Political Animal


November 29, 2012 11:27 AM Scarlet D

By Ed Kilgore

In what purports to be a definitive statement of the case against Susan Rice’s hypothetical appointment as Secretary of State, a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Anne Bayefsky and Michael Moukasy goes ponderously through the jesuitical arguments for getting outraged by Rice’s recitation of administration talking points on Benghazi in the solemn venue of a Sunday Show, and then gets to the real objection: Rice has faithfully represented the Obama administration’s evil point of view on middle eastern policies generally. My God, she’s dissed Benjamin Netanyahu! She’s been critical of Israeli settlement policies! She’s failed to treat the Iranian nuclear program as an immediate existential threat to world peace!

In other words, Rice bears the Scarlet D of being a member of the political party that won the last two presidential elections, as becomes evident from this comment about the most likely alternative to her nomination to run State:

Amazingly, the other person most frequently mentioned as a possible secretary of state is Sen. John Kerry, who in the 1970s not only threw away his military medals and testified that his fellow soldiers in Vietnam were war criminals, but also said during a 2004 presidential debate that the U.S. shouldn’t use its military power without invoking a “global test” and garnering international approval.

Tragically, the rejection of Rice could lead to the appointment of another Democrat to the post! Quelle horreur, as Mitt Romney might say.

I suppose if you are in the habit of denouncing Barack Obama as an America-hater (and Israel-hater) who spends most of his time apologizing for his country, sucking up to Muslims, and seeking to place the United States under the thumb of the United Nations, then it makes sense to reject as Secretary of State anyone who won’t expose Obama’s nefarious plans and denounce him at every opportunity. Other than indicating that the alleged Republican period of self-criticism has quickly yielded to a renewal of four straight years of partisan warfare, though, the Rice-bashing adds nothing to political discourse; it’s more hot air from a limitless supply.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • D on November 29, 2012 11:31 AM:

    It is all about having Kerry appointed to open the Massachusetts slot for Brown.

  • howard on November 29, 2012 11:42 AM:

    well certainly following the advice of the wall street journal can hardly go wrong!

  • c u n d gulag on November 29, 2012 11:44 AM:

    Hey, Republicans, since the trend lately seems to be towards women Secretaries of State, even black ones, maybe you can get your wish if you have John Bolton shave off his mustache, throw on some black face, put on a stuffed bra, a nice all-purpose black cocktail dress (he can borrow one of Ann Coulter's, she's got closets full of them), and some cherry-red 'Feck-me Pumps,' you can fool the Democrats into nominating him... her.

    Just tell him to be the way you think all women should be - SILENT!
    'Cause if that moronic maniac opens up his mouth, he'll give the game away.

  • SecularAnimist on November 29, 2012 11:55 AM:

    Here's the case against Susan Rice’s "hypothetical appointment as Secretary of State" that you won't read in the Wall Street Journal -- and that Ed Kilgore probably won't write about either:

    "Susan Rice, the candidate believed to be favored by President Obama to become the next Secretary of State, holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline. If confirmed by the Senate, one of Rice’s first duties likely would be consideration, and potentially approval, of the controversial mega-project ...

    "Rice owns stock valued between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada, the company seeking a federal permit to transport tar sands crude 1,700 miles to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, crossing fragile Midwest ecosystems and the largest freshwater aquifer in North America ...

    "Beyond that, according to financial disclosure reports, about a third of Rice’s personal net worth is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel -- including companies with poor environmental and safety records on both U.S. and Canadian soil. Rice and her husband own at least $1.25 million worth of stock in four of Canada’s eight leading oil producers, as ranked by Forbes magazine. That includes Enbridge, which spilled more than a million gallons of toxic bitumen into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010 -- the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

    "Rice also has smaller stakes in several other big Canadian energy firms, as well as the country’s transportation companies and coal-fired utilities. Another 20 percent or so of her personal wealth is derived from investments in five Canadian banks. These are some of the institutions that provide loans and financial backing to TransCanada and its competitors for tar sands extraction and major infrastructure projects, such as Keystone XL and Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would stretch 700 miles from Alberta to the Canadian coast.

    "In 2010, for instance, when Rice and her husband held at least $1.5 million in Royal Bank of Canada, the institution was labeled Canada's most environmentally irresponsible company by the Rainforest Action Network for its support of tar sands development. Public pressure from environmentalists and Canada’s First Nations tribes convinced the bank to stop funding tar sands projects earlier this year."

  • David on November 29, 2012 11:56 AM:

    Along these same lines, the LAT has an op-ed this morning laying out the case for nominating Robert Zoellick or Chuck Hagel. Hilarious.

  • Napoleon on November 29, 2012 11:59 AM:

    For everyone in the Republican party that is not McCain or Graham this is about getting Kerry out of the Senate so he can be replaced by Scott Brown.

  • Josef K on November 29, 2012 12:37 PM:

    From SecularAnimist at 11:55 AM:

    Here's the case against Susan Rice�s "hypothetical appointment as Secretary of State" that you won't read in the Wall Street Journal -- and that Ed Kilgore probably won't write about either:

    Is there anything in this to suggest that Rice wouldn't, at minimum, recuse herself completely from any Keystone-related decisions?

  • jjm on November 29, 2012 12:41 PM:

    And guess what? I'll bet there would be a GOP Senator who would refuse Kerry, too, on grounds of his earlier anti-Vietnam war protests. There's already one who says no to Kerry because he hasn't supported enough wars to suit his GOP tastes.

    It would be a pretty dumb administration that took these obviously lying weasels at their word, even on Kerry.

    Obama should nominate Rice, and she should get it. He can wait till the 2014 midterms to appoint Kerry SoD, presuming the Senate stays Democratic.

  • schtick on November 29, 2012 1:43 PM:

    I don't think Rice has tried to hide anything about her investments, but if investments would make a difference to anyone, how about what investments our lily-white members of Congress have? And do they recuse themselves from voting on bills concerning those same investments? If they did, I imagine we would have a Congress much like the past 2 years, they wouldn't vote on anything.

  • Doug on November 29, 2012 9:01 PM:

    As long as those she places those Canadian stocks in an honest-to-god blind trust I have no problems with her investments.
    I did like the attempted smear with the banks, though. Oh noes! Canadian banks do business with Canadian oil companies!