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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Here we go again

Any hope that Republicans may drop their obstructionism is flying out the window with the manufactured crisis over Susan Rice.

What is most distressing is not the GOP's invention of an issue over the terrorist attacks on the Benghazi consulate in September. Nor is it that the current UN ambassador now concedes she made an error in discussing the attack in a five TV talk show tour.

And it's not even the possibility that all 45 Republican senators in the next Congress will vote not to confirm her if Barack Obama nominates her as Secretary of State.

What is most appalling is the implied threat that Republicans will use some of the Senate's many arcane, anti-democratic rules to prevent her nomination from even being discussed.

The Benghazi incident has always left a foul taste in my mouth: politicizing a tragedy in the hope of scoring points in what was then a not-so-close presidential campaign. Any lingering doubt about the affair was obliterated when Fox News cut off military reporter Tom Ricks after he dared declare that emperor had no clothes.

And does Rice's now-admitted error in using CIA-produced talking points even come close to Colin Powell's shameful lies about weapons of mass destruction?

Nonetheless, the 1st Amendment guarantees that sore losers like John McCain, R-You Kids Get Off My Lawn, have the right to speak out.

But there's a very real possibility that Rice and her Democratic supporters will not be afforded the same rights and that Obama will be denied his constitutional right to nominate a secretary of state with the advice and consent of the Senate.

That's because senators have rules that allow them to place secret holds on measures -- and to demand a 60-vote super majority for the simplest of actions. And underlying this whole assault is the threat of doing just that unless Obama backs down.

The tyranny of the minority, best exemplified by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's infamous and now inoperative vow to make Obama a one-term president -- was the underlying factor in the stalemate American voters sought to end on Nov. 6.

It was bad enough when obstructionism focused solely on domestic policy. But there's a word Republicans would use if Democrats employed the same tactics in foreign affairs, where partisanship long ended at the water's edge.

They would be screaming treason.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Susan Collins is waivering in her support, based on Rice's involvement in responding to an attack on another embassy in Africa, do you consider there may be legitimate questions about her abilities? Or is it like when people are critical of Barack, they're always just racist.

November 29, 2012 4:52 AM  

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