Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama should mean that he is never quoted positively by a republican again, but in the midst of another of his calmly delivered rants about racism he did make a good point about the current state of politics within the GOP.
"In recent years, there's been a significant shift to the right, and we have seen what that shift has produced: two losing presidential campaigns," Powell said. "I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed. The country is changing demographically. And if the Republican Party does not change along with that demographic, they're going to be in trouble." [POLITICO]
Some people will say that Powell is talking about abandoning conservative principles. He's not. He's talking about what he sees as a 'dark vein of intolerance' running through the party. He points to several statements which he says suggests that opposition to Obama is in part racially motivated, but the bigger insight he makes is this:
Powell said the Republican Party in addition to being the party of lower taxes, has become cast at the party of the rich. He said that Republicans need to take up education, immigration and climate change policy before the next election.
"Everybody wants to talk about, 'Who's going to be the candidate?'" Powell said. "You've got to think first about what's the party actually going to represent? If it's just going to represent the far right wing of the political spectrum, I think the party is in difficulty. I'm a moderate, but I'm still a Republican."
This struggle is nothing new for the GOP. We went through something very similar in 1960, 1964 and 1968. Those old battle lines still exist and the results of those convention fights should not be forgotten.