Rice victim of more silly politicsPublished 2:07pm Friday, November 30, 2012
Susan Rice has not been nominated as a replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who remains in the job for as long as she is willing to serve.
Ms. Clinton has indicated her intent to step down, but virtually no one in Washington is in any rush for Secretary Clinton to retire from her position. By most accounts the former attorney, First Lady, and New York Senator has done a remarkable job for the nation with her service.
That might lead one to ask: “Then why are a few Republicans staking out positions of opposition to Rice as a nominee that has not been nominated and may never be nominated to be Secretary of State?”
The answer is “politics as usual” in Washington, where silly little ideas like debts and deficits often get less attention than the fight over the non-existent nomination of a candidate for a job that is currently filled.
But politics as usual prevail in Washington, from elected folks who might fly kites in a hurricane with the same kind of logic that makes a daily attack on Rice worthy of their time and attention.
Of course, there is a history here. Since losing the 2008 presidential election the senator who was once John McCain, Maverick from Arizona, has become someone entirely different. McCain now is the bitter ex-rival and one of the most partisan of senators in an already partisan senate.
Like the proverbial Jack-in-the-Box, when the president speaks McCain jumps up from the box, reports directly to the Sunday talking head shows and announces that the president is simply wrong, facts to follow maybe later. McCain has made a part-time profession from these programs, appearing over 40 times in the past year.
On the issue of Rice, the non-nominated, not yet candidate for the potential position of Secretary of State, Sen. McCain is deeply and profoundly offended that Rice first explained to the nation the information on Benghazi that the US Intel community provided.
McCain would have preferred that Rice would have reported the later information from the intel community, information intel did not provide at the time of the Rice explanations; information that was deemed as classified when Rice reported what “current Intelligence” suggested as the probable causes of Benghazi.
And for that reason, Rice’s refusal to report classified Intel, and refusal to set-aside the reports provided by the intel community, McCain is outraged.
Yep, outraged that Rice could possibly misrepresent the facts.
McCain though has his own history of not-quite accurate statements on the same programs. McCain once reported that the Iraq war would be short and victorious for democracy in the Middle East, providing a Mecca for democracy to gain a foothold there. That turned out to be little more than a sales pitch for the Bush administration to go to war for no reason.
McCain also told the nation’s political class on Sunday mornings that he was making huge gains in his own polling for the presidency and would overtake Obama before the election. That of course was polling information that could only have existed inside his most hopeful dreams, and never on actual polling data.
And then of course McCain was not equally outraged when another Rice, Condoleezza, threatened that Iraq might launch a nuclear weapon against the United States, a claim laughably false.
Nor did McCain suggest the firing or demotion of Colin Powell, who used fake Intel to report to the United Nations that Iraq had bio-weapons and intended to use them.
No. Sen. McCain, or the man who once was John McCain, reserves his outrage for Susan Rice.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.