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Posted by on Aug 25, 2013 in Featured, Law, Politics | 11 comments

Colin Powell’s new warning to the Republican Party: voter ID drive will backfire

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I have often said that former Secretary of State Colin Powell is the “voice of truth” for many independent, centrists and moderate voters and for that species of Republican called the “moderate Republican” or even the “center-right Republican” — a species vanishing as surely as the animal rhino and the elephants are poised to exit the earth. In business trip from September 2011 – May 2012 I drove 49,000 miles around the country and often met people who’d say they are usually where Powell is. Now Powell has a new warning for his party: the GOP’s drive in many states to implement often draconian voter ID laws will backfire.

“These kinds of procedures that are being put in place to slow the process down and make it likely that fewer Hispanics and African Americans might vote I think are going to backfire, because these people are going to come out and do what they have to to vote, and I encourage that,” Powell said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Following the Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Republicans in states like Texas and North Carolina are advancing legislation that would require voters to show photo ID at the polls.

“They claim that there’s widespread abuse and voter fraud, but nothing substantiates that,” Powell said. “There isn’t widespread abuse.”

Many conservatives dislike and distrust Powell since he has been highly critical of his party as the influence of the Tea Party, social conservatives and talk radio show hosts began to be widely felt. This is not the same brand of conservatism that marked the terms of either of the George Bushes. And, in criticizing his party, Powell often seems to pick the correct moment, where his comments echo the views of many other Americans. Unlike Arizona Sen.John McCain, he’s not a virtual regular on Sunday morning or early morning news shows, so when he does weigh in, his comments carry extra weight — even as they are dismissed by many conservatives.

And he does again when he talks about the effort by many Republicans and GOP legislators to in effect suppress the votes of groups that are less likely to vote Republican.

He said the GOP’s moves on voting access would in particular damage the party’s effort to appeal to the growing minority populations it will need to win national elections in the future. “This is not the way to do it,” Powell said.

He said he disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act.
“I would have preferred that they did not reach such a conclusion, but they did, and I can see why they reached such a conclusion,” Powell said.

Here’s the video of the segment which also includes his view on the Trayvon Martin verdict and a bit of advice to President Barack Obama on race issues:

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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • dduck

    Listen up schmucks.
    The guy from the Bronx knows what he is saying.

  • Smooth Jazz

    “Many conservatives dislike and distrust Powell since he has been highly critical of his party as the influence of the Tea Party, social conservatives and talk radio show hosts began to be widely felt.”

    Many conservatives dislike and distrust Powell because they don’t know what hat he is wearing at any given time: On one hand, he can be a loyal Repub serving honorably in the Admin of the Bushes and Reagan, and on the other kissing up to Obama and hiving up Liberal platitudes on sympathetic Dem megaphones such as CBS, NBC, et al. For example, his comment on the Trayvon Martin case can arguably be called propaganda since there is no evidence that a Hispanic man shooting a black teenager was anything other than self defense as a jury found. His comments on the matter arguably is for the PC crowd and appears designed to cozy up to the race hustlers and the echochamber groupthink of Liberals lkike Bob Schieffer that dominate the American media and networks.

    His comments regarding Blacks overwhelming voting for Dems is water under the bridge IMO as 90%+ Blacks vote for Dem candidates anyway. If he is suggesting that voters shouldn’t have a valid ID to vote, then reasonable people can disagree. Allowing people to vote without proper ID is an invitation to fraud and dead people voting, like they regularly do in places like Milwaukee, Detroit and elsewhere according to reports.

    And no I’m not racist for disagreeing with Powell: We’re both African American with Jamaican roots. He is the son of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in the Bronx while I was actually born in Jamaican and emigrated to Brooklyn as a 10 year old. We come from similar backgrounds. That doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything.

  • petew

    smooth Jazz,

    I agree that there is no definitive evidence that the Trayvon Martin shooting was motivated only by racism, and I think the Jury reached the only verdict it could, considering the limited evidence they were presented with. I’d hate for any innocent man to spend life in prison, based only on circumstantial and hearsay evidence. However, I think Powells point is that black Americans are singled out disproportionately by police because of their race—often without any real justification to do so. Although Zimmerman may not have been racist, the prejudiced views of those participating in, and watching the trial on television may indeed have cultivated certain ideas that affected their judgments about the case.

    As far as the voter ID issue is concerned, Powell was right to state that the ID issue by itself, was not so unreasonable, but all of the other suppression attempts written into legislation requiring photo voter IDs are obvious attempt to suppress the votes of many voting demographics that would ordinarily tend to vote for Democrats. Recently the politicians who introduce such bills (usually in States that have Republican Governors, and rubber stamp Republican legislatures) have become a little more hip to some of the most grossly unfair provisions in ID laws. Consequently they have often accepted certain common IDs to obtain a new voter ID, and would provide the photo ID free of charge. So on the surface one might consider such legislation to be fair and square. However, when ID laws come in legislative packages rife with various repressive provisions such as, purging voters unfairly from roles, cutting the time for early voting, prohibiting same day voting, and even eliminating the option to casts a straight ticket ballot, one begins to read between the lines and see these laws for what they are—shameless attempts to curtail the number of voters who most often vote for one specific party—in this case, Democrats!

    I also think that Powell may be right about the photo ID laws actually motivating many minority groups to turn out in force and do whatever is necessary NOT to be duped by Republicans. In fact many states that had proposed suppressive IDS experienced greater turn outs among minorities. Wouldn’t most of us be outraged at the prospect of having a constitutional right denied or impeded by onerous

    But there is a larger principle at stake here—no matter how many minority voters get their dander up and defy voting requirements designed to suppress them in Republican controlled States—they should not have to exert extra effort to make their voices known at the polling booth in the first place!

    Our right to vote is guaranteed by the Constitution. The right to use a library, go fishing, join a savers shopping club, or even drive a car ARE NOT! The type of voting fraud that voter IDs are intended to stop,is virtually non-existent, and represents virtually no problems at all. Voter in person impersonation (the kind of fraud Republicans claim to prevent is less likely than being struck by lightening, and there is no need to limit voting hours or ban straight party voting (among many other things) in order to stop fraud.

    So think about it! Isn’t your vote worth much more than a fishing license, a hunting license, or any other activity that requires and ID? ‘and doesn’t your votes actually contain great potential power to determine the government and the reality we all lives in?

    What is really puzzling is that, in most states, the prerequisite documents needed to obtain a voter ID, are the same types of identifications that allowed voting in the past. So, why aren’t they still acceptable? And, why is legislation needed to prevent non-existent fraud in the first place? Just do some research—but not only on Fox News, or MSNBC. you might actually begin to put the dots together?

  • JSpencer

    Many conservatives dislike and distrust Powell because they don’t know what hat he is wearing at any given time – smoothjazz

    I would amend that to say, “many conservatives dislike and distrust Powell” because he can think for himself. His loyalty is to his beliefs and personal judgement rather than to blind ideology or party. Too bad there aren’t more so-called “conservatives” who understand why this matters.

  • petew

    So think about it! Isn’t your vote worth much more than a fishing license, a hunting license, or any other activity that requires and ID? and doesn’t your vote actually contain great potential power to determine the government and the reality we all live in?

    I thought I should rewrite the second to last paragraph above, on account of the many ridiculous errors in spelling and grammar.

  • zusa1

    petew, Aisle ignore you’re airs if ewe ignore mine. 🙂

  • petew


    Will do!

    I also must say that I admire Powell’s ability to think for himself and give an honest assessment of the issues at play. To me he fits the kind of Republican that used to walk the halls of Congress—politicians like Barry Goldwater, who wrote a book titled, “The Conscience of a Conservative,” way back in the 60’s— have become an almost extinct breed. And, just like any truthful politician, Powells honesty and courage to tell it like it is, represents the type of truth telling and honesty we so sorely need today!

  • Today

    Colin Powell has my vote for being an independent and reasonable thinker with proven leadership skills.

  • JSpencer

    Of course there was that WMD speech – not exactly a high point of his career. It certainly played a part in justifying (wrongly) the US going to war (unneccesarily and with terrible consequences). A lot of people still wonder how much he really knew and didn’t know. Of course that role he played has nothing to do with why some republicans don’t like him.

  • dduck

    Of course, JS, many Reps do like him. But nowadays,to be a good politician, you need to be less honest, more devious and disingenuous than is probably in CP. That is why we admire people like him and Dwight Eisenhower, who probably would never make it to the presidency today.
    BTW: since he was almost tarred and feathered, the old disturbed John McCain does a pretty good conservative.

  • sheknows

    It is like there are warring factions within the party that are vying for dominance. The radical tea partiers ( currently winning), the libertarians ( not much of a threat but do actually have a following), the far right conservatives ( getting older physically and finding less support) and the moderates/center ( fewest in number, recruiting fewer to the cause).
    Powell was a highly respected Republican not too long ago. Now he is considered a “traitor” by the ruling radicals. Others in the party who lack his courage will let him be targeted and his words dismissed. Their attitude ” See, it’s a done deal now. SC passed it. Get over it old man and make way for the new Republicans”

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