Why, Sir, Are You a Republican?

Politico reports that retired General Colin Powell believes that President Obama needs to do a better job of connecting with Americans, especially where unemployment is concerned. Mr. Powell, a Republican, (in)famously endorsed Obama over John McCain in 2008.

Mr. Powell said on Sunday of his former endorsee:

...Obama needs to change his approach in the White House because voters are feeling overwhelmed by sweeping new laws that expand the scope of government.

Notwithstanding this rational analysis, Mr. Powell continues to believe in Obama as "a transformational figure", and has continued to meet with the president since his election.

Nevertheless, Powell said, he still considers himself a Republican.

"Yes, why shouldn't I?" Powell said Sunday, adding that he hasn't thought about leaving the party.

"I still think that there is a need for a two-party system," Powell said. "And that the Republican Party still has strength in it. It has strength with respect to its feelings about foreign policy and defense policy and our place in the world. And I'm not happy with the rightward switch, [the] shift that the party has taken. And I've said this on many occasions.

So, it appears that Mr. Powell faults Obama for making Americans feel afraid of an expanding federal government, but he stops short of saying such fears are justified. He bemoans the rightward shift in the Republican party brought on by the Tea Party Movement, though he "respects" the movement's "feelings" about foreign policy and defense policy.

Mr. Powell expresses confusion as to why he should denounce the Republican party. I agree; you can't leave a town if you never really lived there.