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Morning Fix: The Conundrum of Colin



Can Colin Powell help the Republican Party recover?
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Former Gen. Colin Powell, the best known and most popular Republican in the country, spent an hour last night with Larry King dissecting -- among other things -- the problems with the GOP and how to solve them.

The question: Will anyone in the party listen?

Powell has long been a difficult figure for rank and file Republicans and party strategists to understand and utilize. Ever since declaring that he was a Republican in late 1995, Powell has been reluctant to wade too deeply into party politics -- preferring instead to polish the non-partisan image that has kept his favorable ratings above 70 percent in most every poll conducted over the past fifteen years.

That reluctance to be a good soldier -- pun intended -- was played out most clearly during the 2008 campaign when Powell endorsed President Barack Obama, a move widely painted as a critical validation of the then Illinois Senator's ability to be commander-in-chief.

"I am concerned that General Powell has become such a reliable critic of the party -- certainly there is room in the party for moderates and inclusive policies, but the constant refrain of negativity impedes his credibility with the rank and file," said Scott Reed, a Republican consultant who managed Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign, of Powell's ability to influence the direction of the GOP.

The disconnect between Powell and the party base led to a high-profile scrap between the former general and talk radio personality Rush Limbaugh earlier this year -- a back and forth that exposed the fissures within a party struggling to find (or re-find) itself.

Powell proved unwilling in last night's interview with King to back away from his assessment that the party must find ways to break the base's hold on its direction. "The party cannot just keep focusing on its solid, very far right wing base," Powell told King, adding later: "You've got to find some ways to reach out and draw moderates and independents more toward the right so that we can build a party that will win."

Call it the conundrum of Colin: his popularity with the American public is built on his status as a non-partisan figure, a status that makes it extremely difficult for Republican strategists to capitalize on his popularity to help rebuild the party.

One Republican consultant did note, however, that while Powell might not be able to directly help the GOP, the retired general could do damage to the Obama brand if he ever decided to speak out against the president.

"If Powell were to call out the President for the experiment they are currently conducting on the American economy, it would certainly be a problem for the Democrats," said the consultant.

Wednesday's Fix Picks: Hump Day!

1. What the Sotomayor vote means (and what it doesn't)
2. Obama's tough road on health care
3. Saturday caucuses in Iowa!
4. Another North Carolina Democrat says no.
5. Brett Favre: Retired. (Also, Brett Favruh.)

A Jumble at Top of 2012 Field: A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows former Govs. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin bunched together atop the field of potential 2012 candidates. Romney took 22 percent to 21 percent for Huckabee and 17 percent for Palin; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is almost certain not to run again, is the only other candidate in double digits at 13 percent. Polls conducted this far in advance of an election tend to function as little more than tests of name identification so it makes sense that the three best known Republicans in the party are leading the field while lesser known figures like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (one percent) lag far behind. Put simply: these polls are entertaining to talk about and keep the political chattering class, well, chattering but they are not worth investing any real meaning in at the moment.

Snyder Brings McCain, Romney Consultants Together: Businessman Rick Snyder, who announced his candidacy for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last week, has put together a consulting team that pulls from advisers to the 2008 presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and John McCain. The big name on the Snyder team is John Weaver, a former senior adviser to McCain who will play a similar role for Snyder. Jake Suski, who will handle Snyder's communications operation, and John Yob, a Michigan-based strategist for the campaign, are also veterans of the McCain operation. The fundraising operation is being overseen by Lauren Rakolta, the vice chair of the Oakland County Republican party and daughter of wealthy construction executive John Rakolta who was a major money man for Romney in 2008. Snyder, who has considerable personal wealth, begins the primary contest as a decided underdog as the other three candidates in the field -- state Attorney General Mike Cox, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and Rep. Pete Hoekstra -- are all better known to the state's voters. Snyder attempt to use his lack of political experience to cast himself an outsider -- a smart move in the current political climate.

Click It!: Shatner does Palin on "Conan". Hilarity ensues. Sidenote: Is there any question that Conan rules the late night ranks?

Bloomberg Slippage?: A new Quinnipiac poll shows New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has slipped badly in his race for a third term against NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson. Bloomberg held a 47 percent to 37 percent lead over Thompson in the survey, a drastic closing from the 54 percent to 32 percent edge he held in a mid-June Q poll. One potential reason? Bloomberg was identified as an "independent" in the June survey and as an "independent and Republican" in this survey; any association with the Republican party in a city as Democratic as New York is bad news for a politician. Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg, seized on the word change to explain the results. "This shows that when you change the wording of any poll, no matter how good, you get a different result," said Hazelbaker. "The fact is New Yorkers know that Mike Bloomberg is an independent who governs in a nonpartisan way." Not so, according to Carly Lindauer, communications director for Thompson. "It's clear that after eight years of a Republican Mayor who's been focused on those at the top, New Yorkers want change in City Hall," she said. As we have written before, we are still skeptical that Bloomberg can be beaten this fall but these numbers suggest that Thompson is, at the very least, in the game.

Mark Your Calendars: Looking for a way to get out of Washington in August (and who isn't)? We've got an event for you. On August 13, a number of high-profile Democratic elected officials -- including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.) -- and operatives like White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina will gather in Denver for a series of forums focused on the West's emergence as a prime battleground nationally. With the west expected to gain even more influence in Congress after the 2010 Census, understanding the how's and why's of politics in the region is critical to any political handicapper.

Say What?: "I got a lot of gobbledygook along the same lines of what the Supreme Court is supposed to do or not do." -- Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) cogently explains his reasons for opposing Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 29, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Madame President, Revisited
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Comments

Powell is so popular because he is not a rubber stamp republican. He is a man who thinks and acts sensibly on topics that arise. The republican base has no common sense or anything else that would make anyone want to listen to them or value their opinion.

Posted by: equalon | July 30, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@chrisfox8 - :-) You never know, I might be an OS 9 dead ender! The option key combinations date back pretty early for the Mac. As it happens, I've got a nice unibody MacBook Pro on my lap (down on the beach in Costa Rica).

I'd consider FreeBSD more of a cousin to the Mac than a parent. NextSTEP adopted the Mach kernel as did FreeBSD. It was kind of cool to open the Unix terminal the first time I loaded OS X (10.2 on my dearly departed Cube). Then I closed it and didn't look back.

Cheers!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 30, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/Police%20report%20on%20Gates%20arrest.PDF

OFFICER CROWLEY’S ARRESTING POLICE REPORT ABOVE…CLICK FOR YOURSELF.

UH OHH OFFICER CROWLEY… WHY IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT… YOU REPORTED THAT THE 911 CALLER ‘LUCIA WHALEN’, AT THE SCENE DESCRIBED TO YOU THAT THERE WERE TWO BLACK MEN WITH BACKPACKS?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS TYPO IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT?

IS THIS THE CAUSE OF THE RACE CARD BEING PLAYED?

Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

OFFICER CROWLEY’S ARRESTING POLICE REPORT ABOVE…CLICK FOR YOURSELF.

UH OHH OFFICER CROWLEY… WHY IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT… YOU REPORTED THAT THE 911 CALLER ‘LUCIA WHALEN’, AT THE SCENE DESCRIBED TO YOU THAT THERE WERE TWO BLACK MEN WITH BACKPACKS?

CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TYPO IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT, SIR?

IS THIS THE CAUSE OF THE RACE CARD BEING PLAYED?

Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Just kidding about the war, BB, but you do know that underneath you're using FreeBSD, do you not?

I use das Ding an sich, I run BSD on old machines with slow processors and low RAM, with no GUI, and those are the fastest machines I use.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

BB: we are now at war

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

And just in case our poster uses the one, true operating system, option-A will give you an angstrom (bonus, option-a gives you the lower case version). Å å

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Powell does not do anything without a reason. His Larry King appearance is the prelude to something--but what, who knows?
Some kind of re-entry into everyday politics? Hard to see an elective office for Powell via the GOP route. Audra (take the country back from the "[rac]coons") Shay, president of the "Young Republicans" just might have a major problem with the General.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 29, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

You mean the Ånstrom symbol?

Alt-0197 and Alt-0229

The leading zero is required, and you have to use the numpad with numlock on

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2: for German and Spanish I just know the keycodes .. ß = Alt-0223 on the number pad.

For Vietnamese I have software I run on every Windows machine, but I have to be careful with some double letters, "look" will come out "lơk" if I don't pay attention. I love those horned vowels.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

cf8, I am gone to the river now,
HOT here in the Gorge.

But how do you get to type real characters?

I'll bet you can even do that Swedish thing with the tiny circle over the A.

Jealous.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

And I have a room with a metal halide light that is NOT being used to grow marijuana .. it's mainly for chilis. I have to hand-pollinate them but it's worth it. So hot they feel like neurotoxin.

Mint. cilantro, things I don't know names for, on the way.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, SE Asia starts with the food, the surf and then you marry one.

That brown skin in the morning.
I marvel at its smooth, almost purple sheen.

Got a garden full of the strangest foods these days. Eggplants like golf balls. Peppers that tie themselves in knobby knots.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

And if you really love to eat sea creatures, the Pacific Northwest is the place to be.

==

Well as one who lives in Seattle area, let me offer that the real culinary attraction in our corner of the world is Southeast Asian food. Noodle joints more common than delicatessens in New York, Vietnamese sandwiches, Thai and Chinese restaurants.

Some of the food here is better than in Việt Nam.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD - I think the Lieberman discussion has been interesting, so I'm glad it's been brought up. By the way, you can contact me at pslane_c1(at)verizon.net. I get into San Diego around noon on Sunday and will have to check the meeting schedule for other openings. I know I have a few organizing meetings as I co-chair one of the conferences.

Here's my contribution to cross-party support. I was living in Wisconsin during the 1988 election. The Democratic candidate was Herb Kohl, who was a businessman that won a close primary. He is known for a chain store (not the clothing one) and for "saving" the Milwaukee Bucks. I think he bought the team to prevent it from moving. The Republican candidate was Susan Engeleiter. She was president of the Wisconsin Senate and a longtime active Republican.

Kohl's campaign came down to I'm rich, so I can self-fund my campaign and be beholden to noone. I despise such campaigns as I don't believe in Noblesse Oblige. Not from Republicans. Not from Democrats. That didn't seal my vote against him. I remember the debate between the two of them vividly. When asked what they would try to change when they came to the Senate, Engeleiter had a sharp answer about eliminating additions to bills that have nothing to do with the bill itself (a germaneness rule). So, one doesn't add a DC guns amendment to the highway bill. Or Lord knows how many earmarks. Kohl's response was unmemorable.

Kohl won a close election and has been an equally unmemorable senator ever since (not to mention that he stopped self funding his campaigns after, oh I don't know, one). Wisconsin blew the chance to have an outstanding senator.

So, I don't think you should re-register when you find an individual opposing your party who would be the best choice. I will stand up to every party-line bully who claims moderates don't have anything to contribute (Mr. Limbaugh, party of 1).

Cheers!

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Notatall Jake.

It was good to look apostasy in the eye.

Back in the day when religious factions were politics, many, many people died for lack of orthodox beliefs. You could argue that the reason for warring with the Arabs is right there on this point. Lieberman believes that.

Just don't tell us Barak HUSSEIN Obama will never be the President or is not now the President.

And if you really love to eat sea creatures, the Pacific Northwest is the place to be.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 writes
"If you don't have political parties, you lose the rule of law."

hogwash

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Everyone else:

I'm sorry that I even brought up Sen. Lieberman.

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of your views about political parties as good or bad, I think that the titular head of one party should re-register if he formally endorsed the other party's candidate for President. I mean, that's just a basic minimum.

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

If you don't have political parties, you lose the rule of law.

Peaceful political transitions are the specialty of the American experiment.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Do you think that someone who publically endorses the other party's candidate should go the whole way and re-register?"

I'm the wrong guy to ask because I'm a regular ticket-splitter. I think political parties are causing more harm than good. I'd prefer that there weren't politcal parties at all and, as a result, tend to think that people who believe one party or the other has all the answers are, at best, intellectually lazy and perhaps plain old stupid.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Obama never had experience running anything. Not a business. Not a state. Not even a county."

People were touting Palin's executive experience and that she had more than Obama. If this is the case, then where is McCain's so-called experience coming from? Yeah, McCain's tenure as Senator was five times that of Obama's, but five times zero is still zero, isn't it?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD:
"[Lieberman] didn't just realize he would lose. He actually lost."

I didn't take time to look it up when I originally posted, but just checked to be sure...and once again, when it comes to historical facts I seem to have a better memory than DDAWD usually does.

Lieberman filed to run as an Independent a month before the Democrat primary. He didn't wait until he lost the 2006 primary to file to run as an Independent.

Not a big point, but correcting DDAWD's version of history is amusing as it proves yet again that most Democrat posters on this board tend to have a clouded (and frequently inaccurate) view of what really happened in the past..."

Well, when I said Lieberman lost the primary, I meant that there was a primary election, a vote took place, and Ned Lamont took 52% while Lieberman took 48%. Dbw1, was there a spread or something that Lamont was supposed to cover?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_primary,_Connecticut_United_States_Senate_election,_2006

I'm assuming that dbw lied about looking it up. Not sure why he lied about that, but I guess it allowed him to do his little song and dance about Democrats and clouded memories and whatnot. Seems like I would pick something that can't be refuted by twenty seconds of googling.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2006/by_state/CT_Page_0808.html?SITE=CTHARELN&SECTION=POLITICS

The second link is the from the Hartford Courant, but I guess if the birth certificate thing teaches us anything, its that right wingers don't really care about historical records.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

Well, if you go all the way back to the '60s, then the Dixiecrats of Wallace and Thurmond were pretty darned conservative. NE has sorted out a lot of the moderate Rs through either elections or party switch (e.g., Chaffee and Jeffords). But rather than cleansing different regions of Ds or Rs, I'd prefer more overlap of the political bell curves between the parties. I guess it's because I'm in the middle myself.

I too don't like living in a culturally conservative place, though central PA is not known as "Pennsyltucky" for nothing.

Posted by: mnteng | July 29, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:
"McCain showed almost every week of his campaign that he's not up to the job of president."

Knowing that Obama has a default mindset that police must have "acted stupidly" if they arrest an African-American, and that Obama is having problems pushing his agenda even with a HUGE majority in the House and filibuster-proof 60 in the Senate, do you think Obama is 'up to the job' of being President?

I think we are seeing the results of what many predicted....Obama never had experience running anything. Not a business. Not a state. Not even a county. Yet many flocked en masse to anoint him 'leader' of the most powerful nation on the planet, with less on his resume than any other candidate in recent history.

Isn't it nice, Democrats, that you will never, ever again be able to criticize the lack of experience of a GOP candidate?


Posted by: dbw1 | July 29, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

Do you think that someone who publically endorses the other party's candidate should go the whole way and re-register?

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:
"[Lieberman] didn't just realize he would lose. He actually lost."

I didn't take time to look it up when I originally posted, but just checked to be sure...and once again, when it comes to historical facts I seem to have a better memory than DDAWD usually does.

Lieberman filed to run as an Independent a month before the Democrat primary. He didn't wait until he lost the 2006 primary to file to run as an Independent.

Not a big point, but correcting DDAWD's version of history is amusing as it proves yet again that most Democrat posters on this board tend to have a clouded (and frequently inaccurate) view of what really happened in the past...

Posted by: dbw1 | July 29, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

what he means to say is that the reicht wing base needs to be led. Right now the reicht wing

==

Let's leave the sophomoric name-mangling for the other side, OK?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell was never a Republican, he only painted himself one in order to advance his career. He is also a racist. The only two things he had in common with Barack Obama was skin color and tribal solidarity, and that's why he didn't support his "long time friend (?)" and military and political ally John McCain

==

There were plenty of good reasons not to endorse McCain other than racial solidarity with the other guy. McCain showed almost every week of his campaign that he's not up to the job of president. I already listed a bunch of reasons.

Why don't you just stick to comic books and stay out of politics.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

No problem. If you post next week and you have some time, maybe we can get together for lunch one day.

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

reason5 writes
"I'd say Bloomberg/Powell can win several states: Arizona, California, Colorodo, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington & Wisconsin."


I think it takes a combination of wild cynicism about the economy and extreme optimism on the behavior of voters to believe that all those states would choose Bloomberg/Powell over Obama/Biden & the Repub candidates. Particularly HI & IL. They're two deep-blue states that claim the incumbent as favorite son. No way does a new yorker come in and win. As I mentioned before, Bloomberg's vociferous support for gun control will kill the deal in several other states.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell was never a Republican, he only painted himself one in order to advance his career. He is also a racist. The only two things he had in common with Barack Obama was skin color and tribal solidarity, and that's why he didn't support his "long time friend (?)" and military and political ally John McCain, who he had worked with for over 30 years. There isn't a politician in congress that was/is more bi-partisan than McCain. This is the reason why he was called a 'maverick', and why the Democrap Socialist--controlled Main Stream Media once loved him (until he was chosen to face a Democrap Socialist in the election who was one of their own). It's also the main reason why McCain and the GOP lost. Colin Powell, as well as the MSM's talking heads and the far left wingers con--that the GOP is losing support and elections because they're too conservative--is what they want us to believe, and not what has been borne out by past election history. Their con is to convince us conservative Republicans to run candidates like McCain because then they'll always win. Past election history has proven that when we Republicans run conservatives and real Republicans, we generally always win. When we run "Moderates", RINO's, and "Mavericks" like McCain, we lose. Colin Powell's laughably stupid reasoning to try to convince us Republicans to run "moderates"--i e Democrap Socialist Lites--is nothing more than a political ploy to help the Democrap Socialist Party to stay and keep political power and control. They'd love nothing better than that the GOP always run moderates.

Posted by: armpeg | July 29, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

But now personal destruction politics have become the rule. The Clintons embraced them at the same time with the Republicans.

The hard part for the third part, 'social liberal', will be to back government/media out of peoples' personal lives, whilst

(1) maintaining transparency in political transactions of all kinds (the sunshine disinfectant) and
(2) making sure hypocrites get nothing, but nothing.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Gen. Powell is a nice guy, but a political insider who just wants to keep his legacy alive. Does he have a stance on abortion, illegals, government run healthcare, the massive spending, who is this guy? A darling of the media because he what they want on the right..but the right does not want him..he is like a sniper..pops up..takes a few shots..then runs for cover when the battle starts..

Posted by: yokosuka1985 | July 29, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2 - You just described me! If given the chance, I would have voted for Powell in 2000. Still, given the personal attacks on candidates (McCain's imprisonment and wife, Palin's family, Obama's, well, everything), I'm not surprised he decided to pass.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD - Forgot to respond. My trip to San Diego was just approved. I'm attending the SPIE conference next week.

I was hunting around for good mail order options and happened on CatalinaOP. I might drop by there next week as shipping is fairly expensive. I picked up some bluefin tuna at $10/pound and the scallops, salmon , and tobiko (flying fish roe) beat anything I could find at markets in my area.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

pro defense (assertive, highly principled, real borders for articulated reasons, but not adventurist foreign policy)
fiscal conservative
social liberal

This should be the future.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@mnteng - I think you need to go back to Reagan, then. That's when the conservative southern Democrat block collapsed. They've been replaced by Republicans. What's happened in the NE is the next logical consequence. We've had a definite sorting out. In truth, I don't think I would like to live in a culturally conservative place. I had an easier time fitting in in northern England (though had the p*ss taken out of me a number of times for being an American).

@shrink2 - It's happened to me and I've had to retract statements I was sure were true. There was a definite call for his head after the election. I'm glad that cooler heads prevailed.

*bow*

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon1 writes "What states could they win to reach 270 electoral votes? Can a pro gun-control Bloomberg win TX or VA? Can he take CA, IL or NY from the Dems? Without several of those states, the path to victory is non-existent." Meaning a Bloomberg/Powell ticket in 2012.

I think a Bloomberg/Powell team has a shot at alot of states. Bloomberg/Powell could appeal to pro defense & fiscal conservatives while appealing to social liberals. So which states can they win? I'd say Bloomberg/Powell can win several states: Arizona, California, Colorodo, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington & Wisconsin.

There are 29 states they could potentially win. Some Republican states, but mostly democrats. They wouldn't get much support from the deep south & conservative western states that are very extremely conservative. They could try to swipe a few conservative states though: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri & Ohio. That is over 80 electoral votes right there. California, New York, New Jersey & Connecticut is about 117 electoral votes. So, there you go: 202 electoral votes on winning 9 states. Noone may not get 270 votes with a 3 way split: Obama/Biden vs. Bloomberg/Powell vs. Republican/VP. That is my idea of math on how they can win the election. If they won those 9 states, they would need to pull off a few more of the other 18 states to win the election. With Bloomberg/Powell & $1 billion or more on the campaign, this could be done and a new party could be created. This could work, especially right now in our current situation.

Posted by: reason5 | July 29, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

mnteng, I find it very hard to lament the days when Zell Miller, Richard Shelby, and Larry McDonald were Democrats. That was only an historical anomaly, and you can't reasonably expect or desire a single party to contain every extreme, from the far left to the far right. What would such a party represent, except inclusiveness? It would be incoherent.

More important is that the two parties should overlap somewhat in the middle. Which is hard, when one party is consciously and intentionally divesting itself of moderates and centrists.

Posted by: nodebris | July 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I am posting this from England. It is a pity that Gen Colin Powell has not provided leadership to his country. He is one person who would have commanded respect all over the civilised world, despite the dent on his prestige when he produced the Weapons of Mass destruction proof in UN which turned out to be not true, had he run for the presidency. Republcans failed to take advantage of him, an immense asset, by not pressing him strongly enough to run for the presidency which he would have certainly won. In these troubled times globally, his experience would have been invaluable to all. I feel that despite his attributes Obama is a light weight, and it shows.
The other person who would have attracted singular trust from the world at-large if assumed leadership with a cause that benefits the whole mankind is Neil Armstrong. I was proud that he was a professor in the university where I was doing my graduate studies.
These two men could have changed destiny of their own country in a better way as well as providing leadership to the civilised world in their own ways. For some strange reasons they chose not to.

Posted by: normantheconqueror | July 29, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

I thought you were coming out next month?

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

adrienne_najjar writes
"Powell is a huge disappointment. His credibility problem is best illustrated by the fact that he "[polishes] his non-partisan image", but still declares himself a republican. He needs to be truthful with the public or go away and STFU."


That mentality is why so many of us don't align with political parties. Party activists & politicians seem to have forgotten that its not about the party, its about the country.

The people that need to STFU, as you so charmingly put it, are the drones who seem to think that anyone with whom they do not share party ID represent the devil incarate.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The political fencesitters, the Liebermans, the Powells, and the Blue Dogs, will always be a problem in any 2-party system. That is why some countries seem to require half a dozen parties to accommodate all thoseo political nuances between right and left. Party insiders will never trust a fencesitter completely because they are always unsure which side of the fence they will choose.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | July 29, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

It is true, Lieberman kept his post in the heady days after the election when it was kumbaya time - he should have been kicked up one side of the aisle and down the other. Imagine how a McSame/Palin leadership would have gone.

Still, to laugh at myself, it is amazing how peoples' minds will contort memory to fit the way they think it should have gone, at the expense of how it did.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@FairlingtonBlade:

Relatively speaking, the Blue Dogs are conservative Democrats. But, I'm not talking about people like Ben Nelson, Jim Webb, Baron Hill, and Brad Ellsworth. I'm talking about the D party having had people to the RIGHT of those guys. Like Shelby, who switched parties, and Miller, who ended up endorsing GWB.

Posted by: mnteng | July 29, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Powell is a huge disappointment. His credibility problem is best illustrated by the fact that he "[polishes] his non-partisan image", but still declares himself a republican. He needs to be truthful with the public or go away and STFU.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | July 29, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman should have been removed from his committee responsibilities. His campaigning of McCain was irresponsible as hell.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Well BB you and DDAWD are right.
I was wrong.

Sorry about that, don't know why, I was sure that Lieberman paid a significant political price and that he lost that post.

But the real mistake I made was in contradicting another person's assertion based on my memory (or wish?), not fact checking.

Again, sorry about that.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how flooding every thread with nasty sarcastic BS and screeds about LONG FORM is "courteous."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"I would second dognabbit's comments vis-a-vis Zouk and JakeD. With rare exceptions, Zouk posts off-topic material he has copied from elsewhere without attribution or schoolyard insults. Although I disagree with Jake on most matters political, he responds directly to opposing posters and is generally courteous."

JakeD is like an allergen. Kind of annoying, but the massive response to his presence is what really causes difficulties. If we could tamp down the response to a sneeze rather than full blown anaphylaxis, he would be bearable.

Zouk is like herpes. Stays dormant for a while and then breaks out in these large and painful posts.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@mnteng - I think the last two elections have brought in a number of moderate to conservative Democrats. For example, Senators Webb from Virginia, Begich from Alaska, Baucuas from Montana (almost said Bauer--he's a certain Republican!), and Gillebrand from New York.

I'm not as up on the House as it tends to be more local. Certainly, there's Heath Shuler and I know there have been a number of seats won in conservative disctricts in the last two cycles. By their very success, they've broadened the Democratic party.

A core problem for the Republicans is that the primaries are killing off the moderates. The religious right is willing and eager to impose litmus tests. The Democrats decided they wanted to win elections instead of make points; the Republicans want to make points at the moment.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse


Coulda

Woulda

Shoulda

been the black Eisenhower this country was ready for.

But the Republican "base," is, well, how do I put this politely? It's about country...and western.

As a registered Democrat I would have voted for Powell in a heartbeat. I have always found him to be reasoned, reasonable and capable. But what do I know?

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | July 29, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I have high regard for Powell as soldier and statesman but he has no legtimacy as a Republican after not only voting for Obama but using his statue to try to get others to vote for him. If the Republicans had nominated a right winger, maybe, but McCain is a lot closer to his views if he was really a moderate republican. Either he supported Obama because he is black or his views are now like Obama and the rest of the dems.

==

Dude the election was only months ago, have you forgotten ALREADY?!?

An endorsement of McCain would have been an irresponsible move and a betrayal of the good of the nation, which should always come first. McCain made no sense, he lurched and jerked and lied. The Palin choice, the campaign suspension, the daffy BS around earmarks and the bridge to nowhere, McCain was acting more like radio shock jock than a presidential candidate.

Can you imagine him trying to respond to the economic crisis? More tax cuts for people who offshore jobs?

MORE wars?

Powell was right to not endorse him, party or no party.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2 - Lieberman *kept* his position as chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee. [See http://lieberman.senate.gov/about/committees.cfm ]. That was key to him remaining in the Democratic caucus. He agreed to give up a sub-committee as a token punishment. If you want to be taken seriously around here, post factually.

I would second dognabbit's comments vis-a-vis Zouk and JakeD. With rare exceptions, Zouk posts off-topic material he has copied from elsewhere without attribution or schoolyard insults. Although I disagree with Jake on most matters political, he responds directly to opposing posters and is generally courteous.

Incidentally, Jake, if you like sushi or really fresh fish, I found a fabulous place in San Diego--Catalina Offshore Products. I just ordered a lot of sushi-grade fish from there and it's terrific. They also do pick-up in the area.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

nodebris:

The Democratic Party used to have members like Zell Miller, Richard Shelby, and Larry McDonald. So, while the breadth of ideas in the D party is greater than that of the GOP, it still isn't what it used to be.

reason5:

A Bloomberg/Powell ticket might do well -- except for the obvious hurdle of getting Powell to run for elected office. We don't really know how good a campaigner Powell is either. But certainly Bloomberg could drop $1B on a presidential campaign if he wanted to.

Posted by: mnteng | July 29, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

LooneyLefty wrote: "FACT: powell puts race above party-loyalty and just about everything else. Isn't that a working definition of "racist"."

I'd say proposing that as a fact is a much, much more accurate flag for racism.

Posted by: nodebris | July 29, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"There's a very broad spread of ideas in the Democratic caucus. From socialist Bernie Sanders to the Blue Dogs. It's the GOP that has contracted, and the Democrats have picked up what the GOP has abandoned, become broader."

Yeah, its amazing that people like Bernie Sanders and Mark Pryor are members of the same political party.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

FACT: powell puts race above party-loyalty and just about everything else.

Isn't that a working definition of "racist".

Posted by: LoonyLeft | July 29, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

There should be room for a variety of ideas, and for constructive criticism within both parties.

==

Should be, isn't.

The Democrats don't agree on anything, they have the Blue Dogs, for one thing. The GOP is more interested in ideological purity than in winning elections, much less in doing the nation's business. To hell with the Republicans. Powell will be savaged, moderates will continue to be ostracized, the GOP will continue to lose seats, they will continue to rally around small-town bigots at the exclusion of independents.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

reason5 writes
"Anyone thinking a Bloomberg/Powell Independent ticket in 2012? An alternated party would do well in 2012 that was began by Bloomberg and having Powell as a runningmate would intensify support. With a Bloomberg/Powell ticket plus $1 billion + they could actually win the Presidential election."


What states could they win to reach 270 electoral votes? Can a pro gun-control Bloomberg win TX or VA? Can he take CA, IL or NY from the Dems? Without several of those states, the path to victory is non-existent.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Cyclopsina

I guess the thing about Powell is that he's not a politician. He's a guy who calls himself a Republican. I had a feeling it was more on military issues than on econosocial stuff.

But I did think it was hilarious that some Republican consultant envisioned him someone to go after Obama. The guy had endorsed Obama and the President is doing pretty much what he said he would do in his campaign. Why would Powell go after him now?

But this goes to show how out of touch that party is. Anyone who envisions Powell in an attack dog role has his head shoved up somewhere that shall remain unmentioned.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Powell is right, period. That the GOP's mindless idealogues (best represented now by the lame, played-for-suckers "birthers") refuse to listen to this sensible man is sad.
I'm sorry Powell didn't run as the GOP cand. back in '96 or 2000 -- he would have won easily, served two terms and probably had a successful presidency (unlike the incompetent trainwreck we had to endure for 8 years) and left the GOP in much better shape.
But, such is history. Real democracy depends of mulitiple parties, and if the GOP keeps up its pitiable charade, it will become a minority party, and then some.
And that's not good.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | July 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Powell abandoned Republicans, Republicans did not abandon Powell.

==

The Republicans abandoned sense and reason for some angry right-wing nonsense. It's not working, which just makes them angry and rebellious.

The Republicans abandoned America, and now America is abandoning Republicans, and they're just digging in their heels.

Wave bye-bye to the train, sonny, and no it's not coming back.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed by the GOP's firm stand against moderates.

Posted by: nodebris | July 29, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm uncertain why my last post was posted 3 times? That was certainly not meant.

Posted by: reason5 | July 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

mnteng wrote: "The polarization of the parties is not a good thing for politics, IMO. There used to be a much broader spread of ideas in both parties."

There's a very broad spread of ideas in the Democratic caucus. From socialist Bernie Sanders to the Blue Dogs. It's the GOP that has contracted, and the Democrats have picked up what the GOP has abandoned, become broader.

Posted by: nodebris | July 29, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Powell abandoned Republicans, Republicans did not abandon Powell.

Powell can't have it both ways: he can't constantly criticize the party and tell the GOP that it has to move to the middle, and then, when the GOP nominates it's most centrist candidate for President in years (McCain), abandon the party's nominee to support a left-wing Democrat...and continue smearing 'his party' for being too right-wing.

Gen. Powell, the GOP gave you the poster-child candidate you claim to want, and you rejected him. That's on you, not on the GOP.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 29, 2009 10:36 AM
------------------------------------------
Powell admitted that what worried him about McCain was the choice made for Vice President. While McCain may have been centrist, Palin wasn't. While McCain may have been centrist the base, which the party demanded he give in to by choosing Palin, certainly isn't. Perhaps Colin Powell would have endorsed McCain if McCain had shown himself to be above the average GOP mentality.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | July 29, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The GOP won't listen, they'll push back in rebellion and cut off the nose to spite the face. No sign they're learning, just pushing farther and farther to the right, playing to the sub-100 IQ base

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

I read Colin Powell's autobiography some time ago, and I am a little rusty. After the Berlin Wall fell, he proposed cuts to the military, and says in his book that Vietnam was a mistake. He admires Reagan, felt that Reagan was able to determine what the electorate wanted and gave it to them. He said that Dick Cheney had "admirable vision" on nuclear issues, and it is due to Cheney that the US and Russia don't target each other at all with nuclear weapons. My general sense was that he embraced less government, less military. He is a big fan of Clausewitz's book "On War", which espouses careful military action.

Posted by: Cyclopsina | July 29, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I think that if USA does not want to become fast colonized by China, US Supreme Court should consider seriously the current lawsuit, which is pending right now in US Supreme Court against Mrs. Clinton and achieve her resignation at the very least by their decision on this case. They, our nine justices, should realize that Chinese government structure does not include, and does not need Supreme Court and its justices. So, if they let Mrs. Clinton to continue her active implementation of Chinese colonization of the USA, they are this way eliminating themselves. After and if Mrs. Clinton is stopped and removed from power by the pressure of US Supreme Court, Mrs. Palin can successfully cash on the women's influence and power networks, which Mrs. Clinton has been building for many years. That would guarantee GOP victory and its rebirth. In any occasion, if Supreme Court won't force Mrs. Clinton from power and her current top level activities towards Chinese colonization of the USA, I think, elections in the USA would be soon eliminated, due to the same reason of the fast incoming colonization. So, the removal and fast removal of Mrs. Clinton from power is the necessary, and probably, even sufficient condition for the GOP victory in the next election.

Posted by: aepelbaum | July 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"...he can call himself a Republican and be a great American, but like Ratliff, he will remain an independent in his heart."

This is true. People can call themselves by any name they want, but it does not make it so. Earlier someone said something like, you choose your party, the party does not choose you. This is only true for voters. It is not true for leaders.

Colin Powell has always been a leader; he still wants to be, or he would disappear from places like Larry King, not to mention The Fix.

He may believe he wants to lead Republicans (back to sanity), but the party has abandoned him and for that reason, he is no longer Republican, only in name.

Whether or not political polarization is sad is something else. I, for one, am happy the Republicans have come out as the safe place to be bigoted, the safe place for Sanford and Ensign and Craig and Limbaugh and Savage.

The 22% of Americans who call themselves Republicans should be ashamed of themselves, but they, of course, are not.

They want Palin not Powell and Colin could be a great Democratic (or a new party, the Ds are corrupt, after all) leader, he just has to look inward and think about it some more. I bet he will stop calling himself Republican before too long.


Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: scrivener50
WHAT DOES COLIN POWELL KNOW ABOUT THE SECRETIVE SECURITY/MILITARY/INTEL MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATED ACTION 'PROGRAM'...

...THAT USES CIVILIAN VIGILANTES, COVERTLY IMPLANTED GPS DEVICES AND SILENT, INJURY- AND ILLNESS-INDUCING MICROWAVE/LASER DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS TO SLOWLY DESTROY THE LIVES OF UNJUSTLY TARGETED AMERICANS?
===============================
I would guess he doesn't know about it -- unless he's on the same medication as you.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | July 29, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Anyone thinking a Bloomberg/Powell Independent ticket in 2012? An alternated party would do well in 2012 that was began by Bloomberg and having Powell as a runningmate would intensify support. With a Bloomberg/Powell ticket plus $1 billion + they could actually win the Presidential election. For this to happen, if Bloomberg is reelected mayor of NYC that would be the time for him to begin organizing the presidential run and create the new party. I suspect that a few Republicans would join his new party: Carly Fariona in Cali., Steve Poizner in Cali., Mark Kirk in Ill among others. If ever a 3rd party could win, it's now with Bloomberg/Powell or Huntsman/Powell.

Posted by: reason5 | July 29, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Anyone thinking a Bloomberg/Powell Independent ticket in 2012? An alternated party would do well in 2012 that was began by Bloomberg and having Powell as a runningmate would intensify support. With a Bloomberg/Powell ticket plus $1 billion + they could actually win the Presidential election. For this to happen, if Bloomberg is reelected mayor of NYC that would be the time for him to begin organizing the presidential run and create the new party. I suspect that a few Republicans would join his new party: Carly Fariona in Cali., Steve Poizner in Cali., Mark Kirk in Ill among others. If ever a 3rd party could win, it's now with Bloomberg/Powell or Huntsman/Powell.

Posted by: reason5 | July 29, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Anyone thinking a Bloomberg/Powell Independent ticket in 2012? An alternated party would do well in 2012 that was began by Bloomberg and having Powell as a runningmate would intensify support. With a Bloomberg/Powell ticket plus $1 billion + they could actually win the Presidential election. For this to happen, if Bloomberg is reelected mayor of NYC that would be the time for him to begin organizing the presidential run and create the new party. I suspect that a few Republicans would join his new party: Carly Fariona in Cali., Steve Poizner in Cali., Mark Kirk in Ill among others. If ever a 3rd party could win, it's now with Bloomberg/Powell or Huntsman/Powell.

Posted by: reason5 | July 29, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't see any conundrum over Colin Powell. The GOP can tune him out and not suffer for it. They pretty much already have. He's indicated no interest in running for political office, and he would have no wide base of support in either party if he did. He spends a lot of time criticizing Republicans, but any criticisms he might have about how Democrats are running the country don't get any press. So, he's of no use to the GOP as a candidate or as a fundraiser. Ergo, he's not of much use, period.

The GOP has its problems, but what to do about Colin Powell is not one of them.

Posted by: rickbrownell | July 29, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

dognabbit, you must be new here.

Before you deem joked to be "thoughtful," you might want to read his body of work on two topics:

1. Sarah Palin
2. President Obama's birth certificate.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 29, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting to see the ideological contraction of the Rs. Powell certainly would have fit into the Dirksen/Percy wing of the GOP (for those of you old enough to remember), but he is clearly out of step with the right wing agenda of today's GOP.

The polarization of the parties is not a good thing for politics, IMO. There used to be a much broader spread of ideas in both parties. Now we use the terms RINO and DINO as pejoratives to mean someone who doesn't walk in lock step with the "party line". It's sad, really.

Posted by: mnteng | July 29, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

what he means to say is that the reicht wing base needs to be led. Right now the reicht wing leads like a mob, the party just try's to stay up with a yes and an amen on occasion. Palin wants to lead the mob, and she IS one of them. Reagan led them... even got immigration amnesty, that is my point.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 29, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I admit to being one of the 70% of Americans who admire Powell.

I have read his biography and I recommend it. I have read what he has said since that appearance at the UN - the one that along with Blair's speech to Commons convinced me to support the invasion of Iraq. I think CIA cooked the evidence he presented but that he did not know that, at the time.

I have heard him explain that he should never have revealed his party preference, as Gen. Marshall, CP's personal reference point for duty and service, never did.

We once had a very independent minded LG in TX named Bill Ratliff, who when confronted again and again on his party disloyalty would say "I am a Republican only because I agree with Republican views about 51% of the time." Ratliff quit politics rather than raise money which he said would compromise him. I think CP is like that, and he can call himself a Republican and be a great American, but like Ratliff, he will remain an independent in his heart.

Vbhooomes, I believed CP's own explanation of why he endorsed BHO and it was largely because BHO was channeling the FP of Bush41-Baker-Scowcroft, whom he most admired on FP, and within whose inner circle he walked. Remember that Bush41-Baker-Scowcroft privately called Wolfowitz and the neocons "the crazies" and you get how tough it was for CP to be SecState opposed by Rummy+Cheney. This is just my take from reading, I was not there and I did not do it [as we say in TX, "me no Alamo, me no Goliad"].


Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 29, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

IT IS CIVIL WAR - GENERAL POWELL V. SARAH PALIN: HAS POWELL TAKEN A LEAD FROM CAPTAIN LOUIS RENAULT?

“ I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy” But to know the entire story is to know in the end he left with the resistance.” CASABLANCA


Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dognabbit : )

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

zouk has gone the way of scrivener50. Too much long, rambling rants about off-topic "stuff". I can't read zouk anymore.

JakeD is a thoughtful voice on the right. I'll still read what he has to say.

bsimon1 and DDAWD are also good posters. I could go on listing the "good regulars," but perhaps the most constructive poster is mark_in_austin.

Left, right, middle, I'm just looking to learn from people who don't necessarily believe what I believe. That's why I like Colin Powell, even though I'm not a Republican.

Posted by: dognabbit | July 29, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"The Democrats eventually kept him in his best committee spots." No, in fact he was stripped of his best spot.

Apart from that, the fact that there is some overlap in the political positions between supporters of the two parties is obvious. I imagine I share some positions with a lot of right wingers. When I say I want as little intrusion of government in my personal life as possible. But that sure does not make me a Republican.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"So if big tent means you can call yourself a Republican and promote the interests of and even vote for the Democrat for President? That is silly"

Well, take Lieberman. Endorsed McCain and even appeared at the RNC. The Democrats eventually kept him in his best committee spots. Despite his support of McCain, Lieberman still has a lot of viewpoints that he shares with the Dems.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"Uhhh, that's a bit misleading. Although it's true that Lieberman filed as an independent in 2006 after realizing he wouldn't win the Democratic primary"

He didn't just realize he would lose. He actually lost.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Supply-siders, like, oh say, Ronald Reagan?

Posted by: thinman1 | July 29, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

So if big tent means you can call yourself a Republican and promote the interests of and even vote for the Democrat for President? That is silly.

Powell is RINO, there is such a thing and it would matter to me. That is to say, if somebody called herself a Socialist and shilled for "supply side" candidates, I would attack that person.

The right wing that is the Republican base and Colin Powell have no common ground and he should acknowledge that and he should start attacking Republicans...or get out of politics. It is good to be honest.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Interesting comments today. The impact of the endorsement by Powell is overstated in my view. The election was decided by McCain's erratic response to the economic crisis in the fall coupled with the dawning realization that Palin was deeply out of her depth. She plays well to the base and poorly in Peoria.

@dbw - Lieberman ran as an independent after he *lost* the Democratic primary, not after he thought he would lose the primary as is the case for Specter. And he was not booted from his posts after endorsing McCain, but rather after the election and he kept his post as chair of the homeland committee. Small points, but arguably significant.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 29, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza - your prejudice is showing.
You OMITTED that Powell stated he opposed Gates' response to the police.

Posted by: angie12106 | July 29, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse


McCain2000 I would have voted for. (In fact I did, in the primary.) McCain2008 was like a re-animated zombie of the McCain I thought I knew, hamstrung by fealty to the right-wing base. He probably wouldn't have been as bad a president as he was a candidate--witness his return to sanity in the Senate.

But I still couldn't vote for him. So I don't fault Powell for supporting Obama. I'd have voted for Colin Powell over Obama, McCain, or anyone else I can think of.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 29, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I love the fact that everyone seems to think McCain is a moderate. How exactly? Becasue he supported campaign finance? Because, at least before he ran for Presdient, he thumbed his nose one time at social conservatives?

He has a lifetime 82% rating from the American Conservative Union and every liberal group rates him zero.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 29, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

thugs in chief:

The CBO and the Blue Dogs got off easy compared to inspectors general targeted by Team Obama goons. Former AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin was slimed as mentally incompetent ("confused" and "disoriented") after blowing the whistle on several cases of community service tax fraud, including the case of Obama crony Kevin Johnson. Johnson is the NBA star turned Sacramento mayor who ran a federally funded nonprofit group employing AmeriCorps volunteers, who were exploited to perform campaign work for Johnson and to provide personal services (car washes, errands) to Johnson and his staff.

At the Environmental Protection Agency, top Obama officials muzzled veteran researcher Alan Carlin, who dared to question the conventional wisdom on global warming. The economist with a physics degree was trashed as a non-scientist know-nothing.

Obama Treasury officials forced banks to take TARP bailout money they didn't want and obstructed banks that wanted to pay back TARP money from doing so. The administration strong-armed Chrysler creditors and Chrysler dealers using politicized tactics that united both House Democrats and Republicans, who passed an amendment last week reversing Obama on the closure of nearly 800 Chrysler dealerships and more than 2,000 GM dealerships.

At the Justice Department, Obama lawyers are now blocking a House inquiry into the suspicious decision to dismiss default judgments against radical New Black Panther Party activists who intimidated voters and poll workers on Election Day in Philadelphia. The DOJ is preventing Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., from meeting with the trial team in the case. Wolf has been pressing for answers on what communications Attorney General Eric Holder and his deputies conducted with third-party interest groups and other political appointees about the case. So far: radio silence.

In the mafia culture, bully boys depend on a code of silence and allegiance -- omerta -- not only among their brethren, but also from the victims. The victims of Obama thugocracy are no longer cooperating. Perhaps it won't be long until some of the enforcers start to sing, too.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

So does anyone know of ANY Republican views Powell supports?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza- If Powell or anyone else "fixes" the republician party what material will you have to write your partisan articles. You will be totally lost if that happens.

Posted by: 12oreo | July 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

dbw,
I would venture to guess that Lieberman caucuses with the party that offered him the best deal to keep the most power. Not saying this is right or wrong, just conjecture.

Leiberman also accepting a speaking role at the GOP convention probably ticked off a lot of people.

It's one thing to offer opposing views, but to openly side/support/speak for another party...well, to be honest, I think he was treated better than he deserves.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I have high regard for Powell as soldier and statesman but he has no legtimacy as a Republican after not only voting for Obama but using his statue to try to get others to vote for him. If the Republicans had nominated a right winger, maybe, but McCain is a lot closer to his views if he was really a moderate republican. Either he supported Obama because he is black or his views are now like Obama and the rest of the dems.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 29, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

bsimon1:
"No, Dems didn't throw him out. Lieberman left on his own, two years before endorsing McCain. He was defeated in a primary election & chose to run as an independent."

Uhhh, that's a bit misleading. Although it's true that Lieberman filed as an independent in 2006 after realizing he wouldn't win the Democratic primary, he continued to call himself a Democrat, continued to refer to the Democrats as "my party", and continued caucusing with the Democrats after winning re-election.

Only after he came out in support of McCain did the Democrat leadership boot him from some of his posts. However, he continues to caucus with Democrats and held on to at least one or two key positions.

So it's not quite correct that he was booted from the party, but the party certainly penalized him for his unfaithfulness to Obama, by stripping him of some of the power he previously had.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 29, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

JakeD,
So would I.

I think Gen. Powell would be a much-needed, respected voice for the Democrats on issues of military and foreign policy. And perhaps his moderate views on social issues would tempter the leanings of Reid and Pelosi.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 29, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Thinking about today's massive deficits, we might ask: Where in the U.S. Constitution is Congress given the authority to do anything about the economy? Between 1787 and 1930, we have had both mild and severe economic downturns that have ranged from one to seven years. During that time there was no thought that Congress should enact New Deal legislation or stimulus packages along with massive corporate handouts. It took the Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt administrations to massively intervene in the economy. As a result, they turned what might have been a two or three-year sharp downturn into a 16-year depression that ended in 1946. How they accomplished that is covered very well in a book authored by Jim Powell titled "FDR's Folly." Here's my question: Were the presidents in office and congresses assembled from 1787 to 1930 ignorant of their constitutional authority to manage and save the economy?


The Constitution provides, through Article V, a means by which the Constitution can be altered. My question to my fellow Americans whether they are liberal or conservative: Has the Constitution been amended to permit Congress to manage the economy? I'd also ask that question to members of the U.S. Supreme Court. I personally know of no such amendment. What we're witnessing today is nothing less than a massive escalation in White House and congressional thuggery. Secure in the knowledge that the American people are compliant and willing to cast off the limitations imposed on Washington by the nation's founders, future administrations are probably going to be even more emboldened than Obama and the current Congress.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse


The whole idea that "yer either for us or agin' us" is ridiculous, and promoted far too much in the Bush43 era.

Each party, to different degrees over the years, has always been a coalition of different interest groups. The combination of fiscal and religious conservatives is perhaps the most strained at the moment.

Colin Powell is no right-winger. But he is a Republican. And a patriotic American, of the more-than-flag-pin variety. He is one of the few public figures who I have always agreed with.

Check that. When he mouthed Cheney's talking points at the UN in 2003, I was deeply disappointed. He redeemed himself by leaving that administration.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 29, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Six months on, how fares the Obama doctrine? Concerning North Korea and Iran, the doctrine is on its deathbed.

North Korea responded to administration outreach by testing a nuclear weapon, firing missiles toward allies, resuming plutonium reprocessing and threatening the United States with a "fire shower of nuclear retaliation." During congressional testimony, Clinton admitted, "At this point (it) seems implausible, if not impossible, the North Koreans will return to the six-party talks and begin to disable their nuclear capacity again."

The Iranian regime's reaction to engagement was to cut the ribbon on a nuclear enrichment facility, add centrifuges, conduct a fraudulent election and kill and imprison a variety of political opponents. Regarding administration overtures, Clinton recently told the BBC, "We haven't had any response. We've certainly reached out and made it clear that's what we'd be willing to do ... but I don't think they have any capacity to make that kind of decision right now."

The Obama administration's public campaign of engaging enemies is headed toward an entirely unintended consequence. Eventually it will raise expectations for action. As the extended hand is slapped again and again, the goals of North Korea and Iran will be fully revealed and the cost to American credibility will rise. Already the administration has given Iran a September deadline to respond to the offer of talks and has threatened "crippling action" if Iran achieves nuclear capabilities. Congress is preparing sanctions on Iranian refined petroleum, which would escalate tensions significantly.

This is the paradox of the Obama doctrine. By attempting to engage North Korea and Iran so visibly, Obama is dramatically exposing the limits of engagement -- and building the case for confrontation.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I would suggest that Gen. Powell goes the whole way down that direction.

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

the weak Libs continue to prance out the Bush shibboleth. the greatest indication yet of their utter vacuity in policy and promise.

how is it that even with overwhelming majorities in both houses and a relatively high approval rating of the messiah himself, they still can't manage to get one sinlge large program enacted - except the spendulus of course?
could it be that Peloony is clueless? that Reid is spineless? thaty Obimbo is devoid of substance. Maybe the teleprompter can take over the gavel.

Despite all the desire to blame Repubs, even dimwit Libs understand that the Dems are running the show now. the result - sinking polls, weak economy, depots on the march, record deficits, tax hikes coming, big government intrusion in every facet of our lives, legislation wallowing in quagmire of Lib leadership.

the Senate looks to have 11 seats vulnerable and the blue Dogs are feeling the breath of unemployment on their necks.

and that is all you need to say about Lib leadership, the direction of such being down.
quote of the week, "we are on schedule to pass this legislation now or whenever."

Actually there is also "cops are all racist" and "doctors are all greedy" but somehow the greedy Lib pols escaped the view of Obimbo's corruption hunt.

Getting funnier by the day.

Remember when our biggest concern was whether a terrorist was waterboarded two or three times and whether Nancy was willing to admit she knew? then there was the concertn that the economy was overheating and overemployment might lead to inflation. And the boogeyman that N Korea and Syria might not like us.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if McCain had run a campaign like the moderate he had been until he announced for the Presidency, Powell would have supported him.

But his hard tack to the right as a candidate -- embracing Falwell, aboandoning his moderatepositions on various social issues -- perhaps prompted Powell to move in a different direction.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 29, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3:

Perhaps you missed the recent polling that Gov. Palin is the most popular person among Republicans?

bsimon1:

Thanks. Don't you think that someone who endorses the other party's candidate for President should go the whole way and re-register? If McCain was not "moderate" enough for Gen. Powell, who would be?

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"I would argue that names like RINO and DINO are used dismissively. Moderate Republican views are no less Republican. There should be room for a variety of ideas, and for constructive criticism within both parties. Party affiliation is self chosen, you aren't picked by the team. Powell obviously has conservative views that draw him to the GOP."

Not that I pay close attention to Powell, but his endorsement of Obama as well as his recent comments on the Republican party are really the only political statements I've ever heard him make and these aren't even policy positions. I am curious where he stands with the Republicans on things and where he differs. Not that he hasn't stated these points, but I personally don't know.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The desire of many Americans for a "post-racial" society is well-founded, though the belief that Barack Obama would move in that direction was extremely ill-advised, given the history of his actions and associations.

This is a president on a mission to remake American society in every aspect, by whatever means are necessary and available. That requires taking all kinds of decisions out of the hands of ordinary Americans and transferring them to Washington elites-- and ultimately the number one elite, Barack Obama himself.

Like so many before him who have ruined countries around the world, Obama has a greatly inflated idea of his own capabilities and the prospects of what can be accomplished by rhetoric or even by political power. Often this has been accompanied by an ignorance of history, including the history of how many people before him have tried similar things with disastrous results.

During a recent TV interview, when President Obama was asked about the prospects of victory in Afghanistan, he replied that it would not be victory like in World War II, with "Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur." In reality, it was more than a year after Japanese officials surrendered on the battleship Missouri before Hirohito met General Douglas MacArthur for the first time.

This is not the first betrayal of his ignorance by Obama, nor the first overlooked by the media. Moreover, ignorance by itself is not nearly as bad as charging full steam ahead, pretending to know. Barack Obama is doing that on a lot of issues, not just history or a local police incident in Massachusetts.

While the mainstream media in America will never call him on this, these repeated demonstrations of his amateurism and immaturity will not go unnoticed by this country's enemies around the world. And it is the American people who will pay the price.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"CC writes: "Sidenote: Is there any question that Conan rules the late night ranks?"

I am sure there is. Do the "late night ranks" include Letterman, the Scotsman, Stewart+Colbert, and for me, most important, Charlie Rose?"

Agreed. Stewart and Colbert are mandatory watching for me. This week has been especially great with Stewart having Bill Kristol on and Colbert having one of the leading Birthers on as a way to subtly mock both the birthers as well as the media outlets that put her on.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Powell is obviously RINO, just like Lieberman, a DINO.
________
I would argue that names like RINO and DINO are used dismissively. Moderate Republican views are no less Republican. There should be room for a variety of ideas, and for constructive criticism within both parties. Party affiliation is self chosen, you aren't picked by the team. Powell obviously has conservative views that draw him to the GOP.

Posted by: Cyclopsina | July 29, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Facing the first real rough patch of his presidency, President Obama and his supporters are once again resorting to a tried-and-true tactic: attacking George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. In his White House press conference last week, Mr. Obama referred to the Bush era at least nine times, three times lamenting that he "inherited" a $1.3 trillion debt that has set back his administration's efforts to fix the economy

so the simple answer is no responsibility, no apologies, except to our enemies.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"When Lieberman endorsed McCain, didn't the Democrats throw him out of their party?"


No, Dems didn't throw him out. Lieberman left on his own, two years before endorsing McCain. He was defeated in a primary election & chose to run as an independent.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

DBW, you are right about this, but -

"It's obvious Powell loves popularity more than principle. And he knows the media craves finding people who will offer non-stop criticism of the Republican party"

The right is doing the same thing with Obama - the election of Obama brought affirmative action to the Republican talking heads - there have never been so many black commentators supporting the rightwing.

Yesterday desperate to bad-mouth Obama Hannity had a black minister on who spoke Southern backwater black English - almost impossible to understand - but he was black and bad mouthing Obama and that is all that matter.

So it is fair to say the election of Obama has resulted in unprecedented affirmative action by the rightwing as it looks for any black person, regardless of education or qualifications, to bad-mouth Obama.

I am not saying there are no educated qualified black men or women in the Republican Party - there are - but they are mostly moderate and do not serve the agenda of the rightwing

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 29, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Dbw1,
Powell endorsed Obama after McCain chose Palin (someone he thinks has NO buisness running this country) as a running mate.

I would just be careful what the GOP asks for when they say they don't need or want Colin Powell. He is the most popular Republican living today BY FAR, and the GOP should listen to what he has to say. If he started his own party he could take 50% of the GOP immediatly and probably 20% of the democrats too (blue dogs mostly).

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 29, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

dbw1:

It does seem as if all is forgiven for Powell making the case to invade Iraq at the United Nations now : )

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Powell is obviously RINO, just like Lieberman, a DINO.

Really the question is not whether Republicans will listen to Powell (they have not, nor will they), it is why he persists with calling himself Republican? His critique of Obama last night could have come from any sentient Democrat.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I have long admired Colin Powell. It is about time someone on the right takes on the bully Limbaugh. You can count on Powell to criticize using reason and good sense, even when you don't agree.

Sadly, his views are ignored by some in the Republican party who label him a RINO. It is a good thing for America to have at least two strong parties in power to counterbalance each other. The Republican party seems to be tilting wildly toward irrationality and fear mongering. Powell is right in remembering that Republicans need moderates and independents too to win elections and further solid reasonable conservatism.

Posted by: Cyclopsina | July 29, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Let Colin back into the party's leadership? The conservative base is about ready to lynch him. That will never happen...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 29, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I've no respect for Powell. His failure to resign because of Bush's policy in starting a war in Iraq is equivalent to anti-Hitler German generals who never said boo to him.

Posted by: ravitchn | July 29, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

FED-BACKED VIGILANTES INFILTRATE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AS PART OF EXTRA-LEGAL 'TARGETING' OF U.S. CITIZENS?

• Victims of multi-agency coordinated action "program" say "YES -- calling into question the quality of their care.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 29, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It's obvious Powell loves popularity more than principle. And he knows the media craves finding people who will offer non-stop criticism of the Republican party, and especially anyone who claims to be a Republican while they continue bashing the party will be put front-and-center every Sunday morning on the talk show circuit.

But as the Democrats decimate the General's beloved military to fund their bevy of social policy schemes over the next few years, I wonder if Powell will ever second-guess his hypocrisy of abandoning a moderate Republican to embrace a radical far left-wing Democrat, while he berates the party to be 'more moderate'?

Or, will the non-stop flow of D.C. cocktail party invitations be enough to stem the tide of any waves of guilt?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 29, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

When Lieberman endorsed McCain, didn't the Democrats throw him out of their party?

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Powell abandoned Republicans, Republicans did not abandon Powell.

Powell can't have it both ways: he can't constantly criticize the party and tell the GOP that it has to move to the middle, and then, when the GOP nominates it's most centrist candidate for President in years (McCain), abandon the party's nominee to support a left-wing Democrat...and continue smearing 'his party' for being too right-wing.

Gen. Powell, the GOP gave you the poster-child candidate you claim to want, and you rejected him. That's on you, not on the GOP.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 29, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Powell indeed called out Pres Obama in his remarks on Larry King last night, saying that from his travels around the country, people are concerned that there are too many major issues being tackled at once and too much spending in the untold trillions and trillions. Powell advised Obama to prioritize perhaps two major items and let the others slide, although he admitted that Obama promised in his campaign to attack all the major issues and multi-task. It sounds like Powell just doesn't think it's possible that Obama can multi-task -- I think Obama will prove him wrong.

Posted by: jrosco3 | July 29, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Morning Mark,

did you see my comment on Earle? I love the Scotsman best - Conan I do not get-

In Austin do you see a Civil War in the Texas Democratic Party? It should concern the Party that no Latino sees fit to announce for the US Senate - I recevied Mark White's mailer for US Senate, Radnofsky's for AG, and the S guy for Governor -

Here in the LRGV the Republicans are looking at a bigger ticket than ever - the people have had it with the corruption - Doggett and his people absolutely refused to consider input from the people concerning our new US Attorney.

Anyway your comments on the all white Democratic Texas ticket for 2010.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 29, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

dbitt: Actually, I think Zouk did say something about Bush. He didn't mention Bush (or anyone else) by name in the post, but it had to have been a Freudian slip because only Bush really fits the description:

"Drivl, is it ok with you if we don't like him because of his extreme leftism..."

[Gave social conserviatives nothing but John Ashcroft as AG during his administration]

"...his socialist policies..."

[Largest increase in public health spending in history with his Medicare drug benefit]

"...his out of control spending..."

[Tripled the national debt]

"...his corrupt associates..."

[Scooter Libby, Davaid Safavian, and a host of others who were indicted/convicted, resigned to avoid the same, or are still hiding behind "executive privilege" to keep from testifying or going to jail]

"...his spineless foreign policy..."

[Saw Putin's soul, sold out to China, and failed to stop North Korea from going nuclear, and tried to use the military to make up for what he didn't even try to do diplomatically]

"...his big government takeover?"

[Warrantless wiretapping, anyone?]

See, deep in his subconscious, even Zouk knows Bush was a disaster. ;)

Posted by: Gallenod | July 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

It's ironic to me that king_of_zouk thinks that Obama should be able to accomplish so much given that he has been in office only six months.

Maybe it's zouk who sees Obama as the Messiah...

Posted by: thinman1 | July 29, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

CC writes: "Sidenote: Is there any question that Conan rules the late night ranks?"

I am sure there is. Do the "late night ranks" include Letterman, the Scotsman, Stewart+Colbert, and for me, most important, Charlie Rose?

I grew up on a farm and "early to bed early to rise" has stayed with me. But now I have a DVR built into my cable box. So I sometimes watch Stewart at night [nodding off around 10:20P CT] and sometimes the next day and I record Charlie Rose or watch interviews on my 'puter. I have seen Letterman and the Scotsman and Colbert on some occasions. Do any of you think I am missing some cultural high water mark by never having seen Conan?

For me, Charlie Rose is "late night" TV, were I called upon to choose. Frankly, I assume CC watches Charlie on his 'puter, because I cannot imagine a journalist missing those interviews on a regular basis.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 29, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Okay, that last post was needlessly provocative toward Zouk. We all know where he stands.

Seriously, Obama remains very popular--his numbers are comparable to Reagan's. The independent voters support him by a firm majority. This cannot be good news for the GOP, when their agenda appears to be based on denying the Administration whatever they can.

I admit, I'll be very disappointed if the Democrats cannot muster the votes to move their agenda. After crying about not having enough power in Congress for the past however-many years, it would be pitiful if they can't get anything done now that they actually have the numbers.

Posted by: dbitt | July 29, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

It has been realized by the voters that libs will say anything to get elected, pass a bill, get on the court. The lies told are "managed" by the press and spinners after revealation. Look at the gitmo promise, transparency, waiting period for laws, low unemploment, diplomacy, global warming- all a pack of lies meant to consolidate power.

Posted by: king_of_zouk
*******************
Each and every thing you said applies to the previous Administration ten times more than it does to the current one, Zouk.

Can you be honest with us for a change and admit that?

And given that Obama's popularity is miles and miles above that of your boy Bush, even after his reelection, how do you figure the voters "have figured out" that liberals are lying? I'd love to see you justify this bit of mindless rant... but I know you won't. You never have.

Posted by: dbitt | July 29, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I think AndyR3 is hitting on the basic problem with not only the Republican Party but the US.

The Republican Party is in Civil War with itself. Their leaders are General Powel v. Sarah Palin.

There is one thing politicians love more than anything else and that is power. The power brokers have never had anyone to follow in terms of breaking the backs of the rightwing so called base of the Republicans - Two Republican Senators and now Powell are calling out the rightwing.

It is going to be an interesting Civil War - I think the moderates will win because in the end they provide power to the Party whereas the rightwing only provides isolation for the Party

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 29, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Powell doesn't carry much weight in the GOP because he's a non-ideological pragmatist. That doesn't work in a party that is ruled by the likes of Rush, Sarah, Ann C and Dick.

If you aren't a mindless firebrand screaming for the heads of "liberal traitors" and doing all you can to pull down this Administration, you aren't a real Republican and they don't want you. And even if you are, you're only useful as long as you're out there screaming. God forbid you stop to catch your breath and think for yourself.

Posted by: dbitt | July 29, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

In other news this morning, Milbank reports on the Senate Judiciary Committtee vote on Judge Sotomayor, for which most of the GOP 'no' voters didn't have the courage to show their faces while voting.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/28/AR2009072802568.html

"the absent Republicans voted to reject a nominee even while acknowledging that her judicial record is, as Cornyn put it, "in the mainstream." "


So... If they're voting 'no' on Sotomayor, who they admit is in the mainstream, because they don't agree with her, just how far out of the mainstream is their legal philosophy?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The Republican base are not only increasingly irrelevant to the extraordinary progress this country is making, they like it that way. Feeling alienated makes them feel good, like my radical leftists in the 60s.

Now the Right bathes each day in self-pity. This allows guiltless rage free rein.

A 7/27 New Yorker piece 'At the Train Bridge' depicts the syndrome. People who have lost control of their lives and who choose to blame others for their powerlessness are dangerous.

Watch for more right wing nut bar rage turning to murder, not just of doctors who perform abortions, but of anyone who seems to be having a good day.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The Fix asks
"The question: Will anyone in the party listen?"

You're kidding, right?

""the constant refrain of negativity impedes his credibility with the rank and file," said Scott Reed...

"If Powell were to call out the President for the experiment they are currently conducting on the American economy, it would certainly be a problem for the Democrats," said the consultant."


These guys don't want to fix the party, they want to find a way to use Powell to impugn the President.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

It has been realized by the voters that libs will say anything to get elected, pass a bill, get on the court. The lies told are "managed" by the press and spinners after revealation. Look at the gitmo promise, transparency, waiting period for laws, low unemploment, diplomacy, global warming- all a pack of lies meant to consolidate power.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Of course the GOP won't listen to Powell. They don't listen to moderates or black people.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 29, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Drivl, is it ok with you if we don't like him because of his extreme leftism, his socialist policies, his out of control spending, his corrupt associates, his spineless foreign policy, his big government takeover?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 29, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mjwilstein | July 29, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

It is time for General Powell and Jim Huntsman to start thinking about making moves to start a new party, my vote for the name is the Commonwealth Party.

As Senator Voinovich said the GOP is being taken over by Southerners and the extreme right. It is starting to resemble the Dixiecrats more and more everyday. At some point the money men and women of the GOP will need to decide if they want to keep putting money in a sinking ship or blow it up and start over.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 29, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Watch for Powell to be viciously attacked in the coming days by the haters that are the base of the R party. Watch it get increasingly nasty and overtly racist. Here's the trend:

"An interesting pattern has emerged in the last few weeks, as President Obama's ratings have started to come down to Earth: You can really see a type of Obama-hatred out there that really does cross over into a purely racial territory.

This has gotten especially worse in the aftermath of Obama's comments and subsequent mea culpa on the Henry Louis Gates arrest, but the pattern has been there all the same. You can look back to the 2008 campaign, with the Jeremiah Wright controversies, the phony rumors of a tape of Michelle Obama defaming whites, and the slow but steady emergence of the Birthers. And these days, the Birthers seem to be getting more and more bellicose.

So let's take a look at some of those recent racially-charged attacks that have circulated against Obama, both right before and after the Gates incident.

• Above all others, the real celebrity here has been Rush Limbaugh. He's done this kind of thing before -- remember the "Barack, The Magic Negro" song? But in the wake of the Gates incident, he's managed to become even more hard-edged about it. "Here you have a black president trying to destroy a white policeman," Limbaugh declared this past Friday. Yesterday, he shared a dream he's had about the dangers to capitalism: "I had a dream that I was a slave building a sphinx in a desert that looked like Obama." And he joked that food-safety advocates will go after all the unhealthy foods people like to eat, one by one -- but they'll have to wait until Obama is out of office to ban Oreos.

• Glenn Beck said this today on Fox News: "This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture. I don't what it is. You can't sit in a pew with Jeremiah Wright for 20 years and not hear some of that stuff, and not have it wash over."

• During his new crusade of Birtherism, Lou Dobbs suggested on his radio show this past Wednesday, right before the Gates flare-up, that Obama could be an illegal immigrant, tying this into his usual preoccupation. "I'm starting to think we have a document issue," Dobbs said. "You suppose he's un-- no, I won't even use the word 'undocumented,' it wouldn't be right."

• As we reported last week, a high-profile conservative activist against Obama on health care was circulating an e-mail that photoshopped Obama's face onto a witch-doctor's body."

Posted by: drindl | July 29, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

WHAT DOES COLIN POWELL KNOW ABOUT THE SECRETIVE SECURITY/MILITARY/INTEL MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATED ACTION 'PROGRAM'...

...THAT USES CIVILIAN VIGILANTES, COVERTLY IMPLANTED GPS DEVICES AND SILENT, INJURY- AND ILLNESS-INDUCING MICROWAVE/LASER DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS TO SLOWLY DESTROY THE LIVES OF UNJUSTLY TARGETED AMERICANS?

Innocent victims of this ideologically-driven purge continue to suffer as the culpable attempt to cover this up.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA" (see "stream" or "stories"; main link apparently has been removed from page.)

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 29, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The GOP won't listen to Powell because he is telling them they have to make some changes if they want to expand and have influence. That would mean they have to admit they are wrong, or at least wrongish. Which they won't do. They will, however, continue to howl for perfection from Obama.

I'm glad Powell spoke out about the Cambridge Police/Gates confrontation. A lifetime of responsibility as a soldier and general has taught him that a responsible person in authority descalates a situation like this. Glenn Beck, not even responsible for himself, always lowers the bar of the conversation.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 29, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

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