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Monday, October 20, 2008

Gen. Powell as a tree falling in the forest unvisited by the undecided

Mickey Kaus and I agree about Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement of Sen. Obama, as I explain in my latest guest-post at HughHewitt.com.


[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]

(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)

Mickey Kaus writes: "My guess isn't that the Powell endorsement will fade quickly. My guess is it's already faded."

I think that's correct, but I'd add this: The Powell endorsement probably (a) disappointed more McCain-Palin supporters who also admire him (but who nevertheless won't change their votes) than it either (b) thrilled committed Obama supporters (many of whom still view Gen. Powell as "the enemy" for his role in the preliminaries to the Iraq War) or (c) influenced any still-undecideds. That last group is, almost by definition, composed mostly of people who don't watch "Meet the Press" every week or keep track of who's endorsed whom. To the extent they're tuning into the specifics of the race now, they're more likely to identify with Joe the Plumber than with Colin the Retired General. And to the extent there are still undecideds who are genuine political junkies, they'll know — as McCain has stressed — that McCain's already been endorsed by four former Secretaries of State and more than 200 retired generals and admirals.

— Beldar

Posted by Beldar at 08:51 PM in 2008 Election, Obama, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Gen. Powell as a tree falling in the forest unvisited by the undecided and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) Dai Alanye made the following comment | Oct 20, 2008 10:40:52 PM | Permalink

Regarding Powell's reasons: Not about race but because Obama is transformational.

For all practical purposes, "transformational" is now a codeword for "Black." Obama is going to heal the nation, end our long national nightmare over the sin of slavery, and otherwise bring us out of the shadows and into glorious sunlight.

Or, more simply put--it's about race.

(2) Carol Herman made the following comment | Oct 21, 2008 11:58:06 AM | Permalink

Think of me as "one of the jurors" in this campaign. A person with one vote. And, not enamored of Dubya. And, also someone who was once enthusiastic (actually), of McCain.

Why? Well, I had read Michael Lewis' take on McCain. He became a fan! And, since I loved Lewis' books, (Liar's Poker exposed Salamon Bros.) ... I thought McCain was "quite a guy."

No longer true.

True, too, the jurors don't get to speak until 11/4. And, then we do so, all at once.

But I can tell ya McCain has not only come off as "nasty" for no reason. It's as if his brains got addled. And, he has no recall, on his own, of past legislation. So all he does now is throw insults.

As to the time he cancelled the first debate; to his performance following his leaving of the White House; people have come together, in spite of all the media hoopla. And, they've made decisions. Where McCain's negatives has seen large pockets of votes just cancelled.

McCain was supposed to attract Hillary voters. Yup. I was one of them. So, for me to slide off McCain's "record" ... and to now see Obama coming in ... in a landslide, has something to do with the "blips" where people who vote "change their minds." And, this one? Well, like the roll out of the Edsel. When stuff gets stuck in the showroom; it must become depressing for all those salesman. (Salesmen didn't lose their selling skills, exactly. The EDSEL was a bomb.)

Heck, I even just saw Dubya. I thought it was a good movie. But I thought, too, that Oliver Stone gave father-Bush a pass. Why? Dubya took all his dad's advisors, ya know? Cheney and Rumsfeld were close to the dad's homegrown fabric.

I think, now, people are being disowned, even though the dad, in even tighter than his son, with the Saud's ... went along with Irak. And, the other stuff. Until it failed. And, this failure has been pushed on Dubya. My sympathetic vote goes to Dubya.

McCain? Heck, he rose out of his chair at a White House meetging! McCain's problem? It was "that man" ... or actually a Black man who dared to push forward the bailout.

For a window in time McCain had the chance to win! McCain blew it. The senate bailout was worse than the House's version. And, then what? You see the House re-voted? Heck doesn't match any Constitution I know.

Of course, I got confused. But then I noticed (because Palin was having such a hard time coming out from under all the Bush staff) ... that I saw what happened! It's the Bush's and their hanger's on who don't want to let go!

And, ya don't even have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out this crime! The Bush's pushed McCain. A cypher. Not exactly the Manchurian Candidate. But he's got the ambition; and, in fact, LESS BRAINS than Dubya. The pro's came in ... Not learning anything from Dubya's calamtous run ... And, you've now got McNasty. As if the rest of the country really cares.

I once heard that the opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference.

It's what's giving Obama mileage. People see him as a man with the better temperament.

Temperament wins.

And, ya know what? I bet it does, too, in the court houses. Just like Gerry Spence can win hard cases; he's never showing the jury anger! He learned early in life that if the jurors hated him, he couldn't win. And, he was there to win. For his clients.

How come it's easy to teach lawyers this art? No. Not all of them! Only a few stars ever become known as "trial attorneys." But when ya meet them, they'll collect an audience. People will walk into courtrooms without even being summoned. Just to watch stars rising.

Too bad that for success, these aristocratic families that think the power of this country is theirs, don't feel the candidate needs to have charismatic skills.

Sure, we've had losers running!

But Obama? He's connected far better with democrats ... and INDEPENDENTS ... than McCain has been showing on his last outing as a very old man. Who hasn't got enough memory to do much, except his nasty act.

Do you know Michael Lewis is staying away from his keyboard? A dozen years ago he got snookered.

Can you lose a case when you've got everything going for you? Yup. But then you have to get pretty sloppy. You have to think you're good enough to tell jurors the sky's pink, and your client "didn't do it."

Economy's stinko. Dubya did it. Because? He was out of touch. You didn't know that when you removed the silver spoon from his mouth he was darn inarticulate? He was moving religion into the market place telling you he prays a lot?

I remember a comedian, back in the late 70's saying Jimmy Carter's White House prayers were tiring God out!

Good to remember those who claim to have God's ear, are usually scoundrels, still naked when they're wrapped in flags.

By and large, at least half the American voters know. That's what are ballot boxes are for.

(3) A.W. made the following comment | Oct 21, 2008 1:37:46 PM | Permalink

Sorry who is Colin Powell?

Kidding, of course, but I was only lukewarm on him in the first place.

Btw, Carol, um, you liked a movie where Bush Sr. was depicted as a studly man's man? Well, maybe it is good as art, but it sounds like towering b---sh-- to me as history.

Which is par for the course for Stone.

(4) Betty Williams made the following comment | Oct 21, 2008 2:42:30 PM | Permalink

Perhaps Colin Powell can add some clout on the ticket and do something about the corrupt Alaska National Guard. Maybe he will retire Campbell and Kacass and bring real leaders who aren't politicians.

(5) P / P made the following comment | Oct 21, 2008 4:42:52 PM | Permalink

Secretary Powell and Barack

Colin Powell is a man of high moral character, provided that you consider loyalty unnecessary to high moral character.

Colin Powell has been a beltway bureaucrat since his first White House tour of duty with Nixon. Like many in that role, he has retained - or developed - critical blind spots in his discernment.

Let no one mistake my point in writing this. As stepfather to 2 active military - Marine and Green Beret - I honor the years of service which General Powell has given our country. As a Viet Nam era soldier who never "went to war," I am not inclined to devalue anyone's service due simply to their assigned duty station. Powell, of course, DID go to war in Viet Nam. For that, like all the 12 million others, he deserves our highest respect and honor.

With that said, Powell and the country both deserve a realistic historic assessment of who he really is. Because he has reinserted himself onto the national political scene.

Colin Powell makes money now speaking on leadership; his defining career moments were more about something else.

By growing himself, early in his career, as an imminently-appointable officer of African descent, Powell became an icon of the best in America's military, politics and society in general.

Powell's soldiering included perhaps more years inside the beltway than 90% of the members of Congress; including multiple White House tours. His career included working and politicking his way to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in the last century. His hard work and insider knowledge earned him the job. DNA made his appointment historic. In that post, his defining moment was Desert Storm. For this mission, the functional commander was Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. Norman Schwarzkof was the strategic architect and active officer in charge of the actual campaign. Desert-camo photo ops notwithstanding, Powell served as a high level messenger between the two, and a sort of supply-sergeant-writ-large for Stormin' Norman's personnel and materiel needs.

Colin Powell once again made history when he was selected Secretary of State. This was the highest appointive Executive position of any American of African descent at the time. This was also Colin Powell's career high point. In this role his leadership was so ineffective that the polarized and partisan bureaucracy of the State Department actively campaigned against and subverted the policies of the Administration.

More destructive even than that was his international work. As Secretary of State, his pinnacle mission was the presentation of the case against Iraq at the UN. As the chief diplomat for the USA, he completely failed to rally ostensible allies such as Canada, France and Germany or neutrals such as Russia or China to the cause of international security. By his failure, he exposed the political, diplomatic and military flanks of his president and his government at a very critical time. That he was shocked by the active betrayal of France and Germany shows just how failed his diplomatic career was. Colin Powell resigned his post in failure, after being allowed by a loyal George Bush to serve out the remainder of the president's first term.

Powell's failed domestic policy leadership may be best exemplified by his professed position on abortion; which is to support the policy which has made a holocaust for tens of millions of pre-born Americans, the greatest proportionate numbers of whom were of African descent.

Colin Powell spoke in Seattle in August of 2008. His talk on leadership consisted in large measure of describing how he has had to deal for years with criticism of his role in the UN debacle and how he had chosen to deal, or not deal, with it. Today, Colin Powell is an aging icon whose effectiveness in middle Washington and Pentagon bureaucracy and politics brought him to heights which exposed his essential and tragic weaknesses of perception and resolve. He seeks headlines today in a sad attempt to reassert his early glowing image.

We sincerely wish the old soldier well as he, on cue from General MacArthur, "fades away."

As for Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama? This should serve us all as confirmation of the Joe Biden warning of early and deliberate crisis in an Obama administration. A warning that young Barack, like the young Powell, is on the road of politically savvy elegant speech and inspiring visuals which - upon reaching the highest levels - will be backed by critical missteps or inaction and lack of fundamental resolve. The consequences of such a course would be truly grave.
10/21/08 P / P

(6) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Oct 21, 2008 5:31:46 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: It's just a mathematical equation:

Powell endorsement ~ payback to Geo. W.

a) CP furrows his brow and says he is concerned that his party is going too far to the right. So the solution is to vote for a hard left candidate? Why not just sit this one out? Answer: that doesn't get CP access to The One, and the solemn gurgling you heard from Andrea Mitchell on MEET THE PRESS that CP is a "center right" conservative, so this statement is of cosmic importance.
b) CP sez he is concerned that McC will pack the Supreme Court with overly conservative justices. Could there be any clearer evidence of either a) CP's witlessness or b) CP's bad faith? McC can bill and coo to the Federalist Society all he wants about how his absolute priority is for originalists, but it ain't going anywhere in a Democratic-majority Senate. So CP's concern on this nonissue is naive---which makes him look like a dummy who would swallow bad intelligence to start a war or disingenuous---which tarnishes the halo he wears.

Without hesitation, I roar for disingenuousness, CP as Machiavelli in fatigues. Let the halo tarnish! In the era of The One, there is only room for one halo, anyway. But CP will have tons of access to The One, and all the loot such access will provide. The mavens of the press will solemnly denounce me as a rogue for suggesting such a thing, even while their snouts are in the trough, gorging away as usual. As for Carol, let her enjoy pounding on McC while she can. She will have four (and maybe eight) years to repent at leisure, bawling against The One day after day until the goons come for her too.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(7) Pat made the following comment | Oct 21, 2008 10:41:44 PM | Permalink

Powell shared with Obama the belief that the surge wouldn't work. From the International Herald Tribune:
By Brian Knowlton
Published: 2006-12-17 14:55:48

WASHINGTON: The former secretary of state Colin Powell said Sunday that badly overstretched U.S. forces in Iraq were losing the war there and that a temporary U.S. troop surge probably would not help.

In one of his few commentaries on the war since leaving office, Powell quickly added that the situation could be reversed. He recommended an intense coalition effort to train and support Iraqi security forces and strengthen the government in Baghdad. Powell was deeply skeptical about increasing troop levels, an idea that appears to be gaining ground as President George W. Bush weighs U.S. strategy options.

"There really are no additional troops" to send, Powell said, adding that he agreed with those who say that the U.S. Army is "about broken."

He said he was unsure that new troops could suppress sectarian violence or secure Baghdad.

He urged the United States to do everything possible to prepare Iraqis to take over lead responsibility; the "baton pass," he said, should begin by mid-2007.

I've never had much time for Powell. I lost what residual respect I had when he left Scooter Libby to hang, even when he knew that his own deputy, Richard Armitage, was the guy who leaked to Novak.

(8) Carol Herman made the following comment | Oct 22, 2008 12:43:20 PM | Permalink

After this election is over, I don't think there will be a "coming together." Why not? Well, people of faith just don't leave their churches. And, that means? The GOP will face, IF Drudge's headline is right, an Obama victory on the order of Reagan's victory, back in 1980.

How did McCain lose so much, if he was just "blah" during the primaries; but held onto his "reaching across the aisle schtick." And, his "maverick" status. The promise? Gee, ya know? I remember hearing he was the "only republican capable of getting democratic votes! He was going to be strong with Hillary's women.

Now? Not according to the tracking poles.

Which means? America's rather famous for cleaving a distance between church and state.

And, the GOP, not really in the majority, looked at the Supreme Court as a conservative bastion. Where they could influene the country's laws ... "By interpretation." For many years, even if they weren't in the power halls of Congress.

Of course, there are limitations! You discovered one with Harriet Meirs.

You may have first discovered this with Robert Bork? Where, I've noticed Bork doesn't even have a kind word to say about Reagan! Just this stinking idea of "entitlement." And, a feeling the GOP "didn't push hard enough."

So this time out? McCain pushed away women voters.

How? Well, let me explain. Before Roe, there were abortions done. But they had to be done in secret. And/or in back alleys. And, it killed and maimed a lot of "seekers." This is what Roe changed.

So when McCain went out and promised "he would help the teens get their pregnancies to term, AND then the girls put up up their kids for adoption .... HELLO. Like Prohibition. WHich didn't cancel the market for alcohol. Unclean, back alley abortions occurred, a lot. Because women didn't want to carry to term.

Adoptions were very sad affairs. And, sure, everything back in the 1940's and 1950's ... when I was a kid ... were BIG SECRETS. You didn't even talk about family alcoholics! And, the closets contained the homosexuals. Who lived "organzied" in groups where they could have their sex. But then? Many of these men went home to wives and children.

BIG SERETS. Began busting out, when Bill Wilson discovered the methods of AA. And, those recovery methods are still with us.

In the secular world? Well, once The Pill became available, women chose contraceptives. You couldn't hide these things, anymore, behind the druggists' counters.

Why the GOP adopted the push towards killing Roe, I have no idea. Except that it must raise a lot of cash, inside churches. And, it gets groups of people "hot under the collar."

Still, voting in America is independent of what you're told from the pulpit.

While a lot of people, here, cannot imagine a Black man as president; that's also a "change." Right there. On its face.

And, the powers lost by the democrats? They seem to be the group that regains their strength "first."

You expect they'll blow this on the left?

How so? Didn't Bill Clinton run to the middle? Didn't Newt Gingrich give him the tools? Then, didn't Congress do what it usually does? Until we came to this economic disaster?

And, wasn't it McCain's fault (or his arrogance ... he wasn't going to stay seated at the president's table talking about "bailout." When the guy for the democrats was "that" Black guy! No siree. He rose off his ass and he ran out of the room. And, flip flopped into his first debate. Where he forgot: IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID.

What can come down the pike as McCain's worst mistake? Well, Obama has a better temperament. And, the race usually goes to the guy who is the nicest.

You didn't know McCain was mean? Neither did I. You didn't know McCain's story is similar to Dubya's? Yeah. Different rich dads always plucking their rebels out of hot water.

Till, today, in W, Oliver Stone points to Dubya's flaws. And? Guess what?

George Herbert Walker Bush, who comes into government, into Nixon's White House; and STAYS! When we had the 2000 race, guess what, again. All of dad's men race into Dubya's White House; and take over the "strings" on this puppet.

But Dubya gets blamed. And, the father? Son of a gun. Leaves no fingerprints.

What kind of a dad does this?

People, now, want to vote. They want to stop the insanity that's been flowing out of McCain's campaign, like sewage.

Think of all those legal careers who veered right. And, played the game. While the GOP got stained as the players only interested in forcing people to "obey" ... by Supreme Court "dictate."

You've got four you can count on: Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. Where Thomas is not the top job held by a Black dude, likely, ahead.

And, Anthony Kennedy sits and seeths. He is angrier, and "less playful" with Roberts ... who got the Chief's chair ... than just about any other dynamic out there.

No. They don't teach this stuff in school. Shakespeare, however, followed "outcomes" when their was rivalries and hatreds.

What does "change" look like?

I have no idea. But if "change" is the "ball" ... then Obama gets to play offense. And, where the GOP flounders.

You can't make talent come up to play, if you've got a seething base who refuse to play a secular game. Period.

(9) Dai Alanye made the following comment | Oct 23, 2008 6:07:05 AM | Permalink

Carol Herman:
>>Before Roe, there were abortions done. But they had to be done in secret. And/or in back alleys. And, it killed and maimed a lot of "seekers." This is what Roe changed.<<

Picking just one item from the disjointed post of Carol Herman, the idea that the U S pre-Roe was rife with illegal abortions, and that death or injuries were common among those women involved is simply a myth, deliberately created to advance the abortionists' interests. Not to say there were no inept and dangerous abortionists, just as there are today.

Back in Herman's 1940s and 1950s many girls chose to live at special "homes" before giving birth and offering their children for adoption. Most illegal abortions were performed by sympathetic if misguided family doctors, and the injuries and (rare) deaths were often the result of women operating on themselves.

What all this has to do with the disingenuous Colin Powell, I've no clue, but then I've also no clue why some people are so enamored of taking innocent human lives.

(10) A.W. made the following comment | Oct 23, 2008 8:58:27 AM | Permalink


> I've also no clue why some people are so enamored of taking innocent human lives.

Indeed, i keep wondering why they don't pound obama more on the born alive act. Or the fact he said that a concern for genocide in iraq, although justified, is not a justification for staying. Of course he has recently said in general we should intervene to stop genocide, so i guess maybe he just hates iraqis. :-)

(11) Dai Alanye made the following comment | Oct 24, 2008 6:22:17 PM | Permalink

A Dubya:

But Blessing Handsome (Barack Hussein) has clearly denied that the born alive act means he favors post-natal abortion, so the matter is closed for the MSM. As to why McCain doesn't press the issue, the bigger question is, why has McCain's campaign been so clumsy? Considering all the openings BO and JB have given him, he could be leading had he properly exploited them.

But on to another subject. Since I have no blog of my own, it must be brought up here. To put it as briefly as possible--USA, the new Argentina!

I refer to the potential grab at out retirement plans. In their over-confidence the Dems are offering up softballs to the Repubs: Pelosi's talk of huge new expenditures, Barney Frank's plans to spend and tax more, and now the proposed government takeover of 401(k) plans, followed, no doubt, by attacks on IRAs and self-administered pension plans.

What tremendous issues these are, if McCain's campaign can immediately take advantage.

(12) Carol Herman made the following comment | Oct 25, 2008 10:49:24 AM | Permalink

Well, if McCain loses, ahead; and you try to figure out why ... you might see that "HE LOST HILLARY'S VOTERS!" Now, how did he do that?

What's the most obvious clue?

Well? McCain picked Palin. And, then he attacked Roe. He said "his picks to the Supreme Court, would give the impetus of taking Roe OFF the books as a legal activity.

And, then McCain added that he would see to it that women got helped when they put their infants up for adoption.

And, that's the way it was! Not every unwanted pregnancy ended in back alleys. Some teenage girls would "disappear" from high school for a semester, at least. And, no one in her family ever spoke about the "missing baby." It was a secret.

We no longer see this stuff. Roe cured it. And, by making abortions legal, they could be done in hospitals. You can't set up a "hospital" in a back alley!

Yes, it's a religious approach to claim "all women suffer when they have abortions." But this is only true in some churches. And, raising money to fight Roe has been a big winner over there. But it didn't make for a popular cause!

If anything, we live in a world, now, where abortions done under medical supervision are the rule.

If you don't believe me? Then you think McCain is winning.

I think he's already lost the race. And, he's depending on sound-bites to overcome the harms he did to his own campaign. How so? Well, the break with reality came when he tried to get out of the first debate. USING ANY EXCUSE THAT WAS HANDY!

Is McCain in touch? Is Dubya?

What happens on November 5th? You can't scream away results.

Just like lawyers learn inside the courtroom. Sometimes, they just can't account for the reasons their case goes south. And, the jury comes in with a verdict that shows ya ... what it means to lose your case.

As to Roe, if Obama wins on 11/5, he's already said he is going to sign the FREEDOM OF CHOICE ACT. Which will put a legislative flourish on what has been the cry against Roe. That it was a judicial decision.

It can also mean the GOP, as a national party, will have to come to terms with its internal selection processes.

How did McCain win the nomination, you might want to ask?

Did it have something to do with Rush Limbaugh suggesting to his audience ... something he called Operation Chaos. Whereby republicans would register to vote as democrats so they could knock Hillary off her course to the White House.

Well? In that case, the GOP thought Obama was destined to lose.

It's a fool's game to try to play with destiny.

(13) Carol Herman made the following comment | Oct 25, 2008 10:56:04 AM | Permalink


Gee. He's obviously a black man who has survived as a nominal republican. Advancing along a career track in DC.

Yes, he was in Dubya's Cabinet. And, if you'd like to see him played in a movie, go watch W.

Colin Powell is a survivor.

It's been hard on Blacks, after all, to survive in America's RACIST political waters. But we do get examples.

And, Powell always seems to know the best course to take.

That he waited?

So what?

We're still not at 11/5.

And, one thing Colin Powell got, "even at this late date," so to speak ... was face time with the news media.

While inside Dubya's White House Colin Powell couldn't help Dubya find the RIGHT TRACK! Powell was on it! But he was alone! Then he left W's White House.

Colin Powell knows more than he says.

Maybe? Someday ahead, while the GOP can go and languish like it did with its "Herbert Hoover experience," there may be people who will go back and look? Maybe, they'll ask? How do you survive Dubya? How did one executive guess so wrong with his gut?

Like Carter, Dubya prays a lot in the White House. Mort Sahl had said about Carter that "God got exhausted listening to this fool." And, then? "This fool," became "that one."

Who was worse? I think Dubya will get the prize. Be careful what you pray for.

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