Colin Powell — A Better Republican than Rush

Listened to Larry King’s full-hour interview with Colin Powell tonite (half of it on the way home from the table tennis club). Though Powell (like me) voted for Obama (and for pretty much the same reasons as I did, as he explained it), he still calls himself a Republican. He says he’s economically conservative and socially moderate. That’s how I would describe myself. 

Powell touched on a number of issues, and I agreed with him right down the line.

  • He favored talking to Iran and North Korea. 
  • He felt Obama was trying to do too much too fast.
  • He was disturbed by the amount of money being spent in Washington.
  • He is against torture. 
  • He thought Henry Gates went overboard and should have cooperated with the police, but that the police should have probably just walked away without arresting him.
On issue after issue, I resonated with Powell. He represents me. 

Rush Limbaugh continually criticizes Powell, and wants him out of the Republican Party, along with John McCain, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter (got his wish there), and anyone else who doesn’t meet his definition of a Republican. So Rush obviously has no room for the likes of me in the GOP. I would just as soon not have an irreligious, drug-addicted, obese, intolerant, multiple divorc√© calling the shots in the Republican Party. But hey, he’s got a bully pulpit which gives him a stranglehold on ideological purity. If anyone raises a contrary voice, he can lambast them for several hours every day. So Republicans suck up to him, wanting his favor. Woe unto the moderate who disagrees with Rush.

And so, to the Republican far-right base, Powell is a turncoat liberal. Which is a travesty. Powell is an amazingly gifted American, a man we should all look up to and admire. And not too long ago, we did. He was the darling in the GOP. But moderates like him are being chased out of the party. And to me, that spells doom. 

If they don’t enlarge the tent, there is no future for the Republican Party. Not in a country which is increasingly ethnic in complexion and moderate-to-liberal in outlook. Rush, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Fred Barnes, Bill Kristol–they are killing the Republican Party.

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