Colin Powell launched into a bizarre rant on Meet the Press today in which he endorsed Obama largely because of anti-Muslim bigotry that Powell believes has become commonplace in the Republican party. Here is what Powell said:
I'm also troubled by – not what Senator McCain says – but what members of the Party say, and it is permitted to be said: such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian; has always been a Christian.
It is puzzling that Powell would claim that Obama "has always been a Christian" whereas in fact the evidence shows that Obama was raised as a Muslim in his early years in Indonesia. In any event, Powell continued:
But the really right answer is, "What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?" The answer's "No, that's not America." Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be President? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own Party drop the suggestion he's Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America. ... Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that within the Party we have these kinds of expressions.
Let me get this straight. John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone Powell knows, yet Powell is endorsing Obama to combat the bigotry of other, unnamed members of the Republican party? So by Powell's own admission, McCain is no bigot, whereas it is an established fact that Obama attended an openly racist church for 20 years and considers the racist Reverend Wright to be his personal mentor. And if the bigotry of other members of each party were somehow relevant, why is it not appropriate to mention that the most senior Democrat in the Senate is a former KKK leader?