The Powell Endorsement

As reported, Colin Powell just endorsed Obama, calling him a "transformational figure." He listed several reasons for his choice:

  • Obama’s response to the economic meltdown
  • Obama’s ability to reach all classes, races, and parties
  • Obama’s rhetorical ability and his substance
  • McCain’s erratic response to the economic crisis
  • Palin’s lack of preparedness for the Presidency
  • McCain’s smears
  • The wingnuttia of the Republican Party
  • The danger of two more conservatives on SCOTUS (he’s probably thinking about all the anti-torture decisions)
  • The attacks on Muslims (he mentions a Muslim woman burying her son in Arlington)–this was one of the most powerful parts of the endorsement

Just as interesting was what Powell had to say in a short availability after his appearance on MTP. His last question addressed the McCain campaign smears again. He called out Michelle Bachmann on her McCarthyist rant. Also, Powell made a really great defense of Obama’s tax policy, pointing out that all tax policy involves redistribution of wealth, it’s just a question of where it gets redistributed; he also pointed out that most people get their taxes back by using the services government provides. 

Say what you will about the value of Colin Powell’s endorsement. But whether you want it or not, please accept the importance in Powell calling out the McCain smears and attacks on Obama and America’s Muslims.

168 replies
    • Mauimom says:

      I don’t think he used the word wingnuttia.

      Damn. Now THAT would have been worth tolerating Brokaw for!!!

  1. brat says:

    Stick a fork in McCain, he’s done. This endorsement will really kill McCain with military folks. McCain has NO Command experience, Powell is all about command.

    Over, over, over.

    But as the folks at KOS point out, we need to break the GOP on November 4th. Vote and please make sure your friends and colleagues vote.

  2. Petrocelli says:

    “… please accept the importance in Powell calling out the McCain smears and attacks on Obama and America’s Muslims.”

    Agreed ! Let’s stop the left’s fav past time of the circular firing squad and bring all minds in line to win a crushing victory on Nov. 4th. Rove & the NeoCons know the implications of a Dem win and they’re going to pull every trick to defeat Obama/Biden.

  3. skdadl says:

    It was an excellent statement, I thought. When he mentioned the SCOTUS appointments, I was impressed at what he was signalling about the past, and I was very moved that he went beyond verifying Obama’s history and challenged anyone who thinks there’s something wrong with being Muslim. Well done.

      • skdadl says:


        For a moment there, you had me scared. I thought you were going to ask me about the election (that other election, y’know?). Yes — this is a glorious autumn — I look out and up at a tree-covered hill, so I have my best views this time of year.

        • Petrocelli says:

          I knew at the start that the Libs were going to tank … now they’ll go one step lower and give Harper a clear majority by handing the reins to Rae …

          We went up to Caledon/Hockley Valley on Thanksgiving and again yesterday … Reds, Golds, Rusts … I love this time of year even though it means Winter is around the corner.

          • MrWhy says:

            OT – So you figure there’s no chance Frank McKenna will take a run at the Liberal leadership? I can’t imagine John Manley being accepted by the Liberals at this point, but I’m just a wingnut. Anyone else out there? I can’t imagine either Ignatieff or Rae as leader. Does Martha Hall Findlay have anything to offer? She started the swing to Dion at convention…

            • theExile says:

              If the Liberals go with Iggy, they may as well just turn in their Lib memberships and join the pretend Con(men)servatives. Iggy is just too pro torture. I believe the best hope is Gerard Kennedy, we need a shot of Trudeumania to rid ourselves of our double AA, minor league Bu$hCo affiliate and Iggy’s pro-torture stance just doesn’t fit the Canada I have come to love.

                • theExile says:

                  If you are referring to Dion, that is not even a remote possibility. He is a good and intelligent man, but alienates Western Canadians and isn’t even that popular in Quebec, which is essential. If Bu$h’s protege Harper could conquer Quebec, we would be ruled by his Canadian Taliban. It is almost impossible to form a majority government without support in Quebec with their quarter of the seats in Parliament. Apparently Dion, smart as he is, doesn’t even listen to his own caucus, neither does Harper, but then they (the other PsuedoCons) are all idiots.

                  Think of Dion as a Canadian version of Jimmy Carter, light years superior to his competition (Raygun), but unable to convince the average voter with zero tolerance for information or awareness of the real issues. Just like you guys, the Canadian “joe the plumber/sixpack” relates better to a black and white comic book version of reality and the nation.

                  Fortunately your Right Wing Whackjobs have done such a poor job (on purpose) that you would have to be in a coma to ignore it and if he can keep breathing, Obama will be President on January 20, 2009, assuming no martial law/cancelled election.

                  • skdadl says:

                    That’s not such a bad parallel, Dion with Carter. I had been thinking Robert Stanfield (PC, a generation ago), another one of those best PMs we never had because he was too much the gentleman.

                    Me, I’m no Liberal and certainly no Con, but Dion is a wise and calm and steady guy, and he has lost for all the wrong reasons. If the election had happened six months on, when Canadians will be realizing that we are in deep trouble too, things might have been different. This was a sneak attack.

                    • Petrocelli says:

                      Excellent ! That is precisely why Harpuh broke his own law by calling an early election … had he waited until next year, he’d be toast.

                      However, the Liberals must have seen this coming … I knew it 3 months ago … they did not control the message and lost to a schmuck !

                    • Ishmael says:

                      No less an authority than Bill Clinton was in Canada just after the election, praising the BC carbon tax and the regulatory underpinnings of the Canadian banking system, both Liberal policies and supported by Dion at the federal level – two of the best things the Liberals did were negative policies, staying out of Iraq and resisting the urgings of the banking sector to merge and loosen regulations on banks, insurers, etc. I actually have some hope for the next election (full disclosure, long-time Liberal!!!), as the turnout for this election was abysmal (59% vs 64% in 2004), which disproportionately heightens the influence of the core Conservative vote. I believe that there is a good chance that a progressive revival in the US could reinvigorate progressives in Canada, and I suspect that was another reason behind the Harper “sneak attack” – beat a weak Liberal leader before the Obama victory.

                    • skdadl says:

                      You can probably tell that I’m a dipper, Ishmael. But I would be so happy to see the Libs reinvigorate themselves, given that the other progressives, the NDP and the Bloc, looked pretty vigorous already, no? /s (We shouldn’t be arguing here, should we. I’m just waiting for bmaz to step on us.)

                      I’m used to hoping that a fairly good Lib will become PM, even if I don’t vote for him/her. At the moment, I think it is more likely that people will begin to recognize Steve for the horror that he is than that anyone will fall in love with any of the Liberal alternatives. That is one troubled collection of compromised guys.

                    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                      Well, FWIW, this may seem strange but I still view Kevin Rudd’s win in Australia as a first symptom of global fervor. Yes, us Yanks seem to be fairly frothing with aggravation these days, but so much of the information that I encounter suggests that this is a much larger phenomenon than merely the US election.

                      We’re all desperate for leadership.
                      Frankly, when Kevin Rudd made his first act a Minister of Environment, I felt a new kind of hope spring in my soul that I’d not even believed possible.

                      The US and Canada would do well to take a closer look at what Rudd’s up against, and what he’s done. The droughts in Australia have so many ramifications that Rudd really needed to start moving on Climate Change. With your tar sands and fortunes in natural gas, you Canadians are going to be key players in energy and climate change issues, or so it seems from my small perch.

                      All the more reason to wish you well; some real leadership in Canada, acting in concert with Rudd and EU could start to move things in a saner direction.

                      Meanwhile, if Obama wins (IF, not when), he’ll be the first U.S. President to come into office with climate change as an officially identified national security issue. Apart from speaking volumes about Bu$hCheney’s incompetence and malfeasance, that single important fact might yet drive leadership to find enough guts to take action. Here’s hoping…

                    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                      Multi-tasking… 8((
                      Didn’t point out clearly that Rudd’s first act as PM of Australia was, IIRC, to create a new Cabinet portfolio/position: Minister of Environmental Affairs.

                      That’s leadership.
                      Here’s hoping the US gets some soon…

                      (bob s, what interesting stuff you’ve dug up there…. where’s there’s so much smoke, surely there must be fire. And I’m not referencing Obama’s challenges giving up cigs…. If Palin had nothing to hide with respect to Trig’s pregnancy, there are many ways for her to have set the record straight. Ahem.)

                    • Ishmael says:

                      Unfortunately, many are trying to use Dion’s election defeat to kill the idea of a carbon tax and corresponding income tax reductions – even the Economist says it is a good idea and an effective way to counteract global warming, but opponents are using the very mixed election results to argue that Canadians have rejected the idea, when it was minimally debated at all during the election, even by Dion.

            • Petrocelli says:

              I would prefer Frank McKenna taking over the Liberal Party … and getting Brian Tobin as his number two.
              I don’t know enough about Martha to comment on her abilities.

    • bigbrother says:

      Wonder if he is ready to testify about thr run up to the war as Richard Clarke has described it Bushco looking for excuses after Clarke’s warnings? Time to man up allright that could mitigate a bunch. Help put the perps away.

  4. BooRadley says:

    Completely agree emptywheel. His point that it’s “ok” to be of the Islamic faith in America was critical.

    Karl Rove has gotta be really pissed.

    I have no doubt Karl has already begun leaking smears of Powell.

  5. skdadl says:

    Does this mean that Powell is burning any bridges that might still matter to him? I don’t know enough about his situation and ambitions now to be able to judge.

    • BooRadley says:

      I could be wrong, but I doubt he’s burning any bridges with the elder Bush and James Baker III.

      I understand that this is an unpopular endorsement with liberals and progressives, but it’s still really good for America.

  6. MadDog says:

    While still tip-toeing around his own prior statements bad-mouthing “Timelines”, Powell was much more explicit in admitting that a “Timeline” on withdrawal from Iraq is a done deal.

    So, will McSame insist that Powell is “Surrendering”?

  7. Loo Hoo. says:

    I wonder if Powell will be in Obama’s administration. Hearty endorsement and will be powerful with our military folks. YEA!

    • emptywheel says:

      Brokaw asked him about that.

      He said he didn’t want a job in the Obama administration, but he would listen to any president who asked him to do a job.

      Brokaw suggested he might make a good ambassador at large for Africa. WTF? Bill Clinton would be as good, if not better, an ambassador at large for Africa.

  8. JPL9 says:

    Does anyone have a copy of the press conference Powell gave after MTP. I appreciated his comments on the negative attacks of the McCain campaign and his feelings about taxation.

  9. katymine says:

    AND Chuck Todd said that Arizona was in play….. been saying that it should be pink…… There is a huge VA and military population….. Lots of seniors and we know that rat that has held our senatorial seat ……

    • jayt says:

      AND Chuck Todd said that Arizona was in play….. been saying that it should be pink……

      do you think that it’s close enough for Obama to spend one of the precious few remaining days campaigning there?

      • katymine says:

        I really think that Obama and Biden NEEDS to do a West run….. there are a lot of states that are pink/light blue and really need some attention…..

        MT, NV,CO, AZ & NM …….. A couple of days in a quick run and it could do a lot for us here on the ground….. We have been ignored out here….. everyone in those states are working their as* off……

        • skdadl says:

          Biden has just been in Nevada and New Mexico. There are YouTubes, even.

          Now there’s one thing — Powell complimented Biden only indirectly when he said that Obama’s choice of running mate showed good judgement, a VP choice who is definitely ready to be president on day one. But gee: would it have killed him to mention the name? Why does everyone keep leaving Biden out? Me, I pay attention, and I can’t vote.

      • bmaz says:

        AND Chuck Todd said that Arizona was in play….. been saying that it should be pink……

        do you think that it’s close enough for Obama to spend one of the precious few remaining days campaigning there?


  10. TobyWollin says:

    Good on Powell. He shows himself to be, again, ‘the thinking man’s general’ – just a great thing for him to do and definitely a show of ‘putting country first’.

        • whitebeard says:

          “Colin Powell’s endorsement means nothing to a liberal but it means a lot to the center-right.”

          Yes, and it’s also a sign that the Democratic Party is becoming the home of many Republicans moving the party way to the right. America is heading toward a new two party alignment: the Whacko Rightwing Extremist Party and the Democratic Party containing all the rest of us. Never has America needed a third party more because progressives represent a smaller portion of the Democratic Party than ever.

          • BooRadley says:

            I agree we can never take the threat of the third party off the table.

            The reality is third parties don’t work. Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and others accomplished much more for white supremacists by staying INSIDE the Democratic party. The called themselves CONSERVATIVE Democrats. Where is George Wallace’s American Independent Party now?

            Our two allies are unions and the black caucus. No way either group will ever follow limousine liberals into a third party and without them we have zero traction.

            • klynn says:

              I actually think that the most effective move progressives have made is to work within the party with Strangebedfellows.

              The concept of Strangebedfellows forces the dialogue on issues and solutions for issues that face the country as opposed to a political platform. Ultimately, I want to work on solutions, not platforms, but that is just me.

                • klynn says:

                  That’s a good question. And, I agree the time in history does seem ripe for a third party but I am concerned our problems are so big that spending administrative time on forming a viable third party, verses forming solutions to our problems, could waist needed “human energy focus” on the solutions.

              • BooRadley says:

                I agree. I think the Democratic party is such a loose configuration, Jane’s strategy of allying with “Strange Bedfellows” on certain issues makes eminent sense.

    • bigbrother says:

      We got her by not criticisinf leadership and ended up in a war in Iraq and bankruptcy all around. We all get criticized dude so?

      • Crosstimbers says:

        I think we got here by too many people being critical of Al Gore and John Kerry at the wrong times. I doubt there’s anybody on this blog right now who wasn’t critical of Bush et. al. before, during, and after.

  11. katymine says:

    Good God…… someone please stop feeding the Kool-aid to those on Press the Meet…. OMG talk about fa script of talking points….. So do they have the same fax line that Faux does?

    • momaloney39 says:

      We all need to start bombarding the head of NBC to make sure they put
      someone who has “grown up” politically and learned that the FAUX Republicans
      can not be trusted and start to really listen to the Democrats. I am
      sure there must be an email that we can write too…after all, they have
      a great one in Rachel…

      • bmaz says:

        Why should we be advocating for installing someone that “really listens to democrats”? Isn’t that the same kind of bias we have long fought from the other side? Shouldn’t we be seeking fair and impartial people that listen to all sides and then report accordingly?

  12. theExile says:

    Marcy, I agree totally about:

    “The attacks on Muslims (he mentions a Muslim woman burying her son in Arlington)–this was one of the most powerful parts of the endorsement”

    I have always thought that the relevant answer to the accusations that “Obama is a Muslim” should really, in America, be “So What?” I was educated in Amerika, and we were taught that the founders came here to get away from the old world and the idea that religion mattered politically.

    Colin hasn’t totally redeemed himself for his shameful performance before the UN, but it is a start. If I, living in the backwoods of British Columbia, could tell he was lying out of both sides of his mouth that day, he certainly must have known. At the time I could only assume he had better information than I, but it is clear now that if I was right, he must have known he was lying and still needs to apologize for that to the American people and the world.

    Overall though, it was a very well prefaced explanation of his endorsement and he even answered Broken Record Brokaw’s subsequent re-iteration of the Rove talking points and Brokaw should not have wasted the airtime making himself look even more stupid than I already thought he was.

  13. Kevster says:

    Colin Powell’s endorsement means nothing to a liberal but it means a lot to the center-right.

    This is big. He also did it with eloquence and conviction. He made one of the best cases for Obama I have ever heard.

    • emptywheel says:

      Agree. He said he won’t campaign–but the Obama campaign just got themselves a campaign ad.

      Thing is, you think they can afford to buy some ad time to run it???


      • Petrocelli says:

        Glad we didn’t have a drinking game for every time McCain said “My Friend” to Chris Wallace …

  14. MrJJ says:

    All Politics are LOCAL.

    RW consultant sees armageddon for Republicans in focus group:…

    Every single Republican & GOP McBush candidate on the down ticket during this election cycle must be voted down or out of office.

    GOTV for Obama/Biden

  15. Erasmus says:

    OK, are we ALL canucks on this site? Elizabeth May – two passports, just like moi. Somebody should corral all the truenorth people and make another galloppingbeaver blog on firedog so we can let it all hang out – with the agonist, too, and the other lurkers, eh? going to go for the bike ride along the don now, nice red leaves in the water along with the old tires

        • KayInMaine says:

          I remember online when the right wingers were going after anyone French a few years ago and I kept saying, “Ummmmmm! Excuse me! But if you morons remember correctly, it was the Canadians who took in our fellow Americans on the morning of 9/11 when their planes were diverted to Canada! And they also let Americans stay in their homes for the few days the planes were downed in our country!”.

          Fell on deaf ears, of course. Anyone supporting George Bush did not want to hear anything good about the people of Canada or France. Jerks.

          • Petrocelli says:

            We also kept taking food, goodies, games, etc. to Americans who were given shelter for about a week until they were able to go home. One year later, many Americans came back to remember that time and thank us for our friendship.

    • cbl2 says:

      oh yeah, per an earlier post from Jane, Tinklenberg has raised over $500,000.
      and it is still trickling in, but more at a $50/min pace vs the $100/min from yesterday – s’okay, gonna buy him some TV ads

      more collateral damage: RNC has taken money out of their MN-03 race for Eric Paulson and diverted it to Crazy Lady.

      gotta keep watching local papers to see who they endorse

  16. KayInMaine says:

    Great post, Emptywheel! You are smart to point out that no matter what our thoughts on Powell were a few years ago, he did go after McCain (which is a way to go after George Bush!) and how a vote for McCain is a vote for the same. REAL CHANGE BEGINS WITH FACING REALITY. It’s obvious to me Powell realizes the huge mistakes he made and he’s now saying the only real change is to vote for Barack Obama. I happen to agree with that wholeheartedly!

  17. Boston1775 says:

    On behalf of Nader, Kadir, Hussain, Joe Joe, Sophie, Zarah, Mahmoud, their families and many friends, thank you Colin Powell.

    These are American children who deserve protection from what is left of the Republican party.

  18. Palli says:

    Say what I will, he did it! Not my script but a good script covering all the points when you add the final comments off camera. I will hope again.

  19. theExile says:

    Has everybody forgotten that Mr. McShame was a POW?

    In my most optimistic moments I like to think many more RePukes will get to have the “incarceration experience!” Maybe McStain did his time for war crimes (bombing civilian targets), if there is truly justice, the rest of the deserving will also do their time in the hopefully not to distant future! Then there are the Greenspans, Paulsens and Bernekes that deserve time for larceny and Grand Theft!

  20. CarolynU says:

    Powell’s description of the woman burying her son was very moving. I want, so much, to hope that the hatred and devisiveness of this country can be healed.

    • skdadl says:

      Gosh. That is a great statement. Especially to take on the conservative meme about taxes right at the end — that is one of the most important things we all have to do, and he makes it sound easy.

      What a loss to you all that this man’s talents were abused and misused.

  21. OkiDave says:

    De-lurking from across the Pacific.

    Powell’s endorsement is huge!

    I keep thinking back to 1996, when the Powell for President boom was significant. I understand since then that Powell’s wife Alma told him that if he did run, she was leaving. However, I think that the Repubs and the country missed a great opportunity.

    Powell would have whipped Clinton in 1996 like the proverbial red-headed step-child.

    I can’t wait to hear the comments at work here in a few hours from these staunchly conservative USMC O’s where I work. Powell just hammered their Repub boy, McSame.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      It would be interesting to get a sense of their reactions.
      Watching Powell made me recall my precinct caucus in Washington State back in Feb, when to my (still) stunned surprise, over 40 people — many of them clearly ex-GOP voters — turned up to talk politics and many of them strongly supporting Obama.

      Their conversations showed the same kind of interrelated discussion of linked ideas and connected issues that Powell so eloquently stated today.

      A little political humor to cap off this good news, David Horsey’s cartoon today “So was it the pit bull with lipstick that ate Bill Ayers acorns…?”…..sp?ID=1844

      • OkiDave says:

        Powell said several things that have been desperately needed to be said at the national level. He very clearly stated how distracting and diverting it has been to focus on the attack points instead of the real issues. I too was very moved by his story on the mother of the young American visiting his grave at Arlington, where the Islamic symbol of faith was clearly visible.

        You’re absolutely right about the powerfulness of having intelligent discussions dealing w/ the real issues. Occasionally I do see that here where I’m at, but most of the time, the majority of my colleagues are happy to just keep repeating Fox News trash-talk smears about Obama. Powell is someone who they still regard highly, so I’m really curious on what their overall responses will be to his endorsement.

  22. radiofreewill says:

    I really like it that Powell cited Obama’s ‘inclusiveness’ as preferable to McCain’s ‘narrowness.’

    Powell’s endorsement was aimed at compassionate and thoughtful Moderates – a cut above the emotionally engaged, not-thinking-clearly Racists and Extremists.

    Just the fact that Powell came out and endorsed Obama must be sending a powerful, liberating shock-wave through that part of Middle America – nowhere near as well-informed as we are – who’ve been ‘feeling’ the Oppressive Sense that Bush, as Big Brother, was ‘controlling’ everything, watching everyone.

    These are the people, when Bush’s TSP was revealed, that nervously said, “You don’t have anything to worry about, if you’re not doing anything wrong.”

    As far as Middle America goes – Bush has ‘never lost’ on anything he’s asked for, and he’s never been made to Account for his Actions, no matter how ‘wrong’ appearing they may have been, and he’s Never Admitted a Mistake.

    A huge part of America, a lot of it Moderate, has been Scared into mute conformance for the last Eight Years.

    Powell, seeing the Dawn of a New Day breaking, is showing Leadership, saying, “It’s Safe to come out and express yourself now.”

    So, if the Moderates move over to Obama, that should leave the Hate of the Racists-and-Extremists Wing of the Republican Party exposd to the light.

    As endorsements go, this one appears to be a beautiful example of Capt. B.H. Liddell-Hart’s “Strategy of the Indirect Approach”:

    Rather than Directly Challenging the Racists at the McCain-Palin Rallies (encouraging more Racists to hide in the Crowd), Powell is, instead, drawing all the Good People Out of the Crowds (leaving the Cowardly Racists with No Cover).

    We’ll have to see if McCain-Palin’s Crowd-Drawing Power falls off…

  23. kspena says:

    McCain on Fox News Sunday just gave a vigorous defense of his robo ads AND said palin was a good counter-weight to the ‘feminist’ agenda…Oops.

  24. msmolly says:

    Got an e-mail from my ex this morning:
    We received a “swift-boat” brochure in the mail, “THIS IS THE STORY OF WILLIAM AYERS… TERRORIST. RADICAL. FRIEND OF OBAMA. It was paid for and mailed by the North Carolina Republican State Executive Committee. I’m cutting it into a few small pieces and returning it to them with the attached letter. I know it won’t do any good, but it feels good!
    October 19, 2008
    North Carolina Republican State Executive Committee
    P.O. Box 12905
    Raleigh, NC 27605

    Dear Committee

    I have just received the enclosed trash in my mailbox. Some idiot has included your identification as the sender. I’m sure that no real “executive” would deliberately publish this crap and expect intelligent voters to believe anything herein.

    I have never pulled a straight party lever in any election. I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats all my life based on their individual merits. But, this year will be an exception. When I enter the voting booth in November, I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket. I cannot and will not support your party this year, and probably never again.

    Of course, if I receive a repudiation and apology for your actions, and see a brochure with the same distribution apologizing to Barack Obama and the citizens of this state for this piece of trash, I might still change my mind.

    So at least this smear campaign isn’t working everywhere….

  25. plunger says:

    Listen to this video at the 2:38 mark:…..6#27265746

    Powell states:

    “there’s going to be a crisis come along on the 21st or 22nd of January that we don’t even know about right now.”

    WTF? What’s he know that we don’t?

  26. tryggth says:

    I thought it was interesting that he mentioned the Palin choice as one of the reasons but didn’t have much to say about that.

    If McCain reported to Powell in a military chain of command and McCain had made that sort of executive decision it would have been a career ender. And it turns out that may be thats what may have happened anyway…

  27. bell says:

    powell would like to support the idea of hope for a future for the usa.. i think he has strengthened that idea really well in his position here…

  28. timr says:

    Excellent reasoning by Powell, he gave a very succinct speech about why he thinks Obama would be better. I also saw his short presser, once again he stated very clearly why he was voting for Obama and he even handled the inevitable question about his position on Iraq vis-a-vis that of Obama quite well.
    I wonder what the McCain campaign will say. They did say that Buckley was in the tank for Obama so it should be easy for them to say the same thing about Powell.
    The real republicians are deserting McCain faster than the nuts can bail.

  29. Eureka Springs says:

    Yippie. Even war criminals endorse the Blues.

    I wish I could work photoshop magic and try to place Powell atop a couple million dead and tortured bodies (of which he is responsible for) while he clutches his pearls over racism in America.

    DO we get to cheer for the devil himself next week when he drops into Meet The Press to endorse Obama too? Will all be forgiven if the devil does endorse, but condemns racism?

    Does anyone here really believe a black man on television condemning racism is going to change one bigots mind at this point?

    If only Powell were endorsing from the bowels of the Hague.

    I really don’t know my party today… or many of the firedogs I’ve read for years. I’m shocked.

    • radiofreewill says:

      ES – I saw the movie “W” yesterday, and highly reccommend it as a reflective meditation on human interaction. I found it very watchable and thought-provoking. I think it will stand the test of time, even though my own sense is that Bush is far more cynical, in actuality, than he’s shown in the movie.

      One of the things that struck me in the movie was the portrayal of Bush’s model for group socialization. In an early scene dipicting Bush’s Frat Hazing at Yale (becoming a ‘Kapster’,) Bush demonstrates that he ‘knows how the game is played’ – the Hazers recognize immediately that Bush is an ‘insider’, a legacy – and, more chillingly to the story-line, you ’see’ that the ‘penalty’ for not being ‘wise to the game’ is that you get Socially Waterboarded with Alcohol.

      If you get a chance to see the movie, compare the College Hazing scene to the scene where the Principals are meeting during the Run-Up to the War and Powell – clearly demonstrating he’s not ‘wise to the game’ being played by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc – Powell speaks-up on behalf of all the Questions of Honor and Pragmatic Concern for the Consequences of Action (”You break it, you own it”) – and, What happens to him?

      He gets Socially Waterboarded with Hubris, the Frat Boys and Girl are now Drunk on Power.

      As a literary comparison, consider the parallels with the “Lord of the Flies” where the ‘fat’ kid gets demonized and killed as part of a Social Ritual – a ‘Wilding’ – that shows ‘group’ power and control over individuals – where ‘reason’ was chanted down and emotions were empelled towards rage.

      Powell is the guy in the psychology experiment, sitting in the fourth chair, who’s just heard the first three people say “1+1=3″ – and now everyone’s looking at him expectantly. Will he join-in with the Irrationality?

      I think you and I can agree totally that Torture is Wrong. There is no procedural pathway that justifies Torture. However, in the Bush Model of Group Decision-Making – everybody ’smears-in’ and ‘accepts’ playing dirty pool to ‘Win’ – or they get ’smeared-out.’

      All I’m saying here is that, imvho, Powell will prove, in the long run, to have been a person of Character – like many others – who got ’smeared-out’ when he objected to being ’smeared-in’ – proving to the Bush Cabal that Powell didn’t know How the Game was Played.

  30. plunger says:

    Today’s move by Powell leaves Rice twisting in the wind. If she tried to jump ship and endorse Obama, he’d likely decline to accept it.

    She’s history.

  31. angie says:

    Say what you will about the value of Colin Powell’s endorsement. But whether you want it or not, please accept the importance in Powell calling out the McCain smears and attacks on Obama and America’s Muslims.

    I took it to mean denigrating and xenophobic attacks on Muslims everywhere.

    It’s about time that SOMEBODY did this, and Powell’s statement is most welcome!

  32. Ishmael says:

    I said yesterday that I could not imagine Powell burning his bridges with his Republican colleagues with an endorsement of Obama, but I was wrong, and not only did he do so, he gave Obama a gracious and thoughtful endorsement on MTP that hit all the right notes, while at the same time calling out the disgusting tactics of the McCain/Palin campaign. Well done General.

  33. theExile says:

    One point Powell also addressed that is one of the Reich Wing’s last stabs is the accusation that Obama wants to redistribute everybody’s wealth. He pointed out that ALL taxation is wealth re-distribution, the question is where is it re-distributed to. I think enough Americans can now see that it ain’t being redistributed to them, AND it ain’t being taken away from them, because it has already been taken away from them after over thirty years of trickle down (golden showers) economic policy. For two elections, Bu$hCo was able to convince “Joe Sixpack” and “Joe the Plumber” that they were either rich, or would be soon – now everyone not in a coma knows who has all the money and is grubbing for the little still laying around loose.

    It was amusing watching George with too many letters in his last name – where Newt (the one who should be neutered) trying to promote the same old same old, while Gergen sounded like an Obama campaign worker and George the Will-fully stubborn, thankfully, seemed almost unable to speak coherently – which is really nothing new either, even when he tries to talk baseball.

    • skdadl says:

      Yes — forgive me for repeating myself, but I think that taking on the con meme about taxation was one of the most important things Powell did today (in the after-session outside). Those attitudes just have to be turned around, and fast, for economic and political reasons both.

  34. Mauimom says:

    he also pointed out that most people get their taxes back by using the services government provides.

    I have been frustrated for so many years that the Democrats won’t use this reasoning.

    Reagan changed the discussion with his poisoned “welfare queen” such that ANY government spending [other than war, weapon systems and entitlements] is “throwing your hard-earned money down a rat-hole.”

    As much as they whine about “entitlements,” both Republicans & Democrats love them because it means a return of tax revenue to “their” community. But of course, fuck everyone else.

    I think it was Oliver Wendall Holmes who said, in a Supreme Court opinion about the income tax, that “taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society.” As we all look around us and see the many things that could be done with tax revenues to make our society better, this should be an easy case to make for Democrats.

    Of course it’s harder when everyone below the top 5% is feeling pinched, feeling like any penny from their paycheck is one they could use. But Democrats should start pointing out the “return on investment” folks get from their taxes — like [we all hope] health care.

    The Republican chain of thinking goes: “cut the taxes, then you’ll have to cut the programs.” Of course they can ALWAYS find $$$ for “their” programs.

    Dems should start a “cut the programs — i.e., the war in Iraq — than then you can both have programs that matter and tax cuts.

  35. Palmettoprogressive says:

    He will have tremendous creds with active and retired military in Virginia, North Carolina, and especially Florida. Lets accept this endorsement with enthusiasm.   Powell, after all, really made it acceptable to a large number of mainstream Americans to accept the idea of an African-American president. Lastly he is an unapologetic republican. What better indication of Barack’s ability reach across the aisle and be a uniter.

  36. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    For me, the money quote was:

    Reporter: Sir, what part did McCain’s negativity play in your decision, the negative tone of the campaign?

    Powell: It troubled me. We have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education problems. We have infrastructure problems. We have problems around the world with our allies. So those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who’s a Muslim or who’s not a Muslim. Those kinds of images going out on Al-Jazeera are killing us around the world.

  37. freepatriot says:

    all right

    who let all the fookin canadians in

    are these the new members bmaz was rounding up at the flaggstaff bus depot ???

    (told ya that was a bad idea)

    I’m not tryin to be jingoistic or anything

    but did anybody see what those hosers did to the basement ???


  38. theExile says:

    I could hardly force myself out of bed last Wednesday morning here in Canada, until I forced myself to consider the small victories and good things about Harper’s slightly strengthened minority win. Things like the NDP winning a seat in Alberta, the equivalent of a card carrying communist knocking off an unindicted Tom Delay in his district.

    The reasons for the win and the election timing were much more than just not wanting to wait until things got worse. Cancelling three bye-elections sceduled for the folowing week (of the election call), delaying the next session of Parliament and the need to face questions about all the scandals and investigations facing Harper and his gang, and even the ability to stall and put on hold various legal proceedings and inquiries that would likely bring out unfavorable facts, under oath.

    Harper also used many voter suppression techniques ala Rove such as having the vote on the day after our Thanksgiving, when many people would wake up hundreds of miles from their polling station. Then many discovered, after driving/flying all day, that they didn’t have the proper ID required under his new ID requirement law, which many didn’t even know about, much less understand. In some cases even passports weren’t good enough, even if you were on the list, but your passport lacked your current address. When it is easier to enter George Bush’s United States than to vote where you’ve voted for fifty years, something is wrong. No driver’s license or passport, no vote, and maybe no vote anyhow! It wasn’t a surprise to me that voter turn-out was lower than any election in Canadian history, especially as there was no real reason to even have a third election in less than five years – other than Harper’s ego and willingness to roll the dice on a $350,000,000 gamble for his coveted majority, with the taxpayers putting up the 1/3 billion.

    A friend who currently spends half of each year in each country (US/Canada) sees both elections as intelligience tests for the electorate. We failed ours, miserably, I hope you guys pass yours!

  39. freepatriot says:

    co;in powell, always the lying tool of repuglitard war mongering:

    I’m well aware of the role I played. My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The president agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn’t get it through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported that decision. And I’ve never blinked from that. I’ve never said I didn’t support a decision to go to war.

    says he “aware” and then proves he AIN’T aware of shit

    if you been payin attention, you know powell is lying

  40. theExile says:

    I thoughly expect to see a higher quality of US Ambassadors to Canada with an Obama administration. The Bu$h cronies of the last eight years should be an embarrassment to every proud American!!!!!!

    • freepatriot says:

      maybe wees could help you wid dat

      an since it seems that we ain’t too popular with the french, maybe we could help you get rid of Quebec too


      • theExile says:

        Well, maybe you could help us get rid of Harper, once you can vote, though if Harper has his way Republican Party membership will soon be a requirement for prospective American immigrants. We certainly don’t want to get rid of Quebec though, right now it is the only thing between us and a theocracy under Harper’s Canadian Taliban or becoming merely a colonial appendage to the Empire to the South!

  41. freepatriot says:

    and hey presto, the Friedman unit has a new solution for Iraq

    anybody wanna guess what it is ???

    come on folks, we ain’t talkin bout rocket surgery here …

  42. Leen says:

    Obama= “steadiness, intellectual curiousity, depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a Vice President that I think is ready to be President on day one. And also not just jumping in and changing everyday, but sharing intellectual vigor”

    “all villages have value”

    I felt these were Powell’s most impressive insight and oh so long over due for someone of his position to say

    “I am troubled by what members of the Republican Party say and it is permitted to be said. Well you know that Mr.Obama is a Muslim”. Powell “Well the correct answer is Obama is a Christian and he has always been a Christian. BUT the really right answer is What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in America. NO”

    That was long over due.

  43. anwaya says:

    Singularly missing from Powell, the military man’s comments?

    Anything that addressed either Obama or McCain’s qualtiies as a Commander in Chief.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, you have to vote for one or the other, that would seem to be implicit in his endorsement. Quite frankly, I have had about as much as I can stand of the singular false focus on “Commander in Chief” crap. It is, at this point, little more than a meme to pander to the all war/military industrial spending all the time crowd. How about a little focus on “Peace & Prosperity Maker in Chief”?

      • anwaya says:

        Hi bmaz. My point is that McCain has been running on CIC for a while, and Powell gave him nothing to work with on that score.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, well yes, I agree with that wholeheartedly. And you know, coming from a military dude like Powell, that alone was simply a devastating comment on McCain wasn’t it? I probably should not have read it into your comment, but we really do need to walk ourselves back from the view of the Presidency as a militaristic figure though.

  44. masaccio says:

    Canada? France? I’m sure they all have their problems, but at least in France, I don’t have to feel responsible. And the cheese is really good.

  45. Leen says:

    Seymour Hersch

    The man who knows too much
    He exposed the My Lai massacre, revealed Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia and has hounded Bush and Cheney over the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib… No wonder the Republicans describe Seymour Hersh as ‘the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist’. Rachel Cooke meets the most-feared investigative reporter in Washington

    “‘You cannot believe how many people have told me to call them on 20 January [the date of the next president’s inauguration],’ he says, with relish. ‘[They say:] “You wanna know about abuses and violations? Call me then.” So that is what I’ll do, so long as nothing awful happens before the inauguration.’ He plans to write a book about the neocons and, though it won’t change anything – ‘They’ve got away with it, categorically; anyone who talks about prosecuting Bush and Cheney [for war crimes] is kidding themselves’ – it will reveal how the White House ’set out to sabotage the system… It wasn’t that they found ways to manipulate Congressional oversight; they had conversations about ending the right of Congress to intervene.”…..r-reporter

  46. bell says:

    the left in canada are divided into liberals, ndp and green.. the right on the other hand is unified under the conservatives… this is another good reason for proportional representation, but given how the conservatives and liberal and ndp aren’t interested in furthering anyones interests other then their own, it will be a very long time coming…

  47. Professor Foland says:

    I can just imagine the McCain campaign deciding to blunt the force of the endorsement with independents by pointing out at every opportunity that the last guy Colin Powell endorsed was one George W. Bush.

  48. bobschacht says:

    Major new report on the health of the Republican ticket in the NYT, courtesy of the NYT at HuffPo
    New Questions Over McCain’s Health, Times Reports
    October 19, 2008 07:16 PM

    McCain is apparently covering up the seriousness of his cancer, and Palin?
    Mum’s the word. She’s probably the healthiest of the four– so why the silence? Might it have something to do with her “pregancy” earlier this year? Hmm?

    That hissing sound you hear may be the remaining air leaking out of the balloon of the Republican prez ticket.

    Bob in HI

    • Ishmael says:

      I don’t know that the “I am your mother, Trig!” is the big worry, there could be any number of things that could upset the fundamentalists in the base – birth control usage for example (I would give Governor Palin all the privacy on this issue that I would give anyone else and that she would deprive) – perhaps an amniocentesis that would have indicated Trig’s Down’s Syndrome, I don’t know if this would indicate to the base that she at least considered the prospect of an abortion….

  49. plunger says:

    Looks like Ms. Bachman (Turner Overdrive) has become the poster child for LYING on behalf of the Republican Party:…..merican-2/

    Does she not know who Joseph McCarthy was or what our country learned?

    Also, if ever there were a video that best sums up the importance of a woman’s right to choose, this one is IT!…

    Talk about a perfect example to refute the Republican position on Rowe v. Wade! Let anyone step forward to tell this woman she didn’t have the right to make this choice.

    • Leen says:

      Clearly caught in a lie. McCain, Palin, Bachman, Cantor and so many more Republicans using the Rove strategy. Lie then lie some more and then throw that back at the opposition. Never Never admit or acknowledge that you have made a mistake, never take responsibility for your words or actions. Never

  50. MadDog says:

    EW, totally OT, but I thought you’d get a kick out of this:

    Back in Action

    Fox News is expected to announce today the hiring of a new contributor, a veteran national security correspondent who has shared a Pulitzer Prize.

    Her name is Judith Miller

    …Miller will be an on-air analyst and will write for Fox’s Web site. “She has a very impressive résumé,” says Senior Vice President John Moody…

    …”She has explained herself and she has nothing to apologize for.”

    (My Bold)

    This is an encore?

    • Leen says:

      Jesus Mary and Joseph help us or those who watch Faux News. Judith “I was fucking right” Miller should be in prison for undermining National Security by being an integral part of starting an unnecessary, illegal, and immoral war. Hiring Miller is even more of a reason to boycott Faux News.

      Miller is drowning in the Iraqi peoples blood and she could care less. Her agenda on Faux news will to be incite a war with Iran.

  51. pretzel says:…..tests.html

    Philly talk radio is as dominant GOP outlet as there is anywhere, and I mean anywhere. Morning talker Mike Smerconish late last week announced he is voting Obama. He followed that with a column in the Philly Inquirer (which also came out and endorsed Obama).

    Note the similarities between Gen. Powell and Mr. Smerconish.

  52. lllphd says:

    i agree, marcy; that moment powell described the muslim soldier’s tombstone immediately left me sobbing.

    what have we come to that we must actually be reminded of such things?

    i actually think powell’s endorsement – not just the fact of it but the text of it – will be remarkably influential for those few voters who still have not decided.

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