When Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama, he made a thoughtful and reasoned case for his decision. He highlighted his respect for each candidate noting that either one would make a good President. He used words like “steady”, “intellectually curious”, “transformational”, and “inclusive” to describe Obama. “Unsure,” “narrow,” and, “too far” were used to describe McCain. Colin Powell expressed concern about the direction his party was taking, becoming more right wing and exclusive.
Like so many other Republicans who have supported Obama, the GOP faithful have swiftly thrown supposed dissenters overboard or directly “under the bus” to use another common metaphor in this political climate. Karl Rove was probably the first to inject race into Colin Powell’s decision, saying that he only endorsed Obama because he was black. McCain’s campaign manager explained that Powell was “not equipped” to endorse or make political predictions. One by one, the GOP surrogates attempted to discredit everything about Colin Powell. Cartoonist Gordon Campbell put black face on Benedict Arnold with the caption, “Benedict Powell, Race Patriot.” Colin Powell’s record of service stands on its own. No amount of mud slinging even from his own party can sully him.
The Republican tent gets smaller and smaller. Membership is not open to independent thinking folks. Just those who are willing to play hard and dirty.