Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Sunday Morning Open Thread: Evolution in Reverse, and Powell Endorses

As we enter the last two full weeks of campaigning, one thing has become clear: the Republicans are scraping the barrel so hard, they’ve actually managed to dig right through space/time, and tunnel back to the distant past.

Yes, though Sarah Palin doesn’t believe in Darwinism, her base is providing a unique example of evolution in reverse.

As Denise Velez points out in a poignant diary here Michelle Bachmann’s references to UnAmerican activities are a throwback to the McCarthyite 50s

Can you dog whistle half a century back?

Well, it seems McCain can do even better than that….

In a radio interview yesterday, McCain calls  Obama a ‘socialist’ for wanting to reverse the Bush tax cuts to the hyper rich. Of course, in terms of Government spending, Bush has been a big government spender of more than European proportions. But to McCain, anyone who proposes a return to the Reaganite policies of progressive taxation (i.e. a smaller tax burden on the less well off) is a fellow traveller with our cold war Communist enemies.

I don’t know whether this spurious and ancient mud sticks with anyone but the base, but as Shaun Appleby points out, it means that the Republicans are basically eschewing progressive taxation, something they’ve supported since 1913.

As the republicans accelerate swiftly into the past (I’m half waiting for ‘The British are Coming’ to be the next dog whistle) Obama’s campaign has moved triumphantly into the future, and raised over $150 million in September, most of it in donations under $100.

UPDATE: the wires are crackling with MSNBC sources saying Powell has endorsed Obama after all.

Video link here…


It’s a comprehensive and telling endorsement

Powell points out that he’s know McCain for 15 years, and Obama for the last two, and has said that he’s concerned about the move rightwards in the Republican party over the last two years. He says both Obama and McCain have taken a ‘final exam’ during the financial crisis, and he was concerned at McCain’s inconsistency, and the selection of Governor Palin. He doesn’t think she’s read to be the Vice President.

He admired Obama’s steadiness, intellectual curiosity and vigor, and his choice of Veep.

He complements Obama’s inclusiveness compared to McCain’s increasing narrowness in his campaign, especially on distracting issues like Bill Ayers, Robocalls that say Obama is some kind of terrorist.

He says he understands politics, but that McCain has gone too far. He is troubled by the Muslim smears, even though untrue:

“Is there something wrong with being Muslim in America?”

He then goes onto talk about Iraq and a woman mourning her son in Arlington cemetery, whose headstone had an Islamic crescent. A muslim American who gave his life for America.

He ends by saying what American needs – because of his inclusiveness, ‘his style and substance’ – Obama has met the test and is a transformation figure.

Personally, I think this is an eloquent and moving endorsement, and a devastating takedown of the McCain campaign by one of McCain’s friends and a senior Republican, leader of the armed forces, and former Secretary of State


  1. As Marc Ambinder points out eloquently:

    The McCain campaign has broken through a heretofore impenetrable barrier in quantum physics, experimentally proving the existence of unseen dimensions and, in the process, setting three of its surrogates on a pathway towards winning the 2009 Nobel Prize in the physical sciences.

    Gov. Sarah Palin, campaigning, she said, in “real America,” which apparently includes part of North Carolina, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a media investigation to determine whether Americans are real or not, and today, McCain all-around best surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer (pronounced — Foe-Ten-How-er, like proton power), said that parts of the state of Virginia, heretofore universally assumed to be in America, were not, in fact, in the country.

    To maintain the continuity of the universe as we know it, it is critical that we remove these people from power and block any gains they may achieve.  Their experiments could undo the very fabric of space and time.

  2. sricki

    the Republican party. Hope you’re all stocking up on champagne!

    Damn you, though, Brit — I was about to diary this. ; )

  3. DeniseVelez

    Contrary to the opinions of many in the netroots who are highly critical of Powell – his endorsement has gravitas for a huge group of Americans.

    The Most Popular Man in America? Powell, unlike almost no other official with ties to the Bush Administration, has retained remarkable popularity ratings. In an August Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of voters viewed Powell favorably while just 13 percent saw him in an unfavorable light. A large part of Powell’s appeal is his perceived bipartisanship — a direct result of his decision to repeatedly turn down overtures to run for president in his own right. For a certain (not insubstantial) portion of the electorate, when Powell speaks, they listen. The Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll reinforces that fact; more than one in three voters said a Powell endorsement of Obama would make them more likely to vote for the Democrat. (Hat tip to Jon “The Numbers Man” Cohen for the polling data.)


    Among many military/ex-military members of my family he is a hero.  My father, (deceased), was never prouder when he got the chance to talk to Powell at a Tuskegee Airman’s convention – my dad was one of those Airmen.

    Interesting that the poll cited above is a Fox News poll.  The “terrorist” meme against Obama is being pushed hardest on Fox – this will undermine their efforts.

    Yes – they will now try to re-write Powell – but it won’t work.  

  4. Made a “more than” endorsement.  He called the party out for its shamelessness in the implication that being a Muslim = being anti-American.  He told a beautiful story about a picture he saw of a mother at her son’s grave in Arlington.  (I don’t want to step on Sricki’s diary, so I’ll leave it at that.)  

    The hate needs to end, now.

    (The Freepers will be degrading the endorsement by tying it into race in 3….2….1…)

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