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powell_480x360Well, now he’s gone and done it.

Colin Powell went on Meet the Press Sunday and laid out a cogent and quiet argument that his party was becoming unhinged. He pointed out the not-so-subtle words of racism that seem to more and more permeate Republicans when they talk about the President of the United States.

He talked about extremism and the fact that the GOP appears to listen most closely to those who talk loudest. He talked about the changing demographics of the country and that too many in his party seem to look down upon minorities.

He was measured, calm, and as I said logical.

Will he be listened to?

That depends.

Yeah, that’s riding the fence isn’t it?

If you listen to Jennifer Rubin, conservative writer at the Washington Post, General Powell’s comments were “outrageous” and his examples were “ridiculous”. She said he defamed an entire party. That’s what she said on Chuck Todd’s Daily Rundown this morning. They echoed her remarks in her Washington Post piece. She blames it all on Dick Gregory for being soft, and being a tool of the Democratic Party. Funny we think he’s more a tool of the GOP.

But in any case, if Rubin is representative of the Right, well, nothing is going to be learned or changed in Washington. What is mind-numbingly obtuse about Ms. Rubin’s remarks is that she has the audacity as a white woman to tell an African-American man what is and what is not racist in terms of language. I dare say General Powell has a tad more experience with racial code words than does Ms. Rubin.

Of course this may not have much to do with Powell at all, but rather with his endorsement of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. Ms. Rubin argues that Gregory failed to push Powell on her perception (and other neo-cons of course) that Hagel is anti-semitic. Proof of that, according to Rubin, is the unasked question of what to make of Mr. Hagel’s one-time remark that he was not a Senator for Israel. I make nothing of it myself but simply a stated fact which I hope every Senator and Congressperson in Washington would forthrightly acknowledge as being true.

In any case, as I learn daily from my extreme right-wing acquaintances, they probably didn’t see the interview with Powell anyway. You see, they have been well taught that they should never listen to all the mainstream media. No much better to get the straight truth from WND, Breitbots, and a slew of other extreme outlets who arguably have never learned how to spell the word journalism, let alone engage in it.

So my hopes may be high, but my gut tells me, that nothing much will change.

Powell simply joins a growing list of Republicans who have no clue where their party has gone. As it stands, they are not considered Republicans anymore but simply RINOS, a label that is being pinned on people who in years past were considered fairly conservative Republicans. Not in today’s world however, where any minor deviation from the Tea People party line is considered egregious enough to have one voted off the island.

I heard something, and I’m not sure if it’s true, but I think I heard it right. Some weeks ago, the President invited the cast and crew of the movie “Lincoln” to the White House for a showing. Various leaders of the GOP were invited to attend as well. They ALL declined.

This is in my judgment a party that is being held hostage by an increasingly frightening group of basically uninformed individuals who have no understanding of economics, the Constitution, or how a representative government works. It is simply unspeakably evil to think that they are willing to send the country down such dangerous paths, merely to hold on to their own jobs.

Is there no belief that the country comes first in the Republican party?

It is beginning to seem that there is no one left.

As a parting shot, I offer this, the beginning of the Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein’s latest book, “It’s Even Worse than It Looks“.

In 2010, a debt reduction task force was put forth by then Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). There was bipartisan support for it, that included John McCain, and Mitch McConnell. Although he was not a sponsor of the bill, McConnell had said this about it:

We must address the issue of entitlement spending now before it is too late. As I have said many times before, the best way to address the crisis is the Conrad-Gregg proposal. . . . So I urge the administration, once agin, to support the Conrad-Gregg proposal. This proposal is our best hope for addressing the out-of-control spending and debt levels that are threatening our nation’s fiscal future.

On January 26, the bill failed. It could not overcome the 60 threshold needed to override a Republican filibuster. Both McDonnell and McCain voted to uphold the filibuster. Six other original co-sponsors, all Republican, voted to uphold the filibuster. Why this turnabout? Simply this: the President had voiced his approval of it, and therefore the bill had to be defeated lest he might gain some political credit from it.

This is the state of the world we live in. The GOP has decided that it will place its extreme wing above the needs of the country. Indeed, they will place their own political futures above the needs of the country.

Something has gone very very wrong in this country.