Magnanimous in Victory

The always insufferable Michael Tomasky, writing at the Daily Beast in defense of Susan Rice:

… Are [Republicans] really considering filibustering the president’s choice to be the nation’s leading diplomat? That would constitute, among other things, an interesting form of minority outreach from the party that now says it’s so serious about winning over people of color. That party’s only two targets right now are Rice and Attorney General Eric Holder. Gee, what might they have in common, d’you think?

A couple of points:

  • Ignoring professional incompetence on the basis of race is not a form of ‘minority outreach.’ It’s a form of moral cowardice.

  • These rabid right-wing bigots are masters of disguise. Tea Party enthusiasm for the likes of Allen West, Mia Love, and Herman Cain was obviously an elaborate misdirect. And we should probably add Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Susana Martinez to that list. After all, we know that “brown” is a Republican dog whistle for “almost black.”

The rest of Tomasky’s analysis has to be read to be believed.

He defends the choice of Rice to be the Administration’s public face on Benghazi (despite the president’s concession that she had nothing to do with the issue) by noting that “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should have been the one to do those shows, and she was asked first, but she said no.” Oh, well, that explains that — she didn’t want to. Who can blame a girl who’s on her way out the door and has vacation time banked?

Defending Rice’s complete misrepresentation of what happened in Benghazi, Tomasky trots out the Administration’s excuse de jure: “David Petraus has confirmed that while he knew or sensed from the start that it was a terrorist attack, America’s 16 intelligence agencies weren’t ready to say that publicly, mostly for fear of tipping off the bad guys. So Rice said what she was told to say.”

It doesn’t matter if it came from Petraeus or not — this is an incredibly stupid excuse. You worry about tipping off terrorists when you have intel before an attack and think that keeping it quiet could thwart the plot and/or bring the terrorists to justice. You don’t do it after an attack, when said terrorist group is telling you they did it. Acting like you don’t know who’s responsible at that point doesn’t make you calculating; it makes you an idiot. And if the Administration wants to claim that it knew what was going on all along, then it behooves them to explain why they chose an affirmative lie rather than a policy of relative silence.

The upshot for Tomasky: ‘Benghazi … was a terribly sad tragedy, but the kind of thing that, in a dangerous world, happens.”

A man who responds to avoidable homicide with fatalistic detachment. That about says it all.

  1. Brasidas
    Troy Senik, Ed.: 

    • Ignoring professional incompetence on the basis of race is not a form of ‘minority outreach.’ It’s a form of moral cowardice.

    • These rabid right-wing bigots are masters of disguise. Tea Party enthusiasm for the likes of Allen West, Mia Love, and Herman Cain was obviously an elaborate misdirect. And we should probably add Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Susana Martinez to that list. After all, we know that “brown” is a Republican dog whistle for “almost black.”

    Perfect, Troy.  Very well put.  

  2. Pseudodionysius

    “Its not nice to fillibuster Rice.”

    We agree. She belongs with the Obama bus, underneath the axles.

  3. Pseudodionysius

    Didn’t you hear Troy? Incompetence is a racist code word.

  4. Goldgeller

    Thanks for the post Troy! Your quote from the article really got under my skin. It’s always about race and racism with the left. It makes them look bad. They are so dead set on seeing race in everything that they miss very obvious things– Susan Rice said (basically) it was the video– that means she is willing to trot out the Party Line regardless of what’s going on, or that she’s willing to talk about stuff she should be a bit more skeptical of. Plus, it isn’t like this is the only thing she’s been criticized for (by conservatives). Same with Eric Holder– does Fast and Furious merit no criticism? If you can look at the two and don’t see anything other than race… well, wow. 

  5. Group Captain Mandrake

    Nothing is certain except death, taxes and the playing of the race card.

  6. Brasidas
    Group Captain Mandrake: Nothing is certain except death, taxes and the playing of the race card. · 0 minutes ago

    Yes.  Why can’t we seem to remember this?

  7. Jojo

    I have been trying to understand Obama supporters and not just dismiss them as evil and/or stupid.  This guy does not help me with that. 

  8. KC Mulville

    Insufficient evidence may explain why they didn’t name al-Qaeda, but it doesn’t explain why they told a lie instead (it was the video!). 

    And besides, now that the cat is out of the bag … 

    … what difference did it make?

    The Obama Administration has still not done one stinking thing about the attack. No retaliation. No air strikes. No kick-butt offensives. They haven’t made one stinking arrest. 

    Their response proves that all their excuses don’t matter. They haven’t done anything, and wouldn’t have done anything had they known any more than they did … because they know all of it now, and they still haven’t done anything.

    These guys are pros at blaming others. When it comes to actually doing anything, they stink.

  9. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    Keep in mind that Rice, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama went on for weeks firmly asserting that one man was to blame for the ambassador’s death — a hapless Coptic Christian film-maker.

    These people are not stupid. They evidently thought and think that the American people are stupid. The attack took place on the anniversary of 9/11. They all knew immediately who was behind it. The CIA fingered the local militants within hours, and the front-men for the administration lied, lied, and lied again.

    Susan Rice allowed herself to be used by Barack Obama in a fashion that was dishonorable. That alone should bar her from becoming Secretary of State. As for Michael Tomasky, like most of the mainstream “journalists”, he is a flack in the disinformation business.

  10. Pencilvania

    Weren’t the last 2 Republican Secretaries of State Condi Rice and Colin Powell?  Oh, but the race card trumps that now because we are playing with a new deck, I see, I see.

    To overlook incompetence in an official because of their race should be called what it really is: pitying. 

  11. FloppyDisk90

    Excellent post.  Did you challenge the folks at the Daily Beast with these thoughts?

  12. Egg_Shen

    What none of you understand is that Rice, West, Love and Cain are not authentically Black. They are ” House Negroes” and “Uncle Toms.” Just like Palin, Bachman, et all are not really women.They are self-haters who sold their soul to their white male oppressors for fame, power and riches. It doesn’t matter how many minority individuals the GOP puts forward as candidates

  13. Pseudodionysius
    Egg_Shen: What none of you understand is that Rice, West, Love and Cain are not authentically Black. They are ” House Negroes” and “Uncle Toms.” Just like Palin, Bachman, et all are not really women.They are self-haters who sold their soul to their white male oppressors for fame, power and riches. It doesn’t matter how many minority individuals the GOP puts forward as candidates · 38 minutes ago

    Edited 37 minutes ago

    Race is a social construct; gender is a social construct. The Higher Education debt bubble is a social construct; bankruptcy is a social construct.

    Etcetera.

  14. Chris Campion

    From the same people who couldn’t knock people over fast enough to take credit for, and widely publicize, the OBL killing, we bring you the Smartest Diplomats In The World Telling Everyone That “Gee, we’re sure it ain’t terrorism!”.

    They were so smart, that they ignored prior attacks on an embassy, so when another one happened on 9.11, they could safely ignore that one too, since reporters who are more likely to report on things if they’re actually reporting weren’t really doing much of that whole reporting thing.  By smartfully stating “It’s this Coptic dude’s fault!”, they could assuage jihadi fears that the Great Satan might actually shoot them for their understandably angry assault on an embassy, and then everyone, everywhere, would play really nicely with each other again on the playground, and there would be no more fights, ever, and here – everyone gets a medal!

    The worst part of all this is that it basically worked.  The Clown Car Show in the WH thinks this is the path forward.  They must think that, because that is what they do.  If I’m an embassy employee right now, I’m considering resignation.

  15. flownover
    Pencilvania: Weren’t the last 2 Republican Secretaries of State Condi Rice and Colin Powell?  Oh, but the race card trumps that now because we are playing with a new deck, I see, I see.

    To overlook incompetence in an official because of their race should be called what it really is: pitying.  · 2 hours ago

    Third time’s the harm.

  16. Devereaux

    The Left has made a whole philosophy on ignoring the obvious in favour of the irrelevant. ?What makes you think they are going to suddenly change.

  17. Paul Dougherty
    Paul A. Rahe: Keep in mind that Rice, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama went on for weeks firmly asserting that one man was to blame for the ambassador’s death — a hapless Coptic Christian film-maker.

    These people are not stupid. They evidently thought and think that the American people are stupid. The attack took place on the anniversary of 9/11. They all knew immediately who was behind it. The CIA fingered the local militants within hours, and the front-men for the administration lied, lied, and lied again.

    Susan Rice allowed herself to be used by Barack Obama in a fashion that was dishonorable. That alone should bar her from becoming Secretary of State. As for Michael Tomasky, like most of the mainstream “journalists”, he is a flack in the disinformation business. ·

    Its not that the Administration thinks we Americans are stupid. He didn’t really care what we think. The whole post Bengahzi tact was for foreign consumption. He never really weighed how what we were told would be perceived. What he was protecting was the international narrative that America is not a headliner in the middle east and that we (he) were (was) challenged directly.

  18. Bereket Kelile
    Troy Senik, Ed.: 

    • Ignoring professional incompetence on the basis of race is not a form of ‘minority outreach.’ It’s a form of moral cowardice.

    And these are the people who will swear up and down that affirmative action isn’t about quotas. Rolling my eyes so hard I look like I’m about to pass out. 

  19. Bereket Kelile
    Troy Senik, Ed.: 

    Defending Rice’s complete misrepresentation of what happened in Benghazi, Tomasky trots out the Administration’s excuse de jure: “David Petraus has confirmed that while he knew or sensed from the start that it was a terrorist attack, America’s 16 intelligence agencies weren’t ready to say that publicly, mostly for fear of tipping off the bad guys.

    I wish someone was thinking this when Obama ran to the cameras to brag about killing bin Laden. I think the element of surprise was more of an advantage there where WE carried out the operation on them. I think they know that we know it was them that attacked us in Benghazi.

  20. Mama Toad
    Pseudodionysius

    Egg_Shen: What none of you understand is that Rice, West, Love and Cain are not authentically Black. They are ” House Negroes” and “Uncle Toms.” Just like Palin, Bachman, et all are not really women.They are self-haters who sold their soul to their white male oppressors for fame, power and riches. It doesn’t matter how many minority individuals the GOP puts forward as candidates · 38 minutes ago

    Edited 37 minutes ago

    Race is a social construct; gender is a social construct. The Higher Education debt bubble is a social construct; bankruptcy is a social construct.

    Etcetera. · 2 hours ago

    Can’t help myself: this makes me think of Phineas and Ferb: “Corporations are a platypus, the government’s a platypus, my teachers are a platypus…”