will colin powell’s endorsement lead to mass defections from the republican party?

In the last hour, I’ve had two life-long conservatives tell me that they would be voting for Obama. The first was a friend, who, just a few days ago, was explaining to me how na

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  1. mark
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    And, no, this doesn’t make me dislike Powell any less for his role in taking us to war in Iraq. He’s always struck me as a fairly decent guy, though – even when he was shaking vials of powder and talking about mushroom clouds – and I’d hoped that he would have come out a long time ago against the Bush administration. Yeah, it’s better late than never, but I would have liked to have heard some of these things from him when he stepped down and left the administration, when they might have done some more good. But, yeah, it’s better late than never…

  2. mike_1630
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Although I’m happy to hear that’s two more votes for Obama – the first friend’s situation is upsetting to me :/

    Why is it always so hard for some people to put themselves in other people’s shoes? I mean everything is just fine for them, they’re doing great, so what if everything around them is falling apart.

    Then when the shit storm finally reaches their front door… only then do they stop and go, “oh… this is actually really bad”.

    I just see this all to often – and it’s frustration.

    I hope though that he and his wife pull through.

  3. designated republican
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Keep dreaming, Mark. It’s good to have a dream.

  4. mark
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    What’s your dream, Designated Republican? Just curious as to your vision for America… And I believe there were still some other questions on the table for you from previous threads. I’ll have to go back and check. Thanks for stopping in again, though. It’s always nice to have your quick drive-by comments with nothing to back them up.

    And, Mike, you’re right about this friend. I expressed as much to him myself. While I like having his vote, it would have meant a lot more to me if his decision wasn’t motivated primarily by self-interest. For now, though, I’ll take the vote. I can keep working on the empathy thing.

  5. Brackache
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Two former McCain supporters I know defected after he voted for the bailout, and because of his general douche-baggyness during the debate, prior to Powell’s endorsement. Not that they’re voting for Obama though (I don’t know who they’re voting for).

    I know of no Republican who would switch based on anything Powell thinks.

    This insider Republican defection comment brought to you by Pall Mall unfiltered cigarettes: “Pall Mall unfiltered cigarettes — let’s cut the bullshit, shall we?”

  6. Posted October 19, 2008 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    it’s palin.

    life expectancy is 77- mccain is 74. while i sincerely hope the guy has many more years ahead of him, the odds this VP is “one heartbeat” is a little more credible this election season.

    good for you mr. powell- i like the guy and wished he wouldn’t have acted like such a puppet during the iraq mess.

  7. Chelsea
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    That’s why this is especially interesting, Dave. Powell is a most political politician. This is the first time I’ve heard him really express an opinion (though, admittedly, politix is not something I follow much).

    Now, Mark, if we can just get something out there about Israel. My fairly liberal father plans to vote McCain bc he believes the Repub party is stronger on Israel. (Maybe, too, because he’s also former military.) In any case, got any ideas for him?



  8. Oliva
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    “Why is it always so hard for some people to put themselves in other people’s shoes?”

    the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and [unintelligible — sounds like “displayal”]. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

    That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

    –David Foster Wallace, 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address, http://www.marginalia.org/dfw_kenyon_commencement.html

  9. Posted October 20, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Mark, designated republican is actually right. It IS good to have a dream, and you should definitely keep dreaming. In light of the fact that one of your dreams appears to be well on its way to being realized in just two short weeks, I too would strongly encourage you to keep dreaming. And that goes for everyone else out there who believed in the possibility that Obama could take back this country for its people. Designated republican and I would have to acknowledge that you Mark, and other people like you, seem to have a way of making your dreams come true, and in this particular case bringing to an end the nightmare others would have us live.

    P.S. I know it’s not generally your style, but if you or any of your dreamy friends have a moment of impulsiveness, would you mind using it to wish designated republican and all those like him into the cornfield?

  10. Lisa
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I ran into a long-time Republican this weekend who was so disgusted by McCain’s choice of Palin that he was voting for…. no one. Well, perhaps Ron Paul. That’s the frustration of the 2 party system – if a person really does believe in the Republican platform but not the people on the top of the ticket, they are out of luck. (and for what it’s worth, this fellow said that he doesn’t want to vote for Obama because he doesn’t believe in social-ism).

  11. Lisa
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Hm… the real question is – what does Mark have against social-ism? The comment editor tells me the word is invalid.

  12. Posted October 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Mark, you should check out fivethirtyeight.com.

  13. Meta
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The gravestone that Powell mentioned in the interview can be seen here:


  14. Robert
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    The Washtenaw County GOP just sent out this e-mail today.

    “Washtenaw County GOP members,

    Hello there!

    We now have two large [4′ x 8′] McCain-Palin signs for use in Washtenaw County. These are a VERY limited resource, so we need to use them carefully. Dan Birch, and some others, are working on finding suitable, high traffic, high visibilty locations.

    No matter where we put them, though, left-wing bully-boys [of which Ann Arbor seems to have an unlimited supply] will almost certainly try to destroy them.

    So we are looking for a few people who could be willing to “baby-sit” these signs once we put them out. We’re thinking of assignments that just last a few hours, and we are NOT asking anybody to physically defend our signs. We’re hoping that the mere presence of sign guardians [perhaps with cameras to photograph depredations] will be enough. Also, to make matters easier, we’re thinking of only deploying the signs during daylight hours.

    So, please let us know if you could spend a few hours baby-sitting one of our signs. Thanks!


    Destroying signs? You “left-wing bully-boys” should be ashamed of yourselves. I was surprised he didn’t call ’em terrorists.

  15. Oliva
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Robert, re. “would you mind using it to wish designated republican and all those like him into the cornfield?”

    to babysit the BIG Mc-P sign?

    (Meantime, my mother’s modest-size Obama-Biden yard signs keep being stolen. She embedded a note in the sign last time in which she beseeched the taker not to take it and said, “What would your mother say about you being a thief?” Someone took it–maybe read the note later? We’re thinking spray adhesive and skunk perfume for the new sign.)

  16. LAKE
    Posted October 21, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I will be voting for Obama…but i have to say, I am saddened that he would so quickly say that Powell will advise him if he is president. Powell very much helped us into the Iraq war. There is no denying this. Obama better be careful who he surrounds himself with.

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