Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Colin Powell Speaks Truth, GOP Shoots the Messenger


Transcript: Meet the Press, January 13, 2013
I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed. The country is changing demographically. And if the Republican Party does not change along with that demographic, they’re going to be in trouble. And so, when we see that in one more generation, the minorities of America, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans will be the majority of the country, you can’t go around saying we don’t want to have a solid immigration policy. We’re going to dismiss the 47 percent. We are going to make it hard for these minorities to vote as they did in the last election. What did that produce? The court struck most of that down and most importantly, it caused people to turn out and stand in line because these Republicans were trying to keep us from voting.

There’s also a dark-- a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the Party. What I do mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor say that the president is shuckin’ and jivin’, that’s a racial era slave term. When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well, he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with it Birther, the whole Birther Movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the Party?

I think the Party has to take a look at itself. It has to take a look at its responsibilities for health care. It has to take a look at immigration. It has to take a look at those less fortunate than us. The Party has gathered unto itself a reputation that it is the party of the rich. It is the party of lower taxes. But there are a lot of people who are lower down the food chain, the economic chain, who are also paying lots of taxes relative to their income and they need help. We need more education work being done in this country. We need a solid immigration policy. We have to look at climate change. There are a lot of things that the American people are expecting and the Republican Party, as they get ready for the next election, really has to focus on some of these issues and not ignore them.

Everybody wants to talk about who’s going to be the candidate. You better think first about what’s the party they’re actually going to represent. If it’s just going to represent the far right-wing of the political spectrum, I think the Party is in difficulty.


Pow! Right in the kisser!
Yesterday a day of infamy for the Republican Party. General Colin Powell told the vivid nasty truth. He blasted his party, especially its leaders, for engaging in what he called flagrant race baiting. . . . The indictment has now been made by this country's most celebrated African American Republican.
~ Chris Matthews on Hardball

My question after that interview, which was really incendiary and a line in the sand, is when will a Republican Party admit they have a problem? Because every time something like this happens, there is a doubling down, there is a deep defense, there is an attack on the messenger.
~ Alex Wagner on Hardball

(Powell) went directly to the most common liberal meme these days in defending a radical left president: Republicans are racist. It’s a bully tactic that has become all the rage these days – Republicans don’t oppose Obama on policy, and they don’t have a good rationale for standing against liberalism. It’s just that they secretly hate black people.
. . . Powell labels it racist because it serves his political ends.
Is the word “lazy” racist? If so, half the media hates white folks, because presidents going back to Dwight D. Eisenhower have routinely been labeled lazy.
As for the birthers, nobody in the mainstream of the Republican Party has ever given credibility to them. Only in Colin Powell’s opportunistic mind is the GOP linked with birtherism.
~ Ben Shapiro on Breitbart

The idea that the Republican Party’s problem is that the party is inherently racist, or led by racists, or has a core of racists in it, is just patently absurd.
~ Conservative Talk Show Host, Laura Ingraham

If Republicans Have a ‘Deep Vein’ of Intolerance in Them, You Couldn’t Prove It By His Career
~ Brit Hume on Fox News

. . . he’s really quite the schmuck. I’m just being honest with you. He’s an egomaniac. He was a terrible secretary of state. But I would ask Mr. Powell this question: Ronald Reagan plucked you from obscurity, specifically [former Secretary of Defense Caspar] ‘Cap’ Weinberger did, Mr. Powell. What do you think ‘Cap’ Weinberger would think of what’s happening to the United States Navy, in general the United States Armed Forces, Mr. Powell? ‘Cap’ Weinberger, who was behind the 600-ship navy, that is just now going to be under 300? What do you think about that, Mr. Powell?
Ronald Reagan would be repulsed by Obama, by his conduct in the Oval Office, by the way he campaigns, by the way he lies, by his philosophy, by his policies, by what he’s done to this nation and the private sector, Mr. Powell. So why did you endorse Barack Obama, Mr. Powell?
. . . I think nobody gives a damn what you think.
. . . You know what you are? You’re a partisan hack. Get out of my party.
~ Radio Host Mark Levin, via Daily Caller

I disagree with General Powell’s assessment of the Republican Party today. The Republican Party is the party that [has] placed two Hispanics in the U.S. Senate, and we have an African-American senator in the United States Senate.
~ Senator Marco Rubio of Florida

I mean, you've got Colin Powell on TV yesterday saying Republicans did not use to be this way. The GOP looks down on blacks, minorities. Look at the Senate. The only black senator is a Republican. The only two Hispanic senators are Republicans, but here's Colin Powell saying Republicans look down on minorities. And they're racists, and they're using code, dog whistle language now. The titular head of the Republican Party. The Republican that everybody in the media says we all should emulate, Colin Powell, that's what he went on TV to say yesterday.
~ Rush Limbaugh

How can a serious interviewer let a comment like that, so sweeping and so egregious, slip by?
It is a serious and deeply wrongheaded comment. Gregory could have pressed Powell in any number of ways. Didn’t some Democrats accuse Obama of being lazy (on MSNBC, no less) ? Who else is a racist in the GOP? Is there anyone in the U.S. Senate? Wasn’t it an ex- governor (Sarah Palin) who holds no office whom he quoted? Does he think everything MSNBC hosts say is reflective of the Democratic Party? Is a single ex-governor the best he can do?
Was the George W. Bush administration intolerant? Are House Republicans intolerant? Has he ever met Sen.Tim Scott (R-S.C.)? Are the 48 percent of Americans who voted for Mitt Romney intolerant?
I suspect Gregory let it slide with no hint of disagreement because he saw nothing objectionable to labeling the GOP (or “some parts” — which ones?) as racist. It is such an accepted part of the liberal media group think that it doesn’t even merit notice, it seems. It is interesting, isn’t it, that Hagel, who has an entire record of utterances, gets a pass, yet Powell is ready to indict the entire GOP on the basis of such scrawny evidence?
~ Jennifer Rubin on Washington Post

The Republican Party is not listening to General Colin Powell, or anyone else who deviates from the party line. Instead, their response to him is a doubling-down of their viciousness against opponents and to frantically restructure the way they communicate their toxic message to their base. From their "conservative" media echo chamber, including first and foremost Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham to actual Republican officeholders like Sen. Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.), etc., etc., the message is the same: Powell is a tool of the "Democrat Party." He has, they tell themselves, once again played the race card, and in doing so, he betrayed them just one time too many.
This is a classic example of "shoot the messenger."
It is also the beginning of the end of the Republican Party. It is in its death throes now; and it is sad to witness the demise of this once great party.

~ Herbert Dyer, Jr. on AllVoices


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