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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rice withdraws

I was saddened to learn that Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration as Secretary of State. The proximate cause was, of course, the inane controversy over Benghazi:
Rice, who was considered a top contender for the position, has been embroiled recently in ongoing controversy surrounding her account of the September 11 Libya attacks, which she discussed in a series of talk show appearances on September 16. 
Infuriating. There is no genuine scandal here; the whole pseudo-controversy was ginned up by the Republicans as an election-year gimmick.

I mean, come on -- just what it, exactly, that the Republicans have been trying to say? Do they really think that Obama lied about the attack because he was somehow trying to cover up for his Mooooslim buddies in Al Qaeda? That kind of paranoid nonsense might seem credible to sub-Trumpian birthers and cognate aficionados of quasi-psychotic absurdia, but the idea is laughable to all rational people.

Everything Rice said about Benghazi derived from reports she received from the intelligence community. If those reports got the story wrong, you can't blame her. It's not as though she personally went snooping around Libya looking for the truth, then lied about what she found.

If the CIA offered varying descriptions of what happened on September 11 -- and they did -- we must presume that their analysts received conflicting reports from their human and electronic sources. That kind of dispute happens all the freakin' time in the world of intelligence analysis.

Whenever a violent outbreak occurs, historians often argue about who did what when -- and those arguments have been known to span centuries. We still don't know whether the Russians or the French set the great Moscow fire of 1812. We still don't know precisely how Wat Tyler's rebellion originated. People still argue about the sequence of events surrounding the Boston Massacre.

Turning the Libyan attack into a weapon against the Democrats was always nothing more than a cheap, low GOP ploy. The Republicans thought that spinning absurdities about Benghazi could bring down Obama. When that line of attack failed, they settled on a secondary target. Rice.

Their obvious goal is to push John Kerry into that post, thereby freeing up his seat for Brown.
I think it's pretty obvious, Joe, that the Republicans wanted Rice's head on a pike, a political trophy, anything to spite POTUS. I thought the original attacks on Rice's credentials and calling the woman stupid were beyond the pale. She's a Rhodes scholar, for God's sake! But reports have been surfacing about her less than diplomatic nature, her attitudes and policy bent towards Africa, and then those tar sand investments. She was going to be purposely savaged.

As for Kerry's seat being vacated, I read that the Governor may simply appoint a replacement, which, of course, will make the GOP howl. But after what they pulled in Michigan, let 'em. The Governor's seat will be open too, shortly. There's some talk that Brown may take a run for that spot.

Could get interesting!

Good points, Peggysue. There may well be legit reasons to criticize Rice. What irks me is the WAY she was taken down.
I don't think I've seen anything take off like the anti-Rice meme. I've followed a bulletin board in my small midwestern hometown for several years, and the teabagger postings about her mutated beyond anything recognizable. Here's one that came across today (and it's not at all unusual): "What has the dope, Susan Rice, done for me lately? She killed off some of our Navy SEALs with her lies."
"killed off some of our Navy SEALs..."...? Why? Why on earth? Why would anyone believe such nonsense?
Why would anyone believe that?

Because we have a lot of really toxic idiots in this country who run on nothing but hate and spite 24/7. If they don't get enough to feed their rage addiction, they just make it up themselves.
"Why would anyone believe such nonsense?" I assume they are picking much of it up from other TP forums. On that bulletin board it devolved quickly from A) Rice covered up Benghazi to B) Rice martyred our brave SEALs by failing to authorize backup to C) she's part of the Muslim conspiracy. There's also a subplot that she's Obama's mistress or Monica Lewinsky. And no, I absolutely do not believe the people writing such things are trolls.
I thought the original attacks on Rice's credentials and calling the woman stupid were beyond the pale. She's a Rhodes scholar, for God's sake!

Bobby Jindal is a Rhodes scholar, too, but plenty of folks call him stupid, too.
So, Joseph, how many dead diplomats does it take to create a scandal?

I have no idea what or if the Republicans think, but I suspect that the real scandal here is an indecisive and inept President who went to bed rather than deal with a life-threatening situation and then blew town to go to a fundraiser in Vegas. In other words, he voted "present" - something that's pretty consistent with his conduct throughout his career.

The republicans could get away with this and the tea party loons go completely off the rails because we don't have any of what the Founding Fathers considered an important part of democracy, a free press reporting truth.

As far as John Kerry, will he take the postilion knowing his vacancy could be filled by a republican? Is he that vain?
Rice, as American Ambassador to the UN, tweeted insults at the Russians and Chinese. I'm surprised more people don't comment on the behavior, because I don't think her job description includes gratuitously pissing off her Chinese and Russian counterparts. A person lacking in basic social skills should not serve as leader of the country's diplomat corps.

I do agree with you about Huntsman, however.
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