Today on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh continued his attacks on Colin Powell. In Limbaugh’s mind Powell’s endorsement was about race, and pressure from the black elites in the Democratic Party. Limbaugh also made the claim that as Sec. of State, Powell damaged the Bush administration.
“If Powell had endorsed McCain, you know what would have happened? Donna Brazile, the other black elites in the Democratic Party would never have forgiven him. This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare. He said it’s not about race — show me all the inexperienced white liberals you’ve endorsed if it’s not about race. Of course everyone’s having a tizzy,” Limbaugh said. This is Rush’s first mistake, he assumes that all black people talk to each other. His second mistake is in assuming that Democrats expected Powell to endorse Obama. They didn’t.
He then claims that Powell is a Washington insider, with poor judgment who is looking for a job in an Obama administration, “He evolved over time into a calculating Washington insider who speaks incessantly to the media … He did great damage to the Bush administration. It stuns me how Gen. Powell and others can back someone whose judgment has been so poor … they are positioning themselves to perhaps get positions in an Obama administration.”
Limbaugh said that the general isn’t really a Republican, “Now back to Gen. Powell: I just want to button this up … It was totally about race. The Powell … endorsement — totally about race. People have forgotten, but I have not, ladies and gentlemen. Colin Powell publicly broke with the administration over affirmative action, specifically affirmative action cases that were before the Supreme Court in 2003 … He is pro-affirmative action, he is also pro-abortion … I think he’s still saying he’s a Republican after all this, after endorsing Obama.”
Powell was the only competent cabinet member in the first term of the Bush administration. He apparently damaged President Bush by trying to get him to rethink the invasion. He also damaged the administration by wanting to engage in diplomacy. Powell didn’t damage Bush. Bush damaged Powell. In Rush’s mind if a Republican differs with the party in any way, then they aren’t a real Republican. Real Republicans don’t think for themselves.
Colin Powell rarely speaks to the media, and if he was endorsing Obama strictly on the basis of race, he could have done this months ago. What makes Powell’s endorsement so damaging to McCain is that he waited to watch the debates and the campaign unfold. He appears to have made his decision based on who he thought would be the best president.
I think that his endorsement was McCain’s to be had, but by running such a negative campaign, he lost it. Limbaugh can try to make himself and his listeners feel better about this by minimizing it, but it was ideas not race that convinced Powell to endorse Obama. Let’s turn Rush’s excuse around. If Powell was white and endorsed Obama, what would his excuse be then?