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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Former Sec. of State Colin Powell blasts NC’s voting restrictions

Colin Powell
News and Observer: With Gov. Pat McCrory in the audience, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolina’s new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.

"I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote," said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.

"It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs," Powell continued. "These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away."

The retired general served as the keynote speaker at the event and made his remarks moments after McCrory left the stage. His comments represent the most high-profile criticism of the Republican-crafted law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, cuts early voting days and makes it harder for students to vote.

In one comment, he seemed to rebuke McCrory for suggesting that voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect. The governor had compared it to insider trading.

"You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud," Powell said. "How can it be widespread and undetected?"
"What it really says to the minority voters is… ‘We really are sort-of punishing you,’" Powell said, which is correct. You can’t complain that minorities always vote for Democrats when you’re screwing them over and blaming them for imaginary crimes every chance you get. The going theory among Republicans is that minorities vote for Democrats because they’re all poor and dems give them "handouts." The less racist and more reality-based reason is that Republicans are dicks toward minorities — relentlessly.

That said, this is more of a feel-good story than anything. Colin Powell is a conservative who’s unwilling to exist outside of reality, which means the base has written him off as a RiNO a long. long time ago. No one on the right is going to listen to him or even take him seriously, because he stopped being a team player a long time ago. Powell has taken on conservative political correctness like this on more than one occasion, which puts him outside the GOP hivemind. If there’s one thing all these supposed “rugged individualists” hate more than liberals, it’s a conservative who dares to think for himself and disagree with the forced conservative consensus spilling out of talk radio and Fox News.

Enjoy Powell speaking truth to power — just don’t expect power to listen. If you do anything other than repeat their bullshit back at them, you might as well be a freakin’ Marxist.

[photo by Scott Ableman]

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