Colin Powell: His Words Still Resonate

Today Colin Powell, the first Black US secretary of state, died from complications after contracting COVID-19. The tragedy of the pandemic layered upon the loss of a most vital American of our time makes this a very sad story.

The loss of Powell’s voice on the issues of our time will be missed. They were certainly ones that resonated on this blog over the years. We have always had in our nation, through the arc of history, solid men and women who spoke with gravitas when we most needed to hear their wisdom. Think Margaret Chase Smith.

From January 2013 and his appearance on Meet The Press he reflected on the previous November election and the campaign for president.

When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well, he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with it Birther, the whole Birther Movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the Party? I think the Party has to take a look at itself.

It has to take a look at its responsibilities for health care. It has to take a look at immigration. It has to take a look at those less fortunate than us. The Party has gathered unto itself a reputation that it is the party of the rich. It is the party of lower taxes. But there are a lot of people who are lower down the food chain, the economic chain, who are also paying lots of taxes relative to their income and they need help. We need more education work being done in this country. We need a solid immigration policy. We have to look at climate change. There are a lot of things that the American people are expecting…..

I was perhaps most proud, however, of how Powell well understood the scope of history and grasped how anger and rancor is never, ever, a sound way to make national policy. That was clear with his opposition to the continued existence of the detention facility at Guantanamo.

Powell knew who we are as a nation cannot be separated from what we do as a nation. He regretted the fact repressive governments used Gitmo to deflect criticism of their own policies by charging hypocrisy. Violent extremists used it as a recruiting tool. It remains a symbol for many around the world of torture, injustice, and illegitimacy. 

The goal of terrorists is to change us, to change what we say we stand for, and to make us live in fear. As such, Powell like so many other educated people, wanted Gitmo to be shuttered.

Powell did have a stain on his career with his actions prior to the invasion of Iraq under President Bush in 2003. I do not marginalize the degree to which he aided in the lie that led to the greatest mistake created by American foreign policy in that region since 1947.

But the sum of Powell’s life can not be measured from that year and action, alone.

There are not many people in our land who can be summed up by saying they were a continuously dignified statesman and leader for truly dedicating their life to the nation. Powell was such a man.

His voice and reasoning will be missed by a nation that needs to have more adults with mature ideas speaking to the needs of our time.

And so it goes.

General Powell Speaks About The Problems With The Republican Party

The best comment from the Sunday morning talk shows.

GEN. POWELL: I think the Republican Party right now is having an identity problem. And I’m still a Republican. I’m a Republican who grew up along with George Bush XLI. I grew up with Ronald Reagan, Cap Weinberger, Frank Carlucci, that Republican Party, the Republican Party of Dick Lugar and John Tower. But in recent years, there’s been a significant shift to the right and we have seen what that shift has produced, two losing presidential campaigns. I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed. The country is changing demographically. And if the Republican Party does not change along with that demographic, they’re going to be in trouble. And so, when we see that in one more generation, the minorities of America, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans will be the majority of the country, you can’t go around saying we don’t want to have a solid immigration policy. We’re going to dismiss the 47 percent. We are going to make it hard for these minorities to vote as they did in the last election. What did that produce? The court struck most of that down and most importantly, it caused people to turn out and stand in line because these Republicans were trying to keep us from voting. There’s also a dark– a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the Party. What I do mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor say that the president is shuckin’ and jivin’, that’s a racial era slave term. When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well, he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with it Birther, the whole Birther Movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the Party? I think the Party has to take a look at itself. It has to take a look at its responsibilities for health care. It has to take a look at immigration. It has to take a look at those less fortunate than us. The Party has gathered unto itself a reputation that it is the party of the rich. It is the party of lower taxes. But there are a lot of people who are lower down the food chain, the economic chain, who are also paying lots of taxes relative to their income and they need help. We need more education work being done in this country. We need a solid immigration policy. We have to look at climate change. There are a lot of things that the American people are expecting and the Republican Party, as they get ready for the next election, really has to focus on some of these issues and not ignore them. Everybody wants to talk about who’s going to be the candidate. You better think first about what’s the party they’re actually going to represent. If it’s just going to represent the far right-wing of the political spectrum, I think the Party is in difficulty. I’m a moderate but I’m still a Republican, that’s how I was raised. And until I voted for Mister Obama twice, I had voted for seven straight Republican presidents.

Colin Powell Underscores Why Teabaggers Are Wrong About Role Of Government

I have been watching and listening, as we all have been doing, to the words from many across the political spectrum over the need to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.   However, I have been smirking at times as some of the small government types, the ones that very well might latch onto a Tea Party rally for political benefit, as they also state they want more of a federal response to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf.  While General Colin Powell is certainly not one of the teabaggers his words today underscore what I have often thought about during this whole dreadful mess.  

This oil spill underscores the folly of the teabaggers when it comes to understanding the need for a strong federal government.  After 40-plus days of pure BS from BP it is plain that private industry is not up to the task of ending this spill.  With the track record of the oil companies why would we think they could be?  Private industry often makes the messes that the federal government has to  clean up.  While the federal government should never have granted off-shore oil drilling in the first place, one other thing is also clear.   A robust, energized, and full-throttled federal response is the only way to end the BS from this corporate giant.   There is no soundness for the small federal government clatter that so many teabaggers would have us think is the only way for the nation to operate.  At times like this it is clear why we pay taxes, and have large arms of government at the ready to act.

Today General Colin Powell makes the case for federal intervention, and he is right. 

GEN. COLIN POWELL tells Jake Tapper on ABC’s “This Week” that the Gulf gusher is now “beyond the capacity” of BP to solve: “The president has to get involved as quickly as possible. If you don’t, then public opinion starts to drag you in the media, and pushes you. And so when something like this clearly is going to get beyond the capacity of whoever caused it, get beyond the capacity of local authorities, I think the federal government has to move in quickly and move in with, to use my favorite expression, decisive force and demonstrate that it’s doing everything that it can do.”

TAPPER: “And you didn’t see that … ?”

POWELL: “I think the president directly said the other day that he’d been monitoring it, following it, and … been on top of it from the beginning. But that impression was not conveyed to the American people. And the comprehensive speech he gave the other day, I think he would have been better served – and the nation would have been better served – if he had given it a few weeks earlier. But I think the federal government is now fully engaged. … ”

TAPPER: “… Do you think the military could do a better job than is being done right now?”

POWELL: “It depends what you want them to do. The military brings organization, it brings control, it brings assets. … Certainly, I am sure my colleagues in the Pentagon are looking at it. … First, you’ve got to figure out : What do we need? We need people to clean beaches. Do we need people to put out skimmers? We have LOTS of fishermen and others down there who are available, who want the work, and know the water a lot better than an Army unit coming in. But whether it’s Army, Coast Guard, local forces, it’s time for … total attack on this problem, to protect the shoreline, … to protect the wetlands, and most of all to give the people in that part of our country a sense of hope that this is going to be solved.”

Rush Limbaugh Stokes Racial Fire

Entertainer Rush Limbaugh should know better.  What he has been doing on his radio show today is deplorable.

He should care more about the larger issues in our democracy than the narrow-minded scope of his conservative thinking.  If anyone sat and listened objectively to the words from General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, it would be evident that some serious thought was given to his views.  There is no evidence anywhere to suggest that Powell’s endorsement was for anything other than policy, and the need for a better future for all of us.  For Limbaugh to suggest otherwise is playing with a dangerous element of racism that the entire nation needs to condemn.  Rush Limbaugh knows better than to promote this tactic on his radio show.  It is tough to be on losing side of the election but please, Mr Limbaugh, do not try and take the country with you when your political party and views fall.

Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh Monday strongly defended his recent remark that Colin Powell endorsedBarack Obama largely because of race, and lashed out at members of the media and Democrats for appearing to take issue with his comment.

“So what if it’s race?” Limbaugh said on his radio show. “Why is it so hard to admit that it’s race…What’s so problematic about admitting it?”

Limbaugh’s original comments came in an email to Politico reporter Jonathan Martin Sunday, when the talk-radio host took issue with Powell’s contention that his endorsement of the Illinois senator did not have anything to do with the color of his skin.

“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,” Limbaugh wrote in the e-mail. “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.”

The comments immediately caused a stir on several Democratic blogs and an Obama campaign spokeswoman called them “disgusting.” They were also heavily reported on several news programs Sunday night and Monday morning. But Limbaugh made clear Monday he is not backing down from them.

“I thought it should be about race,” he said. “I thought you liberals thought this was a historic candidacy because finally we are going to elect a black guy…why hide behind this, why act like it’s not about race?”

“This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare,” Limbaugh added. The talk radio host also criticized members of the media for not addressing his claim that Powell likely hasn’t endorsed white candidates who, according to Limbaugh, have similar political leanings and experience as Obama.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Colin Powell Proudly Served America Again With Endorsement For Barack Obama

Today General Colin Powell proudly served his country again.  By standing up to those who have abused the Constitution, and sent our soldiers on a neo-con war in Iraq where over 4,000 have died, Powell placed himself on the side of history that understands truth must always be the victor.   Knowing that John McCain is very much like President Bush, and that a McCain term in office would in essence be a third Bush term, Powell acted like a true military strategist.  He waited for the right moment, and with the right arsenal, in this case his logic and words, destroyed what was left of the enemy. 

CNN Reports

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama, citing the Democrat’s “ability to inspire” and the “inclusive nature of his campaign.”

“He has both style and substance. I think he is a transformational figure,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Obama displayed a steadiness. Showed intellectual vigor. He has a definitive way of doing business that will do us well,” Powell said.

Powell, a retired U.S. general and a Republican, was once seen as a possible presidential candidate himself.

Powell said he questioned Sen. John McCain’s judgment in picking Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate because he doesn’t think she is ready to be president.

He also said he was disappointed with some of McCain’s campaign tactics, such as bringing up Obama’s ties to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers

The waiting game took many weeks, but finally General Powell addressed the question that has gripped the political world.  Which candidate for President would receive his endorsement?  It surely was no mystery that once Powell granted an interview on the highly respected “Meet The Press” it was clear he was ready to announce something that would radiate outwards, and impact the nation. 

The care and precision with which Colin Powell used his words today are what we have come to expect from this exceptional American.  His support for the candidacy of Barack Obama to be the next President shores up yet again the security and military issues that demand attention in the times in which we live.  By stressing his support for Obama it serves notice to all that the Illinois Senator is prepared to lead the nation.  Those who wish to use political knocks to undermine Obama need to be reminded that Powell is one of those Americans that clearly knows the stakes that are involved with this election.  After all, it was he who was used by the neo-cons in their all-out effort to start a Middle Eastern war.  While Powell has been more statesman-like than he should have ever needed to be, in light of how the Bush White House operates, his lack of snide public comments over the years only makes this support for Obama more sweet and just.

A vile and mean-spirited campaign has been conducted with racial aspects against Barack Obama.  There is no way that anyone could have imagined General Powell saddling up to John McCain and the cretins that have been in charge of his campaign.  They lost General Powell months ago.  But he waited until it was time to unleash his words and help lift Barack Obama to the Oval Office.

It was masterful.

Technorati Tags: , ,
Technorati Tags:

Colin Powell On “Meet The Press” Sunday….Will he Endorse Barack Obama?

UPDATED…..READ HERE

I predicted that following the last presidential debate, the last important person in America who had not yet endorsed, would finally do so.  I predicted that Colin Powell would endorse Barack Obama. 

Now comes word that Powell will appear on NBC’s Sunday morning news program “Meet The Press”.  Everyone is waiting!

Powell’s unassailable national security credentials could sway voters who are vacillating about whether Obama is ready to be commander in chief, and his endorsement of the Illinois senator would make a national security emphasis by McCain in the election’s closing days extremely difficult.

Powell, 71, a professional soldier for 35 years, has advised the last three Republican presidents.

The general’s camp is being coy about what he might or might not say on Sunday. But some McCain advisers suspect, without being sure, that Powell will endorse Obama.

“It’s going to make a lot of news, and certainly be personally embarrassing for McCain,” a McCain official said. “It comes at a time when we need momentum, and it would create momentum against us.”

Powell, a four-star Army general, was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan; chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf war, when George H.W. Bush was president; and President George W. Bush’s first secretary of State,

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Will Colin Powell Endorse Barack Obama In Virginia After Last Presidential Debate?

UPDATED…READ HERE

There had been rumors leading up to the Democratic National Convention that an endorsement from Colin Powell was in the offing.  That of course did not take place.  But might it still happen?  Though I wish not to go as far as listing this as a prediction………I just wonder……….

One has to think that the brilliant thinker that resides within Colin Powell was not amused at how he was treated by the Bush White House, and more importantly his resentment of how neo-conservatives twisted our foreign policy into an international disaster.  I strongly suspect that Powell is far more interested in the long-range outlook for the United States than in some political payback, though one could well understand why he could hold both views very strongly.

There is no doubt about the need to right the direction and tone of our foreign policy.  From a harsh ‘with us or against us’ tone that hardly even works in playground scuffles, to a general disregard for expansive diplomatic initiatives, there is a need step away from the ineptitude of President Bush.  Clearly John McCain does little to make us believe that his time in the Oval Office would differ from that of Bush.   With that as a clear road map for continued national ruin there is no reason that a seasoned veteran of world affairs such as Powell would want to stand on the sidelines at this moment in history. 

I wonder if shortly after the last debate there is not a powerful endorsement in Virginia by Colin Powell for Barack Obama?

I mention Virginia due to the military institutions and members that are stationed there, the competitive nature of the state this cycle, the degree that security issues play into the national campaign, and the southern importance of the state to a winning electoral vote on Election Night.

Just wondering…………and almost a prediction………

Technorati Tags: , , ,