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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:57 PM

Susan Rice’s cowardly critics; Even some liberal pundits are providing ammunition for John McCain


Even some liberal pundits are providing ammunition for John McCain -- with anonymous sources, of course

BY JOAN WALSH


U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice isn’t just facing down right-wing GOP attacks these days, she’s taking incoming fire from pundits widely perceived as liberal. Maureen Dowd went all in on Rice in a nasty column Sunday, while the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank termed Rice “ill-equipped to be the nation’s top diplomat for reasons that have little to do with Libya.”

Dowd paints Rice as looking to close an alleged “stature gap” with her Benghazi Sunday show statements, quoting a colleague blaming her troubles on being “focused on the performance, not the content.” Milbank says she’s made “an impressive array of enemies — on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad.” Both Milbank and Dowd seem to rely entirely on the anonymous testimony of such enemies; there isn’t a single named source in either piece.

I wasn’t going to write about either column until I heard Milbank on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC show today, promoting his piece. Before Milbank’s segment, Lehrer asked his prior guest, New York Times correspondent David Sanger, about Milbank’s claim that Rice wasn’t much of a diplomat, and Sanger pointed to her role in negotiating tough sanctions on Iran supported by both China and Russia as evidence of her skills.

When he had the floor, after Sanger departed, Milbank dismissed Sanger’s Rice defense as insincere. “You’re asking him on the record, on the radio — what else is he going to say? That’s exactly the same answer I’d give in his position.” Off the record, he insisted, is the way people unload on Rice. Stunningly, Milbank was implying Sanger would do the same thing, given the chance. I hope Sanger was listening.

more:
http://www.salon.com/2012/11/20/susan_rices_cowardly_critics/

11 replies, 1352 views

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:59 PM

1. Does anyone remember the article Maureen Dowd wrote about how Hillary wanted

McCain to win the election? Enough said.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:03 PM

2. Lingering PUMA bs? n/t

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Response to bbrady42 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:08 PM

3. Wrong - Dowd supported Obama in the primary.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:16 PM

4. Iran sanctions are proof Rice is not a true diplomat, but instead a neocon regime changer

Economic warfare and escalation of tensions toward a regional religious war is not a truly diplomatic function. She'd be better suited to a CIA or Pentagon job.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:17 PM

5. "unloading off the record" = back biting gossip. Milbank should be ashamed of himself.

I don't know if Susan Rice would make a good SoS or not. That is why everyone should chill and see if the President nominates her and then have Senate hearings. But the fact that she is seemingly doing a good job as UN ambassador and not drawing attention to herself (unlike John Bolton during Bush II) speaks well regarding to her diplomatic creds far more than people whispering in Milbank's ear. And if Obama has enough confidence in her to nominate her for SoS, that is good enough for me.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:26 PM

6. Dana Milbank and Maureen Dowd are liberals now?

Because I've always thought Milbank was a star-struck trendwhoring leech who attached himself to whatever was popular and Maureen Dowd was just catty, shallow, and insulting.

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Response to Arkana (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:38 PM

7. PRECISELY..YOU WIN THE THREAD. First we'd have to

start with some credible sources in the "liberal" community. Milbank and Dowd are all about Milbank and Dowd..and as you so aptly describe them, Arkana.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:45 PM

8. Good, Joan Walsh Smacks down Dowd and Milbank!

Secretary of state is a diplomatic role, but it doesn’t require a doormat. It’s true, Rice is no fragile flower. She’s only a professional acquaintance, someone I’ve met just three or four times, but one of those times was at a week-long working conference on women and children, where she was smart, kind, funny, tough, opinionated and diplomatic. That doesn’t mean she should be secretary of state; it just means it wouldn’t be hard to write a piece refuting Rice’s anonymous critics – had Dowd or Milbank looked for them.


I know, they’re columnists, they don’t have to – but it’s sad they’re carrying water for Rice’s cowardly rivals and doubters. No doubt Republicans are enjoying having so-called liberals with which to bolster their unfair, sometimes unhinged attacks on Rice – now with the imprimatur “Even those liberals at the New York Times and Washington Post agree.” Righties used Jeffrey Rosen’s Sotomayor slam the same way, adding “the liberal New Republic” to her list of detractors.

How relevant is it that both Rice and Sotomayor, two women of color, both wound up derided as bullies who aren’t qualified? Hard not to notice; I’ll let the reader judge what it means.


Thanks for the article, DonViejo!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:01 PM

9. You can attack those that disagree with your point of view,

but you have to ask why these two people would say anything at all unless they had concerns. What exactly does Doud and Milbanks gain by going on the record and questioning Rice's record? I fail to see what they gain by writing what they have about Rice. Are their points of view, racist and sexist too? Are they being honest or just trying to stir up some more controversy? Frankly, I am beginning to think Rice might have some baggage we should be concerned about. Just saying.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:41 PM

10. Even Morning Joe S. has given up the fight that Rice and the WH intentionally mislead the public.

If Joe S. with his 3 hour bully pulpit is off the conspiracy bandwagon, I guess this means we can finally move on.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:42 PM

11. Dowd is not a "liberal," IMO.

She's a "windsock" opinion writer - who mostly blows with what she sees as the prevailing winds. She also has the "Queen Bee" syndrome and can be quite quite cattily nasty towards women in politics.

Like a stopped clock being right on occasion, she occasionally writes a column that is spot on. But most of the time she's not even worth the effort.

Milbank is worse. He's like Dowd in his "windsockey-ness." But she writes better than he does and is likely more intelligent. Of course, it wouldn't take much to surpass him.

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