Would Colin Powell Really Endorse a Socialist?

I left my house on Sunday morning at 8:30am and made the hour long drive from my hometown of Holly Springs to Fayetteville – the site of a Barack Obama campaign event.  I hadn’t been to a presidential rally since 1992, when, my high school marching band was asked to perform at a George Bush rally at a local community college.  (I was living in New Jersey at the time.)

By the time I got to the arena in Fayetteville, there were already thousands of people waiting in line anxious to get inside to see Mr. Obama.   Fayetteville is a big military town here in North Carolina, home to the Army’s Fort Bragg.

As I took my place in line and waited, several campaign volunteers were working the line announcing that General Colin Powell had just endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press.  The news natuarally spawned a raucous celebratory response from the predominantly African-American crowd – most of whom I suspect were locals that had some tie to the military.

After Obama came on stage to the delight of more than 10,000 supporters, he opened his remarks by thanking Gen. Powell for his endorsement.   Later on in the speech, he addressed John McCain’s “socialism” attack by asking how Warren Buffet and now Colin Powell could endorse him if he were really a socialist.

With Sarah Palin running around saying which parts of the country are pro-America and which are not; with John McCain offering up his own socialist proposals to spend $300 million to buy up every bad mortgage in America; with all of these nasty robocalls coming out of the McCain campaign – this has to be Obama’s best defense against these charges.

Gen. Powell is a wise and respected person.   I have great empathy for him as one who was truly blindsided by the Bush-Cheney regime.  As Secretary of State, Powell was the unfortunate soul who had to go in front of the United Nations and sell the Iraq war based on misguided information.    I think that Powell’s endorsement of Obama, while, sincere and based on true feelings as to who would be the best president, also is meant to serve as payback to the current administration and its party.

Throwing out terms like “socialist” is dangerous because people automatically assume that you are referring to the lowest, detestable forms of communism.   Canada, for example, has a socialist health care system, but you are not seeing calls to boycott Molson beer in this country.  Now, I am not using this example to defend socialism – I am merely pointing out that the attacks by the McCain campaign are being done to sitr up fear for the wrong reasons.   Before Obama made his way to the arena in Fayetteville, he stopped at a local eatery.   One woman, when she saw Mr. Obama come through the door yelled “Socialist! Socialist! Get out of here!”  Thankfully, many other diners yelled back at the woman.  Obama himself tried to make peace with the woman, but she refused to even shake his hand.    The ironic thing about it, is, and I’m just making an assumption here given the demographics, is that she probably makes less than $250,000 a year, and would most likely see a BIGGER TAX CUT under Obama.

So back to Powell.   Gen. Powell had refused to endorse either candidate – even though he has a pretty close relationship with John McCain that spans over 25 years.    Instead, Powell chose to watch how the campaigns played out; watch the debates; and get a sense of who had the best plans to take America forward.  As one of this country’s most respected statesmen, whose career work has been protecting America’s security,  would he have endorsed Obama if he thought his plans were socialist – ESPECIALLY since he is a member of the REPUBLICAN PARTY?

It will take a few days to determine the effect of Powell’s endorsement.  Most endorsements usually don’t sway undecided voters all that much, but I think this case might be an exception because you have a well respected military leader willing to support the guy from the other party despite the fact that he has more in common with the candidate from his own party.    On Fox News, McCain said he wasn’t surprised by the endorsement.  I believe him.  I think if McCain loses, he will look back at this election, and see this as a symbol of what went wrong.  These baseless attacks have not registered with voters, and now, with Gen. Powell’s endorsement, they are not working on the truly intelligent wing of the Republican Party either.

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3 thoughts on “Would Colin Powell Really Endorse a Socialist?

  1. Sarah says:

    Suddenly because Powell is endorsing obama he is not as evil as he used to be? Yet, Powell was the one encouraging the Iraq war claiming they had WMD. Anyone with intelligence knows that Powell is endorsing based on race.

    98% of black people are voting for obama just because he is black. White people are split between obama, nadar, and McCain. Think about it.

    The truth is this is a race campaign. The Democrats control the senate and congress and have the lowest approval rating in US history. The Democrats couldn’t even beat Bush in the elections thus why they are going after the black vote in the US, about 45 million blacks. Thus, why obama voted present over 130 times, avoided the tough issues, and never challenged his party leaders on senate to preserve his political career. Only 143 days on state senate when he decided to run for office.

    The Democrats lost because the US is not a socialist/communist system. Americans fought against Nazi Germany, their socialist party, and communist USSR for decades, just to name a few.

    Again, Clinton supported deregulation and introduced FTAs like NAFTA. That is why the US economy was strong during his administration. McCain also supports deregulation and fights for FTAs like NAFTA. These initiatives will help our economy. Our economy is very important, McCain is better for our economy. I hope people get educated before they vote.

    US businesses create US jobs. obama wants to limit the growth of US businesses, which is limiting the growth of US jobs. If you increase tax on US businesses they will either just relocate to a lower tax country taking American jobs with them, pass the added tax cost to consumers or go bankrupt. GM and Ford can barely compete globally and obama wants to tax them more. The smaller businesses that are reliant on GM and Ford will also be greatly affected, destroying more US jobs.

    The US is the land of opportunity not the land of equal outcome. Why should government take your money and give it to people who are already on welfare to spread the wealth?

    What Caused Our Economic Crisis? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RZVw3no2A4

  2. Rob says:

    Sarah – here’s the problems with your arguments:

    1. Powell was deliberately misled on the immediate threat that Iraq posed by Cheney. Powell initially did not think it was proper to go into Iraq, but had enormous pressure put on him.

    2. Blacks in general, ALWAYS vote Democratic. Bill Clinton got 84% of the black vote in both 1992 and 1996. The difference here is that MORE blacks will vote this year. Yes, some of them may vote simply because Obama is black. But you will also have whites that will vote for McCain because they don’t want to elect a black man.

    3. This issue of Obama voting “Present” is silly. In Illinois, it is used as a strategy when you don’t like something in the bill and want it modified. It’s not that he didn’t have an opinion.

    4. As for Congress’s approval rating – the Dems have been in control for less than 2 years. Their hands are tied because they have the smallest of a majority which includes Joe Lieberman, who most Dems are not happy with. They cannot avoid a filibuster by the Republicans, so anything they try to do will get blocked by a Republican filibuster. I’m not a big fan of Nancy Pelosi, but it is not 100% the fault of the Dems that Congress has a low approval rating.

    5. Obama’s tax plan includes credits for each new job created in the US as well as other credits for employers who offer health care to its workers. Many of these credits would help cancel out or almost cancel out some of the tax increases he is proposing on income over $250,000. So, what it does is forces companies to want to hire more American workers since they would get a tax break. For individuals making over $250,000 what is wrong with them paying slightly higher taxes – the same rate they paid under Bill Clinton when we were in a better situation?

    The economy is strong when the middle class has more spending power. Whether the top tax rate is 36% or 39%, the wealthy are going to still enjoy their lavish lifestyles. However, the Bush policies have squeezed middle class families and have made it harder to pump money back into the economy. If the middle class got a bigger tax break, they would be able to eat out more, buy nicer clothes, buy new cars, etc – which would in turn help those businesses selling those goods. Why is that not obvious to you?

  3. fdeblauwe says:

    A great cartoon lambasting this phenomenon on the Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 blog…

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