Colin Powell Calls Out Republicans, Tells Them What They Really Don’t Want to Hear

powellSince the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act, Republican legislatures across the country have nearly fallen over themselves trying to pass new, much more restrictive, voting laws which clearly seek to suppress the vote of those who often don’t vote for Republicans.

Which makes sense.  We’ve literally not had one single instance where voter fraud has been a problem anywhere in this country, so it’s logical for these Republican legislatures to try and pass these new laws that will curve this escalating problem—which does not exist.

While Republicans try to fear monger to their base about the possibility that not having an ID before voting opens the doors for rampant voter fraud, they tend to leave out the parts of these laws which often:

  • Make it more difficult to get ID’s.
  • Limit the kinds of ID’s that are allowed (some states claiming a state-issued student ID isn’t valid).
  • Restrict the days and times during which people are allowed to vote.
  • Reclassify student residency eligibility.  Meaning that for many students, because they live 9 months at school and 3 months back at home, they don’t meet residency requirements to be allowed to vote.

And that’s just a few of the provisions many of these laws carry with them.  So it’s not “just about having valid ID” as many of these Republicans are trying to perpetuate.  It’s a clear attempt at voter suppression, a backdoor poll tax (because for most states government issued ID’s aren’t free, nor are the documents required to get one) and a way to try and deter voters that often don’t vote for Republicans from being able to vote at all.

But if you don’t believe me that this is what conservatives are doing, just look at the comments made by Republican Colin Powell where he called out blatant attempts by the GOP to suppress voters:

“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote.  It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs.  These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”

I guess he’s “liberally biased” too, right?  Or wait, he’s not a “real Republican?”  He’s a R.I.N.O (Republican In Name Only)?  Isn’t that what conservatives call anyone from their own party who dares call out their radical antics?

Especially when they know that he’s right.

Any group, entity or person that’s trying to make it harder for people to vote clearly has an ulterior motive.

After all, isn’t that what history shows us?  Isn’t our past littered with ignorance by some to keep those that they wished wouldn’t vote from voting?

Hell, isn’t that why we had to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965?  Which we clearly need to update (that was the reason why the Supreme Court struck parts down—the data was decades old).

Voting should be something to be proud of.  It should be celebrated.  Hell, election days should be national holidays.  People should have the day off from work.  Polling locations should be expanded by not just their hours but in the amount of locations as well.  It should be something that both parties make efforts to encourage everyone to vote.

Which would be ideal, except—Republicans see the writing on the wall.  Which is what Powell’s comments are directed at.

Republicans have a couple of choices:

  1. Change their policies to appeal to more moderate voters.
  2. Change the voting rules to restrict the vote for those who tend to vote more moderately.

Where Powell’s comments encourage Republicans to stop these tactics of alienating people, pandering to their far-right radical base, Republicans would rather just restrict the rights of those who might not vote for them.  In other words, they’d rather suppress millions of voters than see their ideas evolve to try to appeal to those more moderate voters.

But Powell knows their strategy of pandering to their base isn’t sustainable long-term.  Because history shows us that it isn’t.

While historically these groups which seek to rig elections, and in turn our government, have won small battles during their attempts at oppression, in the long run—they always lose.

And for a great example of that, look no further than the tea party.

In 2008 they charged onto the scene, rode a wave of temporary popularity in 2010 (gaining back power in Congress), yet by 2012 the presidential hopeful this movement produced was—Mitt Romney.

Not a single “tea party Republican” stood a chance at winning the nomination, and you saw quite a few tea party Republicans in moderate districts lose their seats.

And in 2013, while still popular with their radical right-wing base, the tea party has quickly fallen out of favor nationally.  The majority of Americans have already grown tired of their ridiculous antics and outlandish statements.

Powell sees this, and decided to call it out.  The only problem is—I doubt many Republicans will listen.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • D Scott

    AAGH!! Where is the Actual clip!!??

  • Pipercat

    Let the RINO calls begin!!

  • Goober

    College students can vote by absentee ballots so you cannot use that as a valid argument. Voter Id laws don’t make voting inconvenient. It actually makes it a simpler process. The Voting process should be standardized so there would not be these great discrepancies from state to state. The voting process IS always decided by each individual state. Keep the Federal Government out of it. I thin voter id laws are a great thing. I live here in NY and it’s easy to vote.
    You simply register with the local Election Board, and when you go to vote, you sign your name in a voter tally book. That’s it.

    • Jeremy Elstein

      you say keep the federal government out of it, but then say you want the federal government to regulate voting? wow. furthermore, in case you can’t read/comprehend what you’re reading, absentee ballots don’t count as regular votes, they are only used in case of a close election/run off. furthermore: in case you are blind deaf and dumb, in 2008 and 2012, there were hundreds of thousands of americans that were denied the right to vote because they didn’t have a driver’s license and their state issued id cards didn’t have pictures and were therefore not valid photo ids. the republican party has been trying to sequester voters that would NEVER vote for them for the past 2 decades….open your eyes.

      • riderroad

        absentee votes are ALWAYS counted on election day. please don’t tell people they don’t count, it’s simply not true. I have worked elections for many years and know first hand that they are counted with the ballots cast on election day!

    • CplCupcake

      Are you aware that your statement contradicts itself? You talk about how easy it is to vote in NY but also say how wonderful voter ID laws are. The purpose of voter ID laws is to make it more difficult to vote. The Federal Government only steps in when states make it more difficult for certain groups to vote. The Federal Government is not the one passing voter ID laws.

      • Dennisdread_2000

        There goes the republican, talking out of both sides of his face again.

    • bcfamb

      I live in ga and I don’t have a voter’s I’d card but I do the same thing so what you said isn’t valid. Republicans are trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

      • zobva

        And “fix” is exactly the right word. They’re trying to fix elections.

    • Hanyewi Sunkmanitu Tanka

      Actually many college students cannot legally vote by absentee ballot. Or do you not know that the first time one votes following registering to vote one MUST VOTE IN PERSON?

      Now, an 18 year old, just graduated from high school and going off to school in August of 2013 is, in most cases, not going to have opportunity to vote on anything until 2014 unless there is a special election. Would YOU drive home from college just to vote in a special election? Most college students wouldn’t either. Which leaves the August 2014 election their first opportunity to vote in an election and unless they have a city, township or county clerk who is the sort who will “bend” the rules slightly for them… depending on the date they start back to school they may not be able to vote in the Primary election either. Which leaves the General Election for them to vote that first time in… and most do NOT have the time to take two days off from classes and return home (even within the same state – for example, it takes 9 hours to drive from Detroit Michigan to Houghton Michigan) so they can vote. Here again, election officials CAN bend the rules and give them an absentee ballot (since those have to be available by federal law for 45 days before the election) so long as they don’t LEAVE the clerk of the election’s office with the ballot and they have proper identification with them. It is however a rare election official who is willing to step on that plate and say “Well, the law says you must vote in person BUT it does NOT say your vote MUST be cast on election day so if you come by my office when you are home I’ll let you vote in my office since that qualifies as ‘in person’ even though it’s not on election day.”

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Your name says it all.

    • zobva

      Goober said: “I think voter id laws are a great thing. I live here in NY and it’s easy to vote”

      And that, folks, is the personification of Elizabeth Warren’s famous statement made during her Senate campaign last year when she so aptly said, “The Republican vision is clear: I’ve got mine, and the rest of you are on your own. “

  • Jeremy Elstein

    I wish you would stop referring to republicans as conservatives…..calling the current republican party conservative only shows that you don’t know what the word conservative means.

    • Edward Bolduc

      you got that right I am a conservative democrat.

    • openlyblack

      True … the 21st century GOP are not conservatives … they’re regressive … they don’t want to conserve anything … they want to take the country backward, not forward.

    • ironman2819

      Let’s call them what they truly are… The American Taliban!

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      So do enlighten us. They sure as hell ain’t liberals.

    • Dennisdread_2000

      Maybe the mislabeled conservatives should vote for someone else, then? Or stay home.

  • Roland Olson

    There are two pages of voter fraud cases if you Google it…..getgGoogle

    • RJB, PhD

      So that constitutes what, 20-30 ‘cases?’ Among the millions of American voters? Smh. Between 2002 and 2006 there were a WHOPPING 86 people convicted of voter fraud. Stop the presses, we have an epidemic!

      • Sammy

        Those are the ones prosecuted at the Federal level. There are many more on the state level. And those are the cases we know about, how many voter fraud incidents go unnoticed? That U.N. group that democrats were all about coming and checking out the past election, they were astonished that we didn’t have voter ID like the rest of the modern world, and thought it was ridiculous that our system was based on the honor system pretty much. The vast majority of voter fraud cases were perpetrated by Democrats, I can see why they are scared to have it impossible for phantom votes to go their way in elections.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Right…it’s a major problem because they don’t get caught. No it’s a problem because you don’t like who got elected. You have no proof the “majority of voter fraud cases were perpetrated by Democrats.” More wishful thinking.

      • zobva

        Right. I’m sure that’s what Glenn Beck told you.

    • bonniewarford

      The question I always ask people is this: Are those 86 confirmed cases of voter fraud–most of which were unintentional–worth disenfranchising hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of voters?

      I have yet to receive an answer.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Sammy would say, “Yes.”

  • Treefrog

    Any group, entity or person that’s trying to make it harder for people to vote clearly has an ulterior motive.


  • openlyblack

    Well, if the Republicans think that they should have one of their own in the White House, Colin Powell is a Republican I could vote for.

  • raggedcompany

    These people need to wake up… voting is a right, not a privilege.

  • gemma liar

    if glen beck,,,,,sean Hannity and rush Limbaugh and michelle ( UGGH!!) malkin say its for the good of America then U KNOW it is FOR THE GOOOOOOD OF AMERICA!!…. PRAISE JEEEESUS!

    • Dennisdread_2000


  • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

    From Oregon here; we have mail-in ballots and it works great. You register to vote, and a couple of weeks before election day, your ballot shows up in your mailbox. You have the time and opportunity to research the candidates and measures and make thoughtful decisions about your vote. You mail it in, and your vote is counted. The opportunity for voter fraud is almost nil, except for recently in my county; an election official counting ballots was caught filling in HER choices on measures that voters left unmarked. Oh yeah, and she was a REPUBLICAN.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to hear a Republican would do such a thing…

      • Dennisdread_2000

        heh heh..they have no bottom. I’m only surprised that they haven’t resorted to outright assassination yet.

        If they haven’t that is.

    • Kevin

      You forgot to mention that you don’t even need to buy a stamp to cast your vote here in Oregon. There are drop boxes at government offices all over the place, and many are drive-through. Of course you can mail it if you want or if you live out in the sticks, which can be considered a 44 cent poll tax I suppose. 🙂

      • strayaway

        Driving a car to the polls will probably burn more than 44 cents of gas but it’s still an option for anyone not wanting to buy a stamp.

    • That Republican had to serve 3 months in jail and pay like $13,000. Criminals. That is all they are.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    Everyone in Australia is expected to vote and anyone who doesn’t is fined. We should have a similar system.

    • Me!!

      To bad America is the exact opposite…..republicans have stressed in the pass that minorities don’t vote, but now that more minorities are voting they seem to have a problem with that….like trying to change the laws to make it harder TO vote!! Crazy!!!

  • Danny

    Not all republicans have the same exact mindset. to think republicans aren’t open minded and just bigots, is close minded in it of itself. I personally agree with Mr. Powell, voting shouldn’t be restricted to anybody. Putting conservatives into a single category and scoffing at them is irrational, I don’t hate gays, I’m not racist, or a redneck. I hate it when I see other republicans do it to liberals too. We shouldn’t be at others necks for their beliefs as stupid as they can seem. That’s a truth America was built on. Voting is right.

  • Danny

    The fact is, no matter where you stand. You just have to ask yourself, is the current president getting it done? My opinion is he isn’t, and a educated debate does much more for us than sitting there and telling yourself how stupid all republicans are and how they’re “regressive”, or the American Taliban. It makes me embarrassed to see this as an American. Other Americans judging other Americans like this. Just have an open mind and think about that

    • Stephanie S. Cohen

      I couldn’t agree more. An educated debate is exactly what is needed. An open, honest and educated debate. So let’s start with the name calling. I think ALL labels should be demolished and people should have to campaign on what they believe and what they support. The problem there is that there are only a hand full of politicians who have the chutzpah to be HONEST about what they support. There is no possible way for any American to know the whole truth about anything. There is good and bad in everyone and therefore good and bad in everything. So Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, Liberals and so on it really doesn’t matter. There are going to be people in each party that stands for something pure or something evil. And no I am not trying to bring the Bible into this, simply because the Bible, along with all of it’s contents, has no place in American Government. So since we cannot depend on anyone in our Government to be completely honest and because there is absolutely NO WAY to know everything that our government does or does not do, how do we discuss things without truthful information? My answer is to look at peoples’ ACTIONS. Actions is where the truth lies. Actions cannot be taken back and they cannot be denied. A persons’ actions will tell you everything you need to know about them, whether they are lying or not. So you feel that POTUS is not doing all that he can or should be doing. So what exactly do you feel he should be doing that he currently is not. Let’s talk about the rest of our Government. It is very plain to see that there are actions being taken by people in our government. These actions are blatant and obvious. Women’s health and rights, voting rights, equality (in all it’s forms), control of food, control of water, control of health, control of money, control of regulations, control of guns, and so on and so on. So let’s look at who is taking these actions. Well to name just a few; the Bush family, Boehner, McConnell, McCain, Palin, Bachman, Paul, Rand, Ryan, Cruz, Rubio and the list goes on. Let’s talk about corporations,industries and systems. The actions of the media, the food industry, the banks, the education system, the prison system, the legal system, the health industry and the insurance companies. Let’s talk about government. The actions of Senate, Congress, NSA, FDA, Supreme Court; as well as state and local government agencies. That list can go on forever. So which would you like to talk about first. Whose actions would you like to discuss first?

      • Danny

        The actions of the president of course. Those are most vital to the country are they not? Does Rubio’s, or Ryan’s actions really take priority over the actions of the commander and chief? Not at all. With Obama in office the amount of people on food stamps has not gone down, it has gone up. The amount of people on welfare has increased. Median household income has fallen for four consecutive years. We lose half a million jobs to china every year. Hell going to the hospital will be like going to the DMV. Tell me what positive actions he has made

      • Stephanie S. Cohen

        Well first I will respond to your accusations. I have no doubt that there are more people on food stamps than before. I do not think for even one second that Obama can hold the sole blame for that statistic. You are the one who said you wanted to have an educated discussion and that you would like to see people open their minds. So open your mind and educate yourself. Pointing fingers of blame will not solve anything. And remaining in denial and refusing to see the WHOLE picture will only invite more ignorance into your mind. Obama walked into his job as POTUS while the U.S. was in one of the most horrific conditions it has been in since the great depression. Add to that the continuous, harassing, blatant, discriminatory opposition that he has had to face since he has been in office. It is a miracle that he has been able to accomplish anything. This is what I don’t understand about people such as yourself. You want everyone to be honest and open and yet you cannot seem to open your mind enough to even see the whole picture. Blaming Obama for anything right now is like blaming Firemen for people dying in a fire that some pyromaniac set. Because they weren’t able to extinguish the fire fast enough or rescue the victims of the crimes than they are to blame for their deaths? I don’t think so.

      • Danny

        Not pointing fingers. Of course this isn’t all cause of him, the bush administration does have a lot to do with it, but to place the blame solelyon bush is ignorant. The problem with all these facts is that Obama made promises to improve the conditions of the poor in America. The number of impoverished has grown. If he reverses these trends in the next three years I will eat my words and consider his presidency a success.

      • Danny

        He has has served a full term already and in a year will be half way through another. I’ve been open minded about it. You kind of lost me. These are facts not accusations, hell I would say the same damn thing if he was a republican. Maybe give me something besides it the bush administrations fault and then I will have something to be open minded about.. I’m not denying he didnt walk into a shitty situation but his shortcomings as president can in no way be blamed completely on bush.

      • Stephanie S. Cohen

        I didn’t blame anything completely on anyone. But I’m done with this. Good luck to you.

    • Cemetery Girl

      No, a debate there is a winner and a loser. We need honest, educated discussion because right now the whole country is losing. I want to see this country made great (again?). How are we the greatest country on Earth when we lag behind (typically severely) other first world countries in everything but defense spending? I am a liberal. I am a progressive. I avoid name calling but shrug it off when I’m called names. “You might say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”.

  • ksmith610

    I wish God would declare open hunting season on republiklans with no bag limit and no tags; leave them where you fell them. Once they’re all gone and their bodies stop rotting the world will smell so much better.

    • gemma liar

      I cannot agree as I do enjoy eviscerating them in forums even though they sternly–and stubbornly– hang on to the FOX “news” talking points even as we surround them in REAL graphs,,,statistics and colin powell-esque statements. If we hunt them all they cannot provide me such wonderful– and head scratching- entertainment! I think we should hunt creeps such as joel osteen and his Ponzi scheme scumbags