Friday, October 24, 2008

Colin who??

General Powell's impact on this election will be less than profound (like most endorsements), and one of the reasons is that he didn't make the argument for Mr. Obama as much as his Military Highness simply let us peek through a kaleidoscopic view of the McCain campaign; ironic given Powell's many years as a G.O.P. devotee. One would think Powell -having been showered with promotions by adoring Republican presidents - would have kept faith with McCain, with whom he's shared a close friendship for many years, like others in the Republican party. In fact, President Bush appointed Powell's son, Michael Powell, head of the FCC in 2001. It was one of the new president's first appointments.

But party loyalty is one thing and opportunism is another. Powell is a carpe diem kinda guy, putting all other considerations in a lock box. Apparently he didn't take offense to Obama attacking McCain for being computer illiterate and "out of touch". A war veteran himself, Powell should cringe at the thought of poking fun at someone, McCain, for a handicap; which prohibits him from typing and sending emails because McCain was tortured as a POW.

And, he being the nation's former diplomat-in-chief, one would have thought that as Powell was lecturing us this weekend on the negativity of the McCain movement, he would have first read the New York Times article which eviscerated Cindy McCain; noting everything from her miscarriages to her rehab for substance addiction. Even John Kerry has jumped on the negative bandwagon by ridiculing McCain's age, saying that his senate colleague wears adult diapers. Ouch!

Yup, the Obama camp is running a veritable Mother Theresa like campaign.

And then there's this alert to liberals suddenly in love with Powell; - he's the same guy who passionately made the case before the United Nations for the invasion of Iraq. As secretary of state, General Powell told the world, "the facts and Iraq's behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction."

Truth be told, there's more than just one Colin Powell. He's either Sybil with pants on or a guy who says one thing in private and yet another in public. In July of 2007 Powell told the Timesonline's Sarah Baxter that he did everything to stop the invasion. "I tried to avoid this war. I took him (Bush) through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers." But again, if this was the real world view of Secretary Powell, how could he have ever, in good conscience, lobbied the UN security council on the president's behalf and given the intemperate testimony advocating war, which in a speech broadcast everywhere but Krypton paved the way for invasion.

Just as he was once drowning in promotions and trinkets from Republicans, Powell is now sacrosanct in the eyes of liberals for breaking with his party and endorsing Obama. But how the general portrays his role in the Iraq war is reminiscent of what politicians have done a hundred times before. Mission fails, I told you so; mission succeeds, I helped mastermind it.

But is there a caveat? In other words, having just sliced and diced him have I anything sweet and cozy to say about the General? You betcha. On the endless debate of "don't ask don't tell," Bill Clinton's conception which still bans citizens from serving in the military as openly Gay, Powell has been a vocal critic of the antiquated policy. Obama's statements that Powell may well serve in an Obama administration is a clear and welcome indication that the day's may be numbered for "don't ask, don't tell."

In any event, I maintain what I've said for weeks; this race is still competitive, and that's even with Obama outspending McCain by a four to one margin. The tightening polling data is even more of a conundrum when one factors in the reality that this has been a turning point election for journalism, because this was the cycle when the media just let its hair down and didn't care how naked the bias was. Why do I feel like McCain gets a daily blackberry message from Hillary Clinton saying, "now you know what I went through in the Primarys", when the NY senator just couldn't get a break, because she wasn't simply challenging Obama, she was also running against a misogynist clan with names like Brokaw, Matthews, Olberman, Russert, Blitzer, Williams and pretty much any body else sitting under a klieg light and feeling a "thrill going up" their legs.

Life is a......well, you know.....when the guy your running against is so shamelessly coddled by the media; and apparently adored by former Republican and I guess former Iraq War advocate Colin Powell.

1 comment:

mark.haldane said...

Hi Kevin -

I see you are still fighting the good fight. Drop me a note at