Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Powell Receives A Revelation

I haven't believed anything Colin Powell has said since he played the general greeting the Martian ambassador in Mars Attacks. Later, I found out he didn't even play that part, so I'll have to go back even farther to find something believable coming out of his mouth. But I will admit that I did believe him when he endorsed Barack Obama for president even if I didn't believe a single word of his stated reasons for doing so.

I've always referred to the former general as Bowel Powell, but only in part because of the way his first name is pronounced. For some reason known only to Powell and a few of his confidantes, Powell claims to be a Republican. At least one reason for his continuing to appear publicly as a Republican was the fact that he was granted far more honor from Republican presidents than was his due, and far better treatment from the right than from the left.

Over the political course of his life (which I contend includes all his military service above the rank of colonel), Powell has followed orders while stabbing his superiors in the back, supported abortion at all stages prior to actual birth, promoted affirmative action, and endorsed whatever wild spending the government wanted in its zest for control of nearly everything. With Republicans like that, who needs Democrats? So needless to say, it came as no surprise to me when this fine Republican endorsed socialist nonentity and Democratic nominee Barack Hussein Obama for president.

Somehow, through almost everything up to his endorsement of the messiah, Powell managed to maintain an image of integrity and honesty as well as wise thinking among almost everyone who wasn't on either the far left or far right. Even after his endorsement, about the worst criticism one could find on conservative sites was "ingrate." One can only hope that the same people who stubbornly refused to own up to the fact that Powell is a facile manipulator with no agenda but his own will now listen to him in his latest reincarnation.

Good ol' General/Secretary of State Powell has indicated that he is shocked-shocked-to find out that Obama is not the moderate that Powell claimed to believe he was. This is supposedly an honest, principled stand he's taking, but I suspect it's more likely that he put his wet finger to the wind and discovered the American people really don't like Obama or his supporters very much.

Powell hasn't exactly come out of the closet to make any stinging denouncement of Obama, but his criticisms fit nicely into the mainstream without actually saying anything truly ground-shaking. Says Powell: "The President needs to change his approach in the White House because voters are feeling overwhelmed by sweeping new laws that expand the scope of government." Note the hesitation. Powell isn't saying that Obama is wrong, but knowing the sense of the country, he is criticizing Obama's approach.

Powell goes on to say on Meet The Press: "The President also has to shift the way in which he has been doing things. The American people feel that too many programs have come down. There are so many rocks in our knapsack now that we're having trouble carrying it." Again, not a genuine criticism of Obama's policies but rather the speed at which they are being thrown at the American people. It should not surprise anyone that Powell would think this way. He almost single-handedly convinced the elder president Bush that the American armed forces were moving too fast and too successfully during the first Gulf War. He was instrumental in turning a clear victory into a stalemate in order not to offend Muslims by winning. Right and wrong were unimportant to him. Only perception mattered.

So for Powell to criticize Obama in any way is a major landmark. In the first place, he didn't have to do it at all. Second, considering his inability to take a truly principled and clear stand on anything, any criticism of Obama by Powell is an event. Third, the action required Powell to admit, horrors, that he might just have been wrong about the snake-oil salesman from Illinois. The latter is not as earth-shattering as his incorrect assessment of Saddam Hussein, but uttering a discouraging word about this Hussein is news when it comes from a great statesman like Powell.

Making sure that everybody fully understands what a great intellect and political analyst he is, Powell was quick to add: "Republicans shouldn't cater to fringe elements who question the president's religion or whether he was born in the U.S. Let's attack him on policy and not nonsense." Clearly, Powell has forgotten that he originally endorsed Obama based on nonsense. Then Powell went the extra step of once again claiming to be a Republican, though he's unhappy with the rightward drift of the party.

Powell either doesn't realize or is being disingenuous about the fact that the MSM have blown up the religion and nationality issues precisely for the purpose of drawing attention away from Obama's failing and failed policies. And I can claim to be the King of Siam, but it doesn't mean I actually am the King of Siam. Finally, if he considers his mildly-critical words "an attack" on Obama's policies, he's even more foolish than I had previously thought.


Joel Farnham said...


Powell is still alive?

Well, could it be he is seeking a job in the Obama administration as a token Republican?

He is another RINO advisor.

Wasn't he kicked to the curb because he actively opposed Bush's international policies and replaced by Condoleezza Rice?

AndrewPrice said...

I have never liked Powell. He's the one who was advising 55,000 dead in the first Gulf War, but then claimed credit for the campaign's brilliance. I understand he was also passed over for promotion until he complained about the number of black generals. And he's done nothing but embarrass himself since the Gulf War. The guy is as capable of a political prognosticator as Pelosi, as wise as Joe Biden, and he fits right in with TEAM RINO. Indeed, he's the master of saying nothing and sounding that way.

Unknown said...

Joel: Remember, Obama's skin is thinner that tissue paper. Once someone has made even the mildest criticism of him, it's all over. I think it's more likely that Powell simply wants the RINOs to love him again. As for his exit during the Bush II administration, the reason depends on who's telling the story.

Tennessee Jed said...

An interesting analysis. I must admit, I know very little about Powell or how he got to where he was so I can't say yeah or nay about speculations regarding motivation. It does seem that he has some Bill Clinton in him, meaning he is not deeply principled or ideological and wishes to be seen as a moderate. I had heard he was cautious to a fault as a general.

There is absolutely no way he should be considered a Republican, however. If you endorse a Democrat over "Mr. Reach Across the Aisle" John McCain, then WTF?

Unknown said...

Andrew: My alternate appellation for Powell was "the affirmative action general." It referred both to his political beliefs as well as the reason he rose to the top of the political general staff. Only a lousy general like him could have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as our military sped up the road to Baghdad. The losses we suffered in Gulf War I were partially attributable to his refusing to listen to Norman Schwarzkopf, but I lay almost all the losses in the Second Gulf War at his doorstep since it took a second war to remove Saddam Hussein forever.

And I know everybody will find it hard to believe, but after Powell convinced Bush I to avoid hurting the feelings of the Muslims in Jihadistan by calling off the victory drive, they didn't immediately fall in love with us and call off the library-sized fatwa lists. 9/11 was only the worst and most shocking result of Powell's weak generalship and complete misunderstanding of radical Islam (is "radical Islam" redundant?).

AndrewPrice said...

Careful Lawhawk, you're treading on sacred turf there: appeasement always works, you know that!

I think you're right that the second Gulf War (and 9/11) are directly attributable to the failure to finish the job in the first Gulf War. Back then, we could have removed Saddam, there was popular support throughout the country, and we had so many Arab allies who could have taken over reconstruction that we could have removed him and walked away heroes.

Instead, we end up going it almost alone and being attacked the world over as invaders.

But that's what history has always shown -- leave business unfinished and you will pay a much higher price later.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: Unfortunately, I know more about Powell than I wish I did. He shares the pomposity and insincerity of Obama, along with Obama's naivete and caution in the face of open hostility.

I occasionally wonder if Powell and Chris Buckley are still holding hands and skipping down RINO Avenue together, even in the face of their turncoat endorsements of Obama. William Buckley must be turning over in his grave.

Unknown said...

Andrew: At the risk of belaboring the obvious, "those who will not learn the lessons of history are condemned to relive it." As you said, you can pay me now or you can pay me later. Munich 1938 = Baghdad 1991. It's not a perfect parallel, but all the major elements were there.

Writer X said...

I used to think that Colin Powell was a pretty bright guy--until he endorsed Obama. It's quite funny now to watch everyone backpedal on their earlier Obama adoration. I don't think Powell will be invited to any more Wednesday night White House cocktail parties.

StanH said...

Powell has described himself as a Rockefeller Republican, in other words a democrat. I know you believe in the dictum that if someone agrees with you 80% of the time he’s an ally, God Bless Ronald Reagan. But Powel is the exception to that rule, and other self proclaimed moderates, should be relegated to backbenchers, and not speak for conservatives, or conservative point of view, it ain’t in him. This only diminishes conservatism, and creates a false center that redefines the term moderate.

Unknown said...

WriterX: Too bad about the cocktail parties. A few drinks and Powell might almost seem human.

Unknown said...

Stan: I don't think we have to ignore the Reagan Rule with Powell. His stands are far out enough that I don't think he gets anywhere near the 80% threshold. I'm having trouble thinking of anything that he stands for that would be considered the least bit conservative--even national security. Fiscal commonsense, perhaps, if it doesn't get in the way of affirmative action.

Describing himself as a Rockefeller Republican also shows how entirely out-of-touch he is with current politics.

Notawonk said...

that anyone comes to surprise about what they *thought* obama to be pre-election, just tells me they weren't paying attention and bought the snake-oil. ~sigh~

Unknown said...

Patti: I think you give Powell too much credit. He knew what Obama was up to, and he helped by claiming to remain a Republican while supporting the socialist Democrat. His "change of mind" is the result of the reaction of the vast majority of Americans rather than any "discovery" of Powell's.

That said, I really do believe a huge number of less sophisticated voters were unhappily convinced of Obama's moderation. At the same time, it was impossible to sort out what McCain actually stood for. They won't make that mistake twice.

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