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I loved Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama.  It was so eloquent, uplifting and wise.  It reminded me of why Colin Powell still commands respect in America despite his gargantuan miscalculation carrying water for the war in Iraq.  

I was of course, offended by Limbaugh, Buchanan and Will's crocodile tears over "racism."  Yet when I heard their monkeyshines condemned by dems, there was a subtle sour note: "of course it's not about race! Colin Powell makes good decisions!"

Colin Powell has served his country well, he is an adult American citizen. If he wishes to endorse and vote to ensure that a candidate of historically oppressed race attains an important public office--so be it.  No American is required to have an angelic reason for their vote (as Governor Wallace proved), Colin Powell has certainly earned the right to endorse whoever he wants for whatever reason he wants.  

There is a certain subtle racism to these statements.  A white person can endorse Barack Obama and there is no "it's about race," narrative (except, of course, from Rush Limbaugh).  But a black person immediately draws suspicion. Their opinion is suspect because they are part of a group identity, not an individual.  Even when they are a former secretary of state, a former chairman of the joint chiefs, they somehow need to justify their opinion it cannot just be theirs.

Of course the Colin Powell endorsement was about more than just race, but even if it wasn't that would be fine.  Colin Powell does not have to be colorblind, only right.

Originally posted to Equus aequitas on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:04 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Limbaugh is a big fat idiot (4+ / 0-)

    "There is nothing wrong with America can't be cured by what is right with America" -Bill Clinton

    by SensibleDemocrat on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:05:13 PM PDT

  •  Wait for it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When the 'He endorsed him because he's black' turns sour they'll start on about how he lied to get us into Iraq.

    :)  Peace

  •  It doesn't matter what we do, or what anyone (0+ / 0-)

    does for us. The radical Right is also going to hate us. They'll always find something to beef about. If they don't they lose their raison d'etre. Imagine if they had no one left to hate. They'd all implode, and that would be the end of the species.

    I love the smell of impeachment in the morning!

    by gabbardd on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:07:35 PM PDT

  •  Of Course It's About Race to Them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are racists, after all.  Limbaugh, Buchanan, all of those bastards.

  •  How many white pundits endorse politicians (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, Alec82

    because the politicians are white?

    And no one says a thing.

    Refuge Watch -- news from America's national wildlife refuges

    by Naturegal on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:08:36 PM PDT

  •  The issue is (0+ / 0-)

    That Limbaugh and team were claiming that Powell put loyalty to race ahead of loyalty to his party or even his country.

    Basically they want to dismiss any notion that Powell might simply believe that Obama is the best choice for the country

    •  But is it wrong to endorse for racial reasons? (0+ / 0-)

      Limbaugh and Co. are being correctly blasted for their overt racism, but people seem to ignore the subtle racism inherit in the implication that Colin Powell is not entitled to an opinion that considers race.

      It's similar to anti-affirmative action arguments. "We should be colorblind! Race shouldn't play a role"  

      I If we oppress by trying to be colorblind, we shouldn't be colorblind.

  •  I don't think he's losing any sleep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Equus aequitas

    The irony of all this is that the racist "backlash" is a shining example of the issues Colin Powell currently has with the Rethug party.

    Neither Limbaugh, Will, nor BuKKKanan is fit to shine Colin Powell's shoes.  I don't think, quite frankly, he givea a flying fuck what they say.

    "What kind of fuckery is this?" - Amy Winehouse

    by sistermoon on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:11:51 PM PDT

  •  It was a thoughtful and thorough statement (0+ / 0-)

    It enumerated Baracks strengths contrasted to McCains weaknesses.
    The Rush et all response was predictable.

  •  People totally overlook the fact (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlh77489, Alec82

    that Colin Powell, in that very interview, stated that he had previously donated money to mccain's campaign.  It was mccain's endorsement to lose, and he lost it by his own intemperate hand.

  •  Because Colin's black. If you're Rush, or Pat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Buchanan, or George Will, or Don Imus, you're allowed to see race.  If you're black, you're not (at least in their eyes).

    "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States..."

    by dlh77489 on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:21:10 PM PDT

  •  I think race did play a role. (0+ / 0-)

    To say otherwise is just being defensive and not being honest imo. If Obama was a white guy I doubt very much that Powell would have endorsed him.

    But Powell wouldnt endorsed any black candidate either; he had to be the right kind of centrist black candidate.

    Black candidates Powell would endorse: Obama, Harold Ford, Michael Steel, Condi...

    Black candiates Powell wouldnt endorse: Sharpton, Jessise Jackson Jr, Maxine Waters, JC Watts...

    I dont think it should play a role though. Race shoudlnt matter AT ALL. I guess you could make the case that having a black president would help the country's image, and will help society as well. So in just this one case, its something that could be considered. Only as one factor among manny though.

  •  I'm sure Powell is proud of Barack's achievements (0+ / 0-)

    And he should be.  As should we all.  It says a great deal that a man who is half black is about to be elected president of the United States.  But honestly, I don't think that is why Powell endorsed Obama.  However much I still blame him for his role (and I do) in the Iraq war, I do believe that he does feel remorse over his decisions during that period.  Powell is more moderate than McCain's platform, so frankly this isn't that surprising.  I mean, what the hell, Douglas KMIEC is endorsing and campaigning for Barack Obama.  That one makes absolutely no sense at all.  And he has laid out various reasons for it.  At least Powell has the virtue of being a political moderate.  

    Sigh.  I have no problems if people are excited by the prospect of a black president.  I don't think race, standing alone, is a legitimate reason to vote for a candidate, or a reason to vote against one.  It just doesn't matter, and it isn't about being color blind, either.  I don't hold anything against primary voters who were strategic and thought that a black man would have a hard time winning in the GE.  That case, of course, is a bit different, and now I'm rambling, so I'll sign off with this: I don't care, and I don't think most Americans care about Powell's reasons either.

    "We're half awake in a fake empire."

    by Alec82 on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 07:34:24 PM PDT

  •  'cause... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    deep down, to some of these people who claim to respect him, Powell is just a nobody negro.  He is only worthy of feigned respect when he's serving their ends.  The minute he dares to stand up as a man, they reduce him to simply his color...just another negro - stripping him of his credentials, and reducing him to nothing.

    •  The McCain campaign is the total fruition of (0+ / 0-)

      the last 40 years of dog whistle Republican politics and Powell stepped in the middle in order to call them on it.  He dared them to take issue with him and they took the bait.  The problem is that there is a portion of their base that respects his service and his only color in their eyes is military green, he's one of them, an honorable man that served his country and this will triumph anything else.  

  •  Joe Lieberman (0+ / 0-)

    jumped parties to endorse McCain.  I think he did so because McCain is white and Lieberman is racist...either that or he is just stupid.

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