Wednesday, June 05, 2013

President Obama appoints Susan Rice as National Security Advisor; Republican Congressional candidate shows ignorance of recent political history

President Obama has looked Congress in the eye and (metaphorically) flipped them the bird.

From The Hill, written by Justin Sink and Julian Pecquet -
President Obama on Wednesday named Susan Rice — the public face of the Benghazi controversy — as his national security adviser.

The decision elevates the U.N. ambassador to the most powerful foreign relations role in the White House, ensuring Rice will have the president’s ear on top issues.

 “I am absolutely thrilled she’ll be back at my side, leading my national security team in my second term,” Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony.

Susan Rice was in line to become Secretary of State before she became the target of Congressional Republicans looking for a public scapegoat for the Benghazi faux-scandal.

Andrew Walter, a 2014 Republican candidate for the AZCD9 seat held by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, chimed in on the appointment almost as soon as the news broke -

Walter talks about "business as usual" but only seems to be concerned about President Obama's activities.

Perhaps he has a point about that "business as usual" thing, but he needs to provide supporting evidence that there is a pattern of such behavior in DC.

I don't often offer to help Republicans, especially those whose campaign "talking points" are limited to a DC-written NRCC script, but I'm going to do so tonight.  Out of the goodness of my heart.  Really. :)

Let me think for a moment...

...Prominent presidential administration official

...An academically and professionally accomplished woman


...Secretary of State

...National Security Advisor

...Accusations of lying

...Last name of Rice


....I have it!

From the Washington Post, written by Mike Allen, dated November 17, 2004 (emphasis added) -
President Bush named his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to succeed Colin L. Powell as secretary of state yesterday, turning to a confidante at a time when the White House is vowing to mend ties with Europe and put more energy into brokering Middle East peace.


 Rice, who will be fourth in line of succession to the presidency, will be the first African American woman in the job. She is a classical pianist, was a Stanford University provost and political science professor, and specialized in the former Soviet Union as a National Security Council official for President George H.W. Bush. She once was an intern in the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.


Rice faces confirmation hearings in the Senate, where Democrats said they will take the opportunity to grill her about some of the discredited elements of the White House's case for war against Iraq. But congressional leaders predicted she will be confirmed, probably before Bush begins his second term on Jan. 20.

From the Guardian (UK), written by Michael Williams, dated November 28, 2012 -
The Republican crusade against Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations, continues unabated. Dr Rice, a favourite to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is charged by some Republicans with "lying" about the nature of the attacks against the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on 11 September 2012.

While Rice should be thoroughly vetted by the Senate, the logic of current witch hunt is laughable; and it sets a precedent the GOP should want to avoid. Following the logic of Senator John McCain, the Obama administration should launch an investigation into the George W Bush administration.

Consider the tale of the other Dr Rice, Condoleezza Rice
The Bush administration failed to anticipate the 9/11 attacks, despite the fact that the outgoing Clinton administration warned them of the threat and left a great big file on the desk of the new national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Rice justified the oversight to the 9/11 Commission because, despite intelligence indicating an attack, there was nothing concrete: the intercepts did not say who, they did not say when, they did not say how. So the administration did next to nothing. The Bush administration and Condoleezza Rice, as national security adviser, were let off the hook by the 9/11 Commission.

Rice was eventually named secretary of state despite the fact that the oversight of the Bush administration cost 3,000 American lives on 9/11, not four as at Benghazi. Still, Joe Biden and Barack Obama voted to confirm her as secretary of state along with 28 other Democrats. At that time, Senator McCain warned against letting a rancid debate over confirmation of the new secretary get in the way of a foregone conclusion. He seems to have had a change of heart.
See?  It was easy to find the evidence of a pattern there.

The only major difference here may be that while the Obama-adminstration official named Rice has been accused of lying, the accusations were lies themselves intended to smear Ms. Rice, President Obama, and former Secretary of State (and future candidate for president?) Hillary Clinton.  When the Bush-administration official named Rice, was accused of lying, it was proven that she actually did lie, and the lies contributed to the loss of thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousand of Afghani and Iraqi lives, and billions of American taxpayer dollars.


Walter is, by all accounts, intelligent and educated.  Perhaps not in the league of either Rice, but few people are, so that is no insult.

Maybe he's just smart enough to realize that being perceived as ignorant, for the duration of one news cycle (if even that long) is better than ticking off the NRCC by saying anything that could be deemed critical of George W. Bush.

However, *I* am not in a position where I care if the NRCC likes me or not.

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