Monday, May 25, 2009

GOP led by toy soldiers - Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh - insulting heroes like Powell

Mike Lupica

Monday, May 25th 2009, 4:00 AM

(Page 1 of 2)

This was at 166th St. and Boston Road in the Bronx Sunday morning, in front of the amazing old building that was still called Morris High School when Gen. Colin Powell graduated from there more than 50 years ago and began a life of service to his country.

This was an hour before Powell would appear on "Face the Nation" to discuss comments made about him by former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose most famous moment carrying a gun came when shooting a lawyer once instead of quail.

These days there are now five smaller schools on the Morris campus. Once, though, this was the first high school in the Bronx. And even with a lot of construction going on, the place is still something to see.

"Like a castle," Michael Moran, 42, from the neighborhood, said.

"Colin Powell went here," he was told.

"You think we don't know that up here?" Moran said.

A week ago Cheney - whose idea of a foxhole is Fox News - went on "Face the Nation" and said he assumed Powell had left the Republican Party after endorsing Barack Obama. Then Cheney said if he had to choose between Powell and Rush Limbaugh to lead the Republicans, he would go with Limbaugh.

But that really is the current Republican Party, isn't it? Angry old white men like Cheney and Limbaugh talking to each other. Two toy soldiers who enjoy insulting a real one like Powell. Trying to convince the country that if you don't believe in torture, you don't want to keep it safe.

Only here was Powell, who came out of Morris High to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs and secretary of state, telling the real truth about his party Sunday, and about the old men who think they speak for everyone in it.

"In every demographic ... the Republican Party is losing," Powell said.

Of course Dick Cheney wants to talk about torture now. It's all he's got. He doesn't want to talk about the soldiers he sent off to die in Iraq. He doesn't want to talk about all the wounded soldiers from that war, or the trips he didn't make to Walter Reed while he was still vice president.

He doesn't want to talk about how the Republicans lost both houses of Congress and finally the White House while he was vice president, as millions left his party on the dead run. And he certainly doesn't want to talk about what kind of country he left to President Obama, and to the rest of us.

So he talks about the potential danger of closing Guantanamo and puts it all on Obama, failing to mention that his own boss, Bush, also wanted to close the place. It is completely gutless of Cheney, and completely predictable. He continues to live in a weird parallel world, accepting no blame or responsibility for Sept. 11, but making it clear that if anything happens again it's all Obama's fault.

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Powell is better than the GOP's toy soldiers

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Lupica: Colin Powell has still led a great American life and served his country more honorably than Dick Cheney ever will.

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