Powell noted, for instance, that Republican operatives such as Limbaugh have long used "polarization for political advantage." Powell continued: "Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?"
Good question, Gen Powell.
Ah, but attacking Rush is heresy in Red State Oklahoma. Here, for example, is Mike McCarville's lame response to Powell:
Powell, one of those silk-stocking "Republicans" who like to cozy up to the Washington crowd, has completed his transition to liberal Democrat. The former general, with the help of a media that seems to believe his opinions matter and have delighted in reporting his remarks critical of conservatives in general and Rush Limbaugh in particular, has shown his true colors.Sorry, Mike, but we're going with Gen. Powell on this one. Powell may strike you as "silk stocking," but we rate him as mostly educated and reasonable,* something Rush isn't—and can't claim to be. (Asterisk: Powell's infamous UN speech, now repudiated by, well, everyone, Powell included.)
Let's consider the facts: Rush is a thrice-divorced, college dropout who avoided the draft and never served a day in uniform. Indeed, Rush has never served a day in public office and has no policy experience whatsoever. His opinions are regularly fact-free and worth exactly what the public pays for them, which is to say, nothing.
In short: Not much of a husband, not much of a student, not much of a public servant. His life's work: Hours and hours of hot air and right-wing nonsense.
As for being "cozy with the Washington crowd," Rush is no stranger to the D.C. Republican establishment, having wined, dined, and smoked stogies with all sorts of GOP insiders, including one of the few Republicans with a bigger ego that Rush, Newt Gingrich. Indeed, Rush is the one with the huge bank account and high-living ways, golfing his way across the land from his Florida estate. Lots of elitism here, but not much in the way of national service.
Powell, by contrast, was an ROTC student in college who worked his way up to general. In the army, Powell served in combat in Vietnam (two tours), winning a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and numerous other military honors.
He was married in 1962 and is still married to the same woman.
As a leader and presidential advisor, Powell served as national security advisor for Ronald Reagan, and was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H. W. Bush, led the military in the first Iraq war, and went on to be Secretary of State under George W. Bush.
This, we submit, is a record of distinguished national service that make Rush look like a piker. This, we submit, is a record that warrants respect, even when Powell is wrong, as he surely is from time to time.
Rush, in contrast, is wrong every day, almost every time he opens his mouth, a prisoner of bad ideas, weak logic, intellectual inferiority, and his own hubris. Rush, after all, is completely unfamiliar with the notion that he could be wrong.