After agreeing with Ed Morrissey this morning, I’m back to being at odds this evening. On Colin Powell’s endorsement:
Here’s Limbaugh lighting into him on today’s show. Whether race influenced his decision is a fruitless subject since there’s no way to prove it either way; I’m willing to take a former Joint Chiefs chair at his word, and the boss notes that there’s no need to impute to racial politics what’s equally well explained by Powell’s social liberalism. The more interesting question is whether the public thinks race had something to do with it and, if so, how that’ll affect the weight of the endorsement. Gallup and Rasmussen will presumably/hopefully have something to say about that within the next 48 hours.
There’s a whole level of color-blindness that I don’t agree with in this passage. Of course race had something to do with it, but the issue of race is a real and tangible thing. You can’t pretend it doesn’t exist and be done with it.
But what’s more, Powell said so himself. From CQ’s transcript:
BROKAW: And you are fully aware that there will be some — how many, no one can say for sure — but there will be some who will say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race.
POWELL: If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect and regard for, John McCain , and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama .
And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled on this. And I can’t deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president.
And should that happen, all Americans should be proud — not just African-Americans, but all Americans — that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It will also not only electrify our country; I think it’ll electrify the world.
Clearly, race was on Powell’s mind, but it wasn’t the only factor. I’m confused as to how Ed could charge otherwise.
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