Skip to comments.The Powell Tragedy
Posted on 01/18/2013 10:55:26 AM PST by pabianice
Like many, I was confused not by General Colin Powells endorsements of Barack Obama, but rather his recent remarks alleging Republican extremism and racism. His barrage was internally inconsistent and ultimately made little sense at all. Such unfounded charges are out of character with his distinguished record and career.
In 2008 and 2012 Republicans nominated candidates from the more moderate wing of the party. Mitt Romney had been a centrist Massachusetts governor, and fellow Republican senator John McCain, for example, whom Powell also did not endorse, in the 2000 primaries had run to the left of Powells own employer, George W. Bush. In fact, McCain ran a campaign which was certainly more centrist than those of Reagan and the elder Bush, both of whom were also Powells bosses. McCains advisers were moderates in comparison to a Lyn Nofzinger or a take-no-prisoners Lee Atwater. If the issue had been primarily moderation in the Republican party, then Powell quite logically could have seen in McCain a candidate more centrist than the three Republican presidents he once worked for.
While shuck and jive is a silly term to use although liberals from current press secretary Tim Carney to Chris Mathews have felt no hesitation in employing it, and its origins and exact meaning are mired in controversy it was Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo in 2008 (You cant shuck and jive at a press conference.), not Sarah Palin, who was the first major political figure to use the phrase in criticism of Barack Obama to the apparent silence of General Powell at the time.
Stereotyping, polarization, and racial insensitivity have been frequent in the last three years. Yet when one collates the explicit instances (e.g., they cling to guns and religion, nation of cowards, punish our enemies, put yall in chains, etc.), Democrats seem at least as culpable as Republicans in their indiscretions. As far as direct slurs of African-Americans in the context of the Obama candidacy, there were two infamous instances one a reported characterization of Barack Obama by Senator Harry Reid (a light-skinned African American with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one), and another by Senator Joe Biden (I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy) both insensitive stereotypes, as far as commensurate public commentary goes, ignored by Powell at the time. Were Cuomo, Biden, and Reid seen in 2008 as symptomatic of a darker liberal racism within the Democratic party?
As far as Powells oblique reference to Governor Sununus supposed racism for claiming Obama had been lazy in his preparation for the first presidential debate, the blunderbuss Sununu is known for just such off-the-cuff and blunt candor about everyone. Yet lazy is not quite Sununus alone: Barack Obama himself, in a moment of self-critique, earlier had used the same image to describe his own failings (e.g., There is a deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think theres a laziness in me). I dont think Obama saw any particular racial connotation in the epithet.
But more worrisome is the larger context of Powells remarks. If he is worried about uncivil speech, extremism, and a cruelty in the public arena, then he might have recalled that his own boss was the object of a mainstream novel imagining his assassination, of a prize-winning docudrama imagining his assassination, of a Guardian op-ed imagining his assassination, and of a New Republic essay entitled Why I hate George W. Bush. Those smears did not come from conservative critics, of whom there were many, and they did not prompt Powells commensurate outrage. But even stranger, Powell himself, as Brett Stephens recently pointed out, has allegedly said things that might be termed insensitive to Jews (e.g., Gestapo office and card-carrying member of the Likud Party) in the context of loose, political speech that is part of the Washington give-and-take.
Powell is an authentic American hero, who heretofore was honored by Republicans in three administrations with prestigious appointments, could have had their presidential nomination in 1996, and had been smeared only by those on the left (despicably, as a house negro from the likes of Al Sharpton and Harry Belafonte) to the general silence of liberals. Nonetheless, his recent accusations are not factual, at least from the evidence he so far has cited. Perhaps they reflect a deeper anguish at former colleagues, and especially neocons (who once supposedly elicited from Powell the pejorative f***ing crazies) all in the context of his tenure as secretary of state and his departure, and especially the unfortunate flawed presentation at the U.N. on WMD in Iraq and the disturbing silence about the role of his subordinate Richard Armitage in the Scooter Libby travesty. Certainly the controversies over those years have left their scars on both sides.
Colin Powells distinguished career rightly allows him to be influential in his political assessments and to speak candidly about whatever he sees as the truth but his recent allegations are neither logical nor supported with evidence. And thats simply a pity.
IIRC...he was in Reagan’s WH as some sort of aid as a Colonel.....not many years later, he was JCS....AA? You betcha!
He is a racist putz.
Powell has fallen into the divisive Obamanetrics of hate whitey.
these military brass are political beings from the get go.....
And in 1988, '92, '96, 2000, and 2004 as well.
Mitt Romney had been a centrist Massachusetts governor
I would have expected better from Hanson. If he's taking Powell to task for bending the truth, writing that sentence should have made his keyboard burst into flames.
You fellas need to get the beam out of your own eye before you start picking at the speck in mine! If you knew who I was and my whole background, you can NOT call me a racist at all. Wouldn't stick. No one ever has. That's why some liberals REALLY hate me -- can't find something to criticize and at the last of my school teaching career just made up something that was a lie. My attorney made them unmake it up.
>> Like many, I was confused not by General Colin Powells endorsements of Barack Obama, but rather his recent remarks alleging Republican extremism and racism
Seriously, after the crap he pulled on Scooter Libby?
Armitage says he was foolish in CIA leak
funny how this race baiter said nothing when the left and the leftist media were doing the same things to Condi Rice he now falsely accuses the GOP of doing to obama...
He’s a milk turd.
He tried to be as white as possible going in, now he’s trying to be as brown as possible going out.
But in reality he’s become a stinky pile of off-color poop. /s
Yeah, I don’t understand why Hanson panders and calls that chump a hero. I’ve read his autobiography and it’s clear from his own words that he didn’t have all that much combat experience in Vietnam, and none after that. He got one decoration for bravery and that was for dragging people out of a helicopter crash he was in (nothing to be sneered at, but we’re not talking Audie Murphy either).
He was a staff puke most of his career and leveraged affirmative action as much as he could. He never particularly exhibited all that much talent from what I’ve read.
Powell never commanded a company in Vietnam and was never in harm’s way. He was a desk jockey. Each and every promotion after the rank of captain was due to affirmative action, all the way through his selection as Sec of State. All this courtesy of republicans, who he has never been one of. All the years he was taking from republicans he was a democrat. Finally he admits it with his pathetic endorsement of an unknown ward politician for president of the United States. The reason? Powell is as liberal as the day is long and Obama has the same skin tone. The man has no integrity whatsover. He’s a user. Nothing else.
During my Navy career it was my observation that half of COs were great people and great leaders, and the other half were useless “admiral’s boys” who got there via connections. It is also my observation about flag officers, many of whom I served with on their way up.
“these military brass are political beings from the get go.....”
powell was on the leading edge of the card players. Had he not played it, he would today be a retired Lt Col fishing on some bayou in Louisiana..
I graduated from high school with a guy who went on to graduate from the Naval Academy. He was a Top Gun pilot and flew the F-14. He retired with the rank of captain. I asked him why he did not become an admiral. His answer was “I did not want to kiss ass.”
Trivia bits about his military career.
1) As a major, Powell admitted that one of his jobs was to ‘whitewash’ the My Lai Massacre, which he admitted years later, and also said that much information about the event was never released to the public.
2) After a race riot when in Korea, where African American soldiers almost killed a Caucasian officer, Powell was charged by his commanding general with cracking down on black militants.
3) He became only the third general since World War II, along with Alexander Haig, to reach four-star rank without ever serving as a division commander. He did command V Corps in Germany, however.