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Grown-ups of the GOP

After a weekend of listening to the right wing of the Republican Party wish failure upon President Obama as he struggles to solve the nation's monster challenges, it was refreshing to hear two grown-ups from the GOP's rational wing who aren't afraid to tell the bomb throwers in their party to stuff it. Politely, of course, but firmly.

Retired general and former secretary of state Colin Powell on "Face The Nation" yesterday played elder statesman with a blunt message not only for his fellow Republicans, but also for Democrats on the merits of compromise. "I don't think the country will be well-served if all we see for the next three years are attempts to bring him down and destroy him as a political figure, or, on the other side, people trying to shove an agenda which is increasingly seen by the American people as a little too much government in our lives."

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Meanwhile, in the Florida race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, part of the rise of former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio over Gov. Charlie Crist is due to the revulsion of party activists over Crist's hug of Obama and support of the stimulus plan a year ago. But when asked on "Morning Joe" whether he regretted hugging the president, Crist unflinchingly said, "No. Not in the least. It was the right thing to do."

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Crist's response might hurt him even more than the original sin of the man-hug. But I'm glad he put principle ahead of party in talking about an episode that's caused him untold grief and plummeting support.

If the GOP looked to leaders such as these, rather than Tea Partiers, they might find it easier to achieve the bipartisanship that voters want.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 22, 2010; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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That a boy Crist. This is America not some uncivilized country that fights and hates the other side simply because they have a different point of view. It is something we old folks call RESPECT.To think someone would raise money by showing a picture of hugging the president of the US. America wants practical leaders, who will compromise and work together. Crist you have demonstrated to me that you can do that. I can send a monkey to Washington to vote NO all day.

Rubio does not have the record to back his claims, see the story here:

Posted by: republicanblack | February 22, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Powell and Crist might be the only ones left in the GOP with any sense in their head.

That's probably the reason why they did not show up at the CPAC circus. Too embarrassing to be associated with krooks, cranks, social misfits, and assorted loonies.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | February 22, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Who could've thunk that our steroid-pumped, action-hero Governator would be one of those GOP grown-ups, but as a Californian I was proud to see Ahnold take on the GOP hypocrites who trashed the stimulus plans even while they bragged in their districts about all the jobs it was creating.

Posted by: sambam | February 22, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

You don't know Charlie Crist. I'm a moderate conservative from Florida, and I've opposed Crist as governor and senate candidate for a while now. He reeks of politician stench. There is nothing genuine about him. I may actually agree with Crist more often than Rubio where they have their differences, but I will vote for Rubio in the primary because from the beginning I've found him much more genuine and respectable. These days Rubio is playing to the Tea Party audience much more than I would like, but I've seen the respectability of a 2000 McCain in him that I look for in candidates. Either way, the country is worse off with Mel Martinez's retirement. He was one of the reasonable voices in the GOP.

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | February 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow real Republicans still left..


Posted by: Issa1 | February 22, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

How right you are, Mr. Capehart! It's past time for our elected Congresspeople to remember HOW they got into office and become Americans, "AS IF" they LOVED their country!

Posted by: Maerzie | February 22, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

It is ironic to read Jonathan writing about "grown-ups"! The class apple polisher himself.

Posted by: JackReacher | February 23, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Powell continues to disappoint. He still hasn't learned from his disastrous UN speech that sometimes the smartest thing he can say is nothing. The nation elected a Democratic president and a majority-Democratic Congress. So evidently more Americans than not SUPPORT the Democratic agenda. If anyone is shoving anything, it's the Republicans shoving obstructionism.

Posted by: angelas1 | February 23, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Surely this article is a joke.
Capehart somehow thinks that embracing a turncoat general and a squishy liberal RINO will lead to "bipartisanship?"
No, sir. That is call "one party domination."
But that would please the ever-partisan Democrat Capehart to no end.
The GOP will look elsewhere for advice, thank you very much. See you in November!

Posted by: parkbench | February 23, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Who are the Democratic adults? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? Charlie Rangel? Barney Frank? Chuck Schumer? Get real, Capehart. The vicious, hyper-partisan types are all over the place, and especially in our overly divisive and partisan White House.

Posted by: sailhardy | February 23, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey, you forgot to mentin Schwarzeneggar calling out Republicans for stimulus-bill hypocrisy Sunday morning.

Posted by: uh_huhh | February 23, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Powell lost all credibility when he endorsed Obama for president. Even as a moderate Republican he should have endorsed McCain or remained silent. His endorsement of Obama was based on race and his blunt message not to destroy Obama is a way of trying to prove his original endorsement was honest and fair. It's too bad that he thinks opposition to Obama is intended "to bring him down and destroy him as a political figure."

Posted by: Paaa | February 23, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell is today's Dwight Eisenhower. Unfortunately, even Ike wouldn't make it in today's Republican Party.

Charlie Crist is not a bad governor, he just wants to be U.S. Senator too much when we need someone to focus on Florida.

Posted by: MikePetrucci | February 23, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

You mean Capeheart is actually back after writing that outrageous hit piece on the Tea Party by falsfying and cherry picking information about Joe Stack? No Apology? Journalism is dead and the WP is doing its best to make it happen...

Posted by: sophic | February 23, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart must have got the vapors while watching the speakers at CPAC denigrate the object of his political desires. All those GOP meanies saying mean things about Barack Obama.

Its interesting who Mr. Capehart considers a GOP grownup. A Republican who endorses Mr. Obama is a GOP grownup? There are other names for people like that but I won't write them here. I wouldn't want to incite a feinting spell from Mr. Capehart.

Also why does bipartisanship mean that Republicans must drop any political principles they have and vote with Democrats yet it never means the opposite? Its a funny view that the MSM seems to constantly promote.

Posted by: Rschrim1 | February 23, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

We elected a president who many people now have decided to trash rather than support. The vitriolic comments are amazing in that they have no point other than to find fault regardless of what is done in the White House. "A country divided against itself cannot stand". Are you willing to destroy the country to get your own way? And if you do, what WILL you do????? You have no plans, just criticism.

Posted by: Opinionated8 | February 23, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Only a liberal columnist calls Colin Powell a Republican.

Powell is further to the left than any Blue Dog Democrat.

Powell voted for Obama over his friend John McCain - a moderate Republican.

Powell has repeatedly attacked Republicans over the last decade NOT Democrats.

Powell supports a liberal agenda both socially and fiscally - he's said he supports BIG Government !

And well Crist ? losing now badly to Rubio, is very badly burnt.. can we say crispy ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I will keep reminding myself:
Democracts - good guys
Republicans - bad guys
Democracts - good ideas
Republicans - bad ideas

This is such an unprofessional piece. The Dem's have not been open to incorporating or honestly debating in a bipartisan manner. There proposal have been poorly put together, over-reaching, arrogant and dangerous. Why would the Republicans support them? Why would you call that lack of support and agreement a bad thing?

Posted by: lynnman1 | February 23, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there's apparently been sightings of the rare bird called a Republican Moderate (sometimes known as "Actual Adults" to their particular caucus). I hope someone will humanely trap and band them and follow them with radios. We need to know their habitat and habits. Moderates are so close to extinction that new attempts to save their species are in order.

Posted by: cturtle1 | February 23, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Someone wrote: "Powell lost all credibility when he endorsed Obama for president. Even as a moderate Republican he should have endorsed McCain or remained silent."
Yep, it's all about either agreeing with the far right wing or shutting up. It's scary, how the GOP operates. No one can disagree. No one can break ranks, or . . . . well, let's see what happens to Scott Brown. (None of the old time heroes of this reactionary Far Right -- Reagan, Eisenhower, etc -- would be allowed into the Red Party now.) They'd be told to shut up.

Posted by: cturtle1 | February 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

To hear the folks at CPAC, there is the Republican party, conservatives and "tea party patriots." One of these things is not like the other. Conservatives are not "republicans" and "republicans" are not conservative. Tea partiers are neither: leaderless, rudderless and made of 100% natural, artificial turf.

Yet all three of those groups are represented in government by the GOP. There are no real "grown-ups" in the Republican party, the conservative movement or the tea party.

The next time you're on MSNBC's morning fiasco (and since I stopped watching it, I never see you anymore) and one of those obstructionists talks about how they've been "shut out" of the process, ask how they voted on either the House or Senate healthcare bill. Unless you're talking to Rep. Joe Cao of Louisiana, the answer is "no." Republicans were in the committee rooms, on the floor debating, and they cast their votes. Lying about their participation is not "grown up."

Powell is not running for anything. Crist must now believe "all is lost." Schwarzenegger (who called starting over on healthcare a bogus argument) isn't running either. They have nothing to lose.

A real grown-up will be the "R" who is running, has something to lose and who has the cajones to stand up to the hypocrisy of his party's or those loosely affiliated with it.

Otherwise, it's all lip service.

Posted by: jade_7243 | February 23, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

And, add number 3, Glenn Beck. He, surprisingly, scolded the Republicans at the CPAC meeting for their behavior. Miracles happen! Maybe, now, the Dems will grow up & start doing what they should such as getting rid of Obama's Czars, stop creating earmarks, stop the back room dealing, stop asking lobbyists what they should do,stop creating a health plan with different levels of benefits, etc. As a voting Democrat for over 60 years, I have had it with this one sided partisanship governing. If they don't change back to what they were, I shall leave that sinking ship but where would I go? They learned all of these bad ways of governing from the Republicans who behaved like this, and worse, during the Clinton & Bush years.

Posted by: afed27 | February 23, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell is not a Republican. Colin Powell is a traitor to the Republican party. If he hasn't gotten that message, I'm sure it will be made clear to him the next time he tries to get in front of a Republican audience. Why traitor and not just someone who switched parties (an honorable action)? Because he waited until his endorsement of Obama would cause the maximum political damage. Because he didn't disavow his membership in the Republican party before betraying us. Because he still lets the public believe he is a Republican even while bashing us.

Posted by: grohlik | February 24, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Crist isn't stupid; he knows very well the Stimulus is the MAJOR thing that Balanced Florida's Budget this past year. He won't bite the hand that feeds him like the Rest of that Republican bunch of Nut Cases!

Posted by: ddoiron1 | February 24, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break. Colin Powell is BLACK. Period. All he is, is BLACK. And the ONLY REASON he Campaigned for, and voted for Barak Obama, is because he's Black.
Let's look at what happened in 2008.
Colin Powell says that the Republican Party needs to move more to the CENTER. We need to work with the other Party, to get things done. Who is the Republican Nominee? John McCain. He's a MAVERICK. Why is he a Maverick? Because he 'works with the Democrats a lot. He's a MODERATE. He's Fair and he's Honest, and he speaks his mind, with Authority, without raising his voice. He's served his Country with HONOR, his entire life. A fellow Serviceman. A fellow Veteran of VIETNAM. A Brother in Arms. So who does Powell vote for? THE BLACK GUY. A Marxist Street Hustler, hassling the MAN with the rabble from ACORN. A man who started his Political Career in the living room of a couple who used to BOMB RECRUITING OFFICES, POLICE STATIONS, and the PENTAGON. A man who surrounded himself with MENTORS who preached HATE for our MILITARY, and HATE for this COUNTRY. A man who's 'Values' were the POLAR OPPOSITE of his. But he voted for him anyway.
Because he's BLACK.
He's not a 'GROWN UP". He's a RACIST. And NOBODY CARES what he has to say.
If he wanted to RUN HIS MOUTH, he shoulda spoke up when a GOOD MAN - Scooter Libby - was being RAILRODED by a PUNK Special Prosecutor. Powell KNEW that it was HIS GUY - Richard Armitage - who 'LEAKED' That skanks' name. Not Libby. HE KNEW IT, and he kept his mouth shut, and let an INNOCENT MAN get the BLAME.
That's all ya gotta know about this piece of garbage. If Scooter Libby had been BLACK, things woulda been different. I guarantee you that.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | February 24, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Indeed it was refreshing to see Powell and Crist having the intestinal fortitude to stand up to this insanity being preached by the Tea Party right.

And look, if you honestly look at who is actually winning among republicans so far, who has it been? It hasn't been right wing crazies who try to peddle asinine conspiracy theories about Obama from his birth origins to his political philosophy. In New Jersey and Virginia, the winners were both moderate conservatives. In Massachusetts, the winner was a liberal republican. In a New York special election that Sarah Palin heavily involved herself in--remember her cute little "Hoffmann baby Hoffman!" retort to Joe Biden--after having successfully sabotaged a moderate republican who could have held that seat for republicans, they ended up losing it to a democrat, a seat held by the GOP since the Civil War.

I would bet you that next year at this time, the media is going to be talking about how Scott Brown's election--so energizing in the short term for the Tea Party--actually turned out to be a death knell for the Tea Party movement because it ended up increasing the number of moderate republicans in the Senate and House or at least a mix of moderate republicans and centrist democrats.

I will also make another wager--if John McCain loses his primary battle with his Tea Party rival, a democrat will win his seat.

Posted by: jaxas70 | February 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

GoomyGommy, you are a certifiable moron. Look. When you use these cute little retro-50s slanders against Obama like "Marxist", socialist, communist--all you are doing is revealing you own lack of intellect and political sophistication. You should have watched Chris Matthews last night on MSNBC. He straightened out some of you out-in-the-sticks hicks on what Marxism and socialism really is.

Look. There is a truth here. Your brand of politics is really not a viable alternative for anything other than for a narrow band of morons out in the hinterlands who still think in 18th century, agrarian economic terms. If you miraculously by some mischief came into power, it would not take long for the majority of the people to take to the streets. The simple truth of the matter is that yur argument is not with Obama or the democratic party. It is with the majority of Americans who, although they may no particularly like government being too big and intrusive, still want an efficient activist government that tends to the business of the nation.

What do you offer? Liberty, freedom, the Constitution, the flag, patriotism, traditional American values--all fine principles that the vast majority of Americans on both sides honor. But such airy, overgeneralized statements of principles tells us nothing about what you would actually do in the way of specific policies to address the complex problems the nation faces. Indeed, you seem to propose that the government do nothing other than invade other countries and force our way of life on them while making our country safe for profiteers and Wall Street hustlers.

Posted by: jaxas70 | February 24, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Vitriol spews when one has no logical argument to make. Colin Powell was shafted by the Bush Adminstration. His "friend" John McCain embraced the failed policies of the Bush Administration and jettisoned the old moderate McCain in an effort to grab the conservative vote. No wonder Powell didn't support him--he didn't recognize him. Those of us who used to have respect for McCain lost it when he was willing to sell his principles to get elected. But to the tea partiers who keep pushing to the right I say heave ho! The more Republican primaries you win, the more seats Democrats get/keep. The regressive party will never be able to lead/keep up with the 21st digital world.

Posted by: wdague | February 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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