Former General Colin Powell is a good American and an honorable soldier, but his habitual sucking up to the political Left has become as predictable as it is irksome. To play armchair psychologist for a moment, I suspect Powell sensed he'd been stripped of his untouchable bipartisan status when he made the Bush administration's case for the Iraq war at the UN Security Council; he's been obsequiously seeking penance ever since. Liberals' hatred of that war was largely an outgrowth of their enduring contempt for the Commander-in-Chief leading that effort (many on the Left are suddenly cool with American military 'adventurism' and other tactics they once professed to despise), so the very moment Powell prosecuted the Bush/Cheney case for intervening in Iraq, the long knives came out. Since then, he's endorsed Barack Obama for president twice, publicly lamented Republican racial animus and defended the indefensible. The biggest take-away from Powell's Meet the Press interview on Sunday were his provocative racial comments -- which MSNBC has practically been playing on a loop ever since. More on that in a moment, but fewer people seemed to notice Powell's astonishing apologia for Hillary Clinton on the subject of Benghazi:
Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell defended current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's handling of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, saying it could've happened under anyone's watch. "I think she's had a distinguished record," Powell said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press" broadcast Sunday. "And I don't think that this one incident--which is one of these things that those of us in government have been through many, many times where suddenly an action happens late at night ... I don't think it's a blot on her record. You're surprised," Powell said of the Sept. 11, 2o12, attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. "Somebody gets killed, something gets blown up. And then the after-action reports start and everybody wants to know who was at fault. Who was responsible? 'Why didn't you keep this from happening?' Well, you can't keep everything from happening. Benghazi was a very, very difficult one and a difficult situation, and maybe they shouldn't have been there in the first place."
The murder of four Americans, including the first sitting US Ambassador slain in the line of duty in three decades, is not a blot on the Secretary of State's record? What would rise to that level, I wonder? I would love to hear Powell expand on that last thought, too. Surely he's not blaming our personnel for their own deaths, so I can only assume this is a critique of either the US' general involvement in Libya (spearheaded by the president he backed for re-election) or the fact that we had people in an extremely dangerous position in a city crawling with jihadists. In either case, it's the administration's job to keep their diplomats safe. In an especially grating piece of pandering, the president called it his "number one priority." The Benghazi massacre was more than an isolated and tragic incident. It was an attack on America, and it was the consequence of a series of horrific decisions before and during the raid -- to say nothing of the cover up after the fact. Can Powell really consider these unanswered questions and conclude, basically, oh well, s--- happens? Would he have accepted that standard of performance from his top officers when he was leading troops in combat? As for the remarks on race, Marco Rubio fired back at Powell yesterday:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) hit back Monday at a remark made by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who told NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend that "a dark vein of intolerance" in some parts of the Republican Party was alienating centrist and minority voters. "I disagree with General Powell's assessment of the Republican Party today," Rubio said on The Andrea Tantaros Show... Rubio cited growing diversity among Republicans in the Senate as evidence the party had increasing appeal among minorities.
In his MTP interview, Powell asserted that he's "still a Republican," which gives him increased MSM 'moral authority' to attack the GOP. In what meaningful sense is Powell still a member of the party?
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography