LOS ANGELES, January 15, 2013 — General Colin Powell recently lashed out at the GOP, accusing it of racism and xenophobia. While General Powell is a registered Republican, he voted twice for President Obama. Powell has been at odds with conservatives for years, considering himself a moderate Rockefeller Republican.
Powell, like Obama, is someone who for some reason is considered above criticism. His military career was distinguished, but Powell deserves the same scrutiny as everyone else.
Once he endorsed Obama, Powell entered the pantheon of liberal Zeus-like status normally reserved for Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman. His critical comments about Republicans are by assumption true, their wisdom burnished by his insider status as a Republican, his Gulf War leadership, and his support for Obama. If he thinks the GOP is out of the American mainstream, it must be so because he so clearly is mainstream.
Powell objects to the GOP because it doesn’t conform to his own beliefs. Yet he had his opportunity to lead the Party in 1996, and was courted to be part of its leadership on several occasions, and he declined.
Powell is not Ivory pure. He has an ulterior motive for criticizing Republicans that is normal, typical, and completely human. Beneath all the medals, Colin Powell is a disgruntled ex-employee. He was asked to resign as Secretary of State in the George W. Bush Administration in 2004, and he became a harsh critic of the Bush Administration almost immediately. He helped scuttle Bush’s appointment of John Bolton as UN ambassador, and argued in 2005 that federal response to Hurricane Katrina was slow because the victims were poor.
Powell’s wife Alma accused the administration of treating him “shabbily,” but Bush, while grateful for Powell’s service, saw clearly that Powell was not fully supportive of American foreign policy, an untenable position for a Secretary of State.
Liberals are unanimous in their opinion of Powell as a “better man” than Bush, but in any administration, only one opinion is ultimately relevant. No man, not even a respected military general breaking racial barriers, is indispensable. Powell served at the pleasure of the President of the United States, and Bush had every reason to demand the full support of his cabinet.
Bush felt that Powell was not a fully committed team player and replaced him with Dr. Condoleeza Rice. While liberals support the right of a president to choose his own team, they find that a difficult concept when the president is a Republican.
President Clinton had every right to fire 93 U.S. Attorneys. President Bush had every right to fire eight of them. President Obama had every right (through Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack) to fire Shirley Sherrod. The fact that Obama jumped to incorrect conclusions is a character issue, but does not alter the legality or authority of his decision. As chief executive, the Executive branch answers to him. Hirings sometimes require Senate confirmations, but firings do not.
Presidents have the right to keep people around them they can trust. Powell’s deputy Richard Armitage leaked information to the media about Valerie Plame, leading to an investigation that caused another man to be destroyed. Powell and Armitage never apologized for wrecking Scooter Libby’s life. They never apologized for leaking information and keeping silent when the truth would have exonerated the cabinet. In retrospect, it was right that the one man who allowed his subordinate to undermine his superior was fired.
Powell’s behavior is petulant. Attacking Republicans makes him a liberal media darling and provides more fuel to Bush-haters. Yet Powell is no saint. He is just a disgruntled ex-employee who dislikes the boss who fired him.
Powell is human. Take his words with plenty of salt granules.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
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