The reaction to Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama is amusing. You’ve all seen Limbaugh’s reaction. Here’s Buchanan’s similar reaction:
Gen. Powell does not deny it, contending only that race was not the only or decisive factor. “If I had only that fact in mind,” he told Tom Brokaw, “I could have done this six, eight, ten months ago.”
Yet, in hailing Barack as a “transformational figure” whose election would “electrify our country … (and) the world,” Powell seems to testify to the centrality of Barack’s ethnicity to his decision.
For what else is there about this freshman senator, who has no significant legislative accomplishment, to transform our politics and to electrify the world, other than the fact that he would be the nation’s first African-American president?
It’s almost as if Buchanan didn’t hear Powell credit Obama’s ability to inspire people, the quality of intellect, and the inclusiveness of his campaign. But I’m sure he did, given that he said that just before the quote about him being transformational figure. Now it’s one thing for him to disagree with Powell’s assessment of Obama. It’s another for him to believe that he’s not arguing in good faith, that’s it’s not possible for him to honestly believe that those qualities, in addition to Obama’s race, drove that conclusion.
Buchanan’s not an idiot, but he didn’t even try to discount Powell’s explanation of his decision. Given the other prominent conservatives endorsing Obama, he’d really have to work to come up with a plausible argument. He and other Republicans are simply smearing Powell using the same identity politics they’re ostensibly condemning. It’s not pretty.