Quotes of the day

posted at 9:46 pm on November 23, 2012 by Allahpundit

Kerry, a prominent senator for 28 years, would sail through his Senate confirmation hearings. Rice would be pinned down not just by Benghazi but by some of her past statements, in particular these two: In 1994, when she served on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, she reportedly asked about the possibility of intervening in Rwanda: “If we use the word ’genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November election?”

In 2011, as European countries were pushing for a UN Security Council resolution creating a no-fly zone over Libya, she reportedly told the France’s UN ambassador, Gerard Araud, that the U.S. wouldn’t be pulled into France’s war and she disparaged the conflict with an obscenity. Dredging up the latter incident is especially unfair, considering that Rice joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the National Security Council official Samantha Power to push the men in the administration to intervene in Libya. Still, Kerry’s colleagues wouldn’t hesitate to use any ammunition on hand against Rice.

Kerry would be much-better received than Rice not just in the Senate but in the rest of the world — which should be more than a little relevant in this decision.

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Rice was aiming to please the White House in a high-profile audition. If she’s nominated, Republicans shouldn’t let the ritualistic cries of racism scare them off of holding her accountable. On the other hand, they shouldn’t get distracted from more important questions involving the president himself.

Was he apprised of prior attacks on the consulate, and what did he do with that information? When did he get the accurate account of the attack from the intelligence agencies? What did he do when he learned of the hours-long attack, and what orders did he give to help the besieged Americans?

We know in great detail the president’s involvement in the Osama bin Laden raid. But Benghazi has been a closed book. If the White House had a good story to tell, presumably the New York Times already would have reported the details in a 5,000-word front-page article built on leaks by anonymous administration officials.

Say this for Susan Rice: She would be a secretary of state worthy of this administration.

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Republicans claim that Ms. Rice “propagated a falsehood” that the attacks were connected to an anti-Islam YouTube video. How then to explain the contemporaneous reports from Western news organizations quoting people at the burning consulate saying that they were angry about the video?

The oddity of the Republican response to what happened in Benghazi is partly this focus on half-baked conspiracy theories rather than on the real evidence of failures by the State Department, Pentagon and CIA in protecting the Benghazi mission. What’s even stranger is the singling out of Ms. Rice, a Rhodes scholar and seasoned policymaker who, whatever her failings, is no one’s fool.

Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy. You’d think that before launching their broadside, members of Congress would have taken care not to propagate any falsehoods of their own.

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Oh, and when it comes to anything the media deems racialist or genderific, can we find someone other than old white guys to lay out our case? Why isn’t Condi Rice making the case against Susan Rice? Where’s Susana Martinez? The GOP is flush with women and minorities. Let’s get them prepped for battle and get them out there. We can kill these racist/sexist memes simply by showing up. Optics do matter.

The GOP must stop letting us down like this. We can’t change the media; we can’t make the media do their jobs honestly, and we certainly can’t assume that the media’s ever going to do the right thing.

We can’t lose the Susan Rice debate on the facts. The facts are on our side. The same goes for Libya. But unless and until we’re fully prepared on the facts and willing to then take the debate directly to the media, we’ll keep losing the game, because we drop too many easy pop-ups.

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Never mind that Republicans haven’t had a white secretary of state since Lawrence Eagleburger concluded his term two decades ago. Never mind that Republicans appointed the first black secretary of state ever (Colin Powell) and the first black female secretary of state ever (Condoleezza Rice, arguably the star of the GOP convention in August). Also, never mind that Rice’s handling of Benghazi — and several other matters — can quite defensibly be dubbed incompetent.

That doesn’t stop Democrats or liberal pundits from crying racism…

Any serious attempt by the GOP to win black votes won’t involve Republicans copycatting liberal policies. It will require going over the heads of the black and white liberal slanderers to offer a sincere alternative to failed liberal policies on schools, poverty, crime, etc. The more effective that effort, the more the GOP will be called racist.

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