GOP Pundits Racialize Powell’s Endorsement

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Yesterday on Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw asked Colin Powell what he would say to people who said that he was endorsing Obama for his skin color. I thought this was a racist question at first. Would Brokaw ask Joe Lieberman what he would say to people who said he was endorsing John McCain because he was white?

After Colin Powell gave such a well though out, eloquent endorsement for Obama where he addressed every issue on why he was choosing Obama over McCain, why would Brokaw even insinuate that Powell had skin color in mind when endorsing Obama?

As a soldier, general secretary of defense and secretary of state, has Powell ever made a decision based on race? If he had endorsed McCain would people be questioning him for endorsing another soldier?  Was he listening to all the key points that Powell brought up to justify his endorsement.? Did he not articulately state the case for Barack Obama? Who would these people who would assume that Powell was voting for Obama because he was black?

Here They Come

Rush Limbaugh

“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race… 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.”

Pat Buchanan

“Alright, we gotta ask a question. . ..look would Colin Powell be endorsing Obama if he were a white liberal Democrat…”

How come they are not asking those same questions of white Republicans who have supported Obama such as Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Buckley, Christopher Leach, Senator Lincoln Chafee and the number of Republican leaning newspapers that have endorsed Obama?

During Colin Powell’s career as soldier, general and administration official his integrity and judgment has been beyond reproach by both democrats and republicans. I don’t understand how anybody can believe after what Powell said that he was voting for Obama on racial lines.

Colin Powell served his country as a Soldier, General, National Security Advisor under Reagan, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff under Bush 41, and Secretary of State under Bush 43. Powell at all times had the respect, and admiration of the American people, politicians and pundits, both Democrats and republicans. Powell even campaigned for John McCain in 2000, before switching to Bush 43 after the primaries. Powell has always been defined by his loyalty to his country and the Presidents that ran it.

Powell had the wisdom to challenge the Iraq war, telling George Bush about the Pottery Barn rule regarding Iraq ‘You break it, you own it,’ yet proved his loyalty by addressing the United Nations on Iraq’s WMD’s, which he later called ‘a blot on his record’ telling Barbara Walters ‘it was painful. It’s painful now’ By admitting shame in his role of the invasion of Iraq, Powell remains one of the few members of the Bush administration to retain his integrity. Powell would leave the Bush white house and unlike many of his cohorts he did not produce a standard tell-all book complete with all the arguments and scandals that he could have.

By insinuating that Powell was voting for Obama because of his race, Buchanan and Gingrich are smearing two of the most respected, not black, but American political figures in Colin Powell and Barack Obama. They have used the typical Republican strategy of blame the messenger. Rather than addressing Powell’s legitimate criticism of the tone of McCain campaign, Sarah Palin, John McCain’s strategy on the economy and the direction of the Republican party they have chosen to racialize his decision.

If Powell was driven by race for political decisions, why was he a  member of the Republican party for so many years when blacks support the democrats over republicans by 90%. Colin Powell is far from the only conservative to abandon the Republican Party after 8 years of Bush and a negative cynical campaign by John McCain. Why is the right wing trying to make it into a racial issue, rather than to address his legitimate criticisms of John McCain and the Republican party and his praise of Barack Obama on issues like leadership, organization and intelligence?

The same republican party operatives that were so in love with Colin Powell that they wanted him to run against Clinton in 96 are now questioning his judgment, suggesting that a highly respected, former soldier, general, secretary of defense, chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs and secretary of state make political decisions based on race. How low can you go?

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