Susan Rice’s withdrawal makes no sense

Photo credit: USA Today
Did U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s misleading remarks surrounding Libya warrant her withdrawal and a storm of criticism from the right?

The questions surrounding U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice among Democrats and moderates are, did President Obama give up on Rice when he should have fought and did Rice’s misleading remarks surrounding Libya warrant her withdrawal and a storm of criticism from the right?

First of all, I really don’t really see what all of the hype for or against Susan Rice is all about. Yes, she’s an educated and accomplished woman of color, but what I saw during the Libyan attacks was really a failure to lead on her part. It’s unfortunate that despite all of her accomplishments and deeds she did for Libya, she will always be defined by a miscalculation. This is the state of our 24/7 media, blogosphere and political environment.

We never let up.

Rice could have said that local officials and her were working out details in the case, but had no concrete leads at the time. Instead she chose to greatly misinform the American public on an issue where Americans lost their lives. It was in bad taste at Rice’s worst and sloppy at her best.

I do believe the Obama administration bares a lot of the blame for this because Rice was only regurgitating an Obama administration talking point. According to the Washington Post, Obama was clearly frustrated with how the conservatives took aim at Rice and thought more of the blame should be placed on him. But at a time where the administration is working on raising taxes on high-income earners, Obama felt as though his political capital could have been spent elsewhere.

Now, is this incident as bad as what happened under the other RIce’s watch when the worst attacks on American soil happened that dreadful day of 9/11; where Rice and the Bush administration failed to respond to intelligence of an impeding attack?

By no means.

But Susan Rice underestimated the fuel, anger and the fire of the conservative blogosphere. The elections of 2012 are over, but a lot of disbelief and bitterness still surround the right. They’ve desperately been looking for a win and Rice’s withdrawal is definitely a much needed one for the Republicans.

In what was supposed to be an issue during the latter days of the 2012 elections, this issue ended up being something the conservative blogs and pundits held onto rather than taking a critical look at their poorly executed campaign.

But was this “lie” the worst her opponents saw in her, because it really wasn’t a lie as much as it was a refusal to tell the public the scope of the incident.

The video attacking Islam did not help with what Libyan officials were trying to accomplish in the country. There’s no excuse for harming people because they express their freedom of speech, but there’s also no excuse to denounce a whole religion and paint them in a bad light. For the conservative wing of the Republican Party to beat the war drums on Libya and then sabotage efforts of foreign officials is not only hypocritical, but self-defeating and short-sighted.

Is the right-wing real upset that Rice didn’t tell the public the truth about what happened? I thought Rice’s detractors were OK with the government withholding information to the public when it came to the military and foreign affairs? When Bradley Manning exposed the military and the U.S. government, Rice’s detractors were there to protect the public’s right to know, right? Wrong. Instead they were OK with torturing and depriving Manning of sleep and basic human rights.

The Republicans have been looking for any way to gain ground after face-planting in the 2012 elections; an election that was not anything less than a “gimme.” You’ve got to give it to them though, they never let go of this issue. However, the question is, in Obama’s second term, has he learned enough about how politics are played these days?

Obama has been seen as weak by some Democrats during his first term, so does this withdrawal help further their criticism of him? If he fails to raise tax rates on the wealthy despite saying he OK’d this withdrawal so that he could have more capital for the “fiscal cliff,” Obama will be 0-2 on pivotal issues entering his second term.


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