General Colin Powell has been sounding off on North Carolina’s new voter ID law.
Powell spoke at the CEO Forum in Raleigh Thursday and offered his candid opinion of North Carolina’s new voting laws. The General prefaced his remarks by identifying himself as a Republican, then went on to rip the law to shreds, saying there was no evidence of voter fraud and warning Republicans would be hurt by alienating minorities. Interestingly, Governor Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law, was also present at the same event and spoke just before the General.
That was really punk rock of Colin Powell, don’t you think? I don’t agree with everything he said, but you have to respect someone who will say exactly what he thinks of you and your stupid law, right to your face, and without being nasty. The governor’s representatives say McCrory left the building before Powell spoke about the voting law. I bet he fled the building.
This brings up an interesting point about Colin Powell. He was intentional about identifying himself as a Republican, and this is something I can’t believe is true. If he was really a Republican, he would have handled his disagreement with the party differently. He could have seen McCrory or the RNC chair privately and been 1000x more effective in persuading them to act differently.
Instead, he embarrassed McCrory (and by extension, the NC Republicans) by criticizing the law publicly in the state capital, with the governor present and the media filming. General Powell is smart enough to see that he was backing the GOP into a corner. He knew once he spoke out publicly against them, they couldn’t take his advice, at least not without looking weak.
He’s not trying to persuade the GOP to adopt his point of view nor does he appear to be concerned with the fate of the Republican party. He was trying to – and succeeded in – embarrassing them.
And will this strategy pay off?