Maureen Dowd, persuaded by Republican senator Susan Collins, blames Susan Rice herself. "She said she is 'troubled' by Rice’s role. 'If I wanted to be secretary of state,' Collins observed, 'I would not go on television and perform what was essentially a political role.' ”
Collins is curious why Rice is not angrier, if, as she insists, she was repeating what she was told. “I’d be furious at the White House and F.B.I. and intelligence community for destroying my credibility,” the senator said. ...NYT
Maybe Dowd is right. Or maybe she's been losing fans lately and taking a drubbing for some of her columns and she's in a state of pique. Doesn't matter.
And anyway, last night. Rachel Maddow came up with a more interesting theory about the relentless attacks on Rice by the band of two and a half limp-wristed Republican senators. They want Scott Brown back. Maybe not 100% Scott Brown himself, but a Republican senator from Massachusetts. It's less about hating Elizabeth Warren (jeez, these intrusive women!) than it is about rearming their filibuster in the Senate by making sure John Kerry is the choice for Secretary of State.
Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is the other leading candidate for the post. Several senators, including Mr. McCain, said they would prefer Mr. Kerry and predicted that he would sail through a confirmation hearing. ...NYT
But let's not forget that Republicans, always looking for revenge, have been waiting for opportunities to "bork" back at Democrats. And when it's not Robert Bork, it's some other unsavory nut like John Bolton.
The legacy of President George W. Bush also hangs over this dispute. In his comments about Ms. Rice, Mr. Graham cited John R. Bolton, a conservative who was installed by Mr. Bush as ambassador to the United Nations in a controversial recess appointment. “Democrats dug in their heels and said, ‘We’re not going to vote, we’re not going to consider this nomination until we get basic answers to our concerns,’ ” Mr. Graham said. ...NYT
And also let's not forget that Susan Rice wasn't wrong. She gave the only answers on those Sunday shows that were available at that time from our "national security" agencies in the first hours after the attack. It wasn't Al Qaeda, as much as McCain wishes it had been.
Witnesses to the assault said it was carried out by members of the Ansar al-Shariah militant group, without any warning or protest, in retaliation for an American-made video mocking the Prophet Muhammad. ...NYT
But facts are not what Senate Republicans are looking for.
If, like most of us, you need to know more about Susan Rice and her work, Foreign Policy has a very full and interesting profile here.