Rush Not Fit to Shine Colin Powell's Boots

Colin Powell is right. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and radio commentator Rush Limbaugh are way out of line. He says they're pushing the Republican Party too far to the right.

Two weeks ago, Cheney said he assumed that Powell had left the Republican Party because he endorsed Barack Obama. Limbaugh believes Powell is a bleeding heart liberal.                           

“Rush will not get his wish,” Mr. Cheney was misinformed -- I am still a Republican.”
Powell, the first African-American to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and President George W. Bush's first Secretary of State, told CBS that Limbaugh seemed able to dish it out but that obviously he can't take it.
Powell is a good soldier. He proved that, when Cheney and Bush put him out in front of the United Nations to make the case for invading Iraq. It turned out later that the intelligence they gave Powell was critically flawed. There were no weapons of mass destruction. The very rationale that Bush and Cheney gave for the war was false.
The good soldier may have had doubts but he assumed the intelligence was right. He saluted and went along with the scam. We can imagine how horrified he was when he finally realized it was a phony excuse for pre-emptive war.
I thought Powell seemed uneasy when he made his speech at the United Nations, explaining why war was necessary. Powell was the point man for the Bush administration and it seems clear he has never forgotten how they used him. He disliked the fundamentalist ideology of the Bush administration. We suspect the former secretary of state feels bad that he was manipulated by his superiors to justify a war in which thousands of young Americans have lost their lives and suffered grievous wounds.
The time has come for an independent commission to investigate where the phony information about the weapons of mass destruction came from. The American people deserve to know.
Colin Powell attended Morris High School in the Bronx, graduating in 1954. I attended Morris too, about a decade before Powell and I recall some words from the alma mater song of how Morris taught us “ How to know wrong from right and to strive to win through thick and thin till we conquer in the fight....”
Powell is a man who knows wrong from right. He wore the uniform of the United States and rose to the top position in the armed forces. He was loyal to the men and women who served bravely under his command.                                  
Cheney and Limbaugh never wore the uniform of the United States. They managed to avoid being drafted into military service during the Vietnam War. Yet they project themselves as super-patriots who regard Powell as, somehow, less patriotic than they. These are the same guys who tried to trash the reputation of John Kerry, a true patriot who fought gallantly in the Vietnam War, to keep him from winning the presidency.
Powell told an interviewer he had voted for Democrats John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter for President. But he voted twice for Republican Ronald Reagan and also for George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.
Powell believes in a big tent GOP. He would like the party to reach out to independents and moderates.
Cheney and Limbaugh make that sound like treason. Their efforts to undermine the reputation of this fine man are despicable. Colin Powell is an American icon and Cheney and Limbaugh aren't fit to shine his combat boots.

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