On Meet the Press October 19th, Colin Powell took out a very thin, very sharp stiletto and carved up John McCain without ever raising his voice or uttering an angry or blatantly demeaning word, culminating with his endorsement of Barack Obama for president.
Powell has been on a crusade to resurrect his lost integrity and honor since he submitted a noxious pack of lies to the United Nations Security Council in support of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He knows his performance was the clincher that ended the debate for many Americans if the reasonable and straightforward Powell was behind it, it must be true.
This is the final stage of Powell’s reclamation of his character and veracity rejecting the aggression and insanity of McCain’s more-war stance in favor of the kind of diplomacy he advocated before he served the interests of BushCo at the UN in 2003.
While his endorsement is unlikely to move many civilian voters, former Joint Chiefs of Staff head Powell is still respected in the military and his nod to Obama will signal to many in the armed forces, including the top brass, that it’s safe to support the Democrat this election.
Beyond that, it’s also a sign of the deep fissure in the Republican Party between the Old Guard secular conservatives, such as Powell’s former boss George H.W. Bush, James Baker and Brent Scowcroft, and the emergent power of the Christopublicans, embodied by the elevation of the inexperienced but devout Sarah Palin to vice presidential nominee.
The Old Guard, of course, were happy to use the Christopublicans to get elected, as Reagan and Bush the Elder did, but, once in office, they were put in the corner and ignored.
After Junior Bush’s installment in 2000, the Christopublicans became a much stronger force in the GOP, often calling the shots in various campaigns, although the party wasn’t willing to commit suicide by attempting to legislate such things as abortion and prayer in schools on a national basis. The Old Guard were watching closely at the blowback from the GOP’s interference in the Terri Schiavo fiasco, and the massive public rejection of such meddling it was the ultimate proof that the Christopublicans were destroying the secular conservative Republican Party of small government, deregulation and low taxes in pursuit of their mad idea of a Christian theocracy.
Powell, who rightfully credits his advancement to Bush 41, cooperated with Junior out of loyalty to the family and, out of the same loyalty, might have kept his endorsement to himself this year but, it seems plain, he was given the green light by the Old Guard, including Bush the Elder, to support Obama over McCain.
The doddering McCain himself is a marginalized figure here; the real focus is Sarah Palin, the pious End Times cipher forced upon McCain by the Christopublicans in return for their support. With an illness-prone and elderly President McCain not likely to finish out his first term, the prospect of a Rapture-Ready Palin presidency makes the Jim Dobson’s and Pat Robertson’s giddy in anticipation and causes old Cold War warriors such as Powell, who spent his military career trying to keep the nuclear fuse from being lit, shivers up the spine.
Already we have seen Old Guard Reaganauts from George F. Will to Peggy Noonan and Ken Adelman abandon the GOP for Obama; setting the stage to blame Palin and the Christopublicans for what is shaping up to be a Democratic landslide in November.
They will willingly endure four or eight years of an Obama administration in order to drive the Christopublican menace back to the fringe of the party and assert the power of the Old Guard once more.
Make no mistake, Powell’s strong endorsement of Obama shows that the secular conservatives are ready to step in and retake the GOP from the forces of Christian theocracy bent on touching off a nuclear Armageddon to fulfill their fanatical fantasies.