Informal poll: Should Colin Powell switch parties?

CNN is reporting on Rush Limbaugh’s suggestion yesterday that Colin Powell make the move and switch parties:

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rush Limbaugh fired back at Colin Powell for his critical comments earlier this week, saying Wednesday that the former secretary of state should join the Democratic Party.

“What Colin Powell needs to do is close the loop and become a Democrat instead of claiming to be a Republican interested in reforming the Republican Party,” Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday.

Limbaugh also took aim at Powell’s decision to endorse President Obama over John McCain during the presidential election, repeating his earlier sentiment that Powell’s move was “solely based on race.”


During a speech on Monday, Powell said the “the Republican Party is in deep trouble” and said the GOP would be better off without Limbaugh, according to a report by the National Journal.

“I think what Rush does as an entertainer diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without,” Powell said.

What else did Powell say about the GOP?

“The Republican Party is in deep trouble,” said Colin Powell, former secretary of state for one Republican president and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff for another, speaking this week at a conference in Washington sponsored by Fortify Software Inc. The party has to reconcile with the fact that the mood of the voters has changed, he said: “Americans do want to pay taxes for services… Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less.”

A couple of things: Regarding Rush’s comments about Powell’s voting for Obama based solely on race, Powell – while a seriously overrated Sec. of State, in my view – does not strike me as someone who would make race his “sole factor” when voting for someone. It might be “a” factor, but not “the” factor. Powell is a lot deeper than that. Second, I don’t care what Powell said about Rush, but I have a serious issue with his statement about Americans “looking for more government in their lives, not less” and I especially disagree with his implication that “because” of things like that that the GOP should move more to the center.

Flashback to what I wrote about party principles a couple of weeks ago:

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard over the last several weeks from supposedly “concerned” liberals about how the Republican party is going to “fade into obsurity” if it doesn’t “fall more in line” with the views of the American people. Now, I don’t think the core philosophy of conservative Republicans is out of step with the American people, but instead believe that conservatives in DC lost their way over the course of the Bush years with the massive, mostly unchecked spending, and with the various corruption scandals. That said, let’s assume for a minute for the sake of argument that the principles of smaller government and lower taxes were “out of touch” with what mainstream Americans wanted. Is that any reason to “modify” our stance on bigger government and higher taxes? Let’s say for the sake of argument that the principles of desiring a strong national defense were “out of step” with mainstream America. Should we therefore “change” what we believe on that in order to gain popularity with the American people?

The answer, in my view, is no. If conservatives abandoned their principles on those issues, our party as we know it would cease to exist. In fact, we saw what happened when conservatives in Congress started acting like moderate liberals on spending, for example – it didn’t do us any good. Certainly there are issues that we can find common ground on with the left on, like on card check, supporting our returning veterans, and on regulation/deregulation. At this point, we don’t have a choice, but in the end there are core principles that should never be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Even if it means in the end the party would die out.

What Powell is advocating is the GOP turning away from those core principles in favor of the way the tide is supposedly turning in this country with more people allegedly wanting more government in their lives. If he truly believes this, then the Democratic party is indeed where he needs to be because that’s much more in step with their principles than ours.

Am I advocating a “party purge” of everyone who doesn’t march lock step with the GOP platform? Absolutely not – there’s room for debate on any number of issues, but on the core principle of less government intrusion into our lives? Well, that is not one that is up for debate – not to me it isn’t, at least. Assuming what Powell says is true in that more people want more government in their lives, the GOP have just got to work harder at persuading people on how less government intrusion into their lives is better. Again, from my principles post:

The jobs conservatives have to do in order to ensure [the demise of the party] doesn’t happen is to explain their conservative positions to their respective constituencies (or in the case of those running for office, explain their positions to their potential respective constituencies) clearly and articulately – and make their case for how a Congress and WH controlled by fiscally conservative Republicans is better overall for our country’s future than one controlled by fiscally irresponsible liberals. And at the same time, they shouldn’t be afraid to tackle the tougher social issues like illegal immigration, gay marriage, and the right to life. These issues can be framed in ways that have the potential to win over potential young conservatives and independents of all ages alike. We shouldn’t cede ground on the “green” issue, either. We don’t have to fall for the phony “man-made” global warming arguments to be able to make persuasive arguments for less dependency on foreign oil via more offshore drilling and exploring alternative forms of energy. It is, after all a national security issue more than anything else, and even after all the last two elections where conservatives have lost considerable ground, national security is still one of the few issues more people trust us on than they do the left.

Your thoughts?

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