Monday, October 20, 2008

So What If He Is?

I am supremely impressed with Colin Powell.

Not simply for the endorsement, although it's much-appreciated in and of itself. But for being the first public figure to say "He is obviously not a Muslim—but so what if he were?" The Obama campaign has not managed to say that yet. In calling Dearborn, Michigan for the campaign, I have spoken to a lot of American Muslims who support Mr. Obama wholeheartedly, and it would have been nice to see him really rise to the defense of that community while simultaneously fighting the smears.

Now Mr. Powell has done exactly that. So high praise and kudos to Mr. Powell.

It almost makes up for his capitulations under the Bush administration.


At 10:05 AM, Blogger Bilal said...

I think a lot of Obama-backing Muslims do understand why exactly it is Obama can't do what Powell has done--it's a simple matter of familiarity and gravitas. I don't completely forgive Powell's capitulation under Bush/Cheney, but I do recognize that he's like Richard the Lionhearted to the American people--considered noble even in his failures.

If Obama were to speak as candidly as Powell did, it would automatically become ammunition against him--"see, Obama defends Muslims because HE IS ONE!!!"--and in the current atmosphere, pointing out that being Muslim in and of itself is not a negative would have done him no favors. The continuing willful blindness of the McCain/Palin set, asking "Who is Barack Obama?" despite having had four years to get to know him would just feed on a similar Obama statement.

Powell, however, is known and vetted. The worst attack they can lay against him is the distasteful idea that Powell only supports Obama because he's black, which only hurts them in the long run.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Ammegg said...

Fair enough. I understand that Obama has more at stake than Colin Powell right now, and that he's dealing with a bloody vindictive base. I don't fault him for not giving an interview to that effect. Still, given that there's a whole website devoted to "fighting the smears," which has not been getting a great deal of mainstream press attention, it would be good of him to say, even if not necessarily on national TV, that being a Muslim and being a terrorist are not the same thing.

Nice that he has the opportunity to claim allegiance to Mr. Powell's comments now, either way.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Connor said...

I don't know. It's one of my quibbles with Obama... I consider his response and think "there ought to be a way," or "I'm sure that there's a way."

Props to Powell, but he's still got a long way to go to make up for pushing Iraq. I mean, that was a *big* mistake.


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