The Colin Powell Republicans

Now that the Republican effort to fight Obamacare using the budget CR as leverage has fallen apart there’s an orgy of John McCains and Peter Kings and Lindsey Grahams crawling all over the cable TV networks to scream about how terrible the Tea Party is.

None of those people had the slightest plan to fight the Left on Capitol Hill. Their answer to Obamacare, which is the Intolerable Act of the 21st century, is to vote to repeal the thing 40 times.

These are the Colin Powell Republicans.

A book well worth reading is War And Decision, written by a former Defense Department official named Douglas Feith. Feith is unquestionably a member of the dreaded neo-conservative clan, with whom one can have many differences on policy – foreign and otherwise. But in the book, which traces the formulation of the Bush administration’s policy toward Iraq in the run up to and prosecution of the war there.

Feith and his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, helped to craft a strategy to invade Iraq and replace Saddam Hussein with a friendlier government. He makes no particular claim that the strategy was perfect or that its execution went according to the plan. But the claim that Feith does make is that DoD’s Iraq plan was the only one brought to the National Security Council.

The NSC is supposed to also contain the CIA and the State Department. At the time, the Secretary of State was Colin Powell. Colin Powell had no constructive strategy to offer in Iraq at all. And worse, Feith says, Powell didn’t offer any substantive criticism of the Rumsfeld strategy. Not until after it was decided on as the only plan the NSC had with which to work.

But no sooner did the Iraq plan get a green light, Powell started dismantling it. First, Powell failed to sell that plan to the Turks, and when Turkey refused to allow American forces to transit into Iraq from their territory a large piece of the military strategy was lost. Thanks to his failure to bring Turkey on board we were forced to invade only through Kuwait, and the pincer movement we had strategized for in order to trap Saddam’s forces before they could retreat into the woodwork was lost.

And then when the plan began to be executed, Powell’s misgivings became substantially more public. So much so that Iraq war or no Iraq war he’s not even on the Republican side anymore.

Is that not a perfect analogy for the Peter Kings and John McCains of the world?

Ted Cruz’ strategy may not have been the right one. From this quarter, it seems very apparent that the primary reason it ultimately didn’t work was that the Democrats knew the GOP on Capitol Hill wasn’t unified behind it.

But where was Peter King’s strategy? Where was John McCain’s? They offered nothing at all, and thus lost the argument at the outset. Then, when the strategy was decided upon by John Boehner they failed to help sell it to the American people. And at the first sign of bad polling they took to the airwaves to attack their colleagues.

Democrats don’t attack Bob Filner with the vigor McCain uses when he attacks Cruz. What does that make McCain?

It makes him Colin Powell. Which is ironic, since Powell stabbed McCain in the back when the latter was the GOP presidential nominee in 2008.

That won’t likely be the last irony to result from this latest exhibition of weakness and betrayal.

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