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Racist Rush Limbaugh Attacks Another GOP Black

After repeatedly attacking African-American GOP Chairman Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh is now spewing his race-based hatred again, claiming Former Bush adminstration member Republican General Colin Powell endorsed Obama's candidacy solely because they're both African-Americans:

"Look, if you want to know what this is all about, Colin Powell is out there saying the American people want more taxes, they want bigger government. He's out there saying I am killing the Republican Party while he endorsed and voted for Obama,'' Limbaugh said on his show. "The Republican Party nominated the exact kind of candidate Colin Powell thinks the Republican Party should have and he still endorsed Obama.

"He's just mad at me because I'm the one person in the country that had the guts to explain his endorsement of Obama. It was purely and solely based on race. There can be no other explanation for it."

In fact, Colin Powell went on at length about the reasons why he endorsed Obama at the time he made the announcement. Here's just one example, Sunday October 19, 2008 on Meet the Press:

Transcript after the jump (bolded empashis on Powell's reasons):

MR. BROKAW: General Powell, actually you gave a campaign contribution to Senator McCain. You have met twice at least with Barack Obama. Are you prepared to make a public declaration of which of these two candidates that you're prepared to support?

GEN. POWELL: Yes, but let me lead into it this way. I know both of these individuals very well now. I've known John for 25 years as your setup said. And I've gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the past two years. Both of them are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the welfare of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president. I have said to Mr. McCain that I admire all he has done. I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that's a choice the party makes. And I've said to Mr. Obama, "You have to pass a test of do you have enough experience, and do you bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that you would be a good president."

And I've watched him over the past two years, frankly, and I've had this conversation with him. I have especially watched over the last six of seven weeks as both of them have really taken a final exam with respect to this economic crisis that we are in and coming out of the conventions. And I must say that I've gotten a good measure of both. In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to deal with the economic problems that we were having and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me, sensing that he didn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had. And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She's a very distinguished woman, and she's to be admired; but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.

On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a, a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well. I also believe that on the Republican side over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower. Mr. Obama, at the same time, has given us a more inclusive, broader reach into the needs and aspirations of our people. He's crossing lines--ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines. He's thinking about all villages have values, all towns have values, not just small towns have values.

And I've also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently, or his campaign ads, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign. But Mr. McCain says that he's a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him? And why do we have these robocalls going on around the country trying to suggest that, because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with Mr. Ayers, somehow, Mr. Obama is tainted. What they're trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that's inappropriate.

Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one another, and that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration. I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world--onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.

Note that, amongst the ringing endorsements of Obama and condemnation of McCain and the direction the GOP has taken, Powell specifically speaks out against the race-based hatred so prevalent in the Republican party and conservative movement today.

And true-to-form, GOP spokesman Rush Limbaugh steps up the place and delivers a perfect example of the hatred espoused by the right against people of color.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (14)

Paul Hooson:

It's not too surprising to me how Rush Limbaugh wants to make the GOP a closed tent, White man's party. In the 1960's Southern Democrats wrestled with such issues, but gave way to progress and change and inclusiveness. But Rush Limbaugh continues to lag 40 years behind these times. Sadly some of the worst of the GOP racist elements are former Democrats who joined the party when the Southern Democrats opened up their party to Blacks. Race shouldn't matter, but a few still want it to.

I was also dismayed by an attack on Powell over at Wizbang as well that I felt crossed the line as well. When some in the Republican Party take such a hard line it is pretty unsettling and atypical of the type of the consensus for government that should exist. In reality, there should not be such a wide gap of goals between the two parties as this.

Over the years, I've found less and less Republican candidates for office acceptable to vote for. I haven't voted for a single Republican in over 20 years because of this. Oregon once had many moderate Republicans who were pretty good. And I had a good relationship with Republican Gordon Smith on some issues. But moderates among Republicans continue to become scarce. Powell should realize this at some point.


Rush Limbaugh being the voice of the Republican Party = fewer and fewer Republican voters.

I fail to see a downside anywhere.


I don't think Powell endorsed Obama because of race, it's because he's clueless. How in the hell can a party that just nominated John McCain have moved to the right? That's completely asinine. And he admires Obama for picking a VP candidate who's ready to lead - Joe Biden? Say what you want about Palin's inexperience, but everybody has known about Biden's idiocy for years. The Democrats wouldn't even give him one key committee assignment unless they absolutely had to because of seniority. They know, alright. And yes, Colin, Barak Obama worked with and was friends with domestic terrorists for years. Doesn't make him one, but it shows awfully poor judgement.

Lee Ward:

"How in the hell can a party that just nominated John McCain have moved to the right?"

Thanks for asking!

It was a perfect storm. McCain was not the consensus choice - he was the survivor after the extremist segments of the GOP finished ripping each other apart.

In my view, Romney was the most electable. But Romney's religion was objectionable to the extremist religious right, so pffft! Out goes Romney.

And so on. Giuliani was in the lead and looking strong for a while - but the anti-abortion wackos hated him

pffft! He's gone.

and so on. Grandpa was the last guy standing.


I am becoming convinced that Rush is working for some left-wing fringe group. How can he in good conscience be so critical of a man that is a true American Hero and who tried to stand by the former President though he was diametrically opposed to the administration's foreign policy. The truth is, Colin Powell is a republican in the Reagan philosophical tradition that is also thoughtful and resistant to falling in line like a sheep. If the Republican Party turns a cold shoulder to a man of such obvious character, intelligence and civic responsibility as Colin, the Elephant may indeed be on death's bed. Also, to say that Colin Powell endorsed President Obama merely for race insults both men and the millions of Americans who agreed with Mr. Powell. Like many Americans, Colin listened to both candidates carefully and chose the man he believed would do the best job for America.

Lee Ward:

Like many right wing bloggers, Rush gets a rush and has built his reputation on feeding his mindless audience exactly the kind of mindless pap they want and expect.

He's a slave to his audience. He's a commercial venture that rakes in $40 million a year and he caters to his audience.

Rush is their spokesman. He feeds them and they feed him.

Meanwhile, Democrats rake in the votes, Republican registrations plummet, and moderates shake their head in disbelief that the GOP has fallen so low -- and then join the ranks of independents and Democrats.

I'd call that symbiotic - and we don't have to listen to him or Fox News in order to receive the full benefit of their largess.

Thank you's are definitely in order... Hoping for another round to tea-bagging parties - that was awesome you guys. Do it again! Do it again!

And when a smart guy like Colin Powell tells these idiots that they're being idiots... they act like idiots and lynch him.

It's a perfect storm...

"Rush Limbaugh being the voice of the Republican Party"

Do not get confused with the Obama Administration's actual concerted goal to make this seem the case and it actually being the case.


I'm not really a fan of Rush Limbaugh, but let's look at your accusation:

"Rush Limbaugh is now spewing his race-based hatred again,"

Like it or not, we do have different races in this country. Completely irregardless of the actual case (whether or not Powell endorsed Obama because of his race, of which I have not formed an opinion) speaking of race in politics doesn't suddenly make it race-based hatred. Saying he endorsed the man because he shared the same race being pegged so strongly as race-based hatred is really really stretching far.

Further, Lee, this trend is worriesome, and it was predicted, that speaking against a black president is immediately called racism. this tactic is cowardly to the extreme, because it only shows those that hurl those accusations cannot meet in debate, and seek instead to debase their opponent with cheap, untrue social taboos.

Lee Ward:

"...speaking of race in politics doesn't suddenly make it race-based hatred. "

Nice double standard.

What if Colin Powell had suggested that Rush Limbaugh had voted for John MCain simply because McCain was white?

That would suggest that Limbaugh didn't vote for Obama simply because he was black. That's racism.

Powell would have been labeled a racist - and rightly so.

It really does work both ways - sorry. Rush's statement was race-based bigotry on a high order. The fact that many right wingers can't see that only strengthens my claim.


I'm not so much the one with the double standard because:

Nice double standard.

What if Colin Powell had suggested that Rush Limbaugh had voted for John MCain simply because McCain was white?

That attitude is pretty much expected, and it's generally supported, that whites are just racist by nature. And further ... what if Powell did vote for Obama because he was black? Who gets saddled with the lovely weaponized 'racist' term, the guy who suggested it, or the guy who denied it.

Is Michael Moore a racist for penning a book entitled 'Stupid White Men'?

Are you racist for not liking former Secretary of Defense Condaleeza Rice?

This term, racist, it tends to get thrown around alot. Racist indicates you have a belief system set up on believing one race is superior to another. Simply pointing out (rightly or wrongly) that someone voted for another person because of race does not make the accuser racist, just as not voting for or not supporting President Obama's policies does not make someone racist. Not unless they're only doing so because of President Obama's race. Proving that is pretty damn difficult.

Some (typically the naive) were hoping having a black President would help us 'move past' this race issue, but as many others feared, it's only made race a more viable and easily usable political tool to stifle critical thought through social stigma.

Lee Ward:

"That attitude is pretty much expected, and it's generally supported, that whites are just racist by nature."

Nice dodge. You avoided the question, and for qood reason. Here it is again:

What if Colin Powell had suggested that Rush Limbaugh had voted for John MCain simply because McCain was white?

That would suggest that Limbaugh didn't vote for Obama simply because he was black. That's racism.

Powell would have been labeled a racist - and rightly so.

And you don't disagree with that - that you and Rush and every other Limbaugh'esque conservative would label Powell a racist nuder those circumstances.



Come on, we've been debating things for a very long time now, don't use the arduous tactic of splicing sentences and manipulating semantics and trying to read what I didn't say rather than what I did.

If Powell made that accusation, I would not consider him a racist.


It is quite simple. Accusing someone of racism does not make you racist. I think that is clear, in fact, I did say that in my previous post. Can you disagree with this idea?

As for what Rush would say, or every other conservative in his image would say? Maybe some would mix it up and call him racist, maybe others wouldn't, hard to speak for other people.

Just because you seem to be very cozy with the word, Lee, I wouldn't expect other liberals to use it as freely.

Lee Ward:

Assuming someone votes in a simple-minded fashion because of the color of their skin is racist.

Limbaugh assumes that because Powell is black, he'd vote for Obama solely on the basis of race.

If assuming Powell would steal a car simply because he's african-american is a racist statement, then assuming Powell would vote for Obama simply because he (Powell) is black is also racist.

Remember, Limbaugh's assumption comes after Powell listed extensive reasons why he was supporting Obama (see 7 minute video above).

Limbaugh discounted all of those reasons Powell gave, and assumed that because Powell is black he voted for Obama over McCain.

That's a racist statement. It ignores Powell the man, bases the assumption solely on the color of Powell's skin.

If Powell was white Limbaugh never would have said what he said.

If the situation was reversed, and Powell stated that Limbaugh voted for McCain solely because of the color of McCain's skin conservatives would scream about Powell making a racist statement.


really lee? did you miss all of those interviews last fall where many black people did, indeed, vote for obama because of the color of his skin? and a lot of liberal whites did as well. because they felt it was time for a black man to be president. would you classify these actions as racist? you know, simple-mindedly voting for someone because of the color of their skin.

Limbaugh assumes that because Powell is black, he'd vote for Obama solely on the basis of race.

If assuming Powell would steal a car simply because he's african-american is a racist statement, then assuming Powell would vote for Obama simply because he (Powell) is black is also racist.

That was an incredible leap, but it does at least illustrate your train of thought. I can see now, why you think his comment was racist, not because of the accusation, but because it represents some sort of accusation based on stereotype.

I cannot meet you full center in this, not when pretty much every Republican you highlight on your site is saddled with some sort of derogatory label, but it does at least make some sense. While we still disgree on this, I at least understand why.


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