Now that the attempt to turn the attack on Benghazi into the next Watergate has gone up like a popcorn fart, the Republicans who aren’t yelling at Susan Rice to get off their lawn are now demanding that the next Secretary of State be “independent.” Huh?
I heard Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) make such a demand yesterday on NPR. He thinks Ms. Rice is too much of a “loyal soldier” to the Obama administration to be effective in the job as Secretary of State. The Los Angeles Times picks up the story:
Corker, who will be the ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the new congressional term, implied that he considered Rice too much of a partisan and urged Obama to pick a more “independent” person as chief diplomat.
“All of us here hold the secretary of State to a different standard than most Cabinet members,” he said. “We want somebody of independence.”
He implied that Rice, who is close to the president, was, instead, a “loyal soldier.” Corker also seemed to contrast Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, with whom he said he has had a positive and “transparent” relationship “from day one.”
Collins said that after a 75-minute session with Rice she still had many unanswered questions and remains “troubled” that on the Benghazi issue Rice played “a political role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign.”
This is really very pure bullshit, the kind you can only get from the finest kind of partisan wingnut. In what universe is the Secretary of State supposed to be independent of the president who appoints her or him? Does anyone really think that Henry Kissinger or Dean Rusk or anyone who’s been in the job since Thomas Jefferson has been “somebody of independence”? (The paper refers to Mr. Corker as a “moderate” Republican. That means he hasn’t demanded to see President Obama’s birth certificate this week.)
This is just one more way the Republicans have dreamed up to make Obama a one-term president.
I think the president ought to name Michelle Obama as the next Secretary of State just to watch the heads explode.