Sunday, May 24, 2009

Colin Powell On Face The Nation.

Powell makes great sense here. The right wing of the Republican party are out of control and are taking over the entire party and demanding the exclusion of anyone who does not share their rigid ideology.

"You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on it. I believe we should build on it."
He's completely right, but that's not the way Rush Limbaugh and the other nutcases see it as they try to build the narrowest political tent in history. As far as they are concerned, it's their way or the highway.

The Limbaugh's and the Cheney's of the world actually question whether or not Powell can even be considered a Republican anymore. That's actually an indication of how insanely right wing they have become rather than any indictment on Powell himself.

And Powell is not frightened to point out the dangerous hold Limbaugh currently has on the Republican party.
"When the chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, issues even the mildest of criticisms concerning Mr. Limbaugh, and then 24 hours later, the chairman of the RNC has to lay prostrate on the floor, apologizing for it; and when two congressmen offer the mildest criticism of Mr. Limbaugh, they too then 24 hours later have such pressure brought to bear on them that they too, had to change their view and apologize for criticizing him - well, if he's out there, he should be subject to criticism, just as I am subject to criticism, " he said.
Powell also points out that Cheney, when he criticises Obama's plans to close Guantanamo, is actually ignoring the fact that Bush wanted to close Guantanamo. In many ways Cheney is re-fighting battles which he lost during the Bush years, in the exact same way as he is fighting to demand that Obama continue "enhanced interrogation techniques", despite the fact that this practice was also ended during the first term of the Bush administration.

And I am very pleased that Powell makes the case that the US can safely imprison terrorists, as the lunacy of the argument which Cheney and others are making simply fries my brain.

And Powell does well to dismiss the Republican habit of using slogans against big government, when, as he points out, what is needed is effective government, whatever size that happens to require. The Republicans appear to me to still be clutching to Reaganism in their slogans, even as the Reagan rationale is being dismantled by economic disaster. Deregulation is not the answer. The notion that giving more to the rich will eventually trickle down to the poor has been proven as the ridiculous fallacy many of us always thought it was.

So what are the American extreme right actually left with? A collection of Reaganite beliefs which the public no longer believe in. Indeed, Obama was able to sweep them aside precisely because he was brave enough - and articulate enough - to make a counter argument to Reaganism.

And yet, the Reaganites continue to hold a massive sway in the Republican party, as the sidelining of sensible people like Powell amply demonstrates.

The truth is that the Limbaugh Republicans are really lemmings heading off of a cliff. The Republicans really have become the party of Limbaugh and the other nutters: Cheney, O'Reilly, Coulter and Malkin, rather than the party of sensible conservatives like Powell.

That's why the number of people willing to identify themselves as Republicans has dropped through the floor.

The lunatics are running the asylum.

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