Powell's departure is also a victory for conservatives, removing the administration's most forceful advocate for negotiations and multilateral engagement on such issues as Middle East peace and curbing nuclear activities in Iran and North Korea.
That about says it all. To think this administration had a guy who had the audacity to advise against the Iraq invasion AND favored multilateral negotiations (vs. gun-slinging go-it-alone) AND had a great interest in Middle East peace and curbing the #1 danger facing our future security: nuclear weapon threats. Yes, absolutely, this guy just had to go, HE'S CRAZY!
As I wrote yesterday, Powell has very much himself to blame for his sad situation. Granted, he may not have seen what faced him early on in this administration, which is further testament to just how extreme things quickly became with Bush/Cheney after 2000 as even an inside guy like Powell did not foresee how abruptly things would turn for the worse. It did not take long for Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the like to marginalize Powell's influence. Powell quickly fell into quicksand and spent the better part of 3+ years reaching for a tree branch that remained always just out of reach.
Again, I don't wish to make excuses for Powell because there were plenty of opportunities for him to do what Paul O'Neill and Christie Whitman did, and yet for whatever reason he stayed put. This despite his falling from grace with the near complete loss of respect and eventually becoming a non-entity. As I wrote in September, he could've made one of the biggest statements in election-year history by resigning a month or two prior to Nov. 2nd, in effect having a degree of impact that was never afforded him during his tenure as Sec. of State. I believe he would've turned the tide in the election, creating enough stir to attract many undecided voters and leaving Rove with very little for spinning.
But it was not to be, and now we're likely to have to hear about his criticisms and regrets in a "60 Minutes" special or a soon-to-be-rushed-out book. Sorry Colin but I at least don't want to hear it now! A day late and a dollar short. Now that the terrible deed is done, do we really need to hear how bad it was for you? You will simply be confirming much of what is now already known, so what's the point? For shame.