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Oct 18, 2008

Powell's Buttons

Powell Hip Hop

My view of Colin Powell (no news) is of someone who can never get off the fence. 

That runs from straddling between Bush and Rumsfeld/Cheney (when there was any daylight there) even to his appearance three days ago with Nigerian Hip-Hop group Olu Maintain at the Africa Rising Festival in London.  On the one hand, and I'm happy to see it, Powell seems to be really letting himself go.  (Here's the larger gallery of Powell's appearance as long as it's available.)  On the other hand, I find it totally characteristic Colin would get out there to dance, to sing, to really move and express himself, but then never thought to loosen the tie or even unbutton his suit jacket.

Tomorrow morning, in his much-anticipated appearance on Meet The Press, will Powell stay true-to-form and refuse to endorse either McCain or Obama?  Or, might he actually unbutton the jacket for Obama? 

(But then, if Powell believes the election is both a done-deal and a major political shift to the left, maybe an Obama endorsement is Powell's customary move to the middle.)

(image: Dave Hogan/Getty. October 14, 2008 in London, England)

Comments

It really looks -- to me at least -- that Powell is just trying to climb aboard the winner's boat, and attempting to remove the self-inflicted stain on his reputation, which Powell himself put there in the campaign to sell the Iraq war.

If there isn't a more irrelevant and deservedly forgotten politician than Colin Powell this election cycle, I have as yet to read about him/her...in fact, Powell's appearance on MTP is tastelessness personified, he who was one of the chief enablers of the selling of the immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq. If he had even a shred of shame or remorse, he'd take his sorry arse well the eff out of public life, toute suite.

Powell... yeah. No American had a bigger, badder, more golden opportunity to be a hero - and, he either backed away from it, or turned his back on it. What doesn't surprise me is your ability to see Powell's buttoned down look in a setting which might allow for something different - even from him. I'd like to think that if Powell were to see this post of yours he might feel a bit of chagrin. Still, his time was different. In his view, if he made an error, maybe it was he assumed his military-style sense of loyalty would be matched. His sense of betrayal at the hands of his Republican administration should be profound. He was, and remains, a good soldier.

Colin Powell is one of the few who had the guts to say Yes, In was wrong, and, Yes, I fell to the lies. He confessed so at a time, when it was inconvenient and in consequence retreated from his post. I have a lot of admiration for someone, who on one hand side made his career as a loyal soldier, but confessed to have been wrong even as late as he did.

Yes. Colin Powell is really nothing but coy song and dance. The big announcement he's going on MTP, "Oh! Will he or won't he endorse Obama?" Bah. I say he's an attention whore.

Back in the dark, dark days of 2002, Colin Powell was the one slender hope we had that we could somehow avoid the Iraq invasion - and he let his country down badly.

If Powell would have endorsed Obama a few months ago, it would be one thing. But two weeks from November 4th when Obama is riding high in the polls and looks almost certain to win handily? It looks more self-serving than principled and courageous. I am unimpressed.

Colin Powell has been a stooge his whole life. From helping to cover up the My Lai massacre to helping sell the Iraq war. He's a younger version of Henry Kissinger. The media perpetuates the myth that he is an honorable man who speaks truth to power when in fact he is a toadie who tells his superiors what they want to hear and carries out their war crimes w/o asking questions.

Excellent picture & analysis. Powell will stay on the fence. He hasn't made a decision for himself his whole life.

Why is this guy always singing and dancing on stage in other countries? Is this what he does- he uses his celeb as an American power broker to quack like a duck? I think it's all strange- like the AIG banquets while the company is going under. How do these people process their actions and their actual situations, and then go out and dance like there's no tomorrow. oh.

I suggest Powell can seem to be a fence-setter not because he is indecisive, but rather highly risk-adverse. Hence the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force; and hence Powell the good soldier who cannot bring himself to risk espressing dissent even when he should and does know better.

Since it looks like Obama is going to win the election with overwhelming force and dissenting from his Republican allegiance will be pretty risk-free, I look for Powell to cautiously endorse Obama.

He's a cheerleader. He shares that with W.

He's affirmative action [perhaps talented enough without but still benefitted] he shares that with W [legacy affirmative action for the retarded connected].

He is unreflective, he shares that with W. He knows better that he doesn't share with W.

At the end of his life he will be judged mostly a failure [beginning in My Lai] ending with My Lie [Baghdad].

That he shares with W.

Some pretty negative commentary here. I don't think it's fair to criticize Colin Powell too much for his actions before the war -- he was a true believer, and was acting according to those principles -- it's afterward, when no WMDs were found, that probably, Powell should have resigned after it was shown that his whole WMD presentation at the UN was based on lies and inadequate information. Just as, it was once said that Adlai Stevenson should have resigned after his Bay of Pigs UN debacle.

But Adlai continued in his job to a highly effective moment during the Cuban missile crisis against the Soviet ambassador, arguably contributing greatly to saving that situation and saving the world. So Colin Powell, having stayed loyally in the Republican fold until now (rather than making a dramatic exit in 2003 or 2004) may have been the more powerful and effective thing for him to do. Because had he openly broken with the Bush Administration then, it would have been symbolically important but probably not done that much for the anti-war movement practically. Whereas now, if his endorsement helps even 5,000 or 10,000 voters cast ballots for Obama, it may make all the difference, indeed.

And regardless of what you think of him, his forceful statement rejecting the fear-mongering and racism against Muslims was nothing less than eloquent when he evoked the Muslim-American soldier who had been killed in action. Frankly, he said it better than any national Democrat that I've heard.

Powell recovered his honor on Meet The Press.

If there isn't a more irrelevant and deservedly forgotten politician than Colin Powell this election cycle, I have as yet to read about him/her

Well, that's because nobody writes about George W. Bush anymore.

irrelevant and deservedly forgotten politicians (still living)

lotharios:

John Edwards
Gary Hart
Rudy Giuliani
Bill Clinton - still relevant?

remarkably feeble / incompetent:

John Kerry
Walter Mondale
George McGovern
Dan Quayle
Condoleezza Rice
George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush
Jimmy Carter - redeemed?
Al Gore - redeemed?

narcissistic spoilers:

Ralph Nader
Ross Perot
Pat Buchanan - still relevant as pundit?

remarkably corrupt:

Tom DeLay
Phil Gramm

remarkably petty / mean:

Newt Gingrich
Bob Dole

christian fundamentalists, who openly advocate Theocracy:

Pat Robertson
Mike Huckabee

jewish fundamentalists, who betray their own electorate:

Joe Lieberman
Dianne Feinstein

perversely un-American:

Dick Cheney, et al...

(Addington/Yoo)
(Tenet/Rumsfeld)
(Ashcroft/Gonzales)
(Scalia/Thomas)

Casey Stengel : "CAN'T ANYBODY HERE PLAY THIS GAME ?"

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