "what deficits?" "And all is good for 8 years." And Condi, like Donald Trump said, "she goes up the ladder and down the ladder and never gets any agreement." 

We have witnessed just about the worst 8 years of our country running amuck. I don't know how you could campaign "loud and proud" after 8 years of deceit, lies, arrogance, ignorance, incompetence, deficits and debt, a trickle down that did not trickle down, middle class jobs going overseas, our money going to Iraq, and an infrastructure in neglect.

Hey In-Between...

...you're fixing to see what "running amuck" is really all about.  Quoting Obama, "we're out of money".  Ha!  Double digit unemployment fast approaching. Already here in many areas.  Hey IB, wait until you experience break-neck runaway inflation!  You're in for a real treat.  You'll love Obama's new "Misery Index on Steroids" that is heading our way (thanks to Powell and others who helped get him elected).

It seems I remember prior to 11/7/06 the stock mkt was hovering around 14K.  Unemployment around 5.5 %, interest rates were down.  Life = good. Sure, we were in the middle of a war, which we were winning. And most sane folks understood why we had to fight. And then the fickle U.S. voters started putting democrats in power.  Now look at us!!  Yes, you're in for a treat In-Between.  You'll find out what its really like being "in between" a rock and a hard place.  DD 

 

 Sorry, Obama did not create

 Sorry, Obama did not create this mess. Bush did a "guns and butter" economics. That is Bush borrowed for his war and for his tax cuts. It don't work. We saw the deficits and debt 5 years ago and Cheney said "deficits don't matter." And almost everyone in the republican party ignored it.You had 8 years of tax cuts. The tax cuts did not trickle down, it did not create prosperity, it did not sustain an economic recovery, it was borrowed money creating a false economy. Bush tried leaving before everything collapsed, but the we saw the problems. This recession started over a year ago.

Yes we are out of money. I don't agree with all the Obama spending. However, we are fighting two wars and Bush only figured spending as low as 50 billion dollars on the war in Iraq. Bush added the Medicare part D which overtime is estimated to be 8 trillion dollars, and as I have said the tax cuts was just borrowed money. We are losing our middle class jobs as factories close on "free trade" and that is loss revenue for the cities, the states, and for the federal government. If you are going to have policies of sending our jobs overseas, then you need to balance it with education, vocational training, and investing for the future. Our infrastructure is behind some 2.2 trillion dollars. Everything is broke, of course. You had your roaring 20's and Bush fixed nothing. 

And we were not winning any war. We had a quagmire in which you had the Iraq Study Group, General Petraeus, and others trying to fix the situation. Bush abandoned Afghanistan for Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan is a mess. To sum it up, Bush left us with a mess in foreign policy and economic policy. And yes, we are broke. We are borrowing and we are printing the money. We have a war to finance, our jobs went overseas, we have bailouts and loans, too much housing targeted by both parties in which they should have paid attention to the amount of factories closing, auto bailouts/loans, a near depression in which the government is the last resort to stop a free fall, and an infrastructure in neglect. 

The democrats may have come into power in 06, and only then did Bush veto a spending bill. Bush did not veto any spending before that and we saw the deficits and debt well before.

Back on subject: Powell is a Republican

but he is also an opportunist.  He is not a conservative.  But he plays one on TV.  He hasn't actually done anything to promote the party.  He wants to be the "good Republican" so that he gets air time. He's trying to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the current administration and the press (sorry for the redudancy).  Powell may say things that resonate with many Americans.  He is highly intelligent.  Powell makes noises that are presented by a hostile press to be authoritative about the direction of the GOP.  But he made a mistake.  He played for the other side.  He provided aid and comfort to the enemy: Obama.  Obama stands for everything that the GOP is SUPPOSED TO oppose.   That they haven't, is why the GOP has lost the elections.  Powell says that the GOP has moved right.  Since when?  Rush spoke about the movement of the GOP to the left since the phrase "compassionate conservative" was first mentioned. Oh, and Rush, etc, decried Bush's spending too. 

If the problem was Bush's spending, how can increasing that fourfold improve matters?  Of course money was borrowed for the war, etc.  Money has always been borrowed. We've been in deficit spending for decades.  And conservatives have fought against that for the same amount of time.  God forbid that the Congress enact real spending cuts.

Back on subject: Powell is a Republican

but he is also an opportunist.  He is not a conservative.  But he plays one on TV.  He hasn't actually done anything to promote the party.  He wants to be the "good Republican" so that he gets air time. He's trying to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the current administration and the press (sorry for the redudancy).  Powell may say things that resonate with many Americans.  He is highly intelligent.  Powell makes noises that are presented by a hostile press to be authoritative about the direction of the GOP.  But he made a mistake.  He played for the other side.  He provided aid and comfort to the enemy: Obama.  Obama stands for everything that the GOP is SUPPOSED TO oppose.   That they haven't, is why the GOP has lost the elections.  Powell says that the GOP has moved right.  Since when?  Rush spoke about the movement of the GOP to the left since the phrase "compassionate conservative" was first mentioned. Oh, and Rush, etc, decried Bush's spending too. 

If the problem was Bush's spending, how can increasing that fourfold improve matters?  Of course money was borrowed for the war, etc.  Money has always been borrowed. We've been in deficit spending for decades.  And conservatives have fought against that for the same amount of time.  God forbid that the Congress enact real spending cuts.

The GOP so far right Reagan would be a liberal now

The party has moved so far right that anything with a hint of moderation is derided as being liberal.

El Rushbo decries the so-called move to the left to discredit anybody who moves to the center in order to avoid complete self destruction.

El Rushbo doesn't need to win a majority, that's why he'll always tell you that the party needs to move farther to the right.

It's amazing how so many conservatives attack so-called far left liberals, but think it's fine to tack hard right on so many issues.

If Ronald Reagan did the same things now as he did during his administration, you people would call him liberal.

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