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Want Your Party to Change, Gen. Powell? Time for Some Action

Black America Web.com, News Analysis, Deborah Mathis Posted: May 27, 2009

Strange words, coming from me, but true: I agree with Karl Rove.

Not on anything else of politics or policy that I know of, but on this, we are simpatico: I want Colin Powell to go out there and lay out his vision, and then I want him to back it up by finding people who share it and working like heck to get them and thats how you win the party, said Rove, speaking of the former secretary of states call for diversifying, modernizing and moderating the Republican Party line.

Lately, Powell has entered the public fray over the future of the GOP. On NBCs Meet the Press, he called on his fellow Republicans to debate and define who we are and what we are and not just listen to dictates that come down from the right wing of the party.

Wise words from a seasoned, mature and sober-minded man. The same man who challenged his party at its 2000 convention to embrace racial diversity. The same one who, citing principle, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president.

But, as Rove said, Powell needs to put some motion behind his words. If he believes his party should be more inclusive, more moderate, more deliberate, then make it happen; dont just talk about it.

It is time for him to be daring, this man who might well have been the countrys first black president had he not gotten the willies about the prospect of assassination by some clutch of racists a possibility raised, he said, by a wife who did not want to become a White House widow. A more daring Powell might have made history.

A more daring one might have changed it too. Had he put his foot down and refused to help promulgate the lie about weapons of mass destruction, which, despite its untruth, legitimized the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. What miseries we might have been spared.

As a respected military man and erstwhile top diplomat, Powell certainly has the chops to pull off a reformation. But he has to stop being the soldier obedient, deferential and supremely loyal and become, again, the general.

It was General and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell who showed us his gumption and no-nonsense, unequivocal qualities during the Persian Gulf War when he said of Saddam Husseins overrated Republican Guard, First, were going to cut them off, then were gonna kill em. The brevity and low casualty count from that war are attributed, in part, to the Powell Doctrine, the generals decision to overwhelm the Gulf region with forces to numerous to beat.

It is time for that Colin Powell to step forward again. A front position would be preferable, but, if he must, he can work through Michael Steele Lord knows, Steele is malleable enough and turn the thing around.

A reformed Republican Party could be something to behold. For certain, there should be at least two parties; monopolies are ski slopes to tyranny and abuse. The competition of ideas is healthy. Better to shoot down a bad one than have it lurking out there, at large.

But a renewed GOP should be a party, not a mixer of close-minded, old-fangled provincialists like the embittered, self-righteous Dick Cheney or the egomaniacal Rush Limbaugh, either of whom should be gracious, not snarling, considering how each is lucky to not be in lock up.

Colin Powell, still held in high esteem, is the ideal candidate to lead the GOP in a new direction. If only he will.

Whether he will get busy is a question. That was not advice from Rove, after all; it was a challenge. Powell should make Rove rue the day he ever egged him on.

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