Ambassador Susan E. Rice is a very powerful and accomplished Black woman. Aside from her status as a Rhodes Scholar and countless more academic accolades, she has served as a public servant under two sitting presidents (Presidents Clinton and Obama). And, she was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her background harkens back to another prominent Rice, Condoleezza Rice. She too is an accomplished academic, both scholarly and musically, and public servant. The key difference between the two is just the party to which they each belong. Susan Rice is a Democrat and Condoleezza Rice is a Republican. So why, if Susan Rice is so similar to Condi Rice, would conservatives question her credentials and preparedness to potentially occupy the same role Condoleezza held during the Bush Adminstration? Well, it’s actually trite at best.
Condoleezza Rice held several roles under the tutelege of the 43rd United States President, George W. Bush. First, she was the National Security Adviser. Then, in 2005, she was confirmed as the Secretary of State after Colin Powell resigned. The most prominent questions for Condi came after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. During that time, she claimed that the White House was unaware of the status of Iraq’s nuclear program. And, she was the preiminent security leader for the US during the worst acts of terror this country has ever seen. Some questioned whether she was simply lying to the American people. Or, if she was so inept that she missed key intel indicating that America was in danger and that Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction. Either way, Condi’s credibility was a major point of contention well before her confirmation in 2005. But, she was appointed nonetheless.
Susan Rice’s story veers off in a different direction here. She hasn’t served during a major American catastrophe like 9-11. And, she certainly has not been the national security adviser during an attack on American soil. Yet, Congressional Republicans have been working feverishly to block her would-be appointment following Senator Hillary Clinton’s annnouncement that she will not be serving as Secretary of State during President Obama’s second term in office. In a letter to the President, 97 House Republicans stated that they were not confident in Ambassador Rice’s qualifications for Secretary of State. Citing the attacks on Benghazi as the prime catalyst for their concerns, the letter explains how this issue detracts from Ambassador Rice’s abilities to properly address international issues.
“Though Ambassador Rice has been our Representative to the U.N., we believe her misleading statements over the days and weeks following the attack on our embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world.”
They continue to note that their concerns are held universally, as they are speaking for the American people. They elucidate Ambassador Rice’s perceived blatant disregard for truth and transparency.
“Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi affair.”
When this story is juxtaposed against a backdrop of Condi Rice’s actions and role in 9-11, the reaction from the Reps almost seems unreal. A key difference between Condi and Ambassasor Rice is that one was “unaware” of intel leading to major political fallout and an entire war while the other was actually repeating the most current intel from the CIA, respectively. Ambassador Rice’s reliance on the intelligence officers whose job it is to provide intelligence does not constitute a failure on her part. There was obviously more to the story that had yet to be uncovered. But, for Reps to make it into a boon resting squarely on Ambassador Rice’s shoulders seems a bit unfounded.
But what of it? Will these accusations and obstacles go anywhere? Well, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has been extremely loquacious about his disdain for Ambassador Rice’s confirmation. And, since he has been so vocal about Benghazi, this is no surprise. Both he and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have vowed to work against her with all of their “power.” And, unlike the House, the Senate actually does have the power to block presidential appointments as they have been flexing their muscles in this respect since President Obama was elected. Though this is harmful to the American people, the backhanded antics are the stalwort politics that losing parties often cling to when they’re down. The Democrats are no different.
Some people have said this is because Susan Rice is Black. Well, I disagree. I think this is because she is Black AND a Democrat. Remember when Ann Coulter explained on Fox News about the science of how conservatives Blacks are “better” than liberal Blacks?
It seems that this is a real concept. Political actors like Allen West, Herman Cain, and Condoleezza Rice are all coveted, doted upon, and touted while Colin Powell, who has moderated over the years, and Michael Steele (former RNC Chair), now a commentator on the evil MSNBC, have been proverbially kicked to the curb. And who can blame the Reps? It doesn’t benefit them to have reformed Black people who move toward the middle or the left. And Susan Rice, though strikingly similar to Condoleezza on paper, is just another liberal Black. This is about idealism. Political idealogues have a zeal for their own reality. It isn’t about race any more than it is about gender or state of origin. Because, I guarantee you that if Benghazi had happened under a Republican president, the tables would be turned and the Dems would be doing many of the same things the Reps are doing now.
This is what you call desperation politics folks. Or, as some might say, politics as usual. And, poor Susan Rice just happens to find herself caught in the middle of this unending tug-of-war. Why do they hate her? Because she is not them. It really is just that simple.