Colin Powell Isn’t Embarrassing the Republican Party, He’s Embarrassing Himself

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


“Sorry man, it’s not happening.”

There was a time when Colin Powell could have had the Republican presidential nomination for the asking. He might not have been able to beat Clinton in ’96, but he would have had a decent shot at it.

That makes watching Colin Powell playing up to Obama in the hopes of landing a cabinet position all the more pathetic. Obama could have picked Powell for Secretary of Defense, and Powell is still hoping that the Hagel nomination will fall through and he does, but that hope is as unreal as Powell becoming President Colin Powell.

Powell would have been a far more credible and effective nominee than Hagel, a man widely disliked by virtually everyone. In every respect, Powell would have been a better nominee than Hagel. But Colin Powell sinned in the eyes of the left during his role as Secretary of State in a Republican administration and he is busy atoning for it through the traditional method of damning the Republican Party.

This display of zeal is all the more pathetic because Obama appears to have very little interest in doing anything for Colin Powell. Powell is only an asset as a moderate figure and this is not an administration that is interested in even presenting the appearance of moderation.

Hagel wasn’t picked because he was a moderate, but because he was an extremist, so Colin Powell is trying to belatedly become an extremist as well.

By constantly playing the race card, the one card he has left, and damning the Republican Party as a party of racists, Colin Powell is not accomplishing anything except writing the shameful conclusion to his own career by playing the useful idiot in the hopes of getting thrown to him a bone by people who have no use for him.

Colin Powell left the Republican Party on bad terms, twice, washing out of the Bush Administration, and then running to Obama out of spite at not being picked by McCain. Four years later he has nothing to show for it. The Republican Party hasn’t gotten into the White House, but neither has Colin Powell.

Powell can’t wait around another four years to see what happens in 2016, so he has nothing to lose. In 2008, he still maintained the pretense of being an objective observer looking for a transcendent figure to unite the country. Now Powell sounds shrill and angry. The accusations have become irrational and petty.

Colin Powell is pimping himself out on everything from gun control to false accusations of racism, showing how eager he is to do any of the dirty work that the Democrats might have for him. And his reward for that is more appearances on Sunday morning shows, the carrot still dangling in front of his face. A carrot that he will eventually realize will never be his.

The Colin Powell we see on the Sunday morning shows is a bitter man, angry over not getting as far as he wanted to go. It isn’t racial bitterness that Powell projects, but personal grievance. Colin Powell didn’t get what he wanted by being a Republican and he hasn’t gotten it from the Democrats either. This is his last chance and the door isn’t opening for him no matter what he does.

Powell is a sad man. A man who didn’t take the right opportunities and is now taking the wrong ones. An angry man willing to do what he never did before. A man who, like so many in Washington D.C., traded his honor for careerism, and now has neither honor nor career left.

  • JacksonPearson

    Colin Powell has proven without any doubt whatsoever, that all along, he's been a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    In reality, he's a fraternity member of Obama's herd of affirmative action sheep.

  • Cyteria

    Come on Mr. Greenfield. For a supposedly intelligent man you are behaving incredibly stupid. Why in your humble opinion is it impossible to believe that a man who was once the Director of The Joint Chiefs and the highest ranking General in our armed forces can't actually just be voicing his true opinion? Not motivated by anything other than his integrity and conviction. Respectfully Mr. Greenfield, you are the one who should be embarrassed that as a so-called journalist you are totally incapable of reporting the truth of the matter without putting your own cynical spin on it. Shame on you, you should be embarrassed and if you're not I'm embarrassed for you.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Nothing is "impossible". However Washington politics are the determining factor in games at this level. And Powell has gone beyond giving his opinion and is now plainly embarrassing himself in a bid for attention.

      • stevef

        Isn't he just another brother?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Cyteria,

      Powell and 0'Bama are each already married. Find someone else.

      • PhillipGaley

        H-m-m-m, . . . I take this article as presenting quite an upbeat and cheery view—a bit of truth, . . . kind of shows what one who is willing to sell his soul for mere and base rewards—and which are the only thing which the veering crowds of this temporal life can offer—is to look like. And, should we be without those tragic figures of cowardice and embarrassment, reading their scripts of corruption and loss, finally to wander off the stage, and end in the gutter with a wine bottle, or in suicide say, why then, the fabric of literature on life would be very much incomplete—now, wouldn't it? And to me, Colin P. appears as having developed into just one of those, . . .

        Also, I search the net for humor—so difficult a thing to achieve on purpose—but here, our dear "Cyteria" definitely qualifies: There's: "For a supposedly intelligent man . . . .", a comical way to begin a comment of statements which we can only suppose is presented to be considered, seriously—and, the absent comma after "man" offers a nice veiw of open space between the ears, which, when I got to that point, I was able to look back and begin to see something of why, after "Greenfield", instead of a comma, there is a period, and then, immediately following, why that, after "Why", there is no comma, and why, after "opinion" also, a comma is incorrectly left out, . . . and the same after "Respectfully"—just for a few examples showing something of couplings in comical effect throughout the comment

        And not to do a complete review against all of the comment's non-sense, but, it ends off with the bits about embarrassment—that smacks me as kind of funny, . . . And, am I, or should I, feel embarrassed for our dear "Cyteria"? No, . . . for, beginning with failure to have recognized lack of sense of grace in Colin P.—as this article, plainly does—in all sense of reason, aught above comedy was scarcely to be have been expected.

        But however all that may be, I might feel just a little of embarrassment for the school which trained our learned Mr. Greenfield, for, the article's last word should not be "left", but "remaining". And, one part of the last of the 6th paragraph should read, rather: ". . . . hopes of getting a bone thrown to him . . . ."—do you jump on your horse? Or, do you jump your horse, on? Do you climb a ladder up? Or, do you climb up the ladder? Does your wife turn you on, . . . or, does she turn on you? Do you turn on your computer? Or, do you turn your computer, on? Although, at least since Windows 3.1, the Microsoft people have had us turning on our computers, except, they didn't supply us with the clubs, . . .

        But yes, I would say, this article certainly does help to fill out the reflective political landscape, . . .

        • PhillipGaley

          Corrections: "appears as developing into just one of those, . . . "

          And, a "but" after the dash: "beginning with failure to have recognized lack of sense of grace in Colin P.—but as this article, plainly does—in all sense of reason"

          • objectivefactsmatter

            > —just for a few examples showing something of couplings in comical effect throughout the comment

            > Corrections: "appears as developing into just one of those, . . . "
            >And, a "but" after the dash: "beginning with failure to have recognized lack of sense of grace in Colin P.—but as this article, plainly does—in all sense of reason"

            You're quite comical yourself. How many assistant editors do you have to preview your comments before sending?

        • Dirk Sorensby

          Such a surprise to see a liberal obscuring the issue, supplanting sincerity with condescension; as if, to end a sentence with a preposition, is worse than dishonesty.

    • JacksonPearson

      Colin Powell was a weak, and zero affirmative action U.S. General that was given opportunity, and not earned his rank like other famous, and patriotic U.S. generals. He commanded very few, and saw very little action to have to make tough decisions.

      Colin Powell was NO Gen. Douglas McArthur, or Gen. Patton, or Gen. Abrams, or Gen.Schwarzkopf, or Gen. and President Dwight Isenhower. Powell has made his legacy in a Progressive bed, and will have to sleep in it.

    • Dirk Sorensby

      For one, his statements are not true; at least not rational, by anyone's measure. If he was being sincere, and not hypocritical nor turncoat-like, he would have expressed himself in a more nuanced way, and not made such a blanketed attack on a party he supposedly has been inline with forever.

  • Mary Sue

    It simply took this long for the purple koolaid drank that was circulating inside Colin Powell to make itself this apparent. The poisoned koolaid of Identity Politics.

  • Ar'nun

    Let's be honest. even as a General Colin Powell wasn't all that impressive. essentially had Bush not put him in the Cabinet he would have gone down in history as Norman Schwarzkopf's little sidekick but Norman Schwarzkopf didn't want to be involved in politics after his retirement from the Army.

  • Capt_Z1

    One racist in bed with another. Affirmative action in action.

    • stevef

      But Ethnics need affirmative action or they'll never get past the third grade.

  • Antonio Chaves

    Nice article! I came to a similar conclusion about Powell four years ago. Here is my letter that was published in the Washington Times on May, 29, 2009

    HAS-BEEN POWELL HUNTING FOR A JOB

    In regard to Colin L. Powell's comments lamenting the Republican Party's supposed lack of inclusiveness ("Powell: GOP must be inclusive," Page 1, Monday), I suggest that people who believe in anything bigger than themselves should not be taking notes from Mr. Powell. It is hard to believe that this so-called moderate Republican would forsake the party that nominated a moderate like Sen. John McCain to endorse a demogogue like Barack Obama. Perhaps his acceptance of a 1995 Jaguar from Prince Bandar, former Saudi ambassador to the United States, not long after resigning the job of secretary of state, offers a clue as to what he was thinking. One wonders how much this lackluster former secretary sold out to the Saudis to deserve such payback from this notorious influence-peddler.

    Given this precedent, I have to disagree with Rush Limbaugh: Mr. Powell's endorsement of Mr. Obama is not about race. It is about Mr. Powell, a wet-fingered has-been hunting for a job.

  • hrwolfe

    I find it odd that Condi Rice does not have Powell's clear vision of racism within the Republican Party nor does Mia Love nor Col. West but Gen. Powell see's it all, strange, very strange.

  • http://twitter.com/sremani @sremani

    Colin Powell is the man, he is speaking truth to the power.

  • Ghostwriter

    It's sad. Colin Powell has made himself look extremely foolish.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Powells wife talked him out of running for President as he had adulterous affairs during their marriage. He is an unrepentant traitor to the Republican party and a shameless supporter of the Stench inhabiting the White House.