Why the endorsement of Colin Powell is important [2 Updates]

Celeb endorsements are basically momentary eye-candy. They really don’t mean anything, except that one particular individual is leaning one direction, and someone else is leaning another. Most of the time there is no real reason given except to say that they like the person they are endorsing.

Colin Powell came forward Sunday with the not-so-surprising news that he was endorsing Barack Obama over his friend of thirty years, John McCain. It is not surprising because he has been telegraphing it for a while now.

By itself, Powell’s endorsement would normally gotten little more than a shrug. It isn’t the endorsement, it was the seven and a half minutes that led up to that endorsement.

Basically, Powell put forward an indictment of what the Republican Party has become, and who his friend John McCain has become.

What makes this particular endorsment damaging to McCain is the way Powell laid out his case against McCain and the Republicans. Granted, he isn’t going to say anything that is going to sway those people who wouldn’t vote for Obama if he was the last person alive, but he is going to sway those who might already be feeling uncomfortable with their own party’s shameful actions and attitudes.

Some are predicably chalking Powell’s endorsement up to race. They just can’t accept the fact that Powell might actually believe that the Grand Old Party has jumped the shark, and the fact that he has never before made a decision based on the race of anyone, seems to escape their tiny little minds.

What I found moving about what he said was when he was talking about how the Republicans are trying to smear Obama by claiming he is a Muslim. He said that Obama is a Christian and always has been a Christian, but so what if he was a Muslim? Republicans want to tell young boys and girls who happen to be of the Muslim faith that they can’t grow up to be the President of the United States?

He told the story of seeing a photograph of a mother who had lost her 20-year-old American-born son in Iraq. He described the headstone with all of the decorations he had won, his birthdate and the date he died, and finally, his Muslim name.

It is alright for this young man — who happened to be a Muslim, born and bred in New Jersey — to die for his country, but the racist attitudes of the Republican Party say he is not good enough to be the President of the country he put his life on the line for.

Watch the seven and a half minute statement leading up to the endorsement. It is quite compelling.

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UPDATE #1:

First Colin Powell, Now

Ken Adelman is a lifelong conservative Republican. Campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagans director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfelds second go-round at the Pentagon, in 2001. Adelmans friendship with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their wives goes back to the sixties, and he introduced Cheney to Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington brunch the day Reagan was sworn in.

In recent years, Adelman and his friends Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz fell out over his criticisms of the botching of the Iraq War. Still, he remains a bona-fide hawk (not really a neo-con but a con-con) who has never supported a Democrat for President in his life. Two weeks from now thats going to change: Ken Adelman intends to vote for Barack Obama. He can hardly believe it himself.

Go read his reasoning. More damning proof that the Republican candidates are losing.

UPDATE #2:

It just keeps on coming:

Bernanke Endorses Obama

Ben Bernanke apparently wants four more years as Federal Reserve Chairman. At least that’s a reasonable conclusion after Mr. Bernanke all but submitted his job application to Barack Obama yesterday by endorsing the Democratic version of fiscal “stimulus.”

Yeah, you will want to read that one also.