Just For the Record: The Left Took Out Susan Rice

Posted: Dec 13, 2012 7:42 PM

Before Democrats start to re-write history and play the race card for their own personal political gain, let's just be clear: It was the left -- not the right -- that took Susan Rice out.

Certainly, Republicans like John McCain and Susan Collins had issues with Rice, and made that clear (although McCain also "softened" his opposition).  But is there any thinking person out there who believes the Obama administration would have accepted her withdrawal if opposition to her could have been portrayed as some kind of right wing "dog whistle"? Please.

What ultimately did Rice in was criticism from the likes of Maureen Dowd (twice -- here and here) and Dana Milbank and Lloyd Grove and in the Atlantic magazine(both here and here) and in Foreign Policy even in a piece on the hallowed (to liberals) op/ed page of the New York Times.  Hillary Clinton let her opposition to Rice be known.  Those are the kind of opponents that a Democrat nominee simply cannot overcome -- not a couple of Republican senators when the administation's customary M.O. is simply to attribute everything to race and gender.

Note also that the Republican opposition was based specifically on Rice's misleading statements in the wake of Benghazi.  It was her critics on the left, in contrast, who highlighted gauzier, more personal issues, characterizing Rice as someone afflicted with a supposed "personality disorder" (Grove), who is "ill-equipped to be the nation's top diplomat"  because of her "shoot-first tendency" and "pugilism" (Milbank), with a "bull-in-the-china-shop reputation" (Dowd).

The effort to pin the race/gender card on the GOP had already begun, with Ben Smith writing about why the Repubilican "war"on Susan Rice held political risk, and after her withdrawal, the predictable Andrea Mitchell (below) pulling out the stops:

So again, before Obama sycophants try to turn Rice withdrawal lemons into racist-sexist-GOP lemonade, let's be clear for the record: It wasn't the Republicans who forced Rice to back out.

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