Republican outrage over all and sundry is not only predictable, but downright boring. The example du jour is the ongoing attack waged by John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte (and most recently, Susan Collins, proving that being a moderate Republican does not make one a good person) against potential Secretary of State nominee, Susan Rice. Can anyone say mountain out of a molehill?
As far as the Benghazi incident itself goes, the outrage is so drummed up that it practically reeks. As Kevin Drum points out:
As best I can tell, the suggestion from the right has been that Obama didn’t want to admit that Benghazi was a terrorist attack because….well, I’m not sure, exactly. Something about how this would blow a hole in his claim to be decimating al-Qaeda via drone attacks. Or maybe it would remove some of the luster from being the killer of Osama bin Laden. Or something. But one way or another, the story is that Obama was deeply afraid of admitting that terrorists are still out there and want to do us harm.
This has never made a lick of sense. If anything, the continuing existence of terrorists justifies his drone attacks. And it certainly wouldn’t do him any harm in an election. The American public routinely rallies around a president responding to a terrorist attack.
Drum also points out what a yawn the GOP’s feigned indignaton about Rice is:
… there’s considerable evidence that on September 15, when Rice taped her appearances, the CIA told her there had been protests in Benghazi earlier in the day. The CIA turned out to be wrong about that, but it simply makes no sense for them to have made this up. If it does anything at all, it only makes their response look worse.
Of course, the political strategy behind this anti-Rice campaign is now evident: nominate John Kerry as Secretary of state instead and run Scott Brown for his vacated seat – returning a Senate seat to the GOP:
Pressuring the White House into naming Kerry would accomplish two GOP goals. First, it would humiliate Obama by denying him his first choice, Susan Rice. Second, it would open up a currently safe Massachusetts Senate seat.
The next midterm election will be one of the most hazardous ever for Democrats, who currently hold a 55-45 margin in the Senate.
At least nine Senate Democrats are considered vulnerable in 2014, and no incumbent Republicans. If Republicans take control of the Senate, a newly feisty Obama will be totally hamstrung for his final two years.
Although most of the anti-Rice Benghazi outrage has been confined to the Senate which will have to confirm whomever is nominated to be Secretary of State, the peanut gallery in the House has been called into the fray as well. A number of House members wrote a letter (pdf) to President Obama, dated November 19, talking the usual trash about Rice.
Given the general cynicism and dishonesty of the attack, it would behoove Missourians to know which members of our delegation were among the letter’s signatories. It was not, as many might suspect, the entire Missouri GOP House delegation, but only the two remaining tea-party dim-bulbs, Billy Long (R-7) and Vicky Hartzler (R-4). Perhaps the other Missouri House GOPers were just absent the day the letter went around, but maybe, just maybe, some of them actually have some tiny bit of integrity. Who knows?