Endorsement? Fine. Job? No.
Though I'm sequestered away, I imagine that the Village gasbags are all agog about the Colin Powell endorsement, and they will for the next few days as well. It's really a message from the Establishment that John McCain is unacceptable and dishonorable for the campaign he has run, out in the open, without even distancing hiimself through some shadow group. It says a lot more about McCain than Obama. And about the right-wing noise machine, with their cries of reverse racism and general ugliness.
Let me say it louder, and let me say it even more plainly. IT WAS TOTALLY ABOUT RACE! The Powell nomination — or endorsement — totally about race.
However, Obama's response to the news has been pretty unsettling, although this is exactly what you would do if someone from the other party hands you a gift like this.
The Associated Press reports that "Powell will have a role as a top presidential adviser in an Obama administration, the Democratic White House hopeful said Monday." Obama told NBC News Powell will "have a role as one of my advisers" and held out the possibility of a formal White House or Cabinet role. He also asked Powell to publicly campaign with him.
For the millions of Americans supporting Obama because of his opposition to the war, this is disconcerting, to say the least.
As CNN reported yesterday, Powell remains totally unrepentant both about his own critical role pushing us to war. For instance, he claims to have tried to stop the war, five years after giving the single most important (and discredited) speech in building the public case for war. He now claims he wants to see the war end, but it's difficult to trust the integrity of a man who denies even the most basic facts of his public involvement in creating the crisis in the first place. That Obama now seems to reflexively trust Powell suggests not foreign policy prudence from the Democratic nominee, but knee-jerk ignorance - and worse, a potential to abdicate the very antiwar themes he's run on for so long.
I prefer to see this as a political gesture, obviously, but if Obama tries to restore Powell's shot credibility, I'm going to be the first in line saying "Uh, no." While the implications for Iraq would likely not be major (that's going to play itself out from the Iraqi's side), the implications for these sad men who got it wrong in 2002 and 2003 continuing to fail upward would be grave.
...by the way, this is about more than just the 2002 UN speech. Powell sabotaged Clinton on gays in the military and still doesn't support repealing DADT. He was involved in the coverup of My Lai. He's not someone I want anywhere near a Democratic Administration.