"Powell has to accept that he is in a unique position to command attention and lead the Republican Partyor at least that part of it that isn’t consumed with defending the indefensible on torture or living in a fantasy world where the economy would be booming today if it just wasn’t for Obama’s budget deficits. It’s a pretty small constituency these daysmost of those, like me, who share Powell’s views have left his party to become independentsbut it may be enough to build a foundation on that can offer a meaningful challenge to the dominant Cheney-Limbaugh-Palin wing of the Republican Party that views all efforts to expand its membership as a sell-out to be resisted at all cost, even if it means further political losses. But at the end of the day, the job of a political party is to win elections and to win elections it must be inclusive, not exclusive.


Thus the ultimate message Powell has to offer Republicans is the most persuasive one of allfollow him and win or follow Cheney-Limbaugh-Palin and lose. Personally, I would like to see Powell follow in the steps of Dwight D. Eisenhower and run for presidentI’ll sign up for his campaign today even if it means having to rejoin the Republican Party. But if he is serious about not wishing to do that, then Powell has a responsibility to help those who share his vision by lending his enormous credibility, popularity and fund-raising ability to their efforts. If he fails to do so he risks being seen by history as someone who walked away when the times demanded that those who share his beliefs stand and fight for what they believe," - Bruce Bartlett.

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