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Who cares about Colin or Oliver?

Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama has me scratching my head in the same way Oliver Stone’s new movie W. does. In both cases, I have to ask myself: who are these people trying to influence? In the case of Powell, I think the endorsement is certainly a blow to McCain, as it adds stature and gravitas to his inexperienced rival, and it gives the Obama camp some bragging rights.

But is there a voter out there who was waiting to see what Colin Powell was going to do before casting their ballot?

If there is, I just don’t know who it would be. This is the first election when I’ve ever had the experience of being a somewhat undecided voter, and Powell’s endorsement does nothing for me one way or the other. Then again, I know something about Powell’s politics; despite his party affiliatiuon, he leans left on social issues and has said that he’s concerned about what two more Republican appointments to the Supreme Court would do to the country.  That actually pushes me toward McCain, as Powell has more faith in McCain’s conservtive judicial street cred than I do. Maybe he knows something I don’t. Somebody certainly does. 

I don’t think I’m the average undecided voter. I’m a disaffected conservative who would desperately like to vote for a traditional Republican, and I find myself having to struggle with what to do when that choice is denied me. Is that the standard template? Or are there people who really look to see what the cool people are doing and decide to do that? I get the sense that that might actually describe Powell. Waiting this long to endorse, and then demurring when asked to actually campaign for his guy, suggests he was waiting to see which way the wind was blowing. Would he be willing to do this if his guy was losing to McCain as badly as McCain is currently losing to Obama? I don’t know, but I doubt it.

I suppose there are some completely nonideological voters out there who just want to jump on the bandwagon of a sure winner, and Powell may be the thing that finally pushes Obama into inevitability. I still cling to not just my guns and religion – I have no guns, actually, but never mind – but also to my respect for the American electorate. Surely not that many of us are that shallow and vapid in their political decision making?

Are they?

I’ve been wrong about everything else this election cycle, so I’m probably wrong about this.

I was certainly wrong about the box office appeal of Stone’s new movie, which I thought would sink like a stone. Honestly, why would anyone want to see this movie? If you hate Bush, I guess, there may be some vicarious thrills in seeing Stone do his usual leftoid hatemonger hatchet job on the guy, but I hate Clinton, and I’d just as soon hit myself in the head before paying to see anything about him, fictional or otherwise. And I can’t imagine any Republican wanting to sit through anything Oliver Stone has to say, regardless of how they feel about the president.

Proves I’m wrong, though. W.’s doing great at the box office.

I have never felt more disconnected from the pulse of my country’s political life than I feel right now. Even during the Clinton years, I felt there was a cohesive opposition that I could support. Now, I feel completely and totally adrift.

Chapter Four
Scary Pumpkin and Funny the Marble

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  1. I thought the cover of Newsweek they showed on MTP was incredibly accurate… how will a liberal president and liberal congress govern a center-right nation w/o having major blowback to their party in 2-4 years.They’d better get a plan soon.The Powell endorsement was a big deal for me. He represents a HUGE problem in the party… the party just keeps narrowing and narrowing. And rather than focusing on small government, low taxes, and fiscal responsibility – stuff we can get behind – the Reps have sold out to big money, religion, and other ‘base’ interests. They’re quickly alienating their own in every wrong way.

  2. I’ve read that “W” feels like an elongated SNL skit, with none of the grit Stone showed in “Nixon” (which is a terrible movie, by the way. I saw it in Germany, and Nixon looks even worse speaking Deutsch). So, I guess it’s funny. Whatever.

  3. Whiteeyebrows, I don’t buy the idea that the party is getting narrower. In fact, I don’t understand it at all. McCain represents a tremendous watering down of GOP principles – now we’re all about limiting free speech via campaign finance reform and huge new taxation bureaucracies to fight global warming. Where does McCain even begin to narrow the focus?George Bush, for all the lefty hatred, has done more to bloat and expand government than any president in my lifetime. He’s given us a new entitlement in prescription drugs; he’s given us unprecedented federal interference in education; he’s given us stimulus packages and all kinds of goodies. Clinton was easily a more economically conservative president. The only places he’s been conservative in any respect are foreign policy and the judiciary, and I doubt we’d attract any new GOP acolytes by weakening the military or advocating judicial tyranny. The problem is we’re turning into a huge “me, too” party, and then we wonder why people are leaving the pale imitation for the real thing.

  4. At least in reading this I take some comfort knowing that I am not the only one who feels oddly out of sync with so many things and people in politics. I think I am going to vote with a clothespin on the nose in my simple personal protest. I am frustrated that I seem to have no way have an impact.

  5. W. isn’t doing all that well. It’s getting beat by Secret Life of Bees and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It’s made about $10 million.

  6. Powell will probably be the final nail in the McCain coffin. Obama still won’t win big but this will give him that final push towards election day to seal his victory(unfortunately).

  7. Is anyone really crazy about McCain? Is he really the best that the republican party can produce? What is wrong with our system that so many Americans are left with a dilemma of choosing the candidate that they dislike least?