“In parliamentary systems it is not uncommon to turn a political nomination -- or even a relatively insignificant bill -- into a way of expressing a lack of confidence in the government or in a major policy. In the United States that is far less common, but … [Republican Senators] have done precisely that over the nomination of … Rice as secretary of state.”
“They have used it as a vehicle to stake out their opposition to the [initial reporting on Benghazi]. They are likely to pay a heavy political price. In this country, it is customary to allow the president to choose his own Cabinet so long as the nominee is minimally qualified. Rice is superbly qualified, and everyone concedes that.”
I know, I know – typical Liberal knee-jerk response to Republican criticism of Susan Rice’s potential nomination for Secretary of State.
However, in all candor, I’ve cheated. I altered the quote.
It’s actually a slight paraphrasing from a column written in 2005 by that arch-progressive Charles Krauthammer.
The original quote reads as follows:
In parliamentary systems it is not uncommon to turn a political nomination -- or even a relatively insignificant bill -- into a way of expressing a lack of confidence in the government or in a major policy. In the United States that is far less common, but 12 Senate Democrats (plus the independent Jim Jeffords) have done precisely that over the nomination of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state.
They have used it as a vehicle to stake out their opposition to the Iraq war. They are likely to pay a heavy political price. In this country, it is customary to allow the president to choose his own Cabinet so long as the nominee is minimally qualified. Rice is superbly qualified, and everyone concedes that.
Much criticism has been leveled at Susan Rice for purveying on Sunday talk shows information that, it is claimed, she should have known was not accurate. After all, she was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Never mind that the Director of National Intelligence has vouched for the fact that she was working from approved declassified information agreed to by the agencies under his jurisdiction.
However, we can continue the parallelism with the Condoleeza Rice nomination. That nominee defended our invasion of Iraq citing intelligence that claims of Iraq’s possession of WMD’s should not wait for conclusive proof. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
We know now that information was inaccurate. Colin Powell, who as Secretary of State appeared before the UN to make the case for Iraqi WMD’s, has been vocal about how he was the victim of misinformation. But then what can you expect when you rely on an intelligence source nicknamed "cue ball"?
Nevertheless, Susan Rice should have known better. She was our UN Ambassador.
But, how does that explain excusing Condoleeza Rice back in 2005? She was the National Security Advisor to the President. As such she was much more a part of the inner White House circle than a UN Ambassador.
Well, the Charles Krauthammer of 2005 had a simple explanation for that in the earlier cited article. “Mark Dayton of Minnesota accused her [Condoleeza Rice] of lying in order to persuade the American people to go to war -- a charge that is not just false but that most Americans don't believe. Rice was not a generator of intelligence. She was a consumer -- of a highly defective product.”
That excuse of Condoleeza Rice resulted in a war that killed over 4,000 Americans and resulted in over 30,000 wounded after she spoke. The furor over Susan Rice stems from misinformation about an intelligence failure that resulted in four deaths before she spoke.
But Krauhammer was able to excuse Condoleeza Rice because she was merely the consumer “of a highly defective product”. This stands in stark contrast to comments he made on Fox News on November 14. (See video below) “It was clearly defensive and it was also a stonewall. I mean, after all, what she said was absolutely and completely misleading. Either inadvertently, in which case it's complete incompetence, or on purpose, in which case it's deception.”
Why does he, as well as the rest of the right wing echo chamber crowd, now find their prior apologia for Condoleeza Rice an inadequate explanation in a far less critical and costly situation?