Obama Should Repudiate Any Powell Endorsement
Over at Huff Post the comment threads on stories about Powell's anticipated endorsement are full of folks declaring that Powell is "honorable" and that the anti-war crown ought to 'get over it' now that some time has passed.* This is a pretty astounding lack of self-reflection on the part of people who support Obama as a progressive purveyor of change and hope. (I actually do not subscribe to that view, although he is better than McCain.) I'd love to hear how honor squares with duplicity and inhumanity.
Powell is way too smart and had way too many contacts in the military and intelligence communities to actually believe what he peddled in the run-up to the invasion. (at a minimum he had to have understood that the "intelligence" was contested and that the BushCo line was mostly spin.) And he simply ought to have resigned and spoken out forthrightly about the policy of torture. It is that simple. All the talk about honor and integrity amounts to nothing in the face of the record. If Obama takes on a Powell endorsement, he unnecessarily takes on the burden of an unjustified war - one that he prides himself on having opposed at the outset.
* For example:
"Powell is the only person to come out of the Bush Administration with high favorability ratings. Only some remnants of the anti war movement still stuck in 2003 care about that much about his UN speech. Iraq was a Bush Cheney Rumsfeld policy. I and most people consider him an honorable man. This is a definite plus for Obama."
"Powell is not tarnished in anyone's eyes except extreme partisans. If he was running for president, he'd win in a landslide."