Et tu, Colin? That’s Colin Powell, a man who once represented all that is good and great about this country, who rose first to the rank of four-star general, then to the lofty title of Secretary of State, now reduced to a petty name-caller and attack dog.
On Sunday, Powell appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he declared, “There’s also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the [Republican] Party.” He went on to clarify his statement by repeating some of the same idiocies that far lesser Americans have given utterance to in defense of Barack Obama.
“When I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shuckin’ and jivin’.’ That’s a racial-era slave term,” Powell said. The reference, as Politico notes, was to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s use of the term to describe Obama’s response to the attacks in Libya.
Powell also took former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu to task for describing Obama as “lazy” after the first debate of last year’s campaign season:
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.
Powell explained these transgressions as a symptom of the GOP’s migration further right – to its becoming the party of the rich rather than of the downtrodden. He urged the party to “take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed.”
Maybe Powell should follow his own advice. He might come to recognize that the drift he perceives between himself and the Republican Party is not its movement but his.
As to the “dark strain of intolerance” he suddenly perceives in the party of which he is still in name at least a registered member, James Taranto offers this reminder:
[I]n January 2008, Andrew Cuomo, then a supporter of Hillary Clinton and now governor of New York, also used the phrase ‘shuck and jive’ in an apparent reference to Obama. Does that mean that the Democratic Party has ‘a dark vein of intolerance’?
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