Different for girls

I’m not following the Republicans’ anti-Susan Rice jihad very closely, but I’ve got the feeling some it has to do with her being a woman. I normally can’t take Ruth Marcus, but kudos to her for writing this:

For perspective on this complex question, it helps to return to 1974 and the nomination of another woman, Alice Rivlin, to head the Congressional Budget Office.

As Rivlin tells the story, the office had just been created, she was selected by a search committee — and the House Budget Committee chairman made clear his adamant, gender-based opposition.

“Over his dead body was a woman going to run this organization,” Rivlin recalled at an Atlantic magazine “Women of Washington” lecture last year.

[…]

Writing on ForeignPolicy.com, Rice’s Clinton administration colleague David Rothkopf called her “hard-headed and prickly.” But, Rothkopf added, “The nonsense that she is somehow not qualified for the job is indefensible. . . . As for her temperament, raising it is pure sexism. Why is she called abrasive, when clearly, similar toughness was hailed in our most powerful and respected secretaries of state — from Henry Kissinger to George Shultz to James Baker?”

It goes too far to say pure sexism, but I think gender plays a role, however subconscious. My analysis assumes that the Rice critique does not stem solely from her comments on a single Sunday morning of talk-show rounds.

Something more is going on here: A touch of chummy old-boy (and old-girl, for that matter) networkism in support of Senate colleague John Kerry. A residue of bristling over previous encounters (see Rice’s tart 2008 comments about then-GOP presidential nominee John McCain).

More and more, I see most politics as a prestige/power battle, usually pitting some old guard — men, the rich, white people generally, the DC establishment — against the plebes — women, the middle-class, the blahs, vituperative foul-mouthed bloggers. There’s probably more to it than that, but I doubt there’s all that much more.






74 replies
  1. 1
    catclub says:

    “see Rice’s tart 2008 comments about then-GOP presidential nominee John McCain”

    What a surprise, Wars McCain carries a grudge. A lot of explanation right there.

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    Not to quibble but I hate Marcus’s stupid phrase “my analysis assumes…” Its just the opposite: its her experience which has taught her that any analysis of the situation that doesn’t include gender is missing the real issues. Her analysis presumes that gender is important, or is based on this notion. And she’s perfectly right. Race, class, gender, history all basically precede a nominee into the room long before they sit in the chair to be grilled.

    aimai

  3. 3
    Maude says:

    Eisenhower called them the old guard. They are always the same. They must reincarnate into new old guards every so often.

  4. 4
    catclub says:

    I also think this is displaced anger that should have been directed at Condoleezza Rice over 9/11 and Iraq.

  5. 5

    I keep getting the sense that the enmity against Rice is the tip of an iceberg. There’s more to this than McCain’s bitterness.

    Maddow thinks the GOP wants John Kerry’s Senate seat, but there’s no guarantee that they’d get that even if Scott Brown decided to make a comeback.

    There must be more. Wonder if we’ll ever get to find out.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    I’m not following the Republicans’ anti-Susan Rice jihad very closely, but I’ve got the feeling some it has to do with her being woman.

    It has to do with her being a BLACK woman.

    there.

    fixed.

  7. 7
    Metrosexual Manichean Monster DougJ says:

    @rikyrah:

    I didn’t know that, I’ve only read about her, not seen her on teevee.

  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    I’m not following the Republicans’ anti-Susan Rice jihad very closely, but I’ve got the feeling some it has to do with her being a black woman.

    Fixed.

    I am not aware of the same degree of vituperation with respect to Madeleine Albright (confirmed by a unanimous 99-0 Sentate vote) or Hillary Clinton (94-2 vote).

    But somehow, with Rice, the GOP senators are troubled, and they grouse about US foreign policy not being … smart or strong, and focus on Rice, but rarely mention anyone else.

    I also think this is displaced anger that should have been directed at Condoleezza Rice over 9/11 and Iraq.

    Unlikely. Condi served in a GOP Administration, one incapable of doing any wrong. And So, Susan Rice is a lying devil, and the lying GOP devils that got us into Iraq have all magically disappeared.

  9. 9
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Off topic, but ….. it’s different for girls?

    NANCY SMASH!

  10. 10
    Soonergrunt says:

    I think there’s several things at work here, and her gender and race are only two of the issues. They may be the proximate cause of the particularly nasty attitude that so many of the Republicans, McCain and Graham especially, seem to have towards her, but they are only part of the analysis.

  11. 11
    Raenelle says:

    It’s about money which, to paraphrase Vonnegut, buys power, which buys money, which buys power . . . you get the point. It’s not fundamentally about a few selfish dudes who can’t let go.

  12. 12
    MonkeyBoy says:

    “A touch of chummy old-boy (and old-girl, for that matter) networkism in support of Senate colleague John Kerry.”

    Rachel Maddow comes up with the conspiracy theory that Republican friends of Scott Brown who lost his MA senate seat want Kerry appointed so that Brown can retake his seat.

    She does make a case that major Rice detractors happen to be Brown friends.

  13. 13
    Calouste says:

    @Brachiator:

    Condi Rice also gave proper deference to a white man, her husband, uh boss. Susan Rice won’t have a white man to defer to, which makes old white men like McCain rather uncomfortable.

  14. 14
    Suffern ACE says:

    Tough to say its about gender or race, when 3 of the last 4 have been women and there hasn’t been a white male in the position since Warren Christopher.

    This is about getting even with her for talking about John McCain’s recklessness and revenge for stonewalling Bolton. And its about making Democrats who speak up like that too controversial.

    I might think its about getting Kerry out of the Senate, but looking at the MSM, I can’t really believe that they’d carry water for lovable John Kerry. Since when have they done that?

  15. 15
    David in NY says:

    OT, but per the Orange Satan, Pelosi intends to bring a petition to discharge the bill in the House (same as Senate bill) simply keeping the Bush tax cuts in effect for those under $250k. She needs 25 R votes.

    Thus, telephone calls to R’s in close districts (per Tim F.’s earlier post) could well ask whether the R will sign the petition to bring that bill to the floor.

    ETA: h/t MikeBoyScout, above,

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....etail=hide

  16. 16
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator: “and the lying GOP devils that got us into Iraq have all magically disappeared.”

    No, I think, deep in their lizard brains, they know that something was fucked up in that admin.

    And the fact that they cannot admit that is why a black woman, named Rice, who went to Stanford, is the target of their animus.

  17. 17
    PeakVT says:

    I think gender and race have led the Republicans into thinking they can slow down the newly energized Obama administration by getting a scalp on the basis of complete nonsense, and that nobody will notice the latter part. The media seems intent on helping them, unfortunately.

  18. 18
    Napoleon says:

    I think one has to seperate out what maybe modivating McCain and Graham, which I think is a combination of vindictiveness, stupidity, a grudge against Rice and Obama, unwillingness to accept the elections results, bigotry and sexism (in no particular order) and the broader Republican caucus which I think sees this as a way to knock Obama off his stride right after an election and an attempt to fool him into making the stupid mistake of picking Kerry instead and freeing up a senate seat.

  19. 19
    Kristine says:

    vituperative foul-mouthed bloggers

    Should be a tagline.

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:
    I think a huge chunk of it is just a desire to make life as hard as possible for Obama. Rice is getting the worst of it right now, but you can bet that all the people singing Kerry’s praises right now will suddenly find a whole bunch of objections to him the moment he’s the actual nominee. The Republicans want to hamstring Obama any way they can, and preventing him from having a working cabinet is an obvious approach.

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:

    I think it has to do with her being a Democrat first. If it looked like President Obama was going to appoint Whitey McWhite to the job they woul be looking to degrade and abuse him.

    The fact hat she happens to be a woman who also happens to have nappy hair? Well that just makes it a whole lot easier and gets them a whole lot more automatic support for their position. I don’t think they see gender or race as any part of the issue just a fortuitous happenstance.

    They get to use the dog whistles & then plead ignorance when called on it. “You people are just looking for a reason to be offended”

  22. 22
    Brachiator says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I think there’s several things at work here, and her gender and race are only two of the issues. They may be the proximate cause of the particularly nasty attitude that so many of the Republicans, McCain and Graham especially, seem to have towards her, but they are only part of the analysis.

    Any suggestions as to what the other issues might be?

    Apart from anything having to do with Rice herself, I am pissed at statements by McCain and others that they should no just perform their role in supplying advice and consent, but that they should be able to choose the secretary of state, or that this cabinet position is so special that the choice must meet the particular approval standards of the Senate.

    In short, they seem to be suggesting that they should be able to substitute their judgement for the president’s with respect to high level appointees. Because, for some reason, Obama is not to be trusted.

  23. 23
    PeakVT says:

    @Kristine: What happened to the rotating tag lines, anyway?

  24. 24
    danimal says:

    DougJ@top

    More and more, I see most politics as a prestige/power battle, usually pitting some old guard—men, the rich, white people generally, the DC establishment—against the plebes—women, the middle-class, the blahs, vituperative foul-mouthed bloggers. There’s probably more to it than that, but I doubt there’s all that much more.

    I totally agree. This is why, for example, Republicans who supported health care mandates are aghast at Obamacare. Policy is secondary to which team makes it.

    This is, BTW, one area where both sides do it. As we become the establishment, we had better find ways to guard against entrenching power for its own sake. Some big city Dem machines are as corrupt and narrow-thinking as Beltway Republicans. There may be a day in which conservatives come up with good policy ideas. We’re nowhere near that point now, but it could happen, and we will need to engage them. I believe the seducing corruption of power is a large reason 70’s liberalism became a generational disaster.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @catclub: In the good Village of Broderton, no one is responsible for either 9/11 or the Iraq War. Both just kind of happened. Tweety, probably the biggest TeeVee jabberer to flat out oppose the war, bellowed something yesterday about how C. Rice would be a “great!” Senator from CA.

    I think McCain and Graham were just acting out of bitterness and confusion, and the rest of them (Corker, Collins) are seizing on that to claim a scalp from Obama. But Corker’s comments about how Rice is ‘too loyal’ to Obama, there’s more than a hint of racism there, quite possibly unconscious on his part, an extension of Sununu’s comments about Colin Powell’s endorsement. Collins is a second-rater who will jump on any chance to be on TeeVee. I’d like to see Bill Cohen, Dick Lugar, Chuck Hagel and/or John Warner speak up to all this nonsense, but I’m not holding my breath. It really is kind of scary that there isn’t, as far as I can see, a single rational, adult voice on foreign policy in the Republican congress

  26. 26
    Spankyslappybottom says:

    The Daily Caller has a KKK-like piece up about Susan Rice’s circa 1985 anti-white Black History manifesto. (Won’t link to those white-sheeted scumpallets.) The article is complete with be-froed Rice photo from the 70s and cesspool of the most racist comments you’ll find anywhere.

    But nothing racist here.

    Here we go, folks.

  27. 27
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Is the subtext here that Hillary Clinton ISN’T a woman? Because I had a feeling..

  28. 28
    hueyplong says:

    Regardless of other factors, it’s usually a fairly safe bet that the most reasonable stance to take is the one on the opposite side of the position currently taken by John McCain.

    This appears to apply with additional force if the subject matter is in any way related to foreign affairs.

    Whatever good work John McCain may have done in the past on this or that subject is so far back in the rearview mirror now that he really seems to serve no useful purpose. He might as well step down and allow his seat to be filled by some Arizona teahadist who, for all his other failures, won’t be on teevee so much on Sunday mornings.

  29. 29
    danimal says:

    @danimal: Also, too, on the topic at hand, I think bitter John McCain is just being bitter John McCain. Lindsay G. is trying to look tough to avoid getting primaried (good luck with that), and the New England Republicans are working the Brown replaces Kerry angle. Different strokes for different folks. It just happens to be that Rice is a blah woman, nothing to see here, move along.

  30. 30
    Steve Crickmore says:

    Yes, it is partly her sex, (conservatives are more disposed to authoritarian types or males and if they are women they cannot be too independent), partly her race, (Holder, like Obama, come in for unresonable vituperation) and except for a few attitudes and prejudices, policy doesn’t impress them so they focus on personalities. Conservatives like people similar to themselves, and Susan Rice is almost everything they perceive they aren’t, though in reality, her pro petrol investment portfolio and snarky UN comments on Palestine, should reassure them, if they weren’t so blinkered.

  31. 31
    gvg says:

    I also think it has something to the exceptionally low quality of Republicans we have in office right now. They are reflexive haters and many of them aren’t too bright.
    It seemed to me that from the collapse of the Berlin wall on, a bunch of Republicans at the state level an above were rather opportunist follow the party line and you’ll get elected types. There was a certain prestige that voters were awarding R’s from that point on and they started to win elections just by spouting slogans…like tough on crime etc. The R’s who were already in office, the thinkers and fiscal conservatives wanted party line voters so they welcomed quite a few who were clearly stupid and grifters from the get go. that was not so bad as long as some brains were still in charge but gradually the idiots came to outnumber those who had previously had control. We used to say confidently that the money guys that “were the real bosses of the GOP” wouldn’t let some extreamist stuff actually pass…for the last decade I haven’t seen that money in control anymore. In addition after the Iraq war went really bad, a lot of moderate voters left the GOP fold and no longer had any control. Only the tribalists are left. They hate democrats. I don’t even see the sense in their attacks-not just on Rice but on others too. They may be racists and sexists but even that doesn’t seem to explain. I think they just hate.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @danimal: Lindsay G. is trying to look tough to avoid getting primaried (good luck with that)

    Don’t discount Graham’s bitterness about ’08. Being the eminence grise of a McCain White House was as close as Senator Confirmed Bachelor was ever going to get to the Big Chair. It’s weird how that’s the best-kept open secret in the Beltway.

  33. 33
    Keith G says:

    I think the main motive is just to fuck with Obama.

  34. 34
    Schlemizel says:

    Anyone else suddenly getting ads for “Meet Thai singles”? since this thread started? Its a new one for me!

  35. 35
    rb says:

    @Schlemizel: I don’t think they see gender or race as any part of the issue just a fortuitous happenstance.

    So…. they think it’s more acceptable to attack her because she’s black and a woman. Isn’t that the very definition of racism and sexism?

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Not me, but I am getting ads for visiting the house from A Christmas Story. I am going tomorrow to it and looked at its website this morning for an address, and have gotten nothing but ads for it the rest of the day.

  37. 37
    lacp says:

    Maybe it’s not because she called The Old Salt a dumb fuck in 2008 – more likely, she neglected to mention that he was a POW. You folks know he was a POW, right?

  38. 38

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    There must be more. Wonder if we’ll ever get to find out.

    @rikyrah:

    It has to do with her being a BLACK woman.

    Glad we settled that.

    What else is on the agenda?

  39. 39
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Wait.. Condoleezza Rice wasn’t a woman either..? *gulp*

  40. 40
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Et tu, Madeleine Albright?

  41. 41

    Are we really going to have a conversation where people attempt to argue that the Republican opposition to Susan Rice isn’t being fundamentally driven by the fact that she is a powerful black woman on the rise? Are we really going to have to go through this bullshit again around here? When The Daily Caller is churning out hit piece after hit piece with headlines like:


    Susan Rice in 1986 book: Make white students learn black history

    In interview, Susan Rice explains role in WH decision-making; ‘People know not to mess with me’

    I swear, the level of willful naivete around here never ceases to amaze me.

  42. 42
    sylvan says:

    @Keith G:

    I think the main motive is just to fuck with Obama

    It started off as the FOX News silver bullet that was going to rid us of the Kenyan usurper once and for all.

    The fact that it didn’t work just means the GOP needs to double down.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJ:

    More and more, I see most politics as a prestige/power battle, usually pitting some old guard—men, the rich, white people generally, the DC establishment—against the plebes—women, the middle-class, the blahs, vituperative foul-mouthed bloggers.

    This doesn’t really scan, at least not quite the way you have laid it out.

    Hillary Clinton is, of course, a woman, and as Secretary of State is more directly in the line of authority of people who might be held responsible for for security at the embassy. She even tried to make statements accepting responsibility.

    And yet Clinton is an Untouchable. Obama gets knocked for being dumb, naive, weak, unnecessarily accomodating to the Muslim Brotherhood, Commies and Space Aliens, but somehow Clinton, his chief foreign policy operative, is magically exempt from criticism. She is sometimes erased from the picture (as in the absurd wingnut blather giving Israel and Egypt, but not the US and Obama and Clinton) credit for the Gaza cease fire.

    Also, too, to include bloggers among the ranks of the Dispossessed is funny, but perhaps unearned.

    It may not be just gender and race, but there is something about Susan Rice that drives the GOP wild with insane rage.

  44. 44
    Ned Ludd says:

    Why does everyone seem to think that this is anything other than plain old bullshit Republican obstinence?

    Do you really think that if the Susan Rice role in this kabuki was played by a middle-aged white male that the result would be any different? Do the names Cass Sunstein or Peter Diamond ring any bells?

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Brachiator: Also, too, to include bloggers among the ranks of the Dispossessed is funny,

    Not so much Dispossessed as Beltway outsiders, unworthy plebs who presume to know something about politics, see Brian Williams on “some guy in Queens wearing a bathrobe” or Joe Klein’s sincerely bewildered indignation about having his “thirty-eight years of experience” challenged (in the latter case, he was indignant about people challenging some bullshit he had been leaked by Pete Hoekstra).

  46. 46
    les says:

    @rb:

    So…. they think it’s more acceptable to attack her because she’s black and a woman. Isn’t that the very definition of racism and sexism?

    I think it’s more that the happenstance makes the attacks easier, ’cause the base eats up the racism/sexism. I guess it’s like the stupid/evil arguments, really–hard to tell what these assholes really are doing.

  47. 47
    huckster says:

    @sylvan: Exactly, somebody has to pay, and Rice is a convenient target. It might have had a little more credibility if she were NSA director, but why quibble? The important thing here is they are trying to dictate to the President who is allowed to be in his cabinet. It is a direct signal that the minority intends to keep on obstructin’ which is all the more reason for fillibuster reform.

    I was perfectly content with the idea of Kerry at state, but because of these assholes nothing will do but for Rice to be confirmed.

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @les: I think it’s more that the happenstance makes the attacks easier, ‘cause the base eats up the racism/sexism.

    The electoral base eats it up, and their media base (NBC and the WaPo, not FoxNews) is terrified to acknowledge it, while at the same time eager to scold the Left for “playing the race card”.

  49. 49
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Brachiator: Other issues include McCain still being pissed that “that one” took his turn, that Lyndsey Graham is trying to fend off a primary from the right next year by toughening up his appearance, and they really want for Scott Whatshisnuts in Massachusetts to have another shot at the Senate so they want to get John Kerry in the administration.
    There are others, I’m sure.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Not so much Dispossessed as Beltway outsiders, unworthy plebs who presume to know something about politics, see Brian Williams on “some guy in Queens wearing a bathrobe” or Joe Klein’s sincerely bewildered indignation about having his “thirty-eight years of experience” challenged (in the latter case, he was indignant about people challenging some bullshit he had been leaked by Pete Hoekstra).

    Fair enough. Good point, and some great examples.

  51. 51
    Darkrose says:

    Even Senator Yells-at-Clouds wouldn’t be able to say “she’s not very bright” with a straight face if he was talking about a white man. From him, I honestly believe that he can’t parse how a woman–especially a black woman–could be young, smart, and accomplished.

  52. 52
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Brachiator:

    Any suggestions as to what the other issues might be?

    She seems to have a reputation for being snarky, sharp tempered and not welcoming of fools. (She reportedly flipped the bird to Richard Holbrooke at a meeting)

    In other words, she would be a perfect fit here at Balloon Juice, but tough, feisty, disagreeable wimminz tend to irritate certain types of male codgers…like McCain.

    Personality types that are respected in men are not always welcomed in women.

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Other issues include McCain still being pissed that “that one” took his turn, that Lyndsey Graham is trying to fend off a primary from the right next year by toughening up his appearance, and they really want for Scott Whatshisnuts in Massachusetts to have another shot at the Senate so they want to get John Kerry in the administration.

    I’ve seen Maddow push the Kerry theory. I think she sometimes tries to be too smart for the room when she does this. In any case, if Kerry went to Defense, the targeted attacks on Rice would be pointless.

    I don’t know much about Graham at all, but McCain leaves a long trail to follow, and this level of pettiness, especially being part of a pack, doesn’t seem to fit his MO.

    I agree that there’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear.

  54. 54
    sylvan says:

    @huckster:

    In the end game, there isn’t much they can do to prevent her confirmation.

    The optics would go against what all the polls and consultants have been telling Repubs who stand to have a political life after Xmas.

  55. 55
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Brachiator:

    I agree that there’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear.

    I think they really believe whateverthefuckalltheythinkhappenedregardingBenhghazi. We’re talking about people that thought Romney was going to win despite all evidence to the contrary. Deluding themselves isn’t hard to do.

  56. 56
    Kristine says:

    @PeakVT: I think it’s buried under the banner ad, but I’m currently viewing via IE 8, which doesn’t like the BJ site and sometimes messes things up. IOW, I tend to blame my browser.

  57. 57
    👽 Martin says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    Maddow thinks the GOP wants John Kerry’s Senate seat, but there’s no guarantee that they’d get that even if Scott Brown decided to make a comeback.

    I think that’s all this is too. I don’t buy the gender argument at least from Ayotte and Collins. But every Republican has volunteered that Kerry would be just awesome sauce, even though he shot a man in the back just to watch him die and earned purple hearts and silver stars for masturbating on the souls of chickenhawks everywhere.

    The senate is still pretty close particularly with conservadems factored in. Flipping Kerry for Brown gets the GOP quite a bit more in the game. Even if it’s not assured, it’s well worth doing.

  58. 58
    Steve Crickmore says:

    Susan Rice has a decided and surprising history of having hawkish views on Syria, Iran and Libya.. and was a strong advocate of the war in Iraq and Saddam having WMD. “I think the United States government has been clear since the first Bush administration about the threat that Iraq and Saddam Hussein poses. The United States policy has been regime change for many, many years, going well back into the Clinton administration. So it’s a question of timing and tactics. … We do not necessarily need a further Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions.
    (NPR, Nov. 11, 2002)
    You would think Republicans, particulary McCain would welcome someone who reflects his neocon like views, about the advocacy of using military force in the middle east.

  59. 59
    aimai says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I think Clinton got confirmed as a courtesy to another Senator–and as a kind of “fuck you” to Obama. You might not remember that the story that Hillary and Bill were really gunning for Obama and would both be a thorn in his side was still running strong right up through the last election–that is to say up through this November. Right after Obama got in the Sec State job may have seemed like some kind of clever eleven dimensional attack by the republicans, including John McCain, planting an “enemy” right inside Obama’s cabinet.

    aimai

  60. 60
    aimai says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Can I just say she looks adorable with that afro? She reminds me of an older Sasha. Michelle and Obama must want to pinch her, she’s so cute.

    aimai

  61. 61
    Josie says:

    @celticdragonchick: I think you have hit the proverbial nail right on the head. She has an abrasive, possibly arrogant personality that would be A-ok in a man, but is totally unacceptable in a woman. It is all such bullshit. I’m sure we have had other secretaries of state that were not exactly charmers, but they were male, which makes all the difference. She has certainly handled her current duties competently and no doubt would be a fine sos, but she hasn’t massaged the right egos yet. I hope she doesn’t and gets nominated and confirmed anyway.

  62. 62
    muddy says:

    The Republicans want to be the only ones with a black woman named Rice, so they can point at her to show they aren’t racists. If there is another black woman named Rice on the other side, it confuses them.

  63. 63
    JWL says:

    Republicans do attack with particular vehemence when a woman is involved, and it would take a team of psychiatrists to explain it. But rock bottom, anger and vitriol is all they’ve got. It’s a one trick pony of a political organization (unless & until they gain real power, of course). It’s an unreflecting cult of clucking, furious, humorless Foghorn Leghorns, and them all with a mean streak. It’s a big reason why their act wore so-thin-so-quickly in California.

  64. 64
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @muddy: Yes. Or my corollary theory: they know that some black woman named Rice lied about warlike stuff and damn if they can remember which one, but there’s one in front of them now, so it might as well be her.

  65. 65
    Greg says:

    I live in a MA town that voted for Brown. He is popular; Warren was the only possible opponent who could have beaten him, and she’s out of the picture. If Kerry leaves the senate, Scott Brown will be his replacement. Even if you don’t see that as a sure thing, what have they got to lose?

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I think they really believe whateverthefuckalltheythinkhappenedregardingBenhghazi. We’re talking about people that thought Romney was going to win despite all evidence to the contrary. Deluding themselves isn’t hard to do.

    True enough. Still, they know that Susan Rice has absolutely no substantive responsibility for anything that happened. But they keep harping on her being a “bad messenger,” and that they found whatever she had to say “troubling” for vague and unspecified reasons.

    Their delusions typically have some malign purpose. That’s why there’s still a question as to what the larger game is here.

    @Smiling Mortician:

    Or my corollary theory: they know that some black woman named Rice lied about warlike stuff and damn if they can remember which one, but there’s one in front of them now, so it might as well be her.

    Problem with your theory here is that they willingly ate up the lies that Condi sold them.

    @aimai:

    I think Clinton got confirmed as a courtesy to another Senator—and as a kind of “fuck you” to Obama.

    How ironic, then, that Clinton has been such a good soldier (not unsrprising) that the Republicans now have to twist themselves into knots to decouple Clinton’s achievements as Secretary of State from the Obama Administration itself. And Clinton has also burnished her presidential credentials.

    Neither of the Clintons had anything to gain by undermining Obama from within. And if she still has the fire to try for another presidential run, Hillary Clinton has everything to gain from having Obama’s back.

    But yeah, I can see the GOP leadership seeing it as impossible that Clinton might want to be a loyal soldier for a black president. They clearly do not see that Obama might actually be able to inspire loyalty.

  68. 68
    1badbaba3 says:

    The GOP is all about two things: fluffing wealthy racists, and hating on Obama. They hate the very idea that he (and others like him) surmounted the social and institutional barriers that have stood for centuries and achieved success without their express permission. They hate the very thought of him. And they can barely restrain it. Back in the day they could lynch and rape their problems away. These days, not so much. All that wealth and power, all that rage, and they still cannot stop him. Right now, Obama is so far in their kitchen, making multiple courses and inviting “those people” in to sup. The horror, the horror.

    All this fuss, and he hasn’t even said he was going to pick either Rice or Kerry. He’s messin’ with their tiny little minds here, man. Absolutely and completely messin’ with their minds.

    Glad he’s on our side.

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I think that’s all this is too. I don’t buy the gender argument at least from Ayotte and Collins

    They are merkins. The GOP learned from the Sandra Fluke debacle that you have to have a couple of women at your side when you attack a liberal woman. Gives you cover in that war on women thing.

    @Josie:

    I think you have hit the proverbial nail right on the head. She has an abrasive, possibly arrogant personality that would be A-ok in a man, but is totally unacceptable in a woman. It is all such bullshit. I’m sure we have had other secretaries of state that were not exactly charmers, but they were male, which makes all the difference

    Albright? Clinton?

    I take your point, but I think that Rice is a proxy for an attempt to keep Obama off balance. Or that there is some specific policy view that Rice might hold that makes it essential for them to tear her down.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    I’ve got the feeling some it has to do with her being woman.

    To be fair to the GOP, women have vaginas.

  71. 71
    Josie says:

    @Brachiator:

    Or that there is some specific policy view that Rice might hold that makes it essential for them to tear her down.

    This is an interesting and intriguing point. I don’t know enough about her beliefs to guess what it might be, but I’ll be paying attention in the weeks to come.

  72. 72
    Paul says:

    @Brachiator:

    I take your point, but I think that Rice is a proxy for an attempt to keep Obama off balance.

    I think this is exactly it. If they manage to block Rice or force Obama to nominate somebody else, they will think it has weakened Obama.

    Nothing surprises me about our media anymore, but it is rather incredibly that the media isn’t asking harder questions to Graham and McCain as to whether they should apologize for having supported Condi Rice now that they are opposing Susan Rice for the VERY SAME REASONS.

    According to McCains and Graham own dwarfed logic, they failed in doing their jobs back in 2005.

  73. 73
    mclaren says:

    More and more, I see most politics as a prestige/power battle…

    Close. Politics is the electorate (people) walking past monkey cages while the monkeys (pols) shit in their hands and hurl it at the people.

  74. 74
    wdc says:

    Having successful black people fill important national roles such as President, Sec of State, etc eventually undermines the underlying unspoken narrative and the latent thinking that blacks are lazy and moochers. It creates a situation for more blacks and people of color to aspire to such positions. And therein lies the way for the slow disssapearance of the white political power structure. Which in large part is the drive to try to make sure black people will not be allowed into powerful political roles; and if they manage to fill those roles, try to make sure they don’t succeed.

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