Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Response to Colin Powell’s endorsement of Senator Obama

The most disappointing aspect of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama is not that he supports Obama, but that the reasons he gives are, for the most part, so patently absurd, that it calls in question the intellectual qualifications of a man I once greatly admired.

For example, Powell states that, while he admires McCain, he has “concerns about the direction the party has taken in recent years, it’s moved more to the right than I would like to see it…”
What is absurd about this statement is that McCain is notoriously centrist, and not a far right “radical”. In fact, his moderate stances have alienated him from his party. It is to this that he is referring when he says that he has stood up to his own party and has “the scars to prove it.” So, supporting Obama will do nothing to bring the Republican party to the center. Quite probably, the opposite is true.

Powell had questioned Obama and asked; “do you bring good judgment to the table.” He then states that he watched over this “final exam” of the candidates went through during the recent the economic crisis. “I must say that…in the case of Mr. McCain, he was a little unsure about how to deal with the economic problems, and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem…he didn’t have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.” Secondly, on the choice of Sarah Palin, “I don’t believe she’s ready to be President of the United States…and so, that raised some question about the decision that Senator McCain made.”

To start, I'd like to point out that, at the height of the crisis, I don't remember anyone that seemed sure of what to do. Not the Fed Chairman, not the executives, not the congress...and I certainly do not have any recollection at all of hearing anything substantial from Obama at that time. In fact, he stubbornly continued to promise to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, as if the worst financial crisis of the century were not actually happening. How does that demonstrate having any "grasp" of the economic problems we have had?

By contrast, Powell says that, “on the Obama side…he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity and a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this…and picking a vice president that truly is ready to jump in and be president on day one. And also not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor.”

There is irony in this that Powell apparently missed. It was McCain who immediately suspended his campaign in order to try to get Republican support for the “bail out” plan. While Obama continued to enjoy the praise of his cult following, McCain tried to rally the troops.

It is McCain, not Obama, who has it very clear in his mind that the origin of the cause of the crisis lies squarely in the Democrat policies that led to the Community Reinvestment Act. It was the Republicans, led by John McCain (and others), who warned of the imminent financial meltdown, but their efforts at reform were thwarted by Obama and Chris Dodd.

The Republicans are not free from the blame: it was Bush’s support of the continuation of the Community Reinvestment policies through the Ownership Society that perpetuated the momentum toward the crash. It should be noted that this sort of social engineering is not a conservative policy, and should be considered to be additional evidence that the failure of the Bush administration was that it was not conservative enough, rather than—as Powell said—that the party had moved “too far right”.

Powell goes on to criticize the Republican Party again by saying that their approach {in the election} “has become narrower and narrower, while Obama … is crossing lines, racial lines, ethnic lines, generational lines…and I’ve been disappointed about the approach that the McCain campaign has taken… If Mr. McCain says that William Ayers is a washed up terrorist, then why do they make the connections with him all the time? And the party has moved even farther to the right and I have problem with that.”

This is probably one of the most astonishing things Powell could say. It was John McCain who reached across racial lines to try to find a fair and just solution to the immigration issue that split the Republican Party over the past few years. And even Powell cannot deny that there were more minorities in high-level posts under the Bush administration than under any other administration in American history!

As for the accusation that the Republican party has been saying that Obama is a terrorist: that is false.

What the party has been saying is that one can examine the kinds of friends that Obama keeps, and from that draw conclusions about how he actually feels about the country. Obama’s “friends” include the felon John Resco, the domestic terrorist William Ayers, the stridently anti-American and anti-white reverend Wright, among others.

Was that not a reasonable thing to ask?

Ask yourself the inverse, to test the proposition:

What would happen if John McCain had befriended the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bomber Eric Robert Rudolph? If he had launched his political career from his living room? If he had written a forward and endorsement for his book?

We would all agree that, given the hypothetical situation I outlined above, it would be very reasonable question McCain’s judgment. So why isn’t it allowed to apply that logical question to Obama?

Because he’s black?

To say that the media has “given Obama a pass” is an understatement. But now even Powell has decided that Obama has somehow demonstrated “good judgment”, in spite of his associations with some very seedy individuals.

It is difficult to take Powell at face value. When his reasoning seems so shallow, so contradictory, we must ask ourselves if maybe—just maybe—Powell was not the intellectual that we had thought. It is possible that Powell was brilliant in terms of military issues and is an intellectual midget when it comes to social and economic issues.

Or, perhaps, he was the intellectual we believed, but now finds himself swayed less by political loyalty than racial loyalty.


Why should we believe that he is picking Obama for any reason other than race? Is that unfair to ask?

When the Democrats constantly attack every white voter who says he or she can’t vote for Obama, when they say that they must therefore be racist, they are drawing the conclusion that the only logical reason why a white person can’t vote for Obama is because of his race.

So why would it not be fair to apply the same “logic” to Powell? Since none of the reasons Powell gave actually make any sense, the only logical inference is that Powell is actually voting for Obama because he is black.

1 comment:

Norris Hall said...

Is it about race?
Only one person knows for sure…and that’s Colin Powell
Powell claims that he’s not happy with the “rightward shift” of the Republican party. But is there any merit in his accusation???
Listen to Republican Senator Michelle Bachmann
Video of Senator Michelle Bachmann on Hardball
So...what do you think??. is Colin Powell was just being overly sensitive.