With a hat tip to the guys at Powerline Colin Powell gets his due.
Let me state for the record that in my anything-but-humble opinion Colin Powell is, at best, a dinosaur. He is big Army, full battlefield General who would have made George McClellan proud. I think George Patton probably would have shot him with his pearl handled 45. Powell is part of what should be a dead breed and represents a lot of the thinking that George Bush put Don Rumsfeld into the Pentagon to replace, rightly so IMABHO. I'm really pretty unqualified to discuss those specifics - Streiff would be a much better source - and it's not really the point of the diary, but it does bring a foundation from which to start.
I think Powell has been infected with the "John Murtha disease". By that I mean he seems to be really pissed at President Bush for not taking his advise on Iraq and seems to have done and continues to do everything he can to torpedo both Bush and the Republican Party. While he's not the whiny should-be-felon that Murtha is, Powell has successfully transformed himself into a small, petty politician and is well on his way to Jimmy Carter status.
With that, lets recall Powell's latest rant on CNN. He basically said that as long as Republicans listen to Rush and Governor Palin we'll be in the boonies. The Party should be listening to him and Christy Todd Whitman. And probably Lincoln Chafee. My comment on that would be correctly communicated by Happy Bunny. Not surprisingly, Rush commented on Powell, and he said it better than even the ever concise Happy Bunny. Or the ever verbose 908. Rush on Powell...
I think Powell's ... premise is all wrong. The Republican Party needs to stop listening to me. Basically ... the Republican Party can't win as long as it is defined by people like you and me... The simple fact of the matter is, folks, what makes this funny to me is that the Republican Party's not listened to me in the last two years. And you might even say in matters of policy and so forth, the Republican Party hasn't been listening to me for the last six years. And you might even say that the Republican Party is in the situation it's in precisely because of the people like Colin Powell and John McCain and others who have devised this new definition and identity of the party which is responsible for electing Democrats all over this country.
The Republican Party nominated Powell's perfect candidate. The guy's going after moderates, independents, Democrats, a guy who is not conservative at all, McCain, didn't stand up for much conservative, and he's out there now saying he won't support Palin if she seeks the presidency again, or he might not.
So if we try to understand Powell's thinking, which is difficult since it's incoherent, we should have all voted for McCain in the primaries, and once he was nominated, we should have voted for Obama for president. That's what we should have all done, if you listen to what Powell said on CNN yesterday.
In closing, Rush hits it out of the park. He (patting self on back) makes the same point that I've been making about John McCain for the last two years right here at Redstate. I've consistently noted that Arizona does not have two US Senators, we only have one - Jon Kyl. McCain doesn't represent the people of Arizona, he represents the people who make up The Inside-the-Beltway group in Washington DC.
What's going on here with this Colin Powell thing is that the Washington establishment -- Powell's not a Republican. McCain's not a Republican. These guys are not even mavericks. They are Washingtonians. Washingtonians have their own culture and their own desires, and it is to matter. They don't care who's in power, they just want to be closely associated with whoever is. That's the name of the game and they want press adulation. They want to be loved and adored by the media, they want fawning treatment, they want to be thought of as something special, unique, dignified and so forth, and that's the Washington establishment. These guys are Washingtonians.
Well done Rush. And, as usual, concise and to the point. Bottom line friends, it wasn't conservatives who got us here, other than there has been absolutely no conservative leadership in Washington since Newt self-destructed (with the help of Republican moderates). The problem is Powell, McCain, to a degree Bush, and the rest of the moderates, centrists and bipartisan folk. It's time for Conservatives to wake up and exercise real leadership. It's now or never. We've made some small gains with the leadership elections recently in both Houses and now we've got the RNC Chair position to fill. On that subject, Mike Duncan needs to go. First, because he's an idiot, second because everybody directly associated with the last eight years should be symbolically shot. Spring cleaning time is upon us. Time to get rolling so we can be in position to make major inroads in 2010 and boot the empty suit in 2012. But we need to do it one step at a time. Right now the Sarah/Bobby/whoever arguments should go away and we should be looking at one chair at a time and figuring out how we can win THAT one event. The next event on the horizon is the RNC.
The other thing we should be doing simultaneously is pointing out exactly how people like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Colin Powell and the RMSP in general have marginalized themselves and brought the Party to edge of the cliff. None of these folks should be invited to offer their opinion on the rebuilding of the Party, and when they make fools of themselves, as Powell did on CNN, our response should be "Who?"