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Monday, October 20, 2008

The General’s Redemption

posted by on October 20 at 9:41 AM

It’s not impossible that Powell’s endorsement of Obama was timed to coincide with the release of a movie that presents him as the sole decent and honest member of Bush’s original inner circle. In W, Powell, played by Jeffery Wright, is the only one who argues for patience, diplomacy, improved intelligence. He wants Iraq the sequel to be like the first Iraq, a war that was properly designed and executed. Rice, played by the Thandie Newton, almost has no lines; Dick Cheney, played brilliantly by Richard Dreyfuss, wants war and more war. Powell’s moment of shame in American history was his UN presentation of the weak WMD evidence. The endorsement of Obama has much to do with clearing/reversing some of that shame.

A growing number of right wing ideologues, however, are claiming the endorsement had everything to do with race.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We just found out that former Secretary of State General Colin Powell has said he’s going to vote for Barack Obama. Big impact?

WILL: Some impact. And I think this adds to my calculation — this is very hard to measure — but it seems to me if we had the tools to measure we’d find that Barack Obama gets two votes because he’s black for every one he loses because he’s black because so much of this country is so eager, a) to feel good about itself by doing this, but more than that to put paid to the whole Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson game of political rhetoric.

Obama is damned because he is black (losing white votes in an effect that’s named after Tom Bradley), and blessed because he is black (drawing white votes from white guilt).

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Only in the GOP can one so successfully reduce a seven minute, rational, and well-reasoned argument for endorsing a candidate into "ZOMG THEIR BOTH BLAKC".

Posted by Dr. Savage Mudede | October 20, 2008 9:45 AM

Powell made a great comment about this himself in his appearance on Meet the Press. (I'm paraphrasing here) He was asked, "Lots of people will say this is about race. What do you have to say about that?", and he said, "If it were about race, I could have made this decision 2 years ago. But it's not. It's a decision made on careful analysis of the candidates and their campaigns."

Posted by Afreet | October 20, 2008 9:47 AM

Yes, the Rs have been playing the "white guilt" card for months.

Wev. 15 days, bitches.

Posted by Big Sven | October 20, 2008 9:54 AM

Woodward, Suskind, et al. place Powell squarely in the "wait ... really?" camp. He's justifiably come out of the sh!tstorm with the WMD at the UN talk smelling relatively rosy.

The respect he has earned and maintained is well-deserved and his endorsement should carry more weight than that of say ... Schwarzkopf, or Quayle. Let the right suck it if they want to belittle his endorsers on the basis of race. I'll consider them on the merits of the endorser.

Posted by ben | October 20, 2008 9:57 AM

No one knows more about the African American experience than George Will.

Posted by DOUG. | October 20, 2008 10:04 AM

"Powell’s moment of shame in American history was his UN presentation of the weak WMD evidence. The endorsement of Obama has much to do with clearing/reversing some of that shame."

that was one of them. his other moment included helping in covering up the my lai massacre in vietnam. he is a neo- con, he just didnt beleive in the iraq war. i sure as hell hope obama was just bullshiting when he said he would put him in his administration.

olvier stone's portrayal of powel was the equivelant of a blow job.

Posted by SeMe | October 20, 2008 10:14 AM

Powell is a great endorsement. Obama worked to get it. Obama was smart. He called him up lots of times. McCain didn't. When OBama called he wanted to talk about lots of things. McCain didn't.

McCain = snooze and lose.

Posted by PC | October 20, 2008 10:26 AM

mudede, yet again you give clear voice to what i've been thinking. you are such a north star to the discourse here. thank you.

Posted by take'em down | October 20, 2008 10:30 AM

I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK WHO COLIN POWELL ENDORSES. a deal is a deal: the devil doesn't do refunds on souls.

Posted by max solomon | October 20, 2008 10:37 AM

i agree it is a smart endorsement, i just dont trust a guy who gets up in the UN and lies, yes he lied, he knew he was lying through his teeth and went ahead and did it. it was not a "presentation" it was a lie just like he lied about my lai when he was a mouthpiece for the army.

i hate that people are trying to paint him as the voice of the nation, he is just a neo-con who hates he got caught lying. he helped bush sell his war and he is as responsible as all the cheney.

im glad he endorsed senator obama cuz it shows how bankrupt old man mccain is, but like i said i hope this neo con does not find a place in an obama administration.

Posted by SeMe | October 20, 2008 10:41 AM

Is it just me, or did the Powell character in "W" remind people of Bill Paxton in "Independence Day?" In that, neither one spoke in anything other than a low, very serious, gravelly monotone.

Posted by joykiller | October 20, 2008 10:49 AM

Did you know when you look up "pond scum" in the dictionary, you can find George Will's picture?

Posted by Foul ball | October 20, 2008 11:04 AM

The Repubs go to the "black" (aka "half black") word and are eager to ride that over the top of "content of character". They love the division game, but they find themselves on the short side of things. They can't stand that a lot of voters aren't buying into it. It's a new day, and the entitled have become exposed. That's where the smell of rabble-rousing desperation is coming from.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | October 20, 2008 11:12 AM

"Damn, George Will just keeps getting more conservative!"

- Tracy Jordan on "30 Rock"

Posted by Juris | October 20, 2008 12:40 PM

Um, I'd say that my decision was more based on jungle lust than white guilt.

Posted by oBAMa | October 20, 2008 2:40 PM

Sure wish Powell had shown this sort of character back in the day. I remember thinking that he could have been such a great leader...
He earned back a little of my respect today, though--not because of his endorsement of Obama, but because of what he said about being Muslim in America. Someone should have said that a while ago.

Posted by CQ | October 20, 2008 3:22 PM

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