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Powell's Predictable Endorsement

Gen. Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama for president, in effect ending Powell’s brief interlude as a Republican, was the least surprising and most predictable event of an unusually unpredictable election cycle. The interaction between Powell and the Republican Party was never a marriage made in heaven. Accordingly, it is hard to remember that as recently as 1992, influential Washington Republican power-brokers were seriously promoting Powell as their party’s nominee for president.

Regarding Powell as “our Eisenhower,” they considered him the solution to a bleak landscape of possible candidates in that year’s election.

Fortunately for all concerned, Powell declined their overtures and, at the advice of his wife, Alma, decided to stay out of any kind of elective politics.

But Powell was enticed into becoming a Republican, even though he had no connection with or affection for the Republican Party. Unlike Eisenhower, who carried no ideology into politics, Powell is much more of a liberal in his ideology.

Powell’s debut as a Republican at the 1996 GOP convention in San Diego was not an auspicious success, particularly after the general delivered a speech that seemed suspiciously Democratic to the assembled delegates.

When President George W. Bush named Powell as secretary of state, it was no cause for celebration among Republicans, particularly neocons, who blamed Powell for dissuading President George H.W. Bush from sending U.S. troops all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War.

After the first Gulf War, Powell appealed to politicians on both sides of the aisle. Nevertheless, many Democrats who were ready to nominate Powell for president in 1992 cooled in their ardor after his Feb. 5, 2003, speech to the U.N. Security Council. His presentation citing Bush administration intelligence data as the reason for invading Iraq led many Democratic members of Congress to favor authorization of an attack.

Powell’s friend and political adviser Kenneth Duberstein, a Washington Republican operative and lobbyist, has tried hard to facilitate Powell’s entrance into the GOP. But as astute as Duberstein is, the general and the GOP simply never trusted each other.

The popular general resisted efforts to enlist him as a party fund-raiser, and Powell was clearly not comfortable as a Republican. The endorsement of Obama was an event waiting to happen.

By Robert Novak  | October 20, 2008; 10:20 PM ET
Categories:  Novak  | Tags:  Robert Novak  
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Comments

Colin Powell's worst assessment for the security of this country was in the first gulf war when he was the joint chief of the armed services, just when General Schwartzkoff and his army had Sadam Hussein and his regime outflanked and defeated, he recommended to President George Herbert Walker Bush for Saddam to live and his regime to stay in power which in turn gave us a greater threat for our current President to go before the UN and with UN forces invaded Iraq for not complying with the UN resolutions to inspect for weapons of mass destruction. I personally blame Colin Powell and his judgement for the lives and the cost for having to go back to Iraq today, and I believe his assessment and judgement for endorsing Obama as a leader of this country and the free world is wrong and if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country.

Posted by: michaelW01 | October 20, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

The Powell/Rice doctrine is to stand on either side of the White House gate holding a ring. I don't see how either of them can summon the courage to go out in public.


FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (DIRECT) DEMOCRACY

Posted by: thc1138 | October 20, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

So michaelW01 blames Powell "for the lives and the cost for having to go back to Iraq today." Big New Flash! We didn't have to go back to Iraq!!! Going back to Iraq was the decision without any justification by GWB. If you want to blame someone, I suggest pin this one on Bush, Cheney, and Wolfowitz.

Posted by: mtrobt | October 21, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bob, and those grapes were probably sour anyway.

No shame, Bob, no shame--but you'll never change, will you?

Posted by: reporter1 | October 21, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

i sometimes wonder what happened to your perspective when you left the new york post. but that's the paper you should be going back to because it has become the rag you should be writing for

Posted by: dibick99 | October 21, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Weren't you going to retire?

Posted by: DrVelocity | October 21, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

... and you, Mr. Novak, were never much of a person. Unlike you, Gen. Powell never outted a CIA agent.

Posted by: gsross | October 21, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Does Chris Buckley's endorsement of Obama make him a Democrat? Does anyone of either party who endorses a candidate from the opposing party automatically fall from grace, with the snide comment that "so-and-so wasn't much of a Republican/Democrat?" Come on, get real.

Posted by: MuseumDirector-OR | October 21, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

So we actually have some blinded by the light of the GOP, ill informed person holding Bush blameless for going into Iraq and scoring a complete failure after having gone into Afghanistan and failing to get Bin Laden.

But not to worry. We have someone who we can blame and that person just happens to be the person who endorsed a black candidate for President. That person also happens to be a well decorated soldier for whom this nation owes a debt of gratitude. That person also happens to have won the first Iraq incursion with little loss of life.

Some are saying he's really wasn't a Republican, some say he was a liberal. What I say is what many Americans are saying. When the GOP standard bearer holds up the likes of Mrs. Palin as a VP candidate who shows the expertise of a really good reality show TV host then his judgment must be called into question. Mr. Powell and many other Republicans are ow doing just that. McCain is an angry, unorganized, willing to do anything to get elected nominee. He is even willing to sell his ethics down the road toward that cause. Because of that he will lose.

We need leaders who will bring this nation together. McCain and Palin..far from it.

Posted by: whatmeworry | October 21, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Powells last word on Meet the Press on Sunday were something to the effect that he no longer wanted to "rule". Rule was the word he used, not serve which I found interesting. Powell is a complex man, he has a heightened sense of right and wrong compared to the Neocons. Some believe he sold his soul when he gave that speech to the Un and Congress about the WMDs that never existed. Was that the price he paid to be apart of the "rulers", only to be shown the door?
He is well aware of the anger and it's price if we return to the eras of the KKK , Jim Crow, or the times surrounding Watts. That fuse once lit burns way too hot and too fast be to stopped and Powell has seen the GOP with the match in it's hands. Mix high unemployment, low wages, and high prices with racism hid under a flag of patriotism and the world becomes unsafe for everyone.

Posted by: SmileySam | October 21, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse


Colin Powell has too much integrity to be a politician. A great military officer, yes. He was hood winked by Bush/Cheney like so many others.

Posted by: RMB2 | October 21, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

How predictable that you would renounce Colin Powell, who at one time was one of the Republican heroes. You were also right on schedule. You are just as shameless as the rest of your intolerant, selfish, hypocritical ilk. Someone disagrees with you, and you disclaim them.
Seriously, how can you even pretend to support such shallow culture warriors as these two tragio-comic clowns your party is trying to foist upon the American public?
You are just as pathetic as McCain/Palin, or, as they really should be called, Unstable/unable.

Posted by: artatlarge | October 21, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I used to be a Republican! Now, I'm more afraid of the Republican party and its policies than I am of terrorists.

I believe, it's Republicans like Mr. Novak who aren't real Republicans but fascists, who want to suppress free speech within the party. They don't believe that those who respect the opinion of the minority (or sometimes even the majority) are patriotic.

I look forward to seeing the party hit rock-bottom, go through a 12-step program and then return to its real roots, respecting freedom for all.

Posted by: DGSPAMMAIL | October 21, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Odious! Odious! Odious! Bob.
Physically neat but an ethical slob.
Superficially bright. Politically Right.
In every sense a societal blight.

Posted by: commeca | October 21, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I get it.
General Colin Powell is not a "real" Republican. Liberals who live in Virginia are not "real Virginians." Muslim Americans are not "real" Americans. Women who want to keep abortion legal are not real women. Homeless people who walk infront of a car and get hit are not "real" people.
...Ayers is a terrorist, but G Gordon Liddy is not a real terrorist.

Posted by: nkwari | October 21, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Only someone like Novak could write "Powell's not a Republican" and think it was an insult. Everyone sane considers that a compliment.

Posted by: Potter2 | October 21, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

and Novak has never been much of an American ...

Posted by: markinirvine | October 21, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

novak i thought [hoped] you were gone. no such luck huh. gen. powell is an american hero, something you'll never be. can you be anymore of a party hack. please go back into retirement before you do any more damage. or maybe stay on out here. then you can't claim diminished capicity when you get a supena for the bush [and your own] crimes. traitor.

Posted by: blinwilly | October 21, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Bitter, Bob?

Posted by: PattiFink1 | October 21, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Novak, what are you, a moron? The reason that Powell recommended against removing Saddam Hussein was his role as a mad-dog buffer against Iran. The foolish neocons managed to kill Saddam Hussein with the result that we are now on the verge of a nuclear-armed Iran. The stupid neocons obligingly did away with Iran's greatest obstacle to Middle East domination. There ought to be a square in Tehran named after Bush.

Posted by: hfisher1 | October 21, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Retire already, Darth Sidious. Your brand of cynical character assassination (the 'Plame Game', if you will) is poisonous and pathological.

Posted by: jdbalmer | October 21, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

So according to Novak. Powel never was much of a Republican. Well, from my POV, he has been one hell of a great American and a lot closer to what original Republicanism was than any Republican alive today. What member of today's GOP wears the mantle of Abraham Lincoln? None of which I know. Our greatest president would recognize nothing of his beliefs nor of his party in this group. Lincoln and his party risked union and the future of all the founders' dreams upon the elimination of bias and slavery. Surely he would turn over in his grave if he could hear Sarah Palin's vitriol and the manner in which she incites racial prejudice. Lincoln and so many of the brave union soldiers gave their all so that the great experiment set out by the founders could realize its full potential as a beacon of liberty to the entire earth. Today's GOP is the antipathy of all that Lincoln stood for and General Powell one of the few who actually reflect the stature of Lincoln. Bombasts like Novak and drug addicts like Limbaugh do exactly what Powel articulated, they narrow spectrum of the party to a single wavelength. The big tent is gone. Lincoln would weep at the hate machine these bigots have become.

Posted by: tharriso | October 21, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

You see.. Bob Novak, is and he represents the future of the present Republican party.

Posted by: likovid | October 21, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Powell represents the trend for your typical swing voters. All of the following statements from Novak represent the trend: 'The endorsement of Obama was an event waiting to happen.'
'Powell is much more of a liberal in his ideology. '
The only votes that can change the outcome of the elections are not the ones from die hard Rep or Dem, its the ones from the swings votes. Voters that can one election vote Republican and the next swing to Democrates. I am sure that the years Powell endorsed republicans, Novak would have never accused him of being too liberal.

Posted by: barilro | October 21, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that Novak thinks Powell too "liberal" for today's GOP: the exact same thing could be said about both Ike AND his VP.

Nixon was not only an environmentalist and an avowed economic Keynesian, but he was also willing to go to China and sit down with our enemies. Obviously a Lefty traitor, eh Bob?

Posted by: dj333 | October 21, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Who cares if he was, is, or will be a Republican. It's his credibility, stupid!

Posted by: ih82blog | October 21, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

My, we do seem fairly overrun with these false Republicans and impostor conservatives lately. (Strange how they're always the ones with the most experience wrecking the country--or the authors of recent dissenting viewpoints.)

Bob, what with the Bush administration nationalizing the banks, and many GOP congress-critters heading for a historic defeat that will undoubtedly require massive post facto rationalization, wouldn't it be simpler just to publish the short list of officeholders who ARE still "Real Republicans?"

The way things are going, the GOP label is headed for the realm of the notional and abstract. Hardly a single endangered Republican incumbent has party ID anywhere on his/her campaign website or ads.

Posted by: youarestillidiots | October 21, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Powell not a Republican? Sounds like the Big Tent is closed for remodeling, hopefully to reopen under new management.

Posted by: fzdybel | October 21, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Powell is not an ideologue. Novak is projecting his own thoughts and the trend of the GOP on Powell.

That Powell is not an ideologue is the reason he is uncomfortable with the GOP and the GOP uncomfortable with him.

Powell acts primarily on knowledge, reason, and observation.

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | October 21, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Novak, I thought you retired? What a disappointment. Anwya, if I were Powell I would certainly take your comment that he wasn't ever much of a Republican as a compliment from a sour neanderthal who, much like old prostitutes and buildings somehow became respectable in the eyes of the media later in life (that would be you in case I am not being clear).

Posted by: takdan | October 21, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

"...and I believe his assessment and judgement for endorsing Obama as a leader of this country and the free world is wrong and if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country."

Posted by: michaelW01 | October 20, 2008 11:50 PM

Heh heh heh "left wing socialist"

Someone's skipping his meds

Posted by: chrisfox8 | October 21, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Powell has decided to put his republican party aside and put his Country First.

Posted by: pe966 | October 21, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

"Powell was never much of a Republican"?

Nor were all the Republicans of 30 years ago ever much of Republicans by today's standards.

Powell simply raised the seat of a toilet which had not been flushed for eight years and was revolted by the smell. So he dutifully flushed it, and left the building before he was overpowered by the fumes.
Understandably, this direct intervention was noticed and was not approved of in polite circles, but the polite circles were the people who forgot to flush.

Posted by: wardropper | October 21, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

please elaborate how powell was "enticed into becoming a republican," mr novak.

was it the smell of....your cologne?

your cigar?


your corvette?


your dossier on his....cologne?


his cigar?

his corvette?

Posted by: forestbloggod | October 21, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Not much of a Republican?

Isn't that the whole problem? Nobody knows just what it means to be much of a Republican.

How can Republicans ignore their libertarian history? How can Republicans fail at foreign policy? How can Republicans not be good for businessmen and women? How can Republican be undermining our military and economic strength?

The answers go back to the party's decision to divide the nation instead of uniting it. Powell just said shame on you. A lot of other people may have considered joining the Republican party if it had some views for the future that included people instead of excluding them.

Those who use fear are usually the most scared. Scaring other people is pretty poor leadership. Conservative has come to mean DO NOTHING.

I am tired of hearing "Sorry we can't do that" from Republican leaders. We can't solve the health care mess that will continue to strangle the economy. We can't have strong security and fair immigration policies. We can't give welfare to big business AND help working class people during a recession. We can't figure out how to get off our oil addiction.

The Republicans can't seem to govern, they only seem to spoil the ideas of others.
Let's show a little leadership!

Now that Norquist et.al have actually succeeded in their quest to bankrupt our government, they have to deal with a mess that just could bankrupt the dreams at the heart of our success.

Maybe some caring people in this country (Dem and Rep) would like to take a look at solving some problems instead of ignoring them.

Take a little blame for the mess we are in will ya GOP? Then tell us what you are gonna DO about it?

Posted by: lancenorio | October 21, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse


(TO: thc1138 re: your comment at 11:58 PM. You are not funny, you're not clever, you are ignorant and offensive.)


Oh common Novak! You guys were delighted to use Powell for all he was worth. He was sent to do Bush's dirty work at the U.N. Being the good soldier he complied, at the cost of his personal credibility and integrity. He knew at the time, having insisted that the evidence he give be vetted, that he was giving up his honor for the sake of the dishonorable George Bush. It was a thin, and clearly phony case and may not have won over the U.N. save for Powell's massive, and now forever damaged, credibility.

It wasn't only Powell's advice to not go into Baghdad, many others in the military and at State saw it as unworkable for a number of reasons. It was also at the insistence of many of the coalition partners, particularly the Saudi's.

Good to see our favorite guy to hate is still crankin' out the simplistic blather! (And seriously, hope it's going well for you.)

Posted by: pclement1 | October 21, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

So, Colin Powell isn't much of a Republican, huh? Well, duh -- he's principled and intellectually honest.

Posted by: cjohnson4 | October 21, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

yup, Powell isn't one of those real Republicans. Problem is, more and more Republicans are figuring out their party isn't working for them.

Powell decided that McCain was being intellectually dishonest (calling Obama socialist after McCain also votes for the bailout, the biggest socialist move in US history).

As a former Joint Chiefs chairman, I can see Powell looking at Palin and not being comfortable with an unqualified person being a heartbeat away from Commander and Chief.

As long as the "real Republicans" are in charge of the party, the party is going to lose and lose big.

Imagine had bad it will get for the Repubs if the Dems succeed ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 21, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Powell was never much of a Republican? That depends. One thing for sure though, Novak was never much of a human being.

Posted by: poopscoop | October 21, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

My, my, Bob, you certainly have changed your tune on Colin Powell. Since he retired from the military you have been tripping over yourself not only welcoming him to the GOP, but in your own columns writing and wishing he would be the Republican presidential nominee not that long ago.

Where's the love now Bob?

Posted by: jimcummings | October 21, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Well, there you have it. Novak has bloviated once again. At least he didn't go all-out racist and unAmerican like Limbugger today in his daily hate rant.

Posted by: washpost16 | October 21, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Up yours Bob, you sore loser. Love you here in Idaho--not!!

Posted by: cnorden | October 21, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

I was sort of surprised at the endorsement. But then I considered how far to the right the GOP has drifted, and it made a lot more sense.

Explain to me how running up a trillion dollar debt is in keeping with conservative values?

It's not that Powell left the party, it's that the party left Powell.

Posted by: timscanlon | October 21, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

Three cheers for the small-tent G.O.P.!!!

Posted by: jbreinholt | October 21, 2008 3:00 AM | Report abuse

And you Novak were never much of a journalist. The only reason you cling on to your job is the health benefits package.

I don't see the neoclowns coming to YOUR aid, especially that security risk Libby.

Do yourself a favor and continue being the loyal bush water carrier. You may be rewarded at faux news with a job being the Ed McMahon straight man to Hannity's Johnny Carson.

Posted by: notaneoclown | October 21, 2008 3:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't care how much of a Republican he is. He gave a cogent and reasoned analysis of his decision, and Rush Limbaugh accuses him of being a racist and a liar. Limbaugh isn't worthy to shine Powell's shoes. And as if we didn't already know, the accusations show Limbaugh to be the bigot we always knew he was.

Posted by: JoeT1 | October 21, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

The most hillarous comment was by FayeKane_HomelessSmartypants

Posted by: umok | October 21, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Who is Republican can't be decided by Novak.

Are Libby, Limbaugh, the First Dude and other ultra-right extremists the real Republican? Since when?


Posted by: stearm | October 21, 2008 3:23 AM | Report abuse

God...These grapes....they are SO SOURRR!!!!!

Posted by: andio76 | October 21, 2008 3:23 AM | Report abuse

Novak, you don't get it, but what else is new. The important thing about Powell's endorsement isn't whether he's Republican, but that he's almost universally viewed as an impeccable centrist (despite your contention that anyone to the left of Attila the Hun is a flaming liberal Democrat).

And guess what, Robert, without centrists Republicans won't get elected. There aren't enough W lovers left to fill a trash can, less win a national election. That's why the Powell endorsement is important, and why the Republican fanatics are going down in flames this year, and good riddance.

Posted by: bruces | October 21, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

your illness has confined you from writing till now. nice to see you join Will, Limbaugh and Buchanan... you are in good company.

Posted by: lettie1 | October 21, 2008 4:06 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell's best assessment for the security of this country was in the first gulf war when he was the joint chief of the armed services, just when General Schwartzkoff and his army had Sadam Hussein and his regime outflanked and defeated, he wisely recommended to President George Herbert Walker Bush for the United States to end its involvement in the Middle East and pull back out of the cesspool of Iraq, and better yet, G.H. Bush, a veteran, listened. Thanks to the Powell Doctrine and the wise use of American military power, the First Gulf War was a clear and decisive military and foreign policy victory, perhaps the first such unambiguous victory since World War II.

Under President Barack Obama, and with the advice of Colin Powell, our country will hopefully return to the Powell Doctrine, and never again enter a foolish war of attrition like Iraq. Now we have to return to Afghanistan and finish the original mission against Al Qaeda, the mission forgotten by the Republicans. It will be up to President Obama to, finally, apply overwhelming force, with a clear mission, and a clearly articulated exit strategy. Finally, a return to sanity...

Posted by: AKwatchman | October 21, 2008 4:12 AM | Report abuse

Typical Novak. Colin Powell isn't supporting McCain, so he must be a Liberal. I wonder how he is going to explain away longtime Republican operative Ken Adelman's decision to support Obama?

Posted by: gibby659 | October 21, 2008 4:31 AM | Report abuse


Novhack:

"powell was not much of a Republican."

Why didn't you out him at the time as Rep fraud?

Outing Valerie Plame was much easier then, you piece of rotten rubbish old traitor!

Posted by: bekabo | October 21, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse

And Robert Novak has never been much of an analyst, but we have had to tolerate him for the better part of forty years!

Posted by: pghbil | October 21, 2008 4:53 AM | Report abuse

George Bush's Former Secretary of Defense goes on National Television to openly support the democratic candidate ad o deride the current Republican Nominee's campaign as devise and racist and you characterize this as 'predictable'?

There was NOTHING predictable about hearing Colin Powell saying things I felt for the last six months and certainly in the last 7 weeks.

What IS predictable Mr. Novak is your hatchet job and yellow journalistic editorialization that will attempt to minimize and marginalize anyone who dares to be "un-American" and "un-Patriotic" by disagreeing with the Republican party line.

The fundamental problem with the Party at this time is not thier conservatism which I happen to admire, but their willingness to consolidate power at any cost and put the party's needs ahead of the country's needs.

As usual Mr. Novak, you disappoint me and do your country a huge disservice.

Good day to you sir. I SAID GOOD DAY!

Posted by: MisterBullock | October 21, 2008 5:00 AM | Report abuse

"Powell was never much of a Republican". Indeed, Powell has a functioning brain and a few ounces of integrity... Can't say this much about the Reps.

Posted by: Gatsby1 | October 21, 2008 5:01 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak,

Speaking as a miltary officer with over 20 years of active duty service in Korea, Germany, Bosnia, and Haiti, I feel comfortable saying that Secretary Powell may not be much of a Republican, but he is one hell of an American. Everyone reading your analysis should remember his years of dedicated service to the nation, both in and out of uniform. You may not agree with his endorsement of Senator Obama, but you must respect it. He came by it honestly, and we need more leaders who are comfortable living outside of the ideologies of any political party. Senator McCain's reaction to the endorsement is far classier than many I read in the comment pages above.

Posted by: avagabond | October 21, 2008 5:01 AM | Report abuse

While we are on the top Novak, Powell may not be as good of a Republican as McCain, but he was certainly a better soldier.

Posted by: MisterBullock | October 21, 2008 5:16 AM | Report abuse

.....and with all due respect Mr. Novak is not much of a journalist. But at the end of the day will Gen. Powell's endorsement of Sen. Obama will carry more weight than Mr. Novak's sour grapes. Not much of a Republican indeed, who died and left Mr. Novak in charge?

Posted by: youngj1 | October 21, 2008 5:20 AM | Report abuse

I love it when the Republicans excommunicate folks, reducing their party's influence, breadth, and numbers by throwing all their moderates out into the cold! Heh, heh!

Posted by: tbrucia | October 21, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

For once, I agree with a Novak column. You're absolutely right. Powell was never much of a Republican. He was always too fine a person, too noble and thoughtful. He did what he truly thought was best for the country instead of his own agenda. God bless Colin Powell, and God bless Barack Obama, and God bless America.

Posted by: yellowdoggie | October 21, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
21 October 2008

This is nothing more than sour grapes on the part of conservative Washington Post columnist Robert Novak.

Had Colin Powell endorsed Republican presidential cadidate John McCain instead, I am sure Mr. Novak would be singing paeans to Colin Powell--especially at times like these when McCain is self-destructing.

One more point: If indeed Colin Powell succeeded in dissuading George H. W. Bush from letting U.S. troops proceed all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War, the world owes Powell a debt of gratitude for doing so.

Mr. Novak forgets or deliberately chooses to forget that the U.N. mandate authorizing the Persian Gulf War did not authorize U.S. forces to go all the way to Baghdad. It authorized those U.S. forces only to get Iraqi invading forces out of Kuwait.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: MPatalinjug | October 21, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

I have just about had it with Novak and his supporters on this blog. Let us not deal with opinion here but cold hard facts/

FACT: By endorsing Obama Colin Powell regained much of the honor that he lost while serving in the Bush administration/

FACT: Ronald Reagan and George W Bush were hands down the WORST presidents of the last century, probably longer.

FACT: The war in Iraq is a mistake.

FACT: We have had Conservatism and it does not work. It is unAmerican.

FACT: There is noting wrong with being a Liberal. And LIBERALS ARE BETTER THAN CONSERVATIVES. They are more patriotic. They are more compassionate.

So, enough of these conservative blatherings from mostly men of limited intellectual ability. Even if you disagree with what I have written only an idiot would deny that underthe last thirty years of conservatism the country has been brought to its knees. If for nothing else other than it is different why not try progressiveness, why not try liberalism? After all there is one thing we know absolutely for sure - Conservatism has been a complete FAILURE. That is a FACT.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | October 21, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Novak, you're a bitter embarassment.

Powell was everything the GOP should have stood for. Powell was right on the money with his comments about the shameful tactics - but I guess that's the only way the GOP can win anymore, it's not on ideas, policies or success.

Posted by: pilgrim1629 | October 21, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

I hate BOTH Parties. We need no more proof than what we have seen in Bush, Clinton, and BOTH Parties-led Congresses. But to say that Powell's endorsement of Obama wasn't forecast, stumps reality. I just waited for WHEN he would endorse him. Powell is still mad over how Bush treated him. As much as we all hate Novak, what he says is true. Powell's endorsement could be seen a mile away. I can't stand Limbaugh either. But will someone answer the query: when was the last time Powell endorsed a WHITE, barely tested liberal for ANYTHING? Of course it's about race mainly, with a few side issues to card-stack. As a Black liberal, even I can see that.

Posted by: sdansker2002 | October 21, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell's worst assessment for the security of this country was in the first gulf war when he was the joint chief of the armed services, just when General Schwartzkoff and his army had Sadam Hussein and his regime outflanked and defeated, he recommended to President George Herbert Walker Bush for Saddam to live and his regime to stay in power which in turn gave us a greater threat for our current President to go before the UN and with UN forces invaded Iraq for not complying with the UN resolutions to inspect for weapons of mass destruction. I personally blame Colin Powell and his judgement for the lives and the cost for having to go back to Iraq today, and I believe his assessment and judgement for endorsing Obama as a leader of this country and the free world is wrong and if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country.

Posted by: michaelW01 | October 20, 2008 11:50 PM

+++++++++++++++++++++

What absolute gibberish, mindless, drivel nonsense.

Posted by: HerLao | October 21, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

To the Dems Powell was a liar and a fraud when he spoke before the UN. But now he is prescient and insightful when he endorses Barrack Hussein, The Chosen.

Posted by: ronjaboy | October 21, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Novak has it reversed,intentionally.

The Republican Party used Powell for their political gains only.They never accepted him, not the other way around.

Powell thinks in most ways exactly like saint ronnie. Was ronnie also not a true republican?

Posted by: thopaine | October 21, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

So Mr. Novak wants to claim Powell was "never really one of us" so to speak. I guess you could distinguish him from the rest of the GOP by his sense of honor, dedication and reluctance to participate in political duplicity. I guess Mr. Novak's column is the predictable response to a careful, meaningful and respectful rebuttal of GOP policies by one of its own senior statesmen as the party falls apart.

Posted by: jweaverbuckley | October 21, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

SmileySam at 12:31 am says "Powells last word on Meet the Press on Sunday were something to the effect that he no longer wanted to "rule". Rule was the word he used, not serve..."

You are completely misrepresenting what happened at the end of the MTP interview.

Brokaw asked Powell if there will be a place in an Obama administration for him. This is what followed:

GEN. POWELL: I served 40 years in government, and I--I'm not looking forward to a position or an assignment. Of course, I have always said if a president asks you to do something, you have to consider it. But I am in no way interested in returning to government. But I, of course, would sit and talk to any president who wishes to talk to me.

MR. BROKAW: You're not ruling it out?

GEN. POWELL: I would sit and talk to any president who wishes to talk to me, but I'm not anxious to rule it in.

Obviously this has nothing to do with "ruling". Read the transcript: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27266223/

Posted by: pmi1027 | October 21, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

So Novak is the definer of all things Republican. His definition is that if you don't believe as he does and advocate for everything he does, then you must be a democrat. So pathetic. Obviously there is no room in that party for a more moderate thoughtful view.

The endorsement of Obama was NOT inevitable. It was made possible by a Republican candidate who allied himself with the worst of the Republican party and is behaving reprehensively. Powell is speaking truth to the man and has made an intelligent, well-reasoned decision. Novak is throwing mud to discredit this brave act.

Posted by: commentator3 | October 21, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

This is the true tragedy of Colin Powell: all his earnest, faithful service counts for nothing among those he has served. The minute he puts down the towel or drops a piece of silverware, he ceases to exist. This also means, oddly, that he is frozen forever in the utter debasement of the UN speech.

Posted by: hquain | October 21, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Yawn. The only unpredictable thing is this article from a tired, facist old traitor to America...Novak. The way in which the GOP sycophants like Novak have now decided to turn on Colin Powell for daring to endorse a superior candidate is an example of the kind of shallowness and racisim the GOP has become infected with. When Mr. Novak is not busy betraying CIA officers and in effect his own country, he is busy attacking brave soldiers, men whose boots he is not fit to lick. Novak is a tired old man, his party is a party of whiners and cowards. It is over for the GOP, it is over for McCain...Obama is going to win, if Mr. Novak doesn't like it, he can leave...he won't be missed:)

Posted by: devin79 | October 21, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell isn't a real Republican. George Bush is a real Republican. Take your pick.

Posted by: patrick3 | October 21, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

shootingsparks' comment should be removed as inappropriate, given the POST rules.

As for Novak: WE vs. THEY.. Wink-wink: and we know who WE are, and we know who THEY are.

That's the Mission Statement of the Republican party. As UnAmerican as it gets.

Posted by: grant7 | October 21, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

The Republican's current drive for decimating their own ranks is truly amazing!

Now Novak is trying to make for darn sure that anyone in the GOP who holds high respect for Colin Powell will feel unwelcome too.

With a little luck Bob you can get most of them to leave also. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: careysub | October 21, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Novak is a bitter old man whose trite, sour grape diatribes are about as compelling and astute as a movie about the intellectual prowess of Britney Spears. Archaic in the 70s, his views today are a reminder that evolution has a long way to go in the human race. Him attacking Powell is like a a gnat attacking a battleship.

Posted by: ospreytom | October 21, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Novak says that Powell was never much of a Republican is a pretty daming statment of the Republican party. Powell should have been the poster boy for the Republicans; self made, conservative personal beliefs, military background. Instead Powell is so disgusted by the Republican tactics, that he can not bring himself to vote for a man he has known for 25+ years and feel woould be a good president. The Grand OLD Pary.

Posted by: crete | October 21, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

"I believe, it's Republicans like Mr. Novak who aren't real Republicans but fascists, who want to suppress free speech within the party."

Even if this is true (of which I see no evidence), it's still better than the dems, who want to suppress free speech on broadcast radio just because no one wants to listen to their liberal commentators.

Posted by: arlingtonresident | October 21, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Right Bob... except for the fact that most americans are not ardent right-wingers, therefore Powell represented a refreshingly intelligent, experienced and pragmatic Republican.

I now fully understand that those qualities are NOT desired by the GOP.

That's too bad, it is ruining your party. In '09 I would suggest taking resumes from some East and West Coast Elites again.

Posted by: Rickster623 | October 21, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Mr. N,
Fact of the matter is the Republican Party is disentergrating, and at the minimum in mass disarry. You have Republicans accusing Republicans and Dems and indies and anybody of not being "Real Americans"
Your party is presently one that espouses diviseness, exclusitivity and intolerance.

Do you blame Powell or anybody wishing to leave the Republican party?

Fact of the matter is you have a candidate who is not a REAL republican. He is more an independent, and that is his mistake. He should not of run as a Republican. He does not embrace your platform, and yet out of desparation you embraced him as your candidate. He should of run as an indie with his crony Joe Lieberman as his VP.

so Mr. Novak, get used to it, get over it, get on with it - OB and the dems are going to control our US of A government and for the most part you, Rush, RNC, Joe republicans will just have to crawl under a rock for the next 4 years, because you all will be IRRELEVANT with regard to govenmental affairs.

Posted by: anguyen20 | October 21, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

As I keep telling conservatives when I read or hear arguments like Novak's, there's nothing like sour grapes to produce a really fine whine.

Posted by: drazen1 | October 21, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

"... the general and the GOP simply never trusted each other."

Gee. Can't imagine why.

Posted by: i_go_pogo | October 21, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey I love you guys. The "SAY NO TO NOVAK WARRRIORS" are back. Having to read this twit again is a high price to pay but we can all rejoice our reunion. JUST SAY NO TO NOVAK.

Give me an "N".

Give me an "O".

What does it spell?

N O !

Posted by: LHO39 | October 21, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

powell will always be more of an opportunist...

Posted by: DwightHCollins | October 21, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

OK, let's play the game, "Who's the Real Conservative." Contestant number one is a man who had a long and illustrous military career and went on to be Secretary of State under GW Bush. Contestant number two is a journalist who has never held any office and spent 50 years telling the rest of us what truth is. And the winner is Powell hands down.

What is wrong with you neocons? There seems to be a group of you talking heads that really believe you know what you're talking about when it's painfully obvious you don't have a clue. One minute Powell is the republican angel and the next he's "never been a good republican." Newsflash Novak, right now there are no "good" republicans. There are no "good" conservatives. There are no "good" neocons. This isn't because it's not possible. It is because your political philosophy is in disarray. No one knows what conservativism stands for any more. The consistency your group shows is a lack of consistency. One minute a person is a "good" republican and the next they are not so good and probably not even republican at all. One minute there are WMD's to justify an invasion and the next they don't exist, but it doesn't matter. One minute you are for fiscal responsibility and the next you are responsible for the biggest budget deficits in the history of this country. One minute you are for smaller federal government with more states rights and the next you have ballooned the size of the government and centralized more power in the white house. Who are you people? How dare you have the audacity to question anyone's motives when it's obvious you're not even sure who you are anymore.

Posted by: blund | October 21, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to a time in this party when President Bush and his coterie of incompetents vanish from the scene, so that it will be forced to define what makes a Republican - apart from 100%, lock-step agreement with the current White House and the Republican National Committee, whatever they say.

We had a full six years of Republican authority to show us what it's like when bad ideas are poorly executed. Work on some new material, and we'll see you in 2016.

Posted by: jthompsonxfaa | October 21, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

"When President George W. Bush named Powell as secretary of state, it was no cause for celebration among Republicans, particularly neocons, who blamed Powell for dissuading President George H.W. Bush from sending U.S. troops all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War."
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
HahaHaHaHa... You still don't get it do you Charles? Going all the way to Baghdad would have produced exactly what we have now a no win situation. Neocons, another name for idiots.

Posted by: AverageJane | October 21, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post Editors,
Do you really feel that Mr. Novak's comments contribute to a rational dialogue about national issues or is he just an irrelevant provocative entertainer?

Posted by: albertdeben | October 21, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Novak represents in all its purity what has become of the GOP. The GOP is now the MOP, Mean Old Party.

Posted by: jailkkhosla | October 21, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Ooops sorry Bob I get you and Chucky Krautheimer mixed up. You know how hard it is to tell one neocon from another.

Posted by: AverageJane | October 21, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Patrick3 wrote: "Colin Powell isn't a real Republican. George Bush is a real Republican. Take your pick."

Something to think about.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 21, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Shorter Novak: Moderate Republicans aren't REAL Republicans.

Just like Moderate to Liberal American's aren't real Americans....

Posted by: mrbill30560 | October 21, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Why am I turned off by the Republican party? Look at their surrogates.

Posted by: LisaBP | October 21, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

The recent Congressional elections brought the Democrats into the majority - it was a mandate to leave Iraq and hold the Bush administration accountable for its reckless and imperial conduct. Instead, the Democrats have held sham hearings and continued to use Iraq as a wedge issue to further their "change" agenda. All the while, the troops have continued to be in the line of fire. Even, the press has been complicit in spreading propaganda, just as they were in the lead up to the Iraq War.

Posted by: daavina | October 21, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Why does anyone care what Mr. Novak has to say? For that matter, why are we even listening to any of the far-right-spinning wind machines? Their entire line of argument, regardless of the topic, can be broken down into three simple approaches:

Deny reality...if I say it, it is true (as in Governor Palin's, “...I'm very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing...any hint of any kind of unethical activity there.")

Create fear...question integrity while engendering suspicion, even if what you say is totally beside the point and/or completely untrue (as in former mayor Giuliani's recent, "And,you know, God forbid somebody would do some reporting on Barack Obama’s use of drugs.")

And, of course...

Redirect blame...which is better done if you can simultaneously dehumanize anyone who disagrees with you (as in "that one," the "socialist.")

Colin Powell is a great American who fought for his right to express his personal beliefs. It's a real shame that the moment his beliefs fail to adhere to what presently passes for the Republican party's quasi-religious doctrine, he immediately becomes the target of so much far right vitriol...

Though, now that I think of it, it is pretty impressive how Mr. Novak was able to jam all three conservative attack tactics (deny reality, create fear, and redirect blame while dehumanizing the heretic) into one 373 word article.

I guess if you do something long enough, you're almost bound to get good at it.

Posted by: Jarod7 | October 21, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

We'll take Powell and you can have Joe LIEberman.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | October 21, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

"When President George W. Bush named Powell as secretary of state, it was no cause for celebration among Republicans, particularly neocons, who blamed Powell for dissuading President George H.W. Bush from sending U.S. troops all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War."

Yah, sure, that rotten b'stard Powell, made the neocons wait 10 years to totally screw up the middle east. In hindsight, this was pretty prescient observation on Powell's part, Bob. Better to avoid a quagmire than run headlong into it.

I'm sorry, but who exactly determined that a neo-con worldview was to be admired?

Posted by: megman | October 21, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Novak wrote "neocons, who blamed Powell for dissuading President George H.W. Bush from sending U.S. troops all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War."

So what was wrong with not starting the current mess in 1991? The reason stated for not going in was that there was no available substitute for Saddam and that deposing him would lead to the kind of mess we were given as a gift by those neocons who failed to have a glimmer of what was likely to happen.

Anyone who understood the middle east would have gladly explained why the invasion was a stupid idea. There were no neocons willing to listen to "why not" only those willing to listen to affirmations of their fantasies.

Ideologues make the worst national leaders. They will gladly massacre anyone who disagrees with them.

Posted by: palnicki | October 21, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

This is nothing more than proof that the republicans eat its own kind when they even look at a democrat. We saw the same last week when The New Republic tossed Buckley Jr. Funny how republicans didn't think bad of Powell when he was justifying WMD in Iraq based on nothing but Bush's hype.

Powell may be a smart military officer and strategist, but he sucks at politics, which thankfully he has decided to stay out of, until now. But his endorsement means little since he showed how easily he could be influenced by his boss when he shamelessly defended invading Iraq at the UN. Its time for him to fade away like the good soldier he is.

Posted by: bevjims1 | October 21, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I doubt that Eisenhower could be nominated in today's Republican party. Powell is one of many prominent Republicans to shift support to Obama/Biden. Are they all bad Republicans, or is something else going on?

Posted by: MNUSA | October 21, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

SmileySam, your point is taken, but you completely misunderstood what Secretary Powell was saying. Tom Brokaw asked him if he would serve in an Obama administration. Powell replied that he wouldn't "rule it out", but that he wasn't eager to "rule it in". It had nothing to do with "ruling".

Secondly, Mr. Novak, I don't wish anyone ill, but you should spend your time treating your condition and not continuing to spew this ridiculous far, far right-wing neo-con garbage. Powell was a great leader and one of the finest Americans, as long as he toed the Republican line. But now he's backed out of his Faustian bargain to reclaim his humanity and you guys are going to rake him over the coals for it.

This is why you're going to lose so BADLY this Fall. This is why the American public is in the process of a resounding repudiation of the politics of fear, lableing and division. We're tired of it. Just say "I disagree with Gen Powell", and leave it at that. Don't trash the guy's reputation because he made a choice (a correct one, in my estimation)you disagree with.

Posted by: DaveB2 | October 21, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Since the Republican party I once knew and respected vanished eight years ago, will somebody explain the purpose and goals of this rabid, mudslinging mob running under the same banner and vying for leadership while pretending to be members of the GOP?

Posted by: gill3 | October 21, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

novak you old hypocrite,,you and the other wingnuts loved powell for 15 years as a "good black" you would vote for, cant wait to see what you say about codoweezie rice if she goes dem. Didnt you retire a few weeks ago/ and what about that hit and run?? talk to rick sanchez of cnn about how to beat that if you are connected.

Posted by: gonville1 | October 21, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I am a far lefty, but I must come to Novak's defense here. We all know it's true that Powell was a bit of a liberal. Why the anger at Novak for saying the truth?

Posted by: billx2001 | October 21, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Novak's predictable bile is getting kind of old. "You're not a real Republican" doesn't really work as an insult anymore...

Posted by: SteinslandRune | October 21, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha. Talk about a "least surprising and most predictable event"!
This column was more predictable than the sun rising. How was your breakfast crow this morning, Bob?

Posted by: mikeh3 | October 21, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Watch Novak do his masters' bidding.

When his paymasters at Regnery/Eagle tell him to trash Powell, the willing tool Novak starts trashing.

Powell may never have been much of a Republican but at least he has honesty and principles.

Novak (never much of a human being) has neither.

Posted by: pali2500 | October 21, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Haven't we heard enough from this self-confessed shill? Or has his price gone down so much that even McCain's coffers are enough to meet it?

Posted by: dane1 | October 21, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse


So, Novak completely trusted "curveball" but always had his doubts about Colin Powell. There's a real insight into Novak's IQ.

..

Posted by: DEFJAX | October 21, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell is a heck of a lot smarter than Robert Novak.

Novak is incapable of understanding what true patriotism is. Of course the Republican neocon crew are all just as rabidly fanatic as fundamentalist islamic terrorists; they define patriotism as what is best for their vision of the Republican party with them at its head.

Patriotism is putting the needs of the country ahead of your own, ahead of whatever group or clique you're in. A true patriot thinks long and hard about what is best for this country, and questions their own biases and self-interests that may influence their decisions. Bush, Cheney, et al have shown themselves to be either non-thinkers, or self-centered thinkers. They are most assuredly NOT patriots.

Posted by: mhoust | October 21, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh well That Other One,fake Messiah lying
ACORN Election Thief Leader,ACORN Lawyer,
Self Confessed Cocaine Addict & Drug Pusher
Closet Muslim,Marxist/Socialist,Communist
Sympathizer,Racist Barack Hussein Obama,
must be truly desperate to need the phony
Endorsement of the Biggest Liar Outside
of Liar in Chief George W Bush and Draft
Dodger Cheney,WMDs In Iraq Colin Powell,
the failed Military Commander and Total
Failure Sec of State. All Colin Powell and
Barack Hussein Obama are about is their
own damn personal agenda and greed power
mad egomanic Self Promotion and Cheap
Political Opportunism! NOBAMA/NOBIDEN And
NO/COlIN POWELL LIAR & WAR CRIMINAL!

Posted by: Patty2008 | October 21, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

So's your old man, Novak!

Posted by: ravitchn | October 21, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Why was Powell not much of a Republican? because of the color of his skin?
When he did what the establishment wanted he was very republican now that his spoke his mind just like some other prominent members of the party he is put in his place.
What a racist bunch many of you are.

Posted by: myBuddy | October 21, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Sure thing Robert. And if he had endorsed McCain all we would hear from you is how well respected Powell is in the Republican Party. You are nothing more than a hack with a typewriter.

Posted by: bretb | October 21, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Novak.... I can tell that Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama REALLY irked you! If he had endorsed McCain, you would now be telling us what a GREAT AMERICAN he is and would be PROUD to say he is a REPUBLICAN!

Since you are declaring him one of those "LIB-rals"..... I guess Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota will have HIM investigated as being "anti-American", since she recently on Hardball has accused ALL Liberals as being anti-American and those in Congress should be INVESTIGATED!!

I suggest that Bachmann needs to be thrown out of office, and after her statements recently, her opponent in this election has received $750,000 so far from people upset with her rantings! I hope he wins!

Novak, I wish you well, but I wish you had listened more carefully to Colin Powelll's endorsement of Obama. I guess he feels that he has a right to vote for who HE considers the BEST person to lead this country, as I do. I am ALSO a life-long registered Republican, and I don't owe the GOP a damned thing. I am ALSO for Obama for the same reasons that Colin Powell has so clearly expressed to us in his endorsement.

I am PROUD that he had the courage of his convictions!

Posted by: cashmere1 | October 21, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Mr Novak, I never agree with you but I am glad you are writing again. Get well soon!

Posted by: ALLOST | October 21, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Instead of Novak making Powell sit at the back of the GOP Bus, he throws him under that bus. Amazing how the GOP detests dissention within its ranks. God forbid that one of them were to have an original idea.

Posted by: DavidinDallas | October 21, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

There once were republicans who were considered liberal or moderate. Examples were people like Nelson Rockefeller, Kenneth Keating, Ed Brooke. The African American former baseball star, Jackie Robinson was a staunch and vocal republican. Even Richard Nixon championed programs such as minority set asides for government contracts which today would be considered affirmative action. For the most part they were fiscal conservative but not necessarily social conservatives. This was the party before the advent of the lockstep gang which started to emerge with Barry Goldwater. The party was also pulled rightward with their acceptance of arch segregationist dixiecrats like Strom Thurmond and Jessie Helms who defected from the democratic party. So of course Colin Powell can't be considered much of a republican in today's party. BTW Mr. Novak didn't go into the reasons why Mrs Powell disuaded her husband from running for president. Her primary reasons were the hate mail and threats which made her fear for the safety of her family. It's doubtful that these threats came from democrats.

Posted by: browneri | October 21, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Eisenhower had no ideology? Now, that's a lie.

Posted by: jonigbinde | October 21, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Novak has never been much of an American or a human being.

He certainly showed himself to be a traitor to our country when he outed CIA Agent Valerie Plame.

He has no place in this newspaper. The Washington Post should send him packing back to Fox where they think traitors are heroes.

Posted by: asd2 | October 21, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak, I do think your style of reporting IS better suited for the Fox News Channel, I am sure Bill O'Rielly would love to have you!

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | October 21, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

GIVE THEM ALASKA
Novak, here's an idea you will love. You and those who think like you have a grand new opportunity: You get to shape your very own SOVEREIGN NATION from the ground up.
1. Write the Constitution.
2. Write the Laws.
3. Establish the government.

It's all there in the world's newest nation: ALASKA.

Yes, Bob, we'll give you and all of your ilk the great state of Alaska. You can have Sarah Palin as your president (assuming that's the title you would chose. Supreme Leader might me more appealing.
You can have the oil, the timber, all of the natural resources.
You will be citizens of a NEW NATION, and since you hate the U.S. so much you get to PUBLICLY RENOUNCE YOUR CITIZENSHIP HERE.
Of course you'll lose your "social security" and other "government handouts".
You'll be able to establish a NEW ECONOMY, and give all of your money to the RICH, (of course YOU will be rich, so you get MORE MONEY!).
After five years you will be able to apply for a visa to return for a two-week visit in "The Old Country"....
And you'll have to accomodate all of the right-wing kooks who will be deported from here as part of the new "America: Love it or Get You A** Thrown Out" laws.....
It's gonna be great.
And the best part? It's a win-win deal for all sides.
ALASKA - LET THEM HAVE IT......

Posted by: TOMHERE | October 21, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Is Novak too young or too old to remember?

He says "Powell’s brief interlude as a Republican": from National Security Advisor under Reagan to Secretary of State under W, that's a brief interlude?

And neocons blame Powell for dissuading President George H.W. Bush from sending U.S. troops all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War? Novak seems to have forgotten that Dick Cheney was the Secretary of Defense at the time, and he was the strong advocate for not going to Baghdad. By hindsight, Cheney I is much wiser than Cheney II.

Powell is the reason that many still respected the Republican Party. If the Republican Party wants to kick him out and relinquish even the pretense of compassion, it's a much bigger problem for the party than for Powell.

Posted by: MichaelC2 | October 21, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Well, Novak was never much of a Democrat.

Posted by: maggots | October 21, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell's worst assessment for the security of this country was in the first gulf war when he was the joint chief of the armed services, just when General Schwartzkoff and his army had Sadam Hussein and his regime outflanked and defeated, he recommended to President George Herbert Walker Bush for Saddam to live and his regime to stay in power which in turn gave us a greater threat for our current President to go before the UN and with UN forces invaded Iraq for not complying with the UN resolutions to inspect for weapons of mass destruction. I personally blame Colin Powell and his judgement for the lives and the cost for having to go back to Iraq today, and I believe his assessment and judgement for endorsing Obama as a leader of this country and the free world is wrong and if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country.

Posted by: michaelW01 | October 20, 2008 11:50 PM


#######################################

Let's cut through all the predictable garbage about socialism and leftists. Powell made a correct choice in 1991 - he did not want us to get stuck in an expensive and deadly morass in a leaderless Iraq - exactly what happened in 2003. Fortunately, Bush 41 had much more common sense than his son and listened to Powell instead of the neocon knuckleheads.

Posted by: maggots | October 21, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse


Bob,

Although I disagree strongly with you on most things, I'm glad to see that you're feeling well enough to write. Welcome back!

Posted by: CharlesHoogstraten | October 21, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Right, Novak--he's such a flaming liberal, he's served in both Bush administrations. You, Bob, are a joke.

Posted by: TJefferson1 | October 21, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

There has been nothing "predictable" about this election cycle. Who could have ever guessed Sen. Barak Obama would have beaten Hillary CLinton and others during the primary or that he would poll just about even with Sen. John McCain? Get a grip.

Posted by: KBGilmore | October 21, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Novack-- don't you have something you should atone for? Lack of judgement? Being a traitor?

At least Gen. Powell is looking at his life's arc and is now making a decision about it.

Can't say the same about you.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | October 21, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Yup, Powell was never a good fit in the modern GOP: he just couldn't bring himself to be a "good German" and do the harsh but necessary things that needed to be done to cleanse America of her subhuman impurities. Luckily, all the weak crypto-liberals and their fellow travellers have been expunged by now, and only the strong, pure-hearted Aryan warriors are left.

Posted by: jcrobin | October 21, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If this was "Powell's Predictable Endorsement", then I guess Mr. Novak's rejoinder (along Mr. Limbaugh, et al) is "The Right-Wing's Predictable Attempt To Kill The Messenger."

Posted by: jonathanMA | October 21, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Never thought I would say this, but I'm beginning to feel sorry for Nancy Reagon as she sees the party her Husband helped bring back dissolve into this mess. He invited people of all social, economic and ideological statuses to come together, and now the Republicans play the "I'm the real deal" game with themselves...

Posted by: krok08 | October 21, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

America's Republicans long ago deserted the conservative political, economic and foreign policies of the greatest true conservative president, Dwight Eisenhower. "Ike" believed in small government, avoiding foreign wars and entanglements, a non-aggressive foreign policy, low taxes, restrained government spending and keeping government out of the social domain.
This greatest modern American president called for nuclear disarmament and rightly warned his nation of the dangers of what he called "the military industrial complex." Half a century later, I still like Ike -- and am proud to call myself an "Eisenhower Republican."
Equally important, traditional conservative principles demand hard work, thrift and saving. One does not buy anything until saved-up cash is available. Governments spend only what they collect in taxes, not future generations' money known as "deficit spending." While necessary for long-term investment, borrowing must be strictly limited and tightly supervised.
Today's Republicans call themselves "conservatives" but are nothing of the kind. Under President George W. Bush, government size, spending and deficits have become gargantuan. "Conservative" in the U.S. has become synonymous with social dogmatism of the religious hard right and rural crassness and ignorance. Now, thanks to their "rescue package," Republicans (and Democrats) seem well on their way to socialism. Eric Margolis

Posted by: robfield | October 21, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

That Powell is not a Republican is exactly the point - neither is he a Democrat. The endorsements of most politicians, newspapers and the like tend to be self-serving as the individual or entity making the endorsement is already on the candidate's "side" or has decided to switch to serve some political purpose of his or her own. But Gen. Powell is renouned not for his partisanship but for his inarguable commitment to the moderate middle. It is THAT which makes his endorsement so powerful. Voters understand that when Gen. Powell makes a decision, it is truly the one that he thinks is best for the country - not best for his friends in the party.

That you completely miss that is not at all surprising, Mr. Novak. Coming from the "if you're not with us, you're against us" school of neocon nonsense, you attempt to invalidate as a looney liberal anyone to the left of Dick Cheney. This is exactly what Gen. Powell alluded to when he scolded the Republican party's current incarnation as petty and divisive. No one can argue that Gen. Powell is partisan, which is exactly what makes his endorsement of Sen. Obama and rebuke of Sen. McCain mean more than most other endorsements. So go ahead and criticize Gen. Powell for endorsing the candidate you hope will lose, but, given your propensity for disclosing national secrets in the persuit of neo-conservative ideals, I'd caution you against questioning the General's motives.

Posted by: dan_of_dc | October 21, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

So General Powell is not a true republican because he told Bush that the war in Iraq was a bad idea? So the definition of a bad republican is someone with sound judgment? that makes sense given the way the party has been run.

Posted by: adifferentpointofview | October 21, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Funny how time changes things. Look at what Robert Novak had to say just 5 short years ago about Colin Powell

http://townhall.com/columnists/RobertDNovak/2005/01/03/colin_powells_legacy

Colin Powell is no slug today. He is feisty, confident and, at 67, not nearly ready for retirement. The leadership of New York's desiccated Republican Party would love for him to run for anything he wants, but he will not do it. He crossed that bridge when he decided not to run for president in 1996.

But would he rule out a return to government someday? "No," he says, "I would never rule that out because I don't know what the future might hold. But I have ruled out any political office." That is for the distant future. For the immediate future, he will be missed in the second Bush administration, where there is nobody to take up his legacy.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | October 21, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Novak, give me a break you predictable, tired and old bag of bitter. Had Powell supported McCain you'd be yelling his virtues from the rooftops. Bushie's daddy was smart enough to know that going in and taking Saddam out would have left the country in a shambles and locked us into a long and expensive war, as is the case now. Saddam was contained and not a threat (it turns out, despite the Bush administration's lies about this) and the US had him by the throat.

Too bad Powell's place in history will shine far brighter than yours. Now go peel those sour grapes...

Posted by: jagudelo1 | October 21, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I love it...when he's the "quiet soldier" for the GOP, they parade him around as a symbol of their inclusivenes and try to use him to appeal to moderates...
As soon as Powell speaks his mind after deliberating on a personal decision for months, they trash him..."not a real Republican"..."just voting for Obama because he's black"...
I salute General Powell and his 35 years of military service...if we had followed the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming troop numbers this time instead of the Rumsfeld doctrine of transformation (i.e. smaller numbers of versatile troops), maybe we would have done a decent job of stabilizing Iraq back in 2003...

Posted by: Fuzzy21 | October 21, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

When did Colin Powell stop being a Republican? Was it when he freely expressed how he felt about the negative tone of the presidential race? Or was it when he spoke for most of America in denouncing the position the Right was settling into; lies, bigotry, and playing on the ignorance of their base against any group that isn't like them? Powell is a Republican, and he exercised his right of free speech and of free thinking at the expense of his party.

Thank You Former Secretary of State Powell!

Posted by: uasport | October 21, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It seems that once a republican honestly looks over the wreckage of the party caused by the extremists they are no longer true 'republicans'. Soon the only 'republicans' left will be the extremists. Hopfully they will be turned out of office enmasse this election and the party can start over.

Posted by: kchses1 | October 21, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Quick question--

If it was predictable, why didn't you predict it?

Posted by: jeter6nyy | October 21, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

What is predictable is the columnist following the real Bush Doctrine - which is to downplay some element of a critic's character or motivation rather than accepting the possibility that there might be something to be learned

Posted by: pmeagre | October 21, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Robert welcome back. I can't agree with a thing you say most of the time but I am glad you are doing better. I hope you continue to feel better and resume your life - God bless you from a democrat who loved Powell endorsement of our first black President Barack Obama.

Posted by: agapn9 | October 21, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

See, that's the problem. The GOP is unable to be inclusive, to include Republicans who don't agree with Bob Novak.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | October 21, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Powell is a type of Republoan,which Mr. Novac could never be in his life time. Novac's definition of Republican is so narrow--believing tax cut
for rich, no concern for middle income or low income Americans, small government and
no intrusion by government but want financial help from the government when
financial crisis happen to Rich either in business or their residential area. Who cares what Novac thinks.

Posted by: conservativeliberal | October 21, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

A fiscal conservative in the republican party,he doesn't fit.

A person who understands the early errors of the Bushies (and the military) in Iraq and admits his own errors, he doesn't fit. This separates him from most neocons as well as the current guy running for president who is more bush than even he realizes.

In a essentially white party yes Powell doesn't fit.

Posted by: pagoff | October 21, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I see. Moderate republicans aren't "real" republicans. I suppose that libertarian-leaning republicans like Christopher Buckley who recently endorsed Obama (as was fired from the National Review for it) aren't "real" republicans either. Only neocon, extreme social conservative, pro big-business republicans are "real" republicans.

I don't suppose there could be another read on these moderate and libertarian defections? Such as the republican leadership alienating honest to goodness republicans with mean-spirited politics, out of the mainstream lurches to the right and incompetence?

Posted by: canuckindc | October 21, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Novak had two columns ready to go. His column praising Powell in case he endorsed McCain and the one he ended up using because Powell endorsed Obama. Novak is such an idiot.

Posted by: barbnc | October 21, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

How predictable. Now that Colin Powell has endorsed Obama, Novak says Powell never was a good Republican anyway. He says it was “no cause for celebration among Republicans” when Powell was named secretary of state. Funny, I seem to remember a great deal of bragging going on about having this icon of an honest, respected military man speak at the Republican convention and named to be Secretary of State. Certainly George Bush’s public statements said so, and I remember many a Republican “talking head” just crowing about it.

Maybe Colin Powell was not respected by the Republican “insiders”, the far right side of the Republican power players; you pal around with that group and have the resources to know. But I suspect it is a small group. Among the Republican electorate, Colin Powell is one of theirs, a person so well respected he is almost revered. Indeed, Colin Powell carries that respect across party lines, and is a genuine American hero. What you have done is disenfranchise the vast majority of Republicans who are neither “neocons” nor the Republican version of evangelical Christians, nor far right.

As an independent who is voting for Barak Obama, all I can say is “Good job”. You have shown very clearly the narrow, duplicitous thinking within the Republican Party and among their hacks.

Posted by: amelia45 | October 21, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

No way. No how. Novak.

Posted by: akstur | October 21, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah Bob to be a good republican you have to worship AIPAC, cut taxes for the riches, bomb other countries, be a crypto-racist...and agree with the preemptive neo-cons doctrine. Said in other words be a fascist.

Posted by: eddy3 | October 21, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

So the General isn't much of a Republican like many Republicans are much of a human?

Posted by: hmmmmmer | October 21, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Bob, say what you really mean, not couched in GOP code-words. Powell was never a real Republican, because he was never an angry white guy. Maybe Lieberman is more your idea of a real Republican. The GOP big tent idea, you know, as in "we let in all kinds: Christians, Catholics and Jews (the right kind of Jews, that is)."

Posted by: mischanova | October 21, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

You know, I don't think I will "Continue to read this post."

Novakula is too predictable and my time is too precious.

Posted by: RealCalGal | October 21, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

So if Condoleeza Rice were to endorse Obama, would she no longer be considered a Rebublican? Would you also question her endorsement because she is black? I'm just trying to understand how some political endorsements are discounted and others are exaggerated - Novak's piece and his logic are quite weak!

Posted by: bigskells | October 21, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I love watching Republicans eating their own.

It's so predictable.

Posted by: HillRat | October 21, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Typical neocon response. Disagree with the party line, and you're either marginalized into non-existence or accused of being unpatriotic. "Colin Powell...oh...well he was never really a TRUE Republican"...yeah, right...LOL!

Posted by: twnctyguy | October 21, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Novak may be winning the poll for least liked person in America. Karl Rove looks like a nice guy compared to Novak's mean spirited nastiness.

Posted by: urbanscapes | October 21, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"When President George W. Bush named Powell as secretary of state, it was no cause for celebration among Republicans, particularly neocons, who blamed Powell for dissuading President George H.W. Bush from sending U.S. troops all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War."
___________________________________

First of all, GWB had already agreed not to occupy Iraq prior to the beginning of the war. It was an agreement he made with the other coalition countries. In fact, the British asked us to back off as we were streaming in allowing the Iraq's elite tank division to escape. Are you really trying to now blame this on Powell???

Powell represents the Republican party prior to it being hijacked by the Christian Fundamentalist/Neo-Con uber right wing. This group loves to employ a lot of hacks to spread untruths. Novak is one of those hacks.

Posted by: clamb1 | October 21, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak, your commentary merely reflects the sad state of the GOP. Ike was no ideologue. He must be rolling in his grave.

Posted by: lakewood1 | October 21, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I pray for your continued recovery, Mr. Novak. Colin Powell was a pro-choice, very liberal Republican. Accepting his endorsement was incredibly hypocritical of Barack after running a heated primary against Hillary Clinton saying he was best to debate with McCain because Barack was against the Iraq war from the beginning. And the everyday person on the street has no idea who Chris Buckley is or what he says, but they do know who Joe the Plumber is, and they identify with him. And it's Joe the Plumber's endorsement that they will listen to and he seems to be for McCain. I see Mr. Powell's endorsement as being about race even though he tries to hide it. Mr. York, another author, also makes a compelling case as to why Mr. Powell's endorsement doesn't hold water. Readers should go to the national review to see it.

Posted by: BettyM47 | October 21, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What Mr Novak is conveniently ignoring is the fact that former President H.W. Bush also rejected the idea of going on to Bagdad after the victory in Kuwait. He would not consider taking that action without the full consent and participation of our allies and that was not part of the mission.

Posted by: ipayattention | October 21, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Say whatever you want about Novak and this article, but you have to admit ... no one was surprised that Powell endorsed Ombama!

Posted by: paris1969 | October 21, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

1) Mr. Powell never did embrase the hate based politics of the fundamentalist white ring. 2) In his past, Mr. Powell did over play the go along role of a good soldier.
3) The republic party is no longer represents conservative based policy only ideologically based hypocrisy. Time for a third party.

Posted by: whocares666 | October 21, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Those grapes are probably sour anyway.

Posted by: spidey103 | October 21, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I pray for your continued recovery, Mr. Novak. Colin Powell was a pro-choice, very liberal Republican. Accepting his endorsement was incredibly hypocritical of Barack after running a heated primary against Hillary Clinton saying he was best to debate with McCain because Barack was against the Iraq war from the beginning. And the everyday person on the street has no idea who Chris Buckley is or what he says, but they do know who Joe the Plumber is, and they identify with him. And it's Joe the Plumber's endorsement that they will listen to and he seems to be for McCain. I see Mr. Powell's endorsement as being about race even though he tries to hide it. Mr. York, another author, also makes a compelling case as to why Mr. Powell's endorsement doesn't hold water. Readers should go to the national review to see it.

Posted by: BettyM47 | October 21, 2008 10:22 AM

########################################

Why don't you make Joe your vice-presidential pick - he couldn't be any worse than Palin.

Posted by: maggots | October 21, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't think you are much of a writer, either. While I am sorry for your illness Mr. Novak, and hope for your recovery, I must say I have never been a big fan of yours.

I grew up in Springfield, Illinois -- the "Land of Lincoln" which is a moderate Republican area. We take our place in history very seriously, and we are taught all the details about what Mr. Lincoln did, and what he believed from the time we were able to read.

Ironically, the GOP was founded upon principles of tolerance. I ask you, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation? A Republican.

I simply will not vote for a ticket with Gov. Palin on it. Not only does her racist rhetoric repel me, but the pandering to anti-intellectualism is not the way forward.

The "D-Students of America" ticket does not seem to be one that leads us into a future where we need to work hard and recapture our greatness as a country. We must re-energize the way we work, and become the country that designs and builds the products of the future as in the past.

Being merely the promoters of ill-conceived "financial products" is not a real future. I should know, being one of the mathematicians who spurned offers to become a "quant" and instead started a company that is creating revolutionary technology that will help build those products of the future. Much to the dismay of my family until the past month.

Posted by: jwallace1 | October 21, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, anyone who isn't a fire-breathing neocon isn't much of a Republican to Novak. So much for that inclusive big tent McCain talked about in one of his campaign incarnations.

Of course no one was surprised Powell endorsed Bush. After being used as the frontman to shill a wrong and disasterous war (to his own shame) Powell certainly isn't going to endorse Bush's carbon copy. And it just can't be possible that Powell, a long-time public servant, really thinks Obama is a transformational figure. It must be race, right? Otherwise, how could a water-carrier for the right do such a thing?

The difference between Powell and Novak is that Powell had the decency to disappear after his shameful actions, Novak has not.

Posted by: agolembe | October 21, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
= NeoCons

Posted by: dotto | October 21, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!Argumentum ad Hominem abusive!
= NeoCons

Posted by: dotto | October 21, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

What's predictable is the reaction of the GOP when one of it's brightest and most respected tells the truth instead of twisted reasoning and falsehoods.

I had to watch Hannity and see his head implode. What a wonderful sight, the desperate Hannity trying discredit Powell. He sloveled left, then right, then left again but to no avail.

The GOP had better hope that rational thought comes back to their party. Otherwise, rational citizens will not.

Posted by: ScottChallenger | October 21, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Sdansker2002 wrote: "I can't stand Limbaugh either. But will someone answer the query: when was the last time Powell endorsed a WHITE, barely tested liberal for ANYTHING?"


Uhhhh, George W. Bush.

Posted by: agolembe | October 21, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I have never understood why "liberal" is a bad word. We forget that liberals are responsible for the common/non aristocratic people ruling countries; liberals are responsible for the US breaking from England, abolishing slavery, giving the vote to minorities and women, allowing society to integrate, and giving more people access to college education. Liberals are responsible for the moving forward of societies and forcing the change that becomes the new norms and new conservative values. So if Powell is liberal in his ideology, or Obama is liberal in his views, than so be it. LIberal is not a four letter word.

Posted by: puppiesandkitties | October 21, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh give it a rest you fraud. Until this week you would have drooled all over yourself bloviating to high heaven on the intellectual and moral authority Powell's endorsement would have brought to the McCain campaign. That he made a rational choice shouldn't be cause to crucify the guy. Give it a rest GOP.

Posted by: hiberniantears | October 21, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

What kind of Republican was Eisenhower?

Posted by: TomSimone | October 21, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I have the same dislike for Novak as anyone but he really only stated the truth and without his usual vitriol. Powell was clearly uncomfortable as a Republican and the neo-Nazis wanted him out from the beginning and hence tried to marginalize him which they
accomplished. I admired Powell until he gave his UN speech when what he really should have done is resign. I am still glad he endorsed Obama.

Posted by: chopin224 | October 21, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"....if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country."

Michael, what is socialism? And while you are at it please tell me how the recent (and continuing) bailout of failed Wall Street investment firms and the major financial institutions (banks) around the country fit into your definition of socialism. I am talking about the arrangements under which the Federal government buys a stake in Wall Street firms and the banks.

People like you have done and continue to do more harm to this country and its citizens with your scare tactics and name-calling than even the 9/11 barbaric terrorists were able to do. You take advantage of every opportunity to divide the country along rthe lines of those who are patriotic (or more patriotic)versus those who are not or are less so, socialists/communists versus (I don't know what), minorities versus the majority, etc. Like I always say, if the mechanism of division did not exist in politics Republicans would be out of business!

Posted by: erickaba | October 21, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So, allow me to point out that a just out
new poll of 1700 Active US Service People,
shows that over 68% of them support Sen
John McCain for President and Commander in
Chief and that a like number of Retired
Members of the US Military Also Support
Sen John McCain as President and Commander
in Chief NOT Messiah Barack Hussein Obama!
And,in fact all Obama got was 23% Support
and that came mainly from the Blacks in
our US Military so show me where that lying
Bush and Cheney Co-War Criminal Colin Powell has one damn bit of influence left
among our Military now then? Its clear that
after onw AWOL and one Serial Draft Dodger
as President and Vice President George W
Bush and VP Draft Dodger Cheney that our
troops do not want Two More Draft Dodgers
in the White House! So Colin Powell take
the advise of the Late Great General of the
US Army Douglas Mac Arthur said,from an old
Army Barrack Ballad,"Old Soldiers Never Die, They Simply Fade Away" and Colin Powell It Damn Sure Is Time YOU Fade Away!

Posted by: Jan1977 | October 21, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"Fortunately for all concerned, Powell declined their overtures..."

And WHAT? We are so much better off, now?

Posted by: JoeMc | October 21, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

You really are dispicable Novak.

Posted by: otis_jbs | October 21, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"Powell never was much of a Republican". Regardless of his past sentiments regarding the party clearly he must be a man of good judgement today. He is erudite, gracious and intellectually far above the volcanic rhetoric, poor decisions and clumsy attempts to lead of the GOP candidate and his running mate. This ugly campaign will try to skewer Colin Powell along with many other decent people and it will fail. It will remain festering on the backside of the Republican party for decades to come.

Posted by: elizabeth6 | October 21, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Where I would disagree with Mr Novak is that Gen Powell "wasn't much of a Republican". He is a consistent conservative, he's just not a consistent neo-conservative. God, Guns & Gays are not his political focus, nor is it the focus of the majority of the country.
Complaints that he convinced Bush 41 not to invade Baghdad and depose Saddam in the first gulf war ignores reality, we actually had an Arab coalition with us during that adventure who would not have supported "regime change".
Amazingly enough, most people think regime change is the business of the citizens of a particular country and not something that should be decided on the whim of a foreign electorate or their oft misguided representatives. Polling suggests that has finally become the position of the majority of Americans as well.

Posted by: dijetlo | October 21, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps General Powell was "never much of a Republican" because he is a patriot. How anyone who loves this country could vote for McCain and Palin and four more years of GOP misrule is beyond me.

Posted by: ex-Washingtonian_in_NH | October 21, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

General Powell was never part of the ultra-conservative wing that took over the Republican party.

However, he is exactly the kind of person who should be leading the next Republican party. As a Republican myself, I want the party back after this November's blowout losses that we've brought on ourselves.

I'm sure Mr. Novak would say that I was never really a Republican either.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

What kind of Republican was Eisenhower?
**********Posted by: TomSimone | October 21, 2008 10:50 AM


One could say an ineffectual one at the best......

Posted by: elizabeth6 | October 21, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Jan1997, the Republicans have a vocal lock on the military. I am a veteran, a retiree. No one in their right mind would announce they support Obama.

But, Sen. Obama has received more contributions from military members than McCain has.

You don't say who conducted the poll you cite and you don't cite the population polled. Chances are McCain leads among the very lowest echelons but not among middle and senior leaders. McCain has said he would freeze spending and permanently cancel cost-plus contracts. That will kill new military technology and weapons systems that rely on civilian contractors to develop.

Whatever you think of Powell, he is in the fraternaty of retired Generals and Admirals. His endorsement may say something about the feelings of that group.

Posted by: agolembe | October 21, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Well, I never thought Bob Novak was that much of a Republican either. More a neocon ideologue. Those guys live in a world of their own.

Where unbridled spending is as good as saving, as long as it helps support whatever war they're conducting at the time.

Where a guy who wants a middle class tax cut is a socialist. Or 'socialistic', their new favorite made-up epithet.

Where character assassination is really 'legitimate questions' about an opponent.

We all knew, or should have known, that neocon economic principles don't actually work. Even David Stockman admitted it, earning his own personal trip to the woodshed.

Neocon economics -- deregulate, dismantle the social safety nets, rely on competition to promote market 'self-regulation', and leave the rest alone -- is bankrupt. Literally.

Gingrich was wrong. Gramm was wrong. Bush and Cheney were wrong. And Novak is wrong, too.

Watch them blame the Democrats for their mistakes. That's their real talent, by the way.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 21, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

. . .and novak you were never much of an American. You're a traitor. Did you even serve in the boy scouts (of course you probably did. They're hate filled like you and all the right wing republicans who call themselves Christians). I'm pretty sure you evaded military service like, bush, cheney, feith, et. al. You are a coward and a traitor. At least have the respect for those who have served to apologize for your crimes, since you know like all the other criminals in this administration you'll never be prosecuted. It's the least you can do.

Posted by: map529 | October 21, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Mr Novak, I agree with General Powell, the Republican party left us, it has become to neocon in command, when the Cheney's run the nation from behind the curtain and involve us in nation building in Southwest Asia and in the Middle East. This is not the party of Reagan anymore this is far to idiotic in leadership, the White House by fiat has socialized the losses of wall Street, thru contracts to their firends they have expanded the size of government. The firms of Blackwater, Kellog Root and Brown, SAIC, etc all do government work out sourced to them, the Neocons have managed to grow government the entire time they have been yelling for downsizing and where is the conservative reporters yelling about this issue? Senator Obama is going to win this year because of the right tilt of the Republican party this is a center run nation, and the captains of this ship ran it hard to ground to the right, now it's time to come back to center, and it appears it will tae the "most liberal Senator in the nation" becoming President to make it happen. I just hope the neocons haven't left it broken beyond repair.

Posted by: mikey30919 | October 21, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The comments on Novak's column are quite humorous. I love it when the Dems and those who pretend to be "former Repubs" accuse Novak and any Republican of being mean, fascist, divisive, etc. Please, take a stroll through the comments and you will see the most unhinged, hateful and despicable comments....and they come from the supposedly "enlightened forces of tolerance." Please do yourself a favor and go back and read the actual column. He didn't smear Powell in any way, nor did he disparage him. He merely stated the obvious, that Powell was decidedly more liberal than the Republican party, and that he always had been. Are any of you seriously arguing against that proposition? He didn't question his patriotism or infer that he wasn't a great American. Get a grip, people, and please practice the "tolerance" that you claim you believe in.

Posted by: circular_hlt | October 21, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Pure facile, after-the-fact sophistry, Mr. Novak. But I expected no less.

Just what is a Republican these days? I doubt even card-carrying ones can answer that with any consistency. They're against seemingly everything--including what they've just done--and for practically nothing. And that's the problem.

It's not that Powell never was much of a Republican. Of course, he was. He's just not a partisan of the sort which says, "My party, right or wrong." He's a man of country and principle first. At one time, Republicans admired that about him. Now they excoriate him for it. That says more about the state of the Republican Party today than anything else.

Posted by: halifax1 | October 21, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Better a good man, a good American, than a good partisan. Powell's endorsement shows the kind of principled decision making which, once, distinguished McCain.

Posted by: cranky1c | October 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the first to mention thus, but it bears repeating.... NeoCon Republicans have adopted a "your with us or against us" position. I AM a Republican - a WESTERN Republican not the Southern Republican freak show the party has become. Not being a Fascist doesn't make you a Liberal.

Posted by: AustinRob | October 21, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

If Powell isn't much of a Republican, why didn't the Republican smear masters tell us this before Powell endorsed Obama?

As it is, what you spew here seems like the same sort of filthy demonization heaped upon O'Neil, Clarke and anyone else brave enough to speak the truth about the party that you shill for.

And it's too bad Powell wasn't a CIA agent. You could have then simply destroyed his career by outing him. But maybe you could still run over him in your corvette.

By the way, did the silly sob story you presented in your last editorial succeed in letting you dodge the hit and run charges?

Posted by: MorganaLeFay | October 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

One last thing: Novak is not a neo-con, and was not a supporter of this Iraq War. He is a paleoconservative in the tradition of Robert Taft whose political views are much closer to Ron Paul than George Bush or any other Reagan wannabees. For years he and his colleague, the late Rowland Evans, wrote a popular syndicated column that was unique in taking on the pro-Israel lobby and opposed US intervention in Middle East affairs, including support for Israel and other collaborative regimes that set the stage for 9/11.

More recently Novak was instrumental in exposing the fallacious assumptions that led to war in Iraq. I recall specifically on the CNN news show "Capital Gang", before the invasion, Novak asserted without equivocation there were no wmds in Iraq and none would be found. Even his liberal colleagues seemed surprised at this assessment. I will never forget what Novak said next, "A war against Iraq is not about making the world safe for democracy but about making the Middle East safe for Israel."

Posted by: circular_hlt | October 21, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

This, according to a "Real" Republican, the same one who told the world who Valerie Plame is. Mr. Novak, why are you not serving a prison sentence?

Posted by: ped1 | October 21, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Powell was never much of a republican"

Good for him, this country and the world Mr. Novak,.
You and the republicans are not much cared for, entrusted with anything and respected anymore anywhere.

Coming this Nov fourth, hopefully the American people, that is if the republicans do not embark on a military adventure overseas, although I doubt it very much since as much as Mr. Bush has been a steady and reliable obedient I am confident he does not want to go out as one who BECAME president, please note my emphasis on becoming but not getting elected, losing three wars at the same time, will make a sound judgment and the entire world will benefit and prosper and accordinly we will all experience lots of peace and quiet very much unlike the turbulant last Eight years we have had,.


Faramarz Fathi, Bos
faramarzfathi@aol.com

Posted by: frft5 | October 21, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Of course Colin Powell was never a "real Republican" according to "real Republicans" like Novak. He could never be a "real Republican." "Real Republicans," just like "real Americans" are white. Duh!

Posted by: mcstowy | October 21, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty sad, but to tell the truth, Powell isn't much of a Republican. The party of McCain and Palin appeals to the lowest element of our society-- Powell is much to distinguished to pander to the rabble in the manner of those two. Powell tells the truth, to the extent that he is able-- another problem there. Powell is not a coward-- oops! Did I just use the "C" word talking about the GOP ticket? Powell doesn't "feed the bread of hate" to recall Dr. King's words. Yep, you betcha he's not much of a Republican.

Posted by: PJTramdack | October 21, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Powell is the very essence of a conservative -- careful, thoughtful and tending to moderation. Naturally, he has no place in the Republican Party. Mr. Novak, with his non-stop anger and carefully nurtured hatreds, is what the Republican Party is all about. I know that Mr. Novak would never be able to see that the Republican Party has institutionalized a kind of mental illness. Mr. Novak feels right at home in such a world, and can note that Mr. Powell's continuing mental health disqualifies him from being a "true Republican."

Posted by: eheath1 | October 21, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Powell's Predictable Endorsement"?

How about "Novak's Predictable Column"? Just more sour grapes from the Prince of Darkness.

Posted by: spotfoul | October 21, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Of all people Mr. Powell should know that OBAMA could not even pass a Federal security clearance background because of his association with people who advocate overthrowing the government? This is a question normally asked of Federal employees applying for Federal jobs during a background investigation. What kind of message are we sending to potential Federal employees? Or maybe they will delete that question on the background application?

Posted by: DanParrish | October 21, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

So the pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, anti-Iraq War guy is voting for Obama. I'm flabbergasted.

The man who allowed Saddam Hussein's military to survive in 1991, failed miserably in the attempt to get Turkey to allow ground forces transit so that we could have a second front against Iraq in 2003, and was suckered by de Villepin in the lead up to the current Iraq War is going to be advising Obama. Well, that's reassuring.

And let us not forget that Powell knew that it was Armitage who told Novak about Valerie Plame, and yet he let his boss, the man to whom he had pledged his service, twist in the wind, getting unfairly attacked by conspiracy mongers in the media.

Quite frankly, Obama is welcome to this jerk--that's right, I called the sainted Colin Powell a jerk, and that's only because the term I would prefer to use probably would get my comment pulled. And I say that as someone who supported a Powell for President draft campaign back in 1996. How happy I am, in retrospect, that my efforts came to naught.

Posted by: scottcpan | October 21, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Since when did being a Republican mean adhering to a narrow ideology propounded by the likes of ideological watchdogs, I mean lapdogs, like Novak. What happened to the big tent philosophy? I guess it only existed as long as one marched lock, step and barrel with the ideological warlocks of the GOP. When Moynihan supported Reagan on various measures or when moderate to conservative Democrats voted with GWB, the Democratic party didn't shun or condemn them for being ideologically impure. Its no surprise that the moderate wing of the GOP is near dead if intelligent, honorable men and women have to swear their allegiance in blood before the likes of modern day Robespierres like Novak, Limbaugh and Buchanan. If the GOP is to survive in a modern era, then it must rid itself of such torchbearers.

Posted by: jaysit | October 21, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Powell is his own man. Just because he doesn't think like you doesn't make him any less a republican.

Posted by: yogi228 | October 21, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to see you back. Hope you're doing well, healthwise. From a writing perspective, I can see you haven't lost a step.

But talk about predictable! I was waiting to see who the first one of your persuasion who would make this argument in public, and I'm glad it was you. Who else could put something so transparently false into such dismissive, self-satisfied, supremely arrogant language? George Will, maybe. But he would have sprinkled in quotes from Plato's Republic, Edmund Burke, and Lefty Grove, along with words like "phenomenological," "lugubrious," and "shortstop." No, you're still the master--straightforward declaritive sentences expressed in simple words with a barely concealed sneer.

Unfortunately for your premise, however, there are people out here with actual memories. We remember, for example, that Bush I's decision not to go to Baghdad seemed, in the aftermath of Bush II's debacle, like the wisest decision of his presidency. We remember too that you yourself would have been just delighted to have Colin Powell running as the Republican candidate for president back then--though you now say it was lucky "for all concerned" that he didn't. A brazen lie, but boldly delivered.

What you doubtless can't stand is not the endorsement itself, but the power, coherence and passion of Powell's brilliant six-minute oration on why he intends to vote for Obama. The only possible way to defuse that presentation is the way you have taken--to claim that this Colin Powell is the REAL Colin Powell, the one who has been a closet liberal all these years: "He meant what he said and said what he meant--he was always a liberal, one hundred percent!" (Sorry, Dr. Seuss.)

Of course, the other way--the Rush Limbaugh way--is to crow that "it's all about race." You, I believe, are smart enough to see that this accusation belittles the accuser way more than the accused. So you announce that no, it's not about race, it's about finally saying out loud what he's always thought.

So now that it's clear he was never really one of the gang, the gang can chuck him out without suffering any pangs of conscience--though apparently conscience is not a major obstacle for the gang in any case. Anything is better than admitting that the man may be right.

John McCain has actually given us the perfect litmus test to determine who is worth listening to and who is not on the subject of this election. If a man of your experience and caliber can look us in the eye and say with a straight face that you believe Governor Sarah Palin is fit to assume the role of President of the United States, we can safely assume that you have nothing more to tell us, at least nothing that deserves a moment's consideration.

How about it?

Posted by: FAC1 | October 21, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Powell puts America first, unlike the Republican Party of today.

Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin put 'The Party' first, America second, in spite of their feeble and cynical protestations to the contrary.

Mr. Novak also put 'The Party' first.
Mr. Novak was willing to punish an American who made 'The Party' look bad.

See PlameGate.

Posted by: vigor | October 21, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Powell doesn't have enough hatred to be a Republican.

Posted by: steveboyington | October 21, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

First of all, why does this CIA-outing slimeball deserve a "voice" to spew his venom anywhere. He runs over people on the street, and blames a tumor. Yet, I've never seen anyone recover so quickly, to continue their evil pursuits.
Once again, the reason Powell advise G.H. Bush not to takedown Saddam, is because he foresaw the fiasco we are enduring right now. Any fool (usually a rightwinger) who still believes the blatant lie, that Iraq was involved with 9/11, is just that, a fool.

Posted by: shag11 | October 21, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Bob, your column is utterly predictable. If Colin Powell had gone the other way and endorsed McCain/Palin, in your eyes he would have been a GREAT REPUBLICAN. If he had done that, he would have been selling his soul, instead of redeeming it.

He reflects what so many moderates are feeling; that the GOP has become a source of fear and neo-fascism. I cannot vote for a party that spies on its own citizens (all the while telling us that it is for our own good). I cannot vote for a party that allows/condones torture. I cannot vote for a party with an ethos of "take from the popr to give to the rich"

thank you Colin Powell, for speaking your mind and making the case that so many of us wish the GOP would hear.

Bob....go back to sleep.

Posted by: helengoing | October 21, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

You know, some of the comments here are pretty bloody disgusting. I don't agree with much of what Novak says, and support Obama, but don't find it necessary to attack him personally or suggest that he is faking cancer (!). Here's a suggestion--when you write a comment in, imagine that you are delivering it in person, face to face, without the luxury of internet anonymity. I am embarrassed that people who seem to share my political views behave no better than the nut-jobs who call in to Limbaugh et al.

A bit of civility, please.

Posted by: lde2c | October 21, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

For the record, Robert Novak defended and provided justification for the imposition of racist separation and discrimination against people of color in South Africa during the era of Apartheid in that country. He did it on many occasions and in different ways but I remember one Crossfire session during which he, as the Host representing the Right, said that given that 4.1 million White people were surrounded by a “sea of Black nations”, the imposition and practice of Apartheid was understandable. One of the guests (who I do not remember by name) reminded Mr. Novak that nearly 29 million non-Whites were being discriminated against, did not have the right to live where they wanted to live, could not vote and were prohibited from moving about freely in their own country of birth. The guest stated further that Mr. Novak and others were vehemently critical and disdainful of the then USSR and its satellite allies for denying freedom and democracy to their people but he would sit there and defend a despicable and inhumane practice like Apartheid.

I have cited this situation to (in part) highlight the fact that Robert Novak has been a hypocrite forever. He, like other die-hard, all-knowing right-wing demagogues, is more interested in ideology than in what really affects ordinary everyday Americans.

Posted by: erickaba | October 21, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Novak should be jailed for assault with a deadly weapon - this is the 2nd national backstabbing he's committed in the past five years... First he commits treason by outing Valerie Plame, now he claims Powell is a liberal who never meant anything to the Republican party? What a joke...

This man is a national embarrassment on the level of Sarah Palin in terms of intelligence and understanding what true patriotism is. Powell recognizes Obama as a superior leader to McCain - it should be a sobering moment for all Republicans who have been failed by their leaders to actually commit GOP values into policy.

Posted by: jdoyle1 | October 21, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Most pathetic column ever. This Novak lapdog will do anything and say anything to please his neocon masters. Truly, it's the sad spectacle of a man with no conscience at the end of his rope.

Posted by: alarico | October 21, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the natural response of Repubs like Novak is to deny that Powell is or was a true believer, or to smear him as a liberal (i.e., wife beater, child molester, etc.). The problem with Novak and his ilk is that they're Republicans first, Americans second. They value their president above the Constitution, and ideology trumps the law and ethical journalism, witness his outing of Valerie Plame. And of course, political apostasy is the ultimate crime, even worse than abortion. So, take those comments about Powell in the context of the source.

Posted by: hypocritebuster | October 21, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Poor Bob,

You... like many of these other Republicans posting below your article just don't seem to get it. The Republican party is searching for ideological purity just at the moment when it needs to build a diverse coalition.

Colin Powell not a real Republican? Well, on the points you are most definitely right. It's not your assessment of Powell's conservative credentials that's the problem for you and your party... no your problem is that you CONTINUE to even discuss anybody's conservative credentials at this point.

Why does your party continue to shoot itself in the foot? The coalition Bush built in 2000 could have sustained your party indefinitely, but you have driven out gays, blacks, and hispanics in droves over the last 8 years... all in the name of your precious ideological purity. And now it seems your party is INTENT on doing the same to moderates. Your party is so angry it doesn't know who to direct it's anger towards. Well sir, I've a suggestion to all of you... YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELVES... so own your mess and get over it. Powell endorsed Obama not because he was a liberal-in-conservatives clothing; he endorsed Obama because the party he joined in the 90's is morally and politically bankrupt. Period. End of story.

Posted by: DaninPDX | October 21, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Why does the WP keep this guy on staff? A whiny (and tiny) post that doesn't really say anything interesting; it's almost like he copied down some comments from talking heads on CNN and put it into his post.

Meanwhile, the NY Times has a columnist who just won a Nobel - not a Pulitzer - A NOBEL!

Bob, you're just outclassed and completely lacking any substantial talent outside of proper grammar.

A C+ average. Good job.

Posted by: GregB2 | October 21, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with Mr. Novak. I think Gen. Powell is the embodiement of the old Republican Party. The Party left him to embrace the far right social agenda which was never the concern of the old line Republicans. And let's be honest, the Republicans in power still don't care about the agenda of the religious right, they just pay lip service to it so they can split the country and garner the votes.

Posted by: DesertStormVet2 | October 21, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Rare, but I completely agree with Robert Novak on this point.

Secretary Powell lacked the ideological purity to ever be a full-fledged Republican.

I think that speaks volumes for why the Republican Party is doomed for a generation while it figures out how to somehow include anybody who isn't pure Novak crazy in their politico-socio-economic-&-diplomatic views.

Posted by: terry1960 | October 21, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

There's something really wrong with the Republican Party when the only people that are acceptable to it are the unthinking, party-line-towing, goosestepping masses that just go along with whatever the GOP talking heads say. There's a reason that far fewer people are actually identifying themselves as "Republican" these days. It's because loud mouths like Robert Novak and Pat Buchanan berate someone like General Powell for making informed decisions. Heaven forbid someone should actually not tow the party line! In the eyes of the Novak/Buchanan crowd, such talk is heresy!

Posted by: sdecker | October 21, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse


I feel sorry for the 'one' you classify as Republican. You confuse neocons for Republicans. Real Republicans are abandoning ship; the crazies have taken over. Just look at Palin and the shift McCain put himself through to get to the white house.

Isn't a Republican who said that if Republican was a dog food, no one would buy it. I imagine he was talking about Novak's brand of Republicans.

Posted by: wrock76taolcom | October 21, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

That is why this country will always be mired in crisis after crisis, and we will never have the best in leadership roles. The two party system with their hidden agendas and partisan biases dissuade independent thinking and thinkers. What you have describes with the general is a man who was driven by principle and doing the right thing, as apposed to adhering to party ideology.

Posted by: tydicea | October 21, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Though socially moderate/liberal, I try to maintain a perspective of fiscal responsibility (taking a note from the Blue Dog Dems with "pay-as-you-go"). The size of the inefficient parts of our government should certainly be trimmed; this is typically a GOP mindframe. However, I find no shelter in the GOP. Feeling the shift of the country further to the right, this independent voter has registered Democrat to try to help in an effort to counterbalance the anti-illectualism, fear-mongering party. There is apparently very little room for diversity of thought in the GOP and this will be the undoing of the party. What I find apalling is how quickly the GOP can throw someone under the bus and then rewrite history with regards to their "Republican-ness." Though I lost respect for Powell for his ardent push into Iraq, I gained a great deal of respect when he stepped down. I cannot recall where I saw it (perhaps Discovery or History Channel) but there was a pretty good chronicling of Powell's time in the Bush Admin and how frequently he was at odds, silently or not, with other folks in the administration.

Posted by: SteadyState | October 21, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't even know what it means to be a Republican anymore. Fiscal responsibility? Small government? Pro-military? Against nation building? Protection of privacy and personal freedoms? Bush destroyed it all, and McCain/Palin are doing a heckuva job making it even worse. As far as I can tell, the only things the republican party currently takes a clear stance on are fear-based campaign tactics and divisiness, and whatever the christian extremists want.

Posted by: chiefnugt | October 21, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

As a moderate Republican most of my entire life, I see it discerning to watch the far right take over the Party. The GOP, in the past, advocated less government, balanced budgets, libretarian viewpoints, strong military, staying out of nation-building and protecting our essential freedoms. Mr. Novak, Mr. Bush, and now Mr. McCain have driven GOP moderates out of the fold. The result of the Party's leadership is now a minority status in Congress, probable loss of the White House, a negative image from independents. This is why General Powell feels no place in the Party. Instead of a free-flow of ideas, the Radical Right has bulldozed the ideas of Eisenhower, Ford, and others. My heart will always be for the GOP, but my vote may go somewhere else.

Posted by: rogden71 | October 21, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I still get amazed at how narrow minded some reasoning is. I agree Powell's Endorsement of Obama was predictable.

What has risen to be the rulers of the Republican Party those that have not left if not in shame of self, they still feel right, but because of the limelight of scandals has a one basic rule. Me first and second. Government is not to big when it protects the right to control for the very few.

American for all Americans was better and will be again.

We have to be to regain a respectable place in the world. Powell endorsed the better way to move into the future.

Posted by: justmehla | October 21, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Good heavens, Mr. Novak, are you the arbiter of all that is Republican? How ridiculous. So if a moderate Republican isn't out their USING their position or former position to raise money they never really were a Republican? Please, it's you and your ilk that drove moderate Republicans from the party. The neo-con, vulgar, cultural-warring, narrow, bigoted view I've seen expressed even by elected representatives drove my husband away after 35 years of voting for that party. Your party has no one to blame but itself. Just once it would be amazing to see and hear 1, just 1 Republican stand up to the extreme wing and say "you know, you don't own the party and we screwed up allowing you to think so." However, I realize that will never happen. Your party is destined to go the way of the Whigs unless some adults take the reins and actually get back to practicing the values the party of Lincoln used to uphold.

Posted by: itsanyoneguess | October 21, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Bob, you had nothing but praise for Colin Powell when he was head of the Joint Chiefs and ran the first gulf war, you had nothing but praise when he was secretary of state and made his (in)famous speech before the UN. Now that Powell has decided not to support McCain for some very obvious reasons (McCain's erratic and un-presidential demeanor at the fore) your response is to denigrate his service and call him a false Republican.

Bob, you are the definition of a fair weather friend. Pity that your dying days are going to be remembered for your petty histrionics and vitriol rather than for any intelligent insights. Some people will miss you when you're dead, but not many and not for long.


Posted by: taddles | October 21, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine what Novak would have been writing and Rush would be saying if Powell had endorsed McCain. They would have treated Powell as the second coming of Christ. Instead, after endorsing Obama, he is considered by them to be a racist who never stood for Republican doctrines. I don't recall either of them complaining when he was appointed Secretary Of State or speaking to support Bush's war before the UN.

Posted by: rclab | October 21, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Fact is, Republicans of today aren't much like Republicans of Eisenhower's time. Powell is an Eisenhower Republican and as such no longer welcome in the modern Republican Party. I too used to like the Republican Party, but now they're just a bunch of Chicken Little freako's. Good riddance.

Posted by: barnesgene | October 21, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Being a good Republican is no more important than being a good Democrat, and neither is important to the long reach of history.

Being a good American is all that matters.

So please keep such partisan comments to yourself, or at least contemplate them in private, if you must. They have no bearing in public discourse, and are not worth writing about in a newspaper article.

Talk them over with Rush, as the two of you smoke (Cuban?) cigars after dinner.

Posted by: sjbob | October 21, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Itsanyoneguess wrote:
Your party has no one to blame but itself. Just once it would be amazing to see and hear 1, just 1 Republican stand up to the extreme wing and say "you know, you don't own the party and we screwed up allowing you to think so."
-------------------------------------------
The sad thing is that Ron Paul did and was written off as a bit of a wack-job. Regardless of some of his libertarian points of view (complete abolishment of things like the Dept. of Ed.), I have a great deal of respect for Paul's call to use reason and logic (likely a byproduct of his former profession as a medical doctor); this is complete opposition to the dogmatic, single-minded thinking that has overrun the current GOP. Some of the free-thinkers are out there, but they're not going to get any play on Fox News and will generally not make enough of an impact as far as other news organizations are concerned to cover their dissenting views.

Posted by: SteadyState | October 21, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell isn't a Republican or a Democrat. He's a man who can think for himself outside of party philosophies. Maybe that's something he learned during decades of service in the military where thinking keeps men alive.

As for "stopping" in the first Gulf War, Jim Baker says it best. He talks about the years when people would ask him why we stopped. After the failures of the Iraq War became public he says no one asks him that any more.

Maybe Bush & Cheney should have listened to Powell more before going to a failed war.

Maybe we should listen to him today.

Posted by: KHMJr | October 21, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Novak demonstrates why the marriage between modern conservatism and fundamentalist Christianity has been so successful - they're both about exactly the same kind of narrow tribalist thinking. Only the strictly orthodox need apply, and if you question doctrine you'll be excommunicated. You're either with us or against us. If you entertain such modern notions as respect for those outside of the tribe and you're not willing to blindly vilify them, then you're not a true believer. Anything short of take no prisoners "do as we say, not as we do" partisanship is heresy. The GOP has become a party only for zealots, xenophobes, homophobes, profiteers, and jingoists. It has become the party of Michelle Bachman and her ilk, longing for a return to the grand old days of McCarthyism. I'm surprised Novak didn't accuse Powell of being a Socialist, having links to terrorism, and *gasp* having friends in San Francisco.

Is it any wonder that moderate Republicans are abandoning the party in droves?

Posted by: Chip_M | October 21, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Dick Cheney the Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, and the one who said that trying to occupy Iraq would would be a "bad idea" and become a "quagmire" ?
Very interesting that you're now blaming Powell for that.


Novak,
It seems like you're now selectively remembering things to suit the current situation or your current opinions.

Posted by: orangefh | October 21, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

michaelW01

What you got there? 100 words in one sentence?

You can tell a lot about a person's head by how they write. Yours is confused.

And, didn't you get the memo sent to the rest of the world? Use of the word "socialist" (substituting for "Hussein") as a bigoted rally cry has jumped the shark. I hope you get better!

Posted by: AIPACiswar | October 21, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

As a Canadian, I am an outsider. However, what happens in the U.S. does interest me, not least because it will affect me.

In my opinion, the political system in the U.S. functions best when the Democratic party is a broad centre-left coalition and the Republican party is a broad centre-right coalition. Unfortunately, the Republican party has become increasingly narrow in its base as it seeks ideological purity. That being said, I would vote for John McCain if I were an American. He transcends his party, and he has far more experience than his opponent, who by the way is less experienced than Sarah Palin.

I think the Republican party had more to offer when it was a broad coalition, as it was during the Eisenhower, Nixon and Gerald Ford presidencies. General Powell is a moderate man, and I suspect he would have been far more comfortable as a Republican during the Eisenhower era. I wish General Powell had endorsed John McCain, but in a free country the general is free to endorse the candidate whom he feels would make the better president. It is one thing to disagree with General Powell's endorsement, but it is quite another matter to abuse and belittle him for doing so.

Other commentators have made the remark that General Powell was wise to dissuade President George H. W. Bush from pursuing the Iraqi troops to Baghdad, after successfully evicting them from Kuwait. The current mess in Iraq certainly gives credence to the general's advice, towards the end of the Gulf War.

General Powell would be an asset to either political party, and I hope the Republicans will make an effort to make him feel at home in the Republican Party.

Posted by: dahutchinson | October 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

While any self-respecting newspaper ought to have thoughtful columnists that span the rational political spectrum, there comes a time (as in some marriages) to call it quits.

Why isn't the Post embarrassed to have Novak on its pages? It says volumes about both ownership and management.

Posted by: wgmadden | October 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Mr. Novak needed a little attention...the old soldier of an era gone by. Hard to be a has-been, huh?

Posted by: emeraldfalcon | October 21, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell is no genius. He was a C student as a child, and of course it's the military not business, so his rise to the top is not such a big deal either. White GOP America loves to have a "negro to love," to prove their sophistication in the races, ala Bill Cosby; a black person onto which Whites can claim affinity and so understanding and resonance. If that Black discomforts these Americans they just drop him like a bad penny. That's Powell's role.

Bush's water boy, send the black guy to the UN to lie for Whitey - Powell never meant a thing to the Left but the definition of house negro.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | October 21, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Bob,
William F. Buckley said he spent a lifetime seperating the Right from the kooks. Your party has been taken over by kooks and Powell knows this. The GOP has and has had good and great people representing it. The far right wing has just about destroyed the Republican Party and this country. You guys need to sit out one and any semblence of a majority in Congress and reassess and regroup.

Posted by: creatia52 | October 21, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It's certainly predictable that the right wing noise machine would simply denounce Powell as a "bad Republican" rather than address any aspect of his eloquent and obviously deeply considered endorsement.

Posted by: Brix | October 21, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

michaelW01,

I strongly recommend that you lock up all sharp objects and fire arms and abstain from alcohol and on November 4th.

Posted by: swalker3 | October 21, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Mr. Novak. Powell has never been viewed as a true Republican - and I have to disagree with the writer above who deemed Powell to be "a great general". Great flag offiers in our history include Bradley, Clark, Lee, Patton, Leahy, Nimitz, Smith and the like. In no way does Colin Powell rank anywhere close to these fine men.

Posted by: adjjones | October 21, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Yet another hatchet job from the Prince of Darkness.

The only thing that I'm surprised about regarding Novak is that he isn't in prison for TREASON.

Posted by: owiz | October 21, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Bob,
"Fortunately for all concerned"? well, except for us Americans.

Posted by: michael5 | October 21, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Bob,
"Fortunately for all concerned"? well, except for us Americans.

Posted by: michael5 | October 21, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Joe Lieberman was never much of a Democrat either. But, then McCain, according to what he says about himself, has never been much of a Republican either. Also the scion of the conservative intelligentsia, Chris Buckley, must never have been much of a Republican either. Bob, what is your point? One should always follow the party line? If your advice should be followed, then we will never have another Republican administration or congress as your number of adherents is well below that of the Democracy. Your fellows can only be elected with the help of, what you apparently see, of traitors.

Posted by: csintala79 | October 21, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

My question to you Mr. Novak, Will you make the same statements and observations about Christopher Buckley? Has he been a undercover Democrat all this time?

Posted by: awarner33 | October 21, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, Mr. Novak, you don't know *what* party General Powell was before he declared himself Republican--though the fact that he was President Reagan's National Security Advisor (1987-1989) should give you some clue. What he was "enticed" into was *declaring* himself a Republican and participating in Republican campaigns.

That Powell (now in his 70's) is a Republican is no surprise. When he was younger, the Democrats were the segregationists, not the Republicans. The Republicans were the party of "the level playing field" and of getting ahead by one's own merit--and against any laws that kept one from doing so. In regard to social issues, the Republicans used to be what they now consider "liberal"--against government interference in the patient-doctor relationship, against government interference in what people do in their personal lives, against government involvement with religion.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that an oldstyle Republican like Powell should be against the neo"conservative" adventurism in world affairs of this past administration, against appointing more socially conservative judges, against the devisive political tactics of the current Republican party, and--most of all--against the blatant call to discrimination of the anti-Moslem and anti-Arab sentiments espoused by McCain's campaign.

As has been said before, Powell didn't leave the Republican party. It left him. Hopefully, his morally courageous stand can help shift it back.

Posted by: multiplepov | October 21, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

or as the conservative David Brooks put it, the Republican party has become the party that excludes one group after another as the enemy, starting with elites, then anyone with an education, then anyone with a brain, to the point where even bankers are overwhelmingly Democratic (and as Brooks noted, it took real talent for Republicans to alienate bankers)

Of course Powell isn't a real Republican. He actually applied reason and analysis to his decision, not party loyalty. Palin being ready to be president is a joke, McCain is clueless and erratic on the economy, and the campaign and the party has become about hate and lies.

And Limbaugh yells that Powell is a racist and a liar. Limbaugh, you aren't fit to shine Powell's shoes - and the metaphor is absolutely intentional

Posted by: JoeT1 | October 21, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Novak, it appears you are in the "pinhead" group. Try not to be bitter.

Powell has a conscience and integrity, which is not required to be a republican.

McCain is shipwrecked with a seared conscience, not to mention he is a liar.

The tactics he uses is anti-American! How can a believer in justice, liberty, voter rights, the truth, and the American way vote for McCain/Palin.

Posted by: carrm67 | October 21, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

History will rank Colin Powell among the finest soldiers in our history. He is the the only U.S. general to have clearly articulated the terms for success in asymmetric warfare, that being the Powell Doctrine. He understands the lessons of Vietnam and now of Iraq. Colin Powell understands where the Republican Party needs to go in the future, but I doubt very many Republicans are listening. Success selects those who listen, while the rest just disappear over time.

Posted by: AKwatchman | October 21, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Like with Lady Macbeth's "Out, damn'd spot! out", Mr. Powell will never be able to run away from his own "spot"-- he was the point-man for the selling of the Iraq War. He was the one that sold to the UN the lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Also, I think that Mr. Powell's endorsement so late in the game is very cynical: he waited until Obama looked like a sure thing to join the "train of history". If Mr. Powell agrees with Obama that the War was a disaster and an unjust one, has Mr. Powell publicly apologized to the world for being the mouthpiece of the big lie?

If Obama is right about the War, then Powell has blood on his hands.

Mr. Powell, you are a traitor to your party, your country and yourself.

http://www.mccain08-hillary2012.blogspot.com/

Posted by: dcpsychic | October 21, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Now come the right-wing apologists and rationalizers..............This all encompassing mess we're in wasn't their fault. Blame all those guys who claimed to be Republicans, but didn't understand or practice the right-wing divine ideology.

The overly interesting fact is that while Novak minimizes the Powell move, one is in need of a scorecard to keep up with GOP defections now in progress.............

Even more interesting is the fact that Powell was once even considered a potential for one of the top two spots on the GOP ticket..............so, Mr Novak, Gen Powell hasn't left the Republican PParty, it's you and your far right ideologues that have gone askew.

Posted by: AresBelt | October 21, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

//Powell was never much of a Republican.//

Yeah, while he might have carried some water, he wasn't a total sell out. He probabaly wouldn't, say like some low lifes, blow the cover of a CIA agent, even if Karl Rove asked him to.

Posted by: SarahBB | October 21, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If being dead in Wichita is redundant, so is "not so good Republican".

Posted by: frederick2 | October 21, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Sour grape, sour grape... Powell's endorsement was "predictable," hence not significant -- you want us to believe. Wrong. Obama's victory is predictable too. And the GOP is predictably doomed for now.

As for your "real republican" label, for heaven's sake keep it to yourself. No one else wants it. Your party doesn't like dissent very much, does it? It can't tolerate heterogeneity of views.

Who cares what label you put on Colin Powell? He had the admirable lucidity and simplicity to ask "is there something wrong with being muslim in this country?" in his endorsement of Obama, refering to the McCain camp's attempt to misidentify Obama as such and to associate him with terrorists. Decidedly, Powell is too good, too intelligent to be a Republican, at least the way you define it. Your party doesn't deserve him.

Posted by: Tanja43 | October 21, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"But as astute as Duberstein is, the general and the GOP simply never trusted each other."

As many times as Gen. Powell was burned by the GOP just what would you expect? He isn't a boot-licker. You have come to show the world that you are.

Posted by: edeckel | October 21, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

To adjjones,

The people you mentioned were great generals. However, they weren't truly transformational figures. They didn't change the way the game is played in their wake. They were great at prosecuting a war but they didn't change the ethos that guided how conflict was percieved. Powell did. Powell marked a watershed moment in military history. First, with his appointment as CJCS. Secondly, the "Powell doctrine", which represented a marked departure from previous military thought, has become the standard by which all military planning is currently executed. So, given that fact, Powell actually ranks among military thinkers like Baron von Clausewitz and Colonel John Warden. These men fostered a fundamental shift in the way wars are fought as did Powell.

Posted by: ehperkins1971 | October 21, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!!

I love it because I can so clearly imagine the theme of it had Powell endorsed McCain. Headline: GOP - Big Tent Afterall.

Novak would have weaved a tale of a Jamaican born immigrant who rose up and now lends his support to the Grand Old Party. Oh, it would have been sublime.

But here, Powell went and endorsed Obama and we have a nasty little, "who needs him anyway, he never was one of us." Novak's subtlety is the kind a computer program could generate.

Posted by: farkdawg | October 21, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Novak's predictable condemdation. What a loser you are Mr. Novak. Powell has shown himself to be a man of honor and intellect with a life time of service to his nation. I guess that is something you find scary since you don't undersand it.

Posted by: pwelvr | October 21, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

P.S. My guess is that Novak is looking for a pat on the back for not making this a column all about race.

Anyone in the Wash Po inner circle care to chime in...

Posted by: farkdawg | October 21, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Novak has something in common with Islamic terrorists - logic. A Muslim is forbidden to kill another Muslim, the terrorists who kill Muslims get around that problem by declaring those who they kill as not being proper Muslims so it is all right to kill them.

Posted by: Chrisle | October 21, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

NOVAK is no Republican
NOVAK is a CROOK..

Powell is a true Republican

ISA

Posted by: Issa1 | October 21, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I love the smell of conservative denial in the... well, afternoon, actually. It smells like Victory!

Posted by: drewdane | October 21, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Also, I think that Mr. Powell's endorsement so late in the game is very cynical: he waited until Obama looked like a sure thing to join the "train of history". If Mr. Powell agrees with Obama that the War was a disaster and an unjust one, has Mr. Powell publicly apologized to the world for being the mouthpiece of the big lie?

If Obama is right about the War, then Powell has blood on his hands.

Mr. Powell, you are a traitor to your party, your country and yourself.

http://www.mccain08-hillary2012.blogspot.com/

Posted by: dcpsychic | October 21, 2008 1:41 PM
*************************

Someone who touts a URL "McCain08-Hillary2012" has the gall to call General Powell cynical? I cannot think of anything more cynical than voting for McCain now because you'll think he'll either screw up or die and thus open the way for Hillary to be elected in 2012. At least people who vote for McCain because they like him aren't hypocrites.

Espousing the bizarre tactics of that URL--ones utterly denounced by Hilary Clinton, the politician you claim to admire--you're even more cynical than Novak. How do you sleep at night?

Posted by: multiplepov | October 21, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Honestly why does Bob Novack still have a job? He's a bum!

Posted by: Dennis14 | October 21, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr Novak, your comment about Mr Powell's party affiliation is not correct, what about Mr Eisenhower's daughter who endorsed Mr Obama at DNC 2008 Convention ?


Posted by: groovicitizen | October 21, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I would think that Secretary of State for the Republican Party makes that person a Republican. Powell chose intelligence this time over an aged war hawk who was a failure by any standard for his military service. Novak has no right to critcize or downgrade a military hero who knows the truth, no matter how much it hurts anyone who still claims to be a Republican.

Posted by: radiantenergies | October 21, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Novak for once I have to agree with you. Powell is not one of you and your ilk kind of Republicans. Instead he is a Republican like my dad a Republican who actually served his country! whom unlike you and the corrupt Republicans in office now, did not!!!....Powell is a true Republican, he believes in small government, less spending, yet a government that serves the people who placed it in power. Instead of a Republican Nazi Administration whose ambition for power and our Tax dollars, has run this country almost in to the ground... Novak you have forgotten that the war in Iraq was not a necessary WAR, but a war of choice by Bush and his henchmen... and where is Osama-bin-forgotten? By the way Osama was never in Iraq! This was part of the lies by you and the other Nazis shills, that have and are still, supporting this administration Or have you conveniently forgotten?

Posted by: nallcando | October 21, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Novak. How do you explain the OTHER conservatives endorsing Obama:

Late last week, conservative radio talk-show host Michael Smerconish endorsed Sen. Obama, as did conservative columnist Christopher Buckley, the son of National Review founder William F. Buckley.

The Chicago Tribune endorsed Sen. Obama last week, the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat in its 161-year history.

And then there's Ken Adelman. Consider HIM much of a republican?

Adelman is a lifelong conservative Republican who campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagan’s director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfeld’s second go-round at the Pentagon.

He has never supported a Democrat for President in his life. Two weeks from now that’s going to change: Ken Adelman says intends to vote for Barack Obama.

"Why so, since my views align a lot more with McCain’s than with Obama’s?" Adelman tells the New Yorker. "And since I truly dread the notion of a Democratic president, Democratic House, and hugely Democratic Senate?

"Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.

"When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

"Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

"That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick."

Posted by: monk4hall | October 21, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

WOW, so the only way that the most respected moderate Republican in recent memory could endorse Obama is if he "never was much of a Republican anyway?" This is only slightly less offensive than the "he's only endorsing Obama because he's black" argument. Mr. Novak, for shame. You have done yourself a disservice with this post. Its as if you are crying out after Powell, who took his ball and is going home, "well, we never liked you anyway!"

The GOP will continue to fail because it vilifies and pushes out any legitimate criticism or self-reflection, much like our current president and John McCain. As the intellectual conservatives flee the party like rats off of a sinking ship, Sarah Palin and her ilk are bringing about the second coming of McCarthy with their talk about "Pro-American and Anti-America" towns and people.

William F. Buckley, Jr., and Ronald Reagan are truly looking down at us right now with tears in their eyes. This moderate republican (me!), who voted for Bush, Sr., Dole and Bush Jr. once, has been repelled from her own party. And I'm even a Texan, if that tells you how far they have fallen!

Its not just that the party is moving right, they are sinking in the dirt and can't even recognize that fact. The complete and total separation from reality is WHAT GOT US INTO THIS MESS IN IRAQ, and they still can admit to it. This is both sad and very, very scary.

Such a sad day for true conservative thought.

Posted by: hillmannic | October 21, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Novak for once I have to agree with you. Powell is not one of you and your ilk kind of Republicans. Instead he is a Republican like my dad a Republican who actually served his country! ...

Posted by: nallcando | October 21, 2008 2:34 PM
*****************************
Totally agree with you. My father died several years ago. I don't know what he'd have made of his beloved Republican party (that he joined when he came of voting age during the tail end Great Depression). My 87-year-old mother, for the first time in her life, will be voting for the Democrat.

Posted by: multiplepov | October 21, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I guess I haven't been much of a Republican either. Neither was Jack Kemp. I didn't know compassion = liberal. Matter of fact, I used to argue just the opposite. Guess I was wrong.

Congratulations on marginalizing yourself into oblivion.

Posted by: gbooksdc | October 21, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

My My My! The rush Limbaugh of the written word had reappeared. you should of stayed retired or on medical leave. Since neither you or your cohorts wore let alone served in uniform it's a wonder you even know what constitudes Duty, Honor and Country. Even Privates know they swear to defend the constitution. Something you, the neocons and this administration think is a comic book.

Posted by: johnturkal1 | October 21, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Novak: you've gone from a rat to a skunk. When people like Powell see a light that actually shines, instead of smells, the natural impulse is to head for it. Your era is over.

Posted by: gunthervt | October 21, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Let’s be brutally honest here, liberals and conservatives all want the same things; a good economy, affordable and a quality education for our children, affordable healthcare, security against those who wish to harm us, to have our brave soldiers return home safe and hopefully victorious in their mission, lower taxes. Who wants higher taxes? No one, regardless of what your political affiliation is.

However, the one difference that separates liberals and conservatives is the same thing that binds all true blooded conservatives together...the little thread that ties them all together...RACISM. Sure, there might be other differences, but none as absolute as this.

ABC News had a clip from the Aljazeera English news organization of a woman being interviewed at a McCain rally. I praise her for her honesty; quote: "If Obama gets elected, I'm afraid blacks will take over." At least she says what she feels in her heart, something most conservatives aren't willing to do.

http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/mccainpalin-supporters-let-their-rac

Every voter the GOP is trying to court in Ohio and every other rust belt state that's been systematically decimated since Reagan's failed trickle down economics - the white, blue collar, middle class worker - would actually benefit from a liberal economic agenda and not what's going to be served up by another conservative administration. Yet, the real Joe the Plumbers and their dislike of people of color is so profound, that they'll allow themselves to be deceived by whatever lies or poison the Right-wing establishment feeds them so they can silently ignore the bigotry that screams from within. Sadly, the Right-wing establishment understands this, thus it continues to feed its minions the hate crazed rhetoric they crave so its elite leaders; the Halliburton's of the world, can stuff their pockets with more greed and power.

The elite that controls the GOP aren't racist, rather they're about power and massive amounts wealth, all at the expense of everyone else. I guess it's a win - win for the GOP and its followers. The establishment can get richer and the white blue collar worker that supports them can protect their side of the tracks from those with a different skin tone.

Many blue collar GOP'ers truly believe they're not racist, but they are. Ask them why we're in economic trouble and you'll get basically the same ignorant answer, "It's because my tax dollars are spent on welfare and helping the lazy." And they believe that. They're correct in one sense; it is because of welfare, but not the welfare to the blacks or so-called lazy, rather it's welfare to big corporate America and their friends.

As a white married man who makes over 250K, and I pray that God blesses this country November 4th, so that it may it rise above the ignorance, racism and bigotry that's been disguised as compassionate conservatism.

Posted by: shaner1 | October 21, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

mickle1: The WaPo must keep Mr. Novak around out of some idea of "balance".

Posted by: undercover_hon | October 21, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

How predictable and how stupid are some of these comments:
So Powell was wrong when he argued against going to Baghdad and taking out Saddam at the end of Gulf War I? I guess you're right - look at how successful Sonny Boy Bush's take over of Baghdad and removal of Saddam proved to be!

NeoCons - Can't live with them...but sure could live without them.

Posted by: bdcolen | October 21, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

So was he a republican when he went un front of the UN to sell the Iraq war?

Posted by: GuyFromLa | October 21, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

the fault lies within yourselves not in your stars

sad mercurio.

we already know you are a scoundrel so it is not suprising that you and your fellow denial travel companions are attempting to find refuge in a false jingoism.

a party that embraces palin is not deserving of the respect of a man such as colin powell.

Posted by: del3 | October 21, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

My comments about Novak's post are being censored.

Posted by: ngray2 | October 21, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Powell Doctrine is to only go to war with the support of the american people and to use sufficient resources to ensure a successful outcome.

it was the elder bush's decision not to go on to bagdad during the first gulf war.

Posted by: del3 | October 21, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Considering Novak's role in outing a CIA operative, it's clear what his definition of a republican is, namely, one who's loyal to party first and country second. I'm glad to know that he doesn't consider Gen. Powell to be much of a republican when you take into consideration what republicans have become.

Posted by: SpideyVCU | October 21, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

..And you, Mr. Novak, have NEVER been an HONORABLE MAN.

NOVAK IS THE UNENDICTED TREASONOUS TRAITOR WHO OUTED A COVERT CIA AGENT.

Anything, and everything he says is valueless.

Novak isn't qualified to shine Powell's shoes, let alone comment on the HONORABLE GENERAL'S endorsement of our next President.

Posted by: onestring | October 21, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure Novak really believes in anything except getting a column in print. I was the Deputy Director of Intelligence at Central Command during the Gulf War. We did not continue on to Baghdad primarialy because our coalition would have collapsed leaving us and the Brits alone in a post-colonial environment -- which may sound familiar. In the run up to the actual combat Novak revealed an intelligence operation we were running in Baghdad -- losing a valuable information source and almost getting two of my people killed. Valerie Plame was not the first example of this egomaniac at work. So -- he's a good Republican. That pretty much says it all.

Posted by: jfowler120 | October 21, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey...aren't you a traitor?

Posted by: not-me | October 21, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

At a time when the Republican Party is having trouble defining itself, and at a time when the McCain is the party's ambivalent selection for president, Novak's pronouncement that Powell never was much of a Republican rings hollow. Because Novak has provided no clues as to what exactly a Republican is nowadays, one can only assume that Novak views George Bush the latest standard bearer by which those who follow might be measured. If that is the case, Powell was right--the party needs a new direction. Novak is an expert on the irrelevant past.

Posted by: phughez | October 21, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Powell's decision was predictable in that it is clear that the crazies have hyjacked the Republican Party, and decent folks are bailing out in frustration and protest.

For eight long years, conservative pundits and fanatical radio-talk smearleaders, have been fanning the flames of ignorance and immorality--and promoting politicians of breathtaking arrogance. For eight long years, they have supported the dumbing-down and the fragging-up of the Office of the Presidancy. And today, one only needs to watch the painfully sick coverage of a Palin rally to witness the antics of the hateful fanatical fringe who have taken over the GOP asylum. All politics, all the time, down, dirty and despicable--principle be damned. The party of Linclon and Teddy Roosevelt has been handed over to Bush and his 'Brain'--and now to McCain and his embarrassing you-betcha-doggone-hockey-mommy, and VP wannabe.

Powell is seemingly no longer proud to be a Republican in America. He's not alone!

Posted by: taus007 | October 21, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Novak's comments are repulsive, ignorant, and typical conservative nonsense. He fails to realize that America is tired of the lies, deceit, failures, excesses, and mistakes of the Bush administration, which Novak thinks is supreme.

General Powell has served his country as a professional soldier for 35 years. He, like many other Americans, realize that George Bush and Dick Cheney have been abject failures, and he realizes that four years of McCain and the idiot Palin would be a disaster for the USA.

Hats off to Powell for endorsing Obama. Novak, wake up and get a life.

Posted by: c_attucks | October 21, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

If the Republican Party wishes to be able to walk tall once again they had better relearn the art of strolling down Main Street instead of huddling within and shouting out to us from their own foxholes.

Posted by: sjbob | October 21, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Novak: you have little room to speak.
You are a true TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!
TRAITOR!

Posted by: Tinkabell_Hussein | October 21, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Powell was Republican enough to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, National Security Advisor and a Secretary of State for Republican presidents. Rush Limbaugh, if you can hear me in between your Oxy binges, Powell is disgusted with McCain's campaign and the pointless non-scandals that now dominate American politics instead of substantive debate on policy. Enjoy your $60 million along with your miserable, lonely existence.

Posted by: GoPens | October 21, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak is no longer a credible journalist or pundit. Mr. Novak outed a covert operative in colusion with Pres. Bush and VP Chaney. When you cannot see the trees directly in front of you due to the poison afflicting your sight you will not be trusted to steer the course! When you do not speak out against hate rhetoric and even add your own myopic resertations onto the stupidity your point of view is too far skewed to be credibly considered.
PS: Any and all in the media that did not speak out against this poison will share in the responsibility if one of these crazies Senator McCain and Governor Palin's campaign rhetoric is turning up for a try at history. Some of you learned political scholars compare America to Rome, where it became common place to assassinate their leaders; Rome failed!

Posted by: monromagic | October 21, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Saying that Powell was "not much of a Republican" simply means he was a moderate. Novak is saying non-extremists have no place in the Republican party. Way to point out the obvious. The rest of the world has known this since the Republicans squandered America's goodwill and made "patriotism" equal "ask no questions". We know the government knowingly lied, and we know the government punished people who told the truth. And we know that Novak was part of this last item, which really damaged America's reputation both with its citizens and with the rest of the world.

Posted by: lartfromabove | October 21, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

MEMO TO NOVAK: what exactly is a Republican? Elsewhere in the WP, we see serious commentors discussing membership rules for GOP cultists. I suppose that you cannot answer this question.

Maybe what you are really saying is that Colin Powell was not a Bush loyalist, but he is a fine man, in spite of his associations with Bush/Cheney/Rove/Tenet/Gonsolez/Wolfowicz/etc.

Posted by: rmorris391 | October 21, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

What does it even matter whether Powell was a Republican or not?

Do us a favor and refute a single word of what Powell said in defense of his endorsement.

Oh that's right.....you can't.

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | October 21, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Basic conventional wisdom is to move towards the center in the general election to capture moderate and swing voters. The Republicans seem to have forgotten that. I'm sorry, but no amount of ad homynym attacks will distract moderate Republicans from the fact that their party has left them behind in its ugly, self-destructive swing toward the fringes.

There are many, such as myself, who concur with General Powell's concerns about the Republican party and the McCain campaign specifically. In attacking General Powell you alienate the very moderate Republican voters who might otherwise be your allies. It makes you appear out of touch.

Posted by: qwert34 | October 21, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Robert Novak has the wrong attitude. Right now, the Republican party needs all the votes in the general election we can get, and Novak attempts to ostracize a Republican like Mr. Powell for a swing vote. This close mindedness and lack of respect for the individualness of human beings is exactly why the Republican party is in the process of losing the Presidency and getting rolled back in the House and Senate. The Republican party will continue to lose with a display of such poor attitude by people like Mr. Novak.

Posted by: jsmith8398 | October 21, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

What is predictable is your clouded judgment. If General Powell had endorsed McCain you would have heralded the General as some kind of Oracle, rather than “Not much of a Republican.” What is amazing is the fact that your column did not take issue with General Powell’s rationale for his endorsement of Senator Obama but focused on ideology; are you at a loss for a credible point-by-point counter-argument?

Posted by: BAWESQ | October 21, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I wish there were more republicans that were "not much of a republican" like General Powell. Unfortunitely, we are stuck with the likes of Novak - weasels who out heros and denigrate them.

Posted by: Hugo4 | October 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse


Tsk, tsk, tsk....

How much better off the United States AND the Republican Party would be had Colin Powell been more influential in the Republican Party.

Your comments are SO predictable, Mr. Novak.

Posted by: tperry1 | October 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

IF BARACK OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST CONSERVATIVES ARE FASCISTS!!!

Posted by: BarackObama | October 21, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I was one of those who was ready to work for Powell when there was talk of him running for president. I tought he was a truly great man, a man of honesty and integrity. This is why I am so dismayed by his endorsement of Senator Obama. As a decorated military veteran and defender of our freedom, how could he endorse a man who has so little respect for America that he refuses to even stand at attention with his hand over his heart when the Star Spangled Banner is played. But of course Obama is right, why pay reverance to a song filled with war and fighting. The president of the United States is suppose to serve as the ultimate role model for the youth of America. I'm going to make sure if he is elected President my grandchildren don't belittle themselves by standing at attention with their hands over their hearts anymore. After all, as Senator Obama says, why glorify a song honoring war.

Posted by: pmandcm | October 21, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Welcome "pmandcm"!

You and Novak epitomize why the republicans will be moving out of the white house and Congress this 11/4!
Way to stay on target!

Posted by: Hugo4 | October 21, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

DanParrish: you are an idiot. sitting on a charity board with Bill Ayers (having been appointed, like Ayers, by Nancy Reagan's closest friend and widow of Nixon's ambassador to Great Britain, Leonore Annenberg) does not affect anyone's security clearance. He hasn't been a terrorist in 40 years and while he wishes he had done more to stop the Vietnam war then, he hasn't advocated anything illegal since. And Obama denounced what he did.

On the other hand McCain praised G. Gordon Liddy, who was already a convicted felon for trying to sabotage our democracy, and after he had advocated killing federal agents, as a patriot and a hero. what about his security clearance, Dan?

Posted by: JoeT1 | October 21, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I love to speak to those who I do not share an opinion; I listen to what they have to say, carefully! Public conversation and discussion always produces results that both sides of an issue can agree upon because we listened to each other and found common ground where we were able to do so.
A violent act is the act of someone who ran out of ideas before their opponent; it ultimately is reviewed and remembered in history as the stupid and immoral act of the desperate; not some patroitic symbol of "The land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". I do not agree with the views of racism, yet I will defend to the death that person's American right to think in that manner and express their views with all who choose to listen. Yet I do hold everyone, myself included for what is stated and the reaction from our audience. If I yell "Fire!" in a crowded facility I am responsible for the outcome. It is totally irresponsible on the part of those seeking to serve all of America to yell "Socialist", "Terrorist", and "Radical" in their political discourse without absolute, irrefutable evidence of the charges (Let me correct myself somewhat by saying that it is not UnAmerican to be a socialist any more than being a democrat, republican, muslim or even communist! Nothing in our Constitution holds these views, religions and affiliations as unlawful and everything in our Great Document defends any American holding these views, beliefs and political positions. It is UnAmerican to attempt to brand these positions as UmAmerican by Constitutional law. We will never solve porblems in division! "A house divided against itself cannot stand" paraphasing our sixteenth president).
Let all of us speak to those who would lead us and express our outrage at rhetoric of hate. We lose too much of what makes us the Leaders of the Free World when we lose so much of the sense of who we truly are as a people. Let Americans show the world at alrge once more what makes us strong; our innate sense of descency and respect!

Posted by: monromagic | October 21, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, how could I forget?

You're a TRAITOR, Novak, just like Oliver North.

Posted by: coloradodog | October 21, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Novak probably doesnt even have the intellect to realize it, but he just furthered and supported much of what Powell said/implied on Sunday,...that the GOP is narrowing so very much that a thoughtful, rational, non-vitriolic and inclusive-minded person like Powell is not welcome in their tent. The GOP's demise is of their own making. Novak is a joke. Ironially and typically, Novak probably would love to write a column singing the high praises of despicable people like Michelle Bachmann (R-Minnesota).....and that fact alone is telling - and sad

Posted by: bodie81473 | October 21, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my naivete! And I thought yourself, Krauthammer and Gerson approached your writings with a balanced perspective. Can you not be a republican but vote contrary in times of special needs for your country or a special candidate? Your doctrinaire stance is disgusting...and passe.

Posted by: mendonsa | October 21, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Mike, before you revise history, perhaps you may recall that George HW Bush, unlike his son, assembled a real coalition force, including ME countries for Desert Storm/Shield. The UN Mandate was to remove Iraq from Kuwait, not to topple the Iraqi government. Then as now, Iran was considered a regional threat and competitor, destabilizing Iraq then as now would only have served to benefit Iran. So before you blast Colin Powell with your mindless diatribe, perhaps you could think back and if necessary pick up a book, paper, magazine, or even read some credible web sources.

________________________

Colin Powell's worst assessment for the security of this country was in the first gulf war when he was the joint chief of the armed services, just when General Schwartzkoff and his army had Sadam Hussein and his regime outflanked and defeated, he recommended to President George Herbert Walker Bush for Saddam to live and his regime to stay in power which in turn gave us a greater threat for our current President to go before the UN and with UN forces invaded Iraq for not complying with the UN resolutions to inspect for weapons of mass destruction. I personally blame Colin Powell and his judgement for the lives and the cost for having to go back to Iraq today, and I believe his assessment and judgement for endorsing Obama as a leader of this country and the free world is wrong and if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country.

Posted by: michaelW01 | October 20, 2008 11:50 PM

Posted by: keirreva | October 21, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"When President George W. Bush named Powell as secretary of state, it was no cause for celebration among Republicans, particularly neocons, who blamed Powell for dissuading President George H.W. Bush from sending U.S. troops all the way to Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War."

Given the stunning success that is W's Iraq adventure, Gen. Powell was really wrong in advising Bush I as he did, right Bob?

Posted by: mjnile60 | October 21, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What's the matter Hugo4, all I did was make a statement of fact. If you go back and review the film files you will see Hillary and the rest of the people on the platform standing with their hands over their hearts while America's National Anthem is being played. You will also see your glorious leader standing with his hands clasped behind his back, swaying back and forth just gazing around. I must have really struck a nerve there Hugo4. Anyone who condones this type of behavior needs to rethink what America means to them and if they really want a man who thinks so little of this country as their next president.

Posted by: pmandcm | October 21, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Powell is one of the most respected, thoughtful leaders in America.
Bob Novak is not.
Limbaugh is stirring the most corrosive impulses that we hardly need in the present period of economic stress. The blowhard will say anything to boost his ratings and his self-importance. How shameful.

Posted by: BrianOConnell | October 21, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Have to give Bob some credit, at least you allow for the fact that Colin Powell's thinking mind led him to select Obama, not simply skin color. I always though Powell an ill fit for the Republican Party, but I understood why he was there. He believes in the Republican party of old, not so much the Neo-con crookland of today.

Whatever, I find him to be credible, he has a strong reputation as an excellent officer, and he actually has placed country first, unlike some others. To tear him down for not supporting this mockery of the conservatism in the form of McCain and Palin is ridiculous. He is not alone. Far from it.

Posted by: keirreva | October 21, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"

Colin Powell's worst assessment for the security of this country was in the first gulf war when he was the joint chief of the armed services, just when General Schwartzkoff and his army had Sadam Hussein and his regime outflanked and defeated, he recommended to President George Herbert Walker Bush for Saddam to live and his regime to stay in power which in turn gave us a greater threat for our current President to go before the UN and with UN forces invaded Iraq for not complying with the UN resolutions to inspect for weapons of mass destruction. I personally blame Colin Powell and his judgement for the lives and the cost for having to go back to Iraq today, and I believe his assessment and judgement for endorsing Obama as a leader of this country and the free world is wrong and if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country."

Posted by: michaelW01

---------------------------
This is another absolute falsehood that is being promoted in the wake of Powell's endorsement. The fact of the matter is that the Saudi government interceded in 1991 and asked the Bush government to pull back and leave S.H. in power. And it was also the recommendation of Dick Cheney!

And here's Cheney's own words in 1994:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YENbElb5-xY&feature=related

"Reality has a liberal bias" - Stephen Colbert

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone out there really care what Robert Novak has to say really? He was complicit in the revelation of a CIA Operative. The Republicans and the McCain campaign will regret the day they attempted to trash this honorable Man's character! You will witness a flood of prominent Republicans come to Powell's defense and throw their support behind Obama as well. McCain and the Republican Party sold their souls to the Devil and history will judge them accordingly...
Despite what others may say, but to me, by endorsing Sen. Obama, General Colin Powell put the country first; before ideology, before party loyalty and before personal affiliations. He very clearly gave the reasons for his choice--Sen. McCain's bad judgment in suspending his campaign, his selection of Gov. Palin as the VP and the Republican Party’s politics of fear-mongering and divisiveness. If we are to remain a great Nation, we must elect a President who can bring us together and who can bring out the best in us. Between Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama, General Powell has chosen Sen. Obama as the candidate with the temperament and sensibilities required of the next President of our great country that is going through very difficult times. For General Powell's honesty, I salute him.

Posted by: Greg285 | October 21, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

For those of you with short memories Dick Cheney was Secy. of Defense during the entire 91 Gulf war. The decision to pull back and leave SH in power was made by the Bush govt. Powell was head of the Joint chiefs of staff at the time.

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"In an assessment that differs sharply with his view today, Dick Cheney more than a decade ago defended the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War, telling a Seattle audience that capturing Saddam wouldn't be worth additional U.S. casualties or the risk of getting "bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."'

Source: - http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/192908_cheney29.html

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak's best critique is that Powell was never much of a Republican? So, Powell is someone who never identified strongly with any particular party -- that makes him ... what's the word ... an independent? Well, when Mr. Novak puts it that way, it sounds even better for Obama. Bring on the independents!

Posted by: jb1151 | October 21, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Here is another Cheney quote from that article:

"And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."

That was in 1994 when Cheney said that in an interview. The degree of misinformation and downright lies that comes from the Right is amazing. They never let facts get in the way of their arguments.

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Some of the comments here are just flat-out disgusting. I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Novak's politics, but calling him a traitor, a worthless human being, saying you wish he were dead? Absolutely disgusting, and I'm ashamed as a human being to be seeing it.

Mr. Novak is actually right, I think: there's not much that's really surprising about Powell's endorsement of Obama. Also, he has clearly been a little uncomfortable with the Republican party, and has been a little out of place within it--almost from the time he joined it. There's nothing wrong with pointing that out.

OTOH, I believe that these facts are a problem with the Republican party, and not with Mr. Powell. That's where we'd disagree, I guess.

Posted by: LMinOH | October 21, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Novak is SO transparent. Had Powell endorsed McCain, Novak would have been wetting himself in admiration, all with a little snark and "nyah nyah" thrown in for good measure; 'cause that's the kind of scum Novak is. He would have already penned four Op-Ed pieces touting Powell's influence over the election.

Tough pill to swallow, huh Novak? Boo hoo.

Posted by: iluvkmart | October 21, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

You've got to be kidding me.

As a Democrat, I'd like to encourage the GOP's far right wing to continue ignoring, brutalizing, and/or expelling its moderate members. We're finally seeing what the party is all about, especially when the party transforms even its most "mavericky" member into Barry Goldwater and George Wallace's love child.

The inevitable result of the social conservative/neoconservative domination of the GOP will be a mighty split--formal or otherwise-which makes the party utterly incapable of winning national and statewide elections. We're seeing the first major fissures now.

So please, Bob Novak, Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, and Rush Limbaugh, keep on talking! To paraphrase Reagan, your party is leaving more and more people every day.


Posted by: WilliamJ1 | October 21, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way Hugo4, I'm an independent, not a republican. I guess you consider anyone who is not totally infatuated with and not blinded by Senator Obama as being a worthless individual. It is that blind faith with no concern as to the facts that scares me most about Obama supporters.

Posted by: pmandcm | October 21, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Powell blew it at the UN...I still can't believe he allowed himself to be a shill for BushWorld...... this endorsement takes the edge off my loss of respect for the man, but he still has a lotta 'splainin' to do.....it must have been the little republican devil sitting on his shoulder.....

Posted by: seakeys | October 21, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Like many others posting on here, I am amazed that Novak is still being paid to write. When did he become the judge of a "real" Republican? Republicans can be appalled by the conduct of their politicians...and their columnists.

Posted by: halfowler | October 21, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Powell is no hero. He knew that the yellow cake claims were false and had any reference of them removed from his UN speech. Well if yellow cake is the lifeblood of a nuclear program and Powell knew that the yellow cake story was BS why would he continue to push the line that Sadam had WMD. Because at the core of who he is he is an opportunist who having seen the writting on the wall makes the oh so hard decision to support BO. WOW what courage. That should get him a nice cussie seat in some embassy in Europe maybe Switzerland or France. What a fraud and also the BO supporters who are now calling him the best thing since sliced bread (I don't mean white bread of course). Excuse me!!!! One of your great talking points is that BO never supported the war and now he gets an endosement from one of the architects of that war and you think this is a good thing..? Obama supporters who find this support for the war criminal Powell to be a good thing are basically frauds as well. Well and good to support your man but please don't excuse Powells lies and participation in war crimes just because he supports your hero. Millions of people are dead because of Powell and nothing or no one can change that not even saint Obama!

Posted by: stephen3 | October 21, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Powell is no hero. He knew that the yellow cake claims were false and had any reference of them removed from his UN speech. Well if yellow cake is the lifeblood of a nuclear program and Powell knew that the yellow cake story was BS why would he continue to push the line that Sadam had WMD. Because at the core of who he is he is an opportunist who having seen the writting on the wall makes the oh so hard decision to support BO. WOW what courage. That should get him a nice cussie seat in some embassy in Europe maybe Switzerland or France. What a fraud and also the BO supporters who are now calling him the best thing since sliced bread (I don't mean white bread of course). Excuse me!!!! One of your great talking points is that BO never supported the war and now he gets an endosement from one of the architects of that war and you think this is a good thing..? Obama supporters who find this support for the war criminal Powell to be a good thing are basically frauds as well. Well and good to support your man but please don't excuse Powells lies and participation in war crimes just because he supports your hero. Millions of people are dead because of Powell and nothing or no one can change that not even saint Obama!

FROM SALON:
"The yellowcake story would have appeared in Powell's U.N. speech as well if Powell had not drawn the line and tossed it out. That left the secretary of state with a lot of ATMOPHERIC INTELLEGENCE RIGAMOROLE and two factual claims -- the aluminum tubes(LIES) proved that Saddam was going for nuclear weapons and the mobile biological weapons labs(LIES) proved that he was a threat to the region and possibly the world. Powell's speech was all smoke and mirrors, but it was enough."

Posted by: stephen3 | October 21, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

As an Independent with moderately conservative views (or at least they used to be called that, I'm not even sure what "conservative" means at the moment), I'm not sure how to feel about the apparent breakup of the Republican coalition. I'm not happy that the party has become so unfriendly to my views, naturally; and I feel it's important to have two strong parties to counterbalance each other, so I wouldn't be happy to see th party actually implode. So it makes me uneasy.

OTOH, this is not new. The party has been going in this direction for a number of years now, and I was already uneasy about it the last time we did this presidential election thing. I have to hope that the fact that it seems to be coming to a crisis is a good thing. That this means the party, and conservatism, will put some real thinking into what they want to be.

Posted by: LMinOH | October 21, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"Powell is one of the most respected, thoughtful leaders in America."


OH DAMN.....now I have my coffe spewed all over my computer screen. I gotta get the anti static glass cleaner out.

Posted by: stephen3 | October 21, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Basically, Novak is saying that there is no moderate wing of the Republican Party. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Republican Party is becoming more and more irrelevant and extreme each day. The shrillness of their rhetoric should be put to an end by a resounding defeat at the voting places all across our country on November 4.

If you want to see the present-day Republican Party and its contact to the past, just look at a typical rally. Do the same for a Democratic Party rally. Which rally looks more like America? Your answer indicates the problem with the Republican Party. Also, it indicates why the Republican Party is hitting the themes that it is. If there were larger minorities in attendance, I venture to guess that the tone would be a bit different.

Posted by: EarlC | October 21, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

How many times have we seen it over the past 7 years where former officials of the Bush government are smeared when they criticize the government's policies?

Richard Clarke, Former Treasury Secy. O'Neil and Scott McClellan for example.

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Novak has always has always struck me as a evil angry old codger with a penchant for lying (see Valerie Plame)when it suits him.Too bad we still have hear his ridiculous prattling.

Posted by: CalvinSuddeath | October 21, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Novak's comments are symptomatic of the narrowness with which the core GOP sees its interests, that a clear libertarian conservative like Powell would be considered outside the Republican tent. Wasn't that a core component of Powell's complaint? Let's vote for one America, not 1/3 of one.

Posted by: burnskevin | October 21, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

stephen3 - Powell promoted the yellow cake business at the behest of the government he was working for. It's well known that Powell was not a true believer in this enterprise but was over ruled by Cheney and Rumsfeld. Like many I think that Powell should have resigned in protest. But are you blaming Powell as being the instigator of this current war?

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Bob Novack was never much of a journalist, either.

Posted by: JV77 | October 21, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I find Novak, less than a MAN, the guy is just an IDIOT, this guy has no BRAIN..

Posted by: llevario2 | October 21, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I believe his assessment and judgement for endorsing Obama as a leader of this country and the free world is wrong and if elected Obama and his left wing socialist regime could be a bigger threat to the security of this country.

Posted by: michaelW01

------michaelW01, We're in not one, but two unresolved wars, We couldn't come to the immediate rescue of our own citizens during a hurricane, Gas price surged to highs unseen, we've tortured people, had our principles and constitution trampled on, unemployed high, wages stagnant, foreclosures at record rates, venerable Banks dropping like flys, people watching their life savings disappear before their very eyes. Have I forgotten anything?

So...what does Obama have left? A big bag of locust and the four horsemen of the apocalypse?

Posted by: kban495 | October 21, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

So Bob's argument here is basically that since Democrats liked Powell he can't possibly be a real Republican. What an insight.

Posted by: fdbilotti | October 21, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Add to the list of remarkable accomplishments Powell's choice to be "never much of a Republican". Now he can feel free to join the human race.

Posted by: benbona | October 21, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Please!
Powell was an important enough Republican to speak at the Republican National Convention in 2000. He was an important enough Republican to serve as a cabinet level official in the Republican led government but now that he endorses Obama he never was much of a republican?

Kill the messenger! Such a typical response from you clowns. Hey Novak they're gonna put you in a home!

Posted by: mamerica | October 21, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Stephen3 - This is an excerpt from your earlier post:

"Millions of people are dead because of Powell and nothing or no one can change that not even saint Obama!"

So I take it that you also oppose this current war? Back in 2003 what did John McCain say in opposition to it?

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Novak is right Powell was never a true Republican. He was Black. He had a mind of his own. He has intergrity. As some of the posts here indicate the only thing he and Condolessa Rice are good for, according to these people, is being show pieces for the Republican party, "Stand out front boy and keep your mouth shut". Novak had no qualms outting a CIA operative. You can bet if someone in the 'liberal' media had done this Mr Kovak would have been calling them a traitor.
The Republican party has shown in the past and now that they will stoop to anything to advance their agenda, America be damned. The only difference between most of the Republican National Committee and the Klu Klux Klan is business suits.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | October 21, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

stephen3 - Powell promoted the yellow cake business at the behest of the government he was working for. It's well known that Powell was not a true believer in this enterprise but was over ruled by Cheney and Rumsfeld. Like many I think that Powell should have resigned in protest. But are you blaming Powell as being the instigator of this current war?

YES! This argument is the same one used by the Nazis at Nuremburg! I did it because my leaders told me to. If Powell is supposed to be this above it all guy then in my opinion he should not have only resigned he should have resigned in front of the TV cameras during his UN speech. Can you imagine. And by the way I did not say that Powell pushed the yellowcake story in fact he removed it from the speech he was given to read and as I said if he knew the yellow cakes story was a fraud then the rest of his UN speech was equally suspect and a man in Powells position should have had a better instinct to know that he was probably up to his eyeballs in cow manure! Can you imagine if Powell had stood up and said I resign this is crap. Do you think Tony blair would have been able to control his party to stay in line. He (Blair) could barely do that as it was. It is not so much what Powell did or did not do, it is the fact that he CHOOSE to be in that position and continued to play with the Bush regime under some sort of delusion that he could make a difference. The courageous thing to do would be to resign and state why. Powell did not and so I conisder him a fraud!

Posted by: stephen3 | October 21, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Stephen3 - This is an excerpt from your earlier post:

"Millions of people are dead because of Powell and nothing or no one can change that not even saint Obama!"

So I take it that you also oppose this current war? Back in 2003 what did John McCain say in opposition to it?


I never said I was voting for McCain. I am talking about how all of a sudden the Obama suporters who have invoked his anti war stance as an aspect of his ability to serve as President now are embracing one of the architects of that war. Colin Powell supported the illegal invasion of a soverign country on trumped charges that he knew on some level to be false. That is a fraud and the fact that two weeks before an election when basically it is over shows to me any way that he is also an opportunist. I feel confident in saying that if the polls were different Powell would have remained silent as he wants to be a player whoever is in power.

Posted by: stephen3 | October 21, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

As I said before, I think that Powell should have resigned in protest and I believe that his not doing so is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life.

I think were also in accord on our disgust with the Bush administration in starting this costly and unnecessary war. In the days leading up to it I don't recall John McCain speaking in opposition to it.

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Well whatever blood over the damn so to speak.

Posted by: stephen3 | October 21, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Stephen3 - I think it's hard to argue with almost all of your criticism about Powell except that I noticed in your previous post that you said that Powell was an architect of this war. I just don't think that's accurate. He may have been a reluctant shill but based on all of the evidence that has been revealed since 2003 the primary instigators were Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld. Clearly one of the reasons that Powell resigned in 2004 was his unhappiness with that wing of the Bush administration. Yes, his stepping down was at least a year too late to be an effective protest.

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr Novak; first of all, know for certain I have you in my prayers.

Listen, Mr Novak, I don't care if Republicans don't believe Colin Powell was Republican. However in attempt to make a case against Colin Powell, you're over the top by omitting facts and using the stupidly of neocons. Mr. Novak, you of all people know, the US acting with allies, did not have a mandate to invade Iraq and capture/eliminate Saddam.

Please don't feed the ignorance of some of your readers, they're feasting as it is.

Posted by: JohnDebba | October 21, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

He doesn't drink blood! He actually served in the military! He didn't have Daddy to get him off the hook for DUIs! He says what he thinks and then backs it up! Of course he isn't a real Republican!

Posted by: Attucks | October 21, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm re-reading Novak's column and I'm struck by this passage:

"His presentation citing Bush administration intelligence data as the reason for invading Iraq led many Democratic members of Congress to favor authorization of an attack"

Yet he makes no mention of the Bush-Cheney govt. overall culpability for starting the war. It's as if Powell alone was the chief enabler of our involvement. I find this a convenient omission by one of the chief cheerleaders of the Bush administration. and it is what I'm principally objecting to today.

Posted by: CynthiaD1 | October 21, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Bob Novak pretends not to be surprised. He says Powell's endorsement was predictable. It wasn't. But what IS predictable is Novak's and other conservatives' haughty, dismissive attitude. It isn't honest. Even neophyte Sarah Palin is dismissive! What right does she have to criticize anyone? Obama does not do that, nor does Biden. All these powerful, white, privileged, rich people who are members of the majority faith -- and they don't have the grace or generosity of my ordinary, and diverse, neighbors.

Half an ounce of graciousness or generosity or, if they can't go that far, simple honesty would be greatly surprising out of McCain, Palin, and cohorts. Half an ounce!

Posted by: cturtle1 | October 21, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse


Powell credible?

You probably believed what he told the U.N., too.

Posted by: WylieD | October 21, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

The noise the repug party leadership is making now - the mean, hateful and false accusations on democracy are merely the sounds of the right wing conservative demons being exorcised from the American spirit.

That's all. They'll soon be gone.

Posted by: Jaxon1 | October 21, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Equally as predictable, was your response to his endorsing Obama, but just a gentle spin, quite unlike Rush Limpballs ranting about race.

Posted by: Billy1932 | October 21, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

And the TRAITOR Novak never was much of an American.

Posted by: norcalworm | October 21, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

General Powell thinks and may be that's why he's not much of a Republican as you preferred

Posted by: oberst | October 21, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Has Mr. Novak turned into a "Yo Mama" joke?

Posted by: epespinoza43 | October 21, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Novak is a known REDNECK. What else would you expect from him? Ignore him and keep supporting your candidate to victory. Truth prevails.

Restore America
Vote Obama-Biden

Sorry Uncle McSame

Posted by: MrRevolution | October 21, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, well, Novak, you man Bush isn't much of a president and you're not much of a columnist. There, now everyone's even.

Posted by: Bob22003 | October 21, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr Novak

The Iraq Resolution was voted on BEFORE Mr Powell made his presentation to the UN.

Not the other way around as you suggest in this article.

Posted by: Fredtruslow | October 21, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Powell wasn't much of a general, either. The so-called Powell Doctrine could have been formulated by a 5th grader.

Posted by: greg3 | October 21, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Too bad, GOP: Powell WAS your Eisenhower, which would have been your finest candidate since...... Eisenhower.

How does it feel being irrelevant?


Posted by: abqcleve | October 21, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The repudiation of Gen. Powell's republican credentials is precisely why this election is so important. I do believe Powell is a moderate who tends to favor more conservative viewpoints in terms of National security and certain domestice issues, as well as general fiscal prudence. His views are not unlike many moderate republicans who have been entirely disenfranchised by this current party platform. Gen. Powell was never a part of the neo-con movement within the party, as evidenced by the tensions he felt while serving as a cabinet member. However, he was a dutiful public servant and member of our armed forces who held sacred his commitment to the leadership of this great country. He acted according to these principles while serving in the cabinet, even though he admits his decisions were based on intentionally misleading provided to him by the intelligence community and members of his own administration. His mistake was to not challenge the neo-cons more forcefully when he was a position to do so.
I believe the General has abstained from participating more vocally in this election cycle because he understood that any position he took could, and most likely would, be used to fuel the negative forces doing battle behind the scenes of these campaigns. As a true patriot, Gen. Powell had no desire to create a more diveded union. In the end, he spoke only when he felt true honor and patriotism required him to do so.

Posted by: catalyst | October 21, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak

Pssssss Would your view be different if General Powell had WHISPERED into your ear?

Oh Well! What is your view on Palin? General Powell did not play the race card, Hockey Mom, Joe-Sixpack, Heartland, and Joe the Plummer.

If I am not mistaken he HAS served his country without dividing it.....Give me a break Novak. Go find a MOLE.

Posted by: msgbill | October 21, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

why bob? because he's black?

tell us what you really mean bob.

bob, maybe you should study this website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States to get a better understanding about the nation you helped to destroy.

you got off easy when confronted with participating in subversive activities...yea you probably didn't realize the harm you would cause the intelligence community when you leaked that little tidbit of info about Valerie Plame and I am sure neither did Libby or even the VP -- because they only care about achieving their own political objectives.

face it your a real idiot, i don't understand why folks put much stock in what you write.

i didn't read your article, but i know it was negative towards powell and obama.

the GOP is a bunch of hopeless wreckless losers that have gotten where they are because of dishonesty and even criminality. they lack the ethics and integrity necessary to govern effectively.

thus the house of cards has crumbled.

AMF

Posted by: FranknErnest | October 21, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Come January 20, 2009 Mr.Novak you and 300 million Americans will witness Barack Hussein Obama take the oath of office as the 44t President of the United States. Centuries from now your name Mr. Novak will be long forgotten, just one of a legion of Bush apologists thrown into the dust bin of history. President Obama will be remembered for all time.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | October 21, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree with logcabin (8:57 p.m.) that President Obama will be remembered for all time. Unfortunately, he will be remembered as the president that finally, emphatically ran America into the ground and turned it into a country not unlike those of socialist Europe -- lazy and completely dependent on government to sustain life.

Posted by: SCMark | October 21, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Novak can always find the next post to go, for instance, Beijing Post, given that Bush has successfully turned a 1st world country into 4th with trillions of dollars in debt to the 3rd-world, communist country China.

Posted by: baocisun | October 21, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr Novak:

Endorsement. So what that he did? What did I expect? The same as you, albeit for very different reasons. I would like to say that mine are patriotic, while yours are political and borderline treasonous.

Inasmuch as every person who works for military intelligence, as I do, and who does not reveal secret information as you did, sir, realizes that our commander-in chief has betrayed many of our core beliefs, despite our party label.

I for one, saw firsthand the havoc you have reaped, and I saw the quiet machinations of those who worked to encourage torture and other intel gathering activities which you have supported over these years.

My advice to you: retire.

Posted by: BisbeeAZ | October 21, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Hola Novakula! :-)

Great to Read your Voice again! ;~)

However, I must remind you and others, that what prompted Colin Powell to endorse "Barry" O'Bomba-Nation, was;

McSenile!

Yep, he BLEW IT every way imaginable!

Powell not much of a Republican?

And the RINO McCain is?

Do not blast the Good general for not wanting to support a Ticket that lacked Economic Sense, and coupled an aging vulnerable Congressional Clown, with a wholly UNQUALIFIED Presidential Heir!

Not that I do not like Sarah-Cripes, if SHE is the Sarah of the Kaneohe Campus, of Hawaii Loa, I am thinking of-Well, enough said...

Then I can claim to be a HUGE Fan of hers-Just not for the role of President! ;~)

The saddest part of it all;

We could have had a Mitt Romney!

Then AGAIN;

WE STILL COULD! :-)

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 21, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

He's way more of a Republican with integrity....than you are a journalist.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | October 21, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Like Ike, General Powell will serve as the catalyst to restore true Republicanism on twin pillars which are: (1) to establish a strong military to deter enemies (not to engage in premptive wars) while beware of the industrial-military-congressional complex, and (2) fiscal conservatism based on the philosophy pay- as-you-go (not to borrow from the unborn to give to your rich buddies while the country rots).

Posted by: rmwoodjr | October 21, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

General Powell has personal integrity and patriotism enough to renounce the dogmas of both the neolib and neocon narcissists who have cost the American independent (and unrepresented) voters 11 trillion wasted dollars over the past thirty years. His military background would not have made him as good a politician as it would a good national ‘caretaker’, either as an independent or moderate with an interest in adhering to the Constitution’s ‘general welfare’, ‘common defense’ and ‘domestic tranquility’ covenants. The narrow, meaningless programs of the neolibs on the socialist left and the neocons of the fascist right have done so much damage to this country, it would take a hundred caretakers like Colin Powell in the Congress and the Executive just so the country could break even over the next ten years.

Posted by: arjay1 | October 21, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

no, powell was never much of a republican. he's decent, he's moderate, he's thoughtful, he's not racist, nor rich, nor deceptive. nope, never make a 'real' republican out of him. just a lincoln republican, or an eisenhower republican.

Posted by: natty-bumppo | October 21, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse


Welcome back - have never agreed with anything this guy is for.
BUT his grumpiness was always unusualy entertaining and good for a laugh. I am puzzled what it is exactly - his views are often on the deranged MALKIN, COULTER scale - but his cranky airings of his views never evoked at least for me the same aversion as for the bean-brained barbie idiots of the right.

Posted by: Walshmj | October 21, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr Novak,
You be the judge of who is a Republican and who is pretending. Not that many people are interested in that role or the result anyway. Hope your recovery goes well. Speaking of judging people, is it your judgement that Joe is much of a Plumber?

Posted by: tigman_2 | October 21, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Robert Novak is so 20th century. I suppose REAL Republicans would stand by the nominee no matter how bad they are. I suppose I'm not a REAL Republican then either; I like to exercise judgement with my vote, not hand it over to a machine (GOP) no matter what. How predictable of YOU, Mr Novak.

Posted by: Sarah30 | October 21, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever considered why George H.W. Bush did not pursue Saddam Hussein? He and his cabinet it would be opening a Pandora’s Box. That once we invaded Iraq, we could never win that type of situation in the long term.

He even tried to convince the idiot son not to, but Dubbya had to prove he was stronger than his father. Now that's foreign policy! Anyone trained in Military Strategy knows when invading a country, bring numbers, sequester, silence, and secure to avoid catastrophe.

Novak it’s time to go crawl into a dark corner.

Posted by: go_djm_98 | October 21, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

LMinOH...ok, he's a human being...but he's still a jerk!

Posted by: mgardner666 | October 21, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

"Regarding Powell as “our Eisenhower,” they considered him the solution to a bleak landscape of possible candidates in that year’s election."

Right... he's too reasonable, centrist and sane to be a republican in this climate. When Novak's right, he's right.

Posted by: fake1 | October 21, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

NOVAKULAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
is a traitor.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | October 21, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

LminOH: I used to be: "..an Independent with moderately conservative views"...but now I'm just an Independent...because I can't stand to be associated with the Republican Party...of jerks!

Posted by: mgardner666 | October 21, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You're not much of a journalist, mate.

Posted by: rupertornelius | October 21, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect Mr. Novack, what is predictable is the about-face taken by "conservatives" accustomed to using the tar and feather approach to keeping their "boys" in line. Colin Powell was more than enough of a Republican when the party needed his thick skin to sway voters in term 1 Bush. He was more than enough Republican when asked to expend his political capitol taking the unwavering side of Israel against Palestinians. More than enough Republican to take up the administration's position before the UN based on faulty information. More than enough Republican to take up its charge and stand in line at every opportunity put before him where he reasonably should have abandoned the party of racial divide. The Republicans have used him and he has allowed himself to be used. It is unclear why, but what is clear that when it served its purpose, Colin Powell was MORE THAN ENOUGH REPUBLICAN.

Posted by: CharacterCounts | October 21, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I find Robert Novak far more predictable than Colin Powell. Powell has thought through his decision, and refuses to be pigeon-holed into a position. Anybody could write Novak's column just by imagining what the neocon position would be at every turn.

Posted by: Arjuna9 | October 21, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, I don't mean to disparage a man with a brain tumor, but, I really don't think he would mind, or care. So here goes....

Mr. Novack, you are too close to the inferno your type is heading for to be making such statements. Powell..not much of a republican? Ok, what do you have to believe to be a republican?

Let me guess. You must speak and think in lockstep with the party, you must denigrate anyone who thinks differently, even if they are your party, and you must know that your kind is the only kind that is truly american, you know..the ones who came on or close to the Mayflower. the rest of us well, we came after, they don't count, despite what the statue of liberty says.

Problem is...I doubt you, and especially your constituents come from just the Mayflower. Lets talk, American Indian blood, Irish, Polish, Italian, Cuban, etc. etc. So most of your appalachian like supporters would not qualify in your hoyty toyty blue blood attitude.

So, Colin Powell is not really a Republican..are you really an American?

Posted by: sandnsmith | October 21, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Folks, have a care about discussing Powell's UN trip on Iraq WMD. Do not take it as an article of faith that Saddam Hussein did not have WMD at some point. The truck Powell displayed as a chemical weapon at the UN was actually found stripped in Iraq by our forces. Four such trucks, in fact. What has never been discussed was the fact that some very toxic 'agricultural' chemicals were being purchased in Europe by Hussein in the 90s but were being delivered to an airbase near Ramadhi, Iraq which was entirely operated by the Mukabarat, the Iraqi secret police. (not a farm agency??) You don't have to have any imagination at all to visualize what a secret police with many foreign connections is doing with very lethal chemicals on a tractor-trailer. Such a terrorist device is still a major concern; you could roll that into any city you liked and kill a hundred thousand people before anyone realized what was causing it. Whether you could justify a major war against a known chemical serial killer (remember the Iran war) who has such things is another matter and still is. The Taliban in Pakistan is camped only 20 miles from the Pakistani nuclear weapons storage facility, for instance. Please do not over-simplify what happens on planet Earth; ALL of the 21st century leaders might have to make lethal 'them or us' decisions, as a certain VP candidate just pointed out.

Posted by: arjay1 | October 21, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

"Novak's Predictable Response"

Posted by: MontaraCA | October 21, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

First, I wish you nothing but the best of health and successful fight against the big C. That said, I have this to say about your article.

Oh what thinly veiled hackery is this? Not really a Republican, eh? What Mr. Novak is suggesting, and what has been proven over the last few months, is that there is no room in the Republican party for any moderates. Wingnuts only need apply. After Powell's endorsement of Obama, we just might be getting to the point that the GOP tells any remaining black members, "thanks, but no thanks."

Posted by: AppeaseThis | October 22, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Interesting standard. Seems like WaPo has removed any post referencing Mr. Novak's recent brush with the law in a direct and condemning way. Apparently, personal lives of Mr. Novak's victims are fair game, but his own past is off limits to the WaPo editors.

Posted by: pbin21 | October 22, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell is a conservative republican who has truely put "Country First" has put aside politics or political party and gave his reasons for why he is voting for Senator Obama.
The big question for you Novak. Are you going to put country first and support Senator Obama, Or are you going to be like the other deaf, dumb and stupid Neo-Con republicans who would put someone like Sarah Palin into the oval office?

Posted by: amurray3 | October 22, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Hoo boy, what a perfect example of sour grapes.

Don't mind the millions of other Republicans (and former Republicans) that agree with Powell and say that the new neocon and socially evangelical policies of the GOP are the wrong ways to go.

Posted by: don1one | October 22, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"LminOH: I used to be: "..an Independent with moderately conservative views"...but now I'm just an Independent...because I can't stand to be associated with the Republican Party...of jerks!"

Well, I pretty much agreed with what Powell had to say about the current Republican party, so I can't disagree with you a whole lot. But still, some of the comments here are totally out of line in any kind of civilized society. If it's true that the Republicans have become jerks, then all the more reason not to join them in that.

As far as the moderate conservative views, I'm having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment. It sometimes seems as though the very same views which once made me basically a centrist, with some conservative leanings, now make me into some kind of radically left-wing, socialistic liberal! Has the bar really moved that far? Is it now the case that if you see any role at all for government in the economy, or if you think there are conceivably circumstances in which it's a good idea to raise taxes on at least some segments of the population, then you must be a socialist?

That's not really what I signed up for.

Posted by: LMinOH | October 22, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"Brief interlude as a Republican". "As recently as 1992 influential Washington Republican power-brokers were seriously promoting Powell as their party’s nominee for president."

That would be 16 years. Four presidential elections. Hardly brief.

To someone like Novak, any Republican prior to 1980 would sound pretty much like a Democrat. This echoes (in more nuanced form) the claims that anyone not of that narrow ideology is anti-American. Novak basically says that kind of stuff all the time. He wants to say it now.

Posted by: Baal1 | October 22, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Amurray3 asked "Are you going to put country first and support Senator Obama, Or are you going to be like the other deaf, dumb and stupid Neo-Con republicans who would put someone like Sarah Palin into the oval office?"

The answer is no. Next question?

Posted by: Baal1 | October 22, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

You have it wrong Mr. Novak. The most predictable event in this election in not Colin Powell's endorsement: it's your denigrating his actions. We saw that coming. We also don't care much what you think;your whole philosophy has been invalidated over the last 8 years.

Posted by: ThePhotogsBlog | October 22, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Colin Powell put is biases first and forgot about his country.

From all the information I have read about Obama has completely convinced me that he is absolutely the WRONG candidate to be president of these United States of America. If people all over would bother to do the research they would find out about Obama's past, policital ideology, many of the extreme exaggerations he has made about his accomplishments and what he plans to do if president.

Posted by: lremmell64 | October 22, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

We should be proud and honored to have Colin Powell as our top general and Sec of State. General Powell showed his wisdom in stopping the 1st war in Iraq. As I recall, his explanation was that America would be stuck in a never-ending war and lose the support of the middle eastern states. We see now that he was right. I also believe he was hoodwinked into believing that Iraq had WMD's. But Powell is a true soldier and stuck by his Commander in Chief even though he never agreed with the 2nd Iraq war.

Colin Powell is a true leader who unites people rather than polarize them as the Republicans have been doing. My personal choice for the Republican ticket for 2000 was Powell/McCain. Too bad; we got Bush/Cheney instead.

Posted by: nosliw | October 22, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Gen. Powell has had a role in every major conflict we fought since World War II and he is being taken apart by conservatives who loves the military only when they stay in line and spout GOP talking points.

The Pentagon has been and always will be nothing but an associate organization of the Republican Party.

For nincompoops such as Novak and Limbaugh to be attacking a man who gave his all for this country shows how much the GOP has been and will always be nothing but a party that seeks to divide this nation so that it can make millionaires of their memebers.

Posted by: swrightsr | October 22, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak,

You are such a dishonored and dishonorable man, that for you to comment on a man of Secretary of State Colin Powell's stature, integrity and dignity is truly offensive.

You should retire--your brain, honesty and integrity all departed years ago.

Posted by: dwatkins1 | October 22, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Mr. Novak,

I forgot to include "liar, shill, political hack, ideological prostitute..." I could go on but, why bother?

Posted by: dwatkins1 | October 22, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

****AMERICA SHOULD BE FEARFULLY CONCERNED****

In the last month, After Governor Sarah Palin and HER Administration was refused by The Alaska Superior Court, then refused by The Alaska Supreme Court to SQUASH the “Troopergate Investigation” against Sarah Palin, the Alaska State Legislative Investigation (LAW) moved on the investigation of the Firing of the Alaska State Public Safety Commissioner.

Gov.Sarah Palin “IS” found “GUILTY” by The Alaska State Legislature [60] Lawmakers, [Mostly Republicans] .in the Investigation of Firing" The Chief of The Alaska State Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan.

TROOPERGATE: In plain English, Sarah Palin has been legally PROVEN that she broke the Alaska State Ethics Law in ABUSING HER power in pushing for the firing of a State Trooper once married to her sister and by also ALLOWING her husband Todd Palin to use the Alaska Governor's Office in a crusade against the Officer. She is charged with 18 Ethic Violation Facts.

Currently the State of Alaska Personnel Board [appointed by Sara Palin} hired a private Investigator to continue the “Troopergate Investigation” on possible OTHER Ethic Violations which Palin allowed HER appointed Administration to participate in. Sarah Palins appointed State of Alaska, Attorney General Colberg, cannot participate to defend Gov. Palin or to defend her Administration. Why? Because he also is in conflict of interest

ALASKA GOVERNOR RECALL!
I am an Alaskan life voting Republican. This 2008 Election, I will [with pleasure] vote Democrat!

This Alaska Governor Palin has Destroyed and continues to attempt to Destroy "MANY GOOD ALASKAN PEOPLE(s)” Professionally and Politically during her "VERY SHORT" term position as Mayor in a small community Wasilla, Ak (Approx 5,000 + residents during her reign) and currently the Alaska State Governor.

McCain’s V.P. selection Sarah Palin unequivocally has NO business being the Alaska Governor, let alone, a USA Candidate for Vice President…..

Maverick??.....”AMERICA SHOULD BE FEARFULLY CONCERNED”

I voted for Sarah Palin in Alaskans 2006 Governor Election. MISTAKE!.... Never Again… I repeat-NEVER AGAIN!!....Alaska Governor Palin is an absolute Embarrassment to the Alaska People(s) and "IS PROVEN” Over and Over to be an insatiable LIAR!!..
.
How can she possibly ASSUME to possess the ability to clean up America, when she cannot clean the progressive ''MESS" She has created, then left Alaska to run for the United States V.P. Yes, she .departed leaving “HERSELF and HER husband todd palins” Mess FOR Alaskans to Clean-Up!!

MCCAIN, you should be ASHAMED of yourself!!!! This victim (palin) has no business in this Presidential Arena.

Posted by: Alaskan Voter
Thank You,
History of Palin News & Investigation Report adn.com/Newsweek

McClatchy.com; Washington Post
Anchorage Daily News a.dn.com ;Newsweek; Alaska Politics

Posted by: Alaskanvoter | October 22, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

This column was entirely predictable.
Novak's not much of a reporter.
Not much of a human being either.

Posted by: light_bearer | October 23, 2008 3:11 AM | Report abuse

I believe that history will remember Colin Powell as a great patriot who transcended race and politics to become America's first black secretary of state.
But, his greatness is not in the color of his skin, but rather in the strength of his character and his resolve.
Anyone who believes, even for a moment that skin color affected this man's decision to endorce Obama has no idea who this man is (I know that Mr Novak did not imply that).
I believe that he knows up close and personally the failures of the past administrations and I hope that he has it in him to serve his country again as I am sure that the next administration can use a man of integrity who has unsurpassed experience in foreign affairs and the quagmires that the US people, government and armed forces face at home and abroad.

Posted by: costaricanet | October 23, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

The Kiss of Death
1. The endorsement of Obama by Collin Powell is equivalent to a kiss of death. This is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back! For this reason, Obama will be defeated in November.
2. Colin Powell, a product of Affirmative Action, who was made prominent by the Republican administration, a Republican, endorses Obama a Democrat who came from nowhere. Why? Simply, both of them are blacks. All other reasons Powell might give are extraneous, superfluous and inglorious.
3. From Islamic militants, to black militants, to Collin Powell they are united monolithically as one bloc, and act in unison as one group of people. This is the definition of pure and sheer racism. For the same reason, even though Martin L. King, Jr was known as an immoral man who committed adulteries with various white women; all blacks looked to him as their hero and savior.
4. The endorsement of Obama (a black Democrat) by Collin Powell (a black Republican) actually would produce an unintended result – it would positively enlighten the minds and open the eyes of all white Americans and other minorities to see the handwriting is on the wall! For every action there is a reaction. Consequently, in their self-interest white voters and other minorities will act as one man to reject Obama. White voters are still the majority in America.
5. If Obama is elected, a Democrat president with a Democrat-controlled congress will constitute absolute power because Democrats will control both the Executive and Legislative Branches of government. Absolute power will corrupt absolutely. Democracy would be in name, dictatorship would be in fact. Even if the Democrat president commits a major crime or abuse of power, he will have absolute impunity. Because the Democrat-controlled congress would not impeach a Democrat president no matter what; just as Democrats had demonstrated that they would not impeach Bill Clinton. American people will have no resource because the evil triad (the Democrat president, the Democrat Speaker of the House, and the Democrat Senate Majority Leader) will rule and dictate America with impunity. The sinister specter of corruption and abuse of power and waste would be unthinkable and untouchable and unstoppable!
6. American voters are smart enough not to fall into the pit of propaganda of change. What America needs is not a change into dictatorship, but a responsible government of the people, by the people and for the people.
7. My fellow Americans and my fellow Christians, I urge you to vote against Obama to stop dictatorship. Obama is NOT RIGHT for America! Therefore, I predict Obama will be defeated on November 4.
Willie Wong
October 22, 2008
http://www.wongwillie.zoomshare.com/


Posted by: wongwillieus | October 23, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bob,

I agree, "...Powell was clearly not comfortable as a Republican." Especially since the Republican party right now is pretty much one big clusterf@*k (it's not the most eloquent way to convey my sentiment but you get the picture). I, for one, am sick of the party's tactics and how it imparts an angry rhetoric vs. one that could help unite the country. So you can put me in the same bucket as Powell - ending my brief interlude (over 20 yrs) as a Republican.

I'm surprised you still have a job given the hit and run (seriously - you didn't notice the big loud thump on your car?!) and, of course, the treasonous crime you committed by outing an active CIA agent. One wonders why we, as a nation, worry about "terrorists" when we have traitors like you.

You and your kind, really have tainted the Republican party and I hope you retire (again) as you really need to step aside so my generation can clean up your generation's colossal clusterf@*k!

Posted by: dvad | October 23, 2008 5:09 AM | Report abuse

Meandering, meandering, wandering, blah, blah, ABRUPT ENDING.

For a professional writer, this is an insanely sloppy job done here. I could care less about Novak's ideology or personal history; this is just poorly-written drivel.

Posted by: mredder4 | October 23, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Below are definitions of "Liberal" & "Conservative"... Now tell me that McCain means change?

Liberal:

Noun

* S: (n) liberal, liberalist, progressive (a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties)
* S: (n) liberal (a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets)

Adjective

* S: (adj) broad, large-minded, liberal, tolerant (showing or characterized by broad-mindedness) "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions"
* S: (adj) liberal (having political or social views favoring reform and progress)
* S: (adj) liberal (tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition)
* S: (adj) big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, liberal, openhanded (given or giving freely) "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather"
* S: (adj) free, loose, liberal (not literal) "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem"


Conservative:


Noun

* S: (n) conservative, conservativist (a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas)
* S: (n) Conservative (a member of a Conservative Party)

Adjective

* S: (adj) conservative (resistant to change)
* S: (adj) conservative (having social or political views favoring conservatism)
* S: (adj) cautious, conservative (avoiding excess) "a conservative estimate"
* S: (adj) button-down, buttoned-down, conservative (unimaginatively conventional) "a colorful character in the buttoned-down, dull-grey world of business"- Newsweek
* S: (adj) bourgeois, conservative, materialistic (conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class) "a bourgeois mentality"

Posted by: rcc_2000 | October 23, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Mr.Novak, what about Ken Adelman's endorsement of Obama for president? Am I going to hear you say Adelman has never been much of a neo-Con in the first place?

Posted by: ChrisL1 | October 23, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Bob, you F'ing traitor POS, please retire and move to another country. You’re a disgrace to all journalists, and I place more blame on you than Colin Powell for getting us into Iraq. You were practically a cheerleader for GWB. Just disappear you traitor.

Posted by: miknugget | October 23, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

So,frankly I still fail to see how the phony and race based last minute endorsement of the Messiah Arrogant "Barack
Obama The Wealth Spreader" by a totally
discredited,phony rear elechon brown nose
Affirmative Action,disgraced failure as
Sec of State and failure as Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs,fellow black man,serial liar
about WMDS in Iraq Colin Powell the PX
Medal Collector will do his fellow lying
loser pal,Barack Hussein Obama and Big
Mouth Joe Biden one damn bit of good as
all Colin Powell the well know two bit
phony political opportunist must want is
yet another high ranking big pay Cabinet
Level Job to screw up,as Colin Powell is also the black people's version of Know It
All The Walking Gaffe Big Mouth Joe Biden!

NOBAMA-NOBiden! NOT COLIN POWELL EVER AGAIN

Posted by: SherryKay2004 | October 23, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Why don't you just come out and say it Novak?
Powell was token black person number one in the Bush administration.
Rice is token black number 2.
Isn't that what you really mean?
Please go away now.

Posted by: strictly_liberal | October 23, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Willie Wong
Everything your wrote just happened over the last 12 years.
Except is was you stupid Republicans that had total control.
And what did you do with it?
You just about ran this country into the ground.
Thank God social security wasn't "privatized"
You moron!

Posted by: strictly_liberal | October 23, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Is Nowack coming back when he settles his hit-and-run rap????

Posted by: knjincvc | October 23, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Man... the Post is drifting down the drain. Between Gerson's sophomoric spewing, Novak's meandering mumbling and Hiatt's right wing nincompoopery, the Post is getting harder to digest daily.

89 days till the end of the Bush administration.

Posted by: CardFan | October 23, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 23, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak, you should have the decency to take someone like Colin Powell at his word and try to answer his arguments if you disagree. Powell gave a detailed analysis of his decision, including observations of McCain's behavior in recent weeks and the superiority of Obama's positions and his judgment.
You've made no attempt to respond.
I am sick and tired of republicans in a constant state of denial trying to define what's 'real' and what's not.

Posted by: ljfamily | October 23, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

SOUR GRAPES, ANYONE?
The fun thing about those who put Powell and his endorsement down for one reason or other is that, if Powell had come out for McCain, he would have been hailed as a leading light of the Republican Party. Think of it that way, and you can't help but realize that such articles and comments are nothing but "sour grapes."
P.S. Ever notice that the schtick is PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN as opposed to pointing out the positives of the alternatives? Are such commentators actually scared, or are they using fear, as George Bush did, to enlist sympathy for their side?

Posted by: OCPatriot | October 23, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

This was by far the most interesting take I've heard to date. Mr. Novak's point seems obvious in retrospect and that leads me to believe he's nailed it. While I’m sure there were many other factors, it makes sense they’d require a basic foundation to support them. Agreeing with Mr. Novak about anything is the very last thing I could have imagined myself doing today. I’m loath to even think about what might be next.

Posted by: klcscott | October 23, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

Its amazing that there are so many White Racists and Supremacist Idiots who can't see how DUMB they sound in trying to berate Colin Powell.

Are you Idiots that damn blinded by your Racism that you can't see Obama's intelligence nor Powell's integrity?

Powell admits he tried to HELP the Racist, White Supremacist Republican Party, he tried to diversify it(so did Condi), but you Idiots rejected that. Its NOT the Black folks fault for trying.

Barack Obama is trying to HELP this Nation and yet all these Racists and White Supremacists can think about is upholding THE MYTH of White Supremacy.

Shame on you.

TKCAL

Posted by: Realbrother0003 | October 23, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The sorrowful part is that Powell ever went to the Republican "party" in the first place.

Posted by: repudar711 | October 24, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

People who are unhappy in their personal lives, often allow their bitterness to flow over into their occupations. Novak is the perfect example of this. He should see a shrink or a hooker!

Posted by: joceeco | October 24, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Just to set the record straight, the KKK was made up of DEMOCRATS dummy!!!

Of course Colin Powell backs Obama. They are the same color. Simple as that!!

Posted by: annnort | October 24, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Very well-written Willie Wong. Sad that most posters will not read your words. Many can not read that many words at one time.

I would like to remind those who try to call McCain Wallace. Gov. Wallace of Alabama was a DEMOCRAT. Now that adds up to 2 oppressors named in above posts - KKK and Wallace - as being DEMOCRATS!! DEMOCRATS HAVE NEVER DONE ANYTHING FOR BLACKS!! In fact they have kept them down.

A case in point is Chicago where Blacks in Chicago were paid by the Daley machine to go and vote for DEMOCRATS, but were kept in horrible slums owned by the same DEMOCRATS. If you would just learn AMERICAN HISTORY, you will be surprised that your reasons for voting for OBAMA are not good reasons. Stop listening to the empty suit. He has promised far more than he can deliver!!

Posted by: annnort | October 24, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I was going to write a comment on your insipid prattle here, Mr-I-Exposed-A-CIA-Agent-For-Political-Gain-Novak. But, alas, I see that you have already been emasculated by the bloggers here before me.

Way to go, group! You didn't save me a piece.

Posted by: wunderwood | October 25, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

annnort wrote... Just to set the record straight, the KKK was made up of DEMOCRATS dummy!!!

Of course Colin Powell backs Obama. They are the same color. Simple as that!!
===========================================

WOW. What an unrestrained exibition of bigotry. Colin Powell could have endorsed SEVERAL other black candidates before Barack Obama.

BESIDES. Tom Brokaw already COVERED THIS. Here is Powell's response to your bigoted beliefs:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27266223/

BROKAW QUOTE: And you are fully aware that there will be some--how many, no one can say for sure--but there will be some who will say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race.

POWELL QUOTE: If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect and regard for, John McCain, and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama. And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled on this. And I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president. And should that happen, all Americans should be proud--not just African-Americans, but all Americans--that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world.
===========================================

What *I* find amazing is how many Republicans are wounded by the accusation that their party is overrun with racists.

POWELL PICKED OBAMA BASED ON PRESIDENTIAL QUALITIES. If you don't believe it, that is not looking at the facts.

Posted by: wunderwood | October 25, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Did not read the article, nor the comments, but find anyone that reads or watches this traitor that outed Plame to be deficient in patriotism.

Posted by: jameschirico | October 25, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Novak, you are an idiot. As much as I may disagree with you on most things now, I never thought you would lower yourself to the level of Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: repudar711 | October 25, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Secretary / General Powell is a true leader, intelligent, respected, and someone who truly has the best interest of the nation at heart; however, I have yet to see a clear cut reason why Powell supports Obama in this race. He rather simplistically (which is out of character for him) exclaimed that McCain's campaign has been "negative." Did Powell not see Obama's negative ads, or does he discount the liberal media's 'attack dog' status? He must realize that McCain is running against Obama and the press, while Obama is running against Bush. It's pretty obvious who has an uphill battle here, but I'd like to hear more about the issues from Powell. Without a substantive reason, I'm afraid his endorsement rings hollow, and stinks of some quid pro quo motivation.

www.offeringcommonsense.blogspot.com

Posted by: Baldeagle79 | October 25, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

yeah, novak, it may have been predictable.

but what about the dozens of defections by republicans who now support obama? hitchens, buckley, and other diehard conservatives and neocons? truly unpredictable and utterly suprising...

Posted by: glenknowles | October 25, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Newspaper shows Obama belonged to socialist party
Democrat's campaign denied allegations, but new evidence indicates membership
Excerpt from New Party publication (Courtesy New Zeal blog)
JERUSALEM – Evidence has emerged that Sen. Barack Obama belonged to a socialist political party that sought to elect members to public office with the aim of moving the Democratic Party far leftward to ultimately form a new political party with a socialist agenda.

Several blogs, including Powerline, previously documented that while running for the Illinois state Senate in 1996 as a Democrat, Obama actively sought and received the endorsement of the socialist-oriented New Party, with some blogs claiming Obama was a member of the controversial party.

The New Party, formed by members of the Democratic Socialists for America and leaders of an offshoot of the Community Party USA, was an electoral alliance that worked alongside the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. The New Party's aim was to help elect politicians to office who espouse its policies.

Among New Party members was linguist and radical activist Noam Chomsky.

Obama's campaign has responded to the allegations, denying the presidential candidate was ever a member of the New Party.

But the New Zeal blog dug up print copies of the New Party News, the party's official newspaper, which show Obama posing with New Party leaders, list him as a New Party member and include quotes from him.

(Story continues below)


The party's Spring 1996 newspaper boasted: "New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary). The paper quoted Obama saying "these victories prove that small 'd' democracy can work."

The newspaper lists other politicians it endorsed who were not members but specifies Obama as a New Party member.


Barack Obama pictured in New Party publication (Courtesy New Zeal blog)


New Ground, the newsletter of Chicago's Democratic Socialists for America, reported in its July/August 1996 edition that Obama attended a New Party membership meeting April 11, 1996, in which he expressed his gratitude for the group's support and "encouraged NPers (New Party members) to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration."

Becoming a New Party member requires some effort on behalf of the politician. Candidates must be approved by the party's political committee and, once approved, must sign a contract mandating they will have a "visible and active relationship" with the party.

Posted by: 4elise | October 25, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

From: Little Murders by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, October 18, 2008.
“I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed ”abortion-rights” presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973. Despite what Prof. Kmiec suggests, the party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is not only aggressively ”pro-choice;” it has also removed any suggestion that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing. On the question of homicide against the unborn child - and let’s remember that the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer explicitly called abortion ”murder” - the Democratic platform that emerged from Denver in August 2008 is clearly anti-life.”

U.S. Catholic Bishop Rene H. Gracida Releases Radio Ad Stating no Catholic can Vote for Barack Obama in Good Conscience
Contact: Randall Terry, 904-687-9804
MEDIA ADVISORY, October 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today - perhaps in an eleventh hour answer to prayer for the unborn - Bishop Rene H. Gracida has released a stunning radio ad concerning Catholics voting for Barack Obama. His ad is recorded in English and Spanish.
Bishop Gracida boldly states:
"This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate."
The commercial can be heard in English and Spanish at www.randallterry.com.
Bishop Gracida has offered this radio spot without charge for all who want to use it. All faithful Catholics are invited to download the mp3 file, and place this ad on their local radio station(s).
They must simply contact their local radio station(s), and pay for the ad as an "independent expenditure." The station can download the audio file to play on the radio. The mp3 file is also available at www.randallterry.com.
Moreover, permission is granted for the ad to be downloaded, sent as a file, or posted on any web site in America.
If this ad receives the airplay it deserves, it could sink Obama's campaign by jolting Catholic voters back to their senses and moorings. Over 50% of Catholic voters have been seduced into ethical quicksand by errant Catholics who are partisan supporters of Obama and have betrayed the lives of innocent unborn children.

Posted by: 4elise | October 25, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

From: Little Murders by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, October 18, 2008.
“I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed ”abortion-rights” presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973. Despite what Prof. Kmiec suggests, the party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is not only aggressively ”pro-choice;” it has also removed any suggestion that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing. On the question of homicide against the unborn child - and let’s remember that the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer explicitly called abortion ”murder” - the Democratic platform that emerged from Denver in August 2008 is clearly anti-life.”

U.S. Catholic Bishop Rene H. Gracida Releases Radio Ad Stating no Catholic can Vote for Barack Obama in Good Conscience
Contact: Randall Terry, 904-687-9804
MEDIA ADVISORY, October 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today - perhaps in an eleventh hour answer to prayer for the unborn - Bishop Rene H. Gracida has released a stunning radio ad concerning Catholics voting for Barack Obama. His ad is recorded in English and Spanish.
Bishop Gracida boldly states:
"This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate."
The commercial can be heard in English and Spanish at www.randallterry.com.
Bishop Gracida has offered this radio spot without charge for all who want to use it. All faithful Catholics are invited to download the mp3 file, and place this ad on their local radio station(s).
They must simply contact their local radio station(s), and pay for the ad as an "independent expenditure." The station can download the audio file to play on the radio. The mp3 file is also available at www.randallterry.com.
Moreover, permission is granted for the ad to be downloaded, sent as a file, or posted on any web site in America.
If this ad receives the airplay it deserves, it could sink Obama's campaign by jolting Catholic voters back to their senses and moorings. Over 50% of Catholic voters have been seduced into ethical quicksand by errant Catholics who are partisan supporters of Obama and have betrayed the lives of innocent unborn children.

Posted by: 4elise | October 25, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Novak once again reveals his fascist tendencies. Departure from Repbulican policy and party lines is akin to heresey. Novak sounds more like a Putin than a pundit

Posted by: joep11 | October 25, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I hate to accuse Colin Powell of doing it, but let's face it a lot of people are supporting Obama because of his race:

Voters are Supporting Obama Because of Race

Posted by: Thatsrightnate | October 26, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

http://thatsrightnate.com/2008/10/26/voters-are-supporting-obama-because-of-race/

Posted by: Thatsrightnate | October 26, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Novak is an ideologue. It's rich of him to use Ike's name. Eisenhower's granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, said when she endorsed Obama that her grandfather wouldn't recognize the current republican party. Ike would not have played footsie with the far right wing evangelicals to get elected like McCain has tried to do. Ike had character, something that often seems to be lacking in republican leaders. Obama does have a great deal of character. I suspect he and Ike would have gotten along just fine. It was Ike who warned us about the industrial military complex that has taken over the republican party and brought our country to it's knees in eight short years. Mr. Novak, you are no Dwight Eisenhower.

Posted by: karela | October 26, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

You know what else was predictable? Robert Novak running over an old man with his Corvette.

Posted by: mortise | October 26, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"a brief interlude" and "not a marriage made in heaven" sound like slick verbal constructs to diminish the serious statements that colin powell made to distance himself from the GOP.

he once liked the GOP, or believed in her integrity, for better or ultimately, for much worse.


that is an unbreakable marriage.

he is not divorced, nor is he foolin' around. he is speaking his mind.

Posted by: forestbloggod | October 27, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

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