Colin Powell threw a spanner in the works on Sunday morning of the sort which, in practically any election campaign two weeks out, would sink a candidate. I wonder, though, whether the purported damage done by the former General and Secretary of State has added much to the unelectability of McCain / Palin, or just been another ingredient in the toxic miasma of hate in which this race is trapped.

Has Powell brought lots of GOP loyalists over to Obama? I am practically certain, from my very scientific trawl through Yahoo Politics and paltalk chatrooms that he has not. It was never his intention to.

What he has got (and I know he cares not a jot) is a lot of GOP nutters rewriting history, desperate to erase any sense of respect for the man they lionized five years ago. They were always going to vote McCain, and were never in play.

What it has probably also done is convince the crazy racist brigade even more that the Obama campaign is an affirmative action conspiracy, simultaneously clearing the decks of very many African Americans to which to feign grudging respect. They’ll be chuffed.

What Colin Powell has said has rung true with a great many people; McCain made an error in judgement by putting the USA in danger of being run by a woman with extremely limited nous, experience or confidence. McCain would put a Hockey Mom from tiny Wasilla one missed heartbeat from control of the biggest thermonuclear arsenal on Earth. People looked at Sarah Palin and realized, after a couple of weeks, that she is not Gina Davis’ character from Commander in Chief. She doesn’t have the chutzpah to calmly face down a mortal enemy armed with a massive intellect and an enormous sense of personal responsibility.

America would wake up to a Palin presidency and shit itself. Colin Powell spoke out for a world petrified that Sarah Palin might get to sit behind the Resolute desk and press buttons. That logic is hard to escape.