Palin Picker says Rice “Not Very Bright”
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. ~Charles Darwin
The reason Great Britain remains a top-tier international economic and political power today is because it did a great job adapting from one reality to another. Seeing the heads of monarchs rolling across Europe, our mother country decided to give this whole parliamentary democracy thing a go, while repurposing the House of Windsor as stately and impotent figureheads and turning Buckingham Palace into Disneyworld.
Apple Computer learned some tough lessons at the hands of Microsoft in the 80’s and 90’s, but learn them it did, and a company that almost went under in the late 90’s has since reinvented itself as a consumer products company whose moneymaking toys are platform-agnostic.
The point being that the survival and success of organizations depends upon their ability to adapt, and to utilize a feedback loop (be it holiday sales figures, election results, or war casualties) to prevent themselves from becoming the next New Coke, Todd Akin, or Gulf of Tonkin.
The lessons that today’s Republican Party has gleaned from political, economic, and scientific history, in that sense, are nothing short of mindboggling.
Apparently, the party believed it had insulted people of color with insufficient vigor, and immediately began explaining away its electoral shellacking via the “minorities voted for Democrats because they wanted free stuff” meme.
Nevermind that the vast majority of African-Americans aren’t on welfare, and the largest recipient group is white. And never mind that this community is more overrepresented than any other racial group serving our country in the military.
Nevermind that the one ethnicity economically outperforming whites (Asian-Americans out-earn caucasians and are statistically less likely to apply for government assistance or to require incarceration) also voted for the President by the same lopsided margin as other communities of color.
The fact that people of color may not feel welcome in a party which diligently promotes racist stereotypes and refers to real-live human beings as “illegals,” has apparently eluded the furiously misfiring synapses of the conservative commentariat.
Richard Viguerie, known by many as the “funding father” of conservative politics proudly displayed his tin ear on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered this week.
“We have the Marco Rubios, the Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, and now senator-elect Ted Cruz from Texas and Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico. So we’re beginning to run these minorities. And I think you’ll see the Republican Party reach out and really kind of change the face of the Republican Party, so when people see the Republican Party they see themselves represented, nicely, throughout the elected officials.”
Despite the proud display of the GOP’s new showcase of “these minorities,” shoving Marco Rubio in front of the cameras, while all but exclaiming “look, we have one too!” is not going to save them. Human beings have an ability, regardless of their color, to know pandering when they see it.
And so what’s quite incredible about the establishment GOP lynch mob currently setting upon UN Ambassador Susan Rice is that they’re targeting in her person the two primary demographics—women, and people of color—who just handed them their behinds in the election.
“It takes brass,” as Bill Clinton would say.
Rice, of course, was dispatched to the Sunday talk show circuit the week of the Benghazi incident, and did what she was supposed to do. She conveyed the initial information provided to her by the CIA—some of which turned out to be untrue. The 9/11 Commission didn’t issue its findings until three years after the attacks on our own soil occurred, and it’s absurd to think we’d have locked down, within days, every detail about an attack we suffered on the other side of the globe.
Susan Rice was sharing with the citizens of her country the best, most current information she had received at that time. It was the same information the intelligence community provided to Congress and the White House at the time, and the CIA corroborates Rice’s account, but not everything the agency thought about the attacks in the hours and days immediately afterward turned out to be accurate. Go figure.
Opportunists who’ve been feasting on a banquet of sour grapes lately, like Senators McCain and Graham had no problem cheerleading a decade long war that cost this nation the lives of thousands of our troops, a cool trillion that could have gone toward rebuilding our decaying infrastructure or paying down debt, and destroyed countless families on both sides.
Even after a decade, those elusive WMDs never did turn up, public opinion turned heavily against the war, and the debacle has joined Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs in the pantheon of our all-time great foreign policy screw-ups.
But woe be unto an American UN Ambassador who repeated an initial CIA assessment that turned out to be inaccurate and was corrected within days, without getting us into a costly war, or welcoming thousands of young Americans home in body bags.
The sheer nerve of the Iraq War hawks attacking Susan Rice, who as UN Ambassador had nothing to do with Benghazi or compound security, because it took us a few days to get more clarity about the attackers and their motives is, as the President said today, outrageous.
Which gets us back to the GOP’s “outreach initiative” to communities of color and women. A row of pissy old white guys in suits going after a smart, accomplished woman of color with the facts on her side in nationally televised confirmation hearings, can only make progressives shake their heads. Like a skewered dog that seeks out that damn porcupine again, because this time he’ll get it right, the GOP licks its wounds and lashes out at the very groups it has alienated. Well played.
The angry old white guys didn’t fare so well against a bright young law student named Sandra Fluke. It’s unlikely they’ll do better against a Clinton Administration veteran with serious policy chops who is far more experienced at DC knife fights than Miss Fluke was.
Take the justification to disqualify Ms. Rice because, in addition to being “unqualified,” “she’s not very bright,” coming from the man who nominated Sarah Palin to be first in line to the Presidency under his would-be administration. In McCain’s defense, he may not have known that Palin was neither qualified nor bright- he didn’t vet her.
They say that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And while the usual suspects in the old guard of the Republican Party are busy proving that nothing has penetrated their thick elephantine crania, it does appear as if the voters actually get it. Score one for us.