If, like me, you slept through it:

Powell says a lot of what this blog has been expressing these past six weeks: McCain's hotheaded response to Georgia and the economic crisis, combined with this selection of Sarah Palin and deployment of pure Rovianism as a tactic, has tarnished his reputation permanently and rendered Obama's calm, maturity in selection of running mate, and care to be always inclusive of all Americans that much more appealing. Powell also is horrified, as decent Republicans should be, by the attempt to equate Obama with "the other" and to delegitimize Muslim-Americans or urban Americans or gay Americans or Arab-Americans or anyone else as somehow not "pro-America" or integrally part of this country.

Powell is really taking a stand in defense of decent, inclusive, moderate Republicanism. It's amazing it has taken Powell to say this publicly, to stand up against the Rove machine and say enough. But it is welcome nonetheless. One more thing: Powell's endorsement of Obama is privately echoed by many moderate Republicans across the country and in Washington. It isn't about race. It's about the need to remake conservatism anew, and to restore to fiscal and foreign policy the kind of conservative prudence and restraint of Eisenhower.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.