Susan Rice

Misogyny And The Republican Party’s Doom, Short Term And Long Term

The Republican Party has displayed, again and again, its total lack of respect for women in so many ways!

Not only have they worked to deny women their basic human rights to their own bodies, and had candidates and office holders who debate what rape is.

Not only have they now worked in Texas and other southern states to deny women who are married or divorced the ability to vote by making an issue of their use of maiden names and married names that do not match on IDs, so as to take away the right to vote. Such is the case with a Texas judge recently challenged because she has an ID with her middle name but has also used her married name on other documents and in public, and is well known, and yet is being told they do not match, so she should be denied the right to vote, although never challenged for the past half century! And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

And not only these examples above, but also the total lack of respect the Republicans have for women who serve in the Obama Administration. So we have had nasty attacks on the honesty and competence of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; former United Nations Ambassador and now National Security Adviser Susan Rice; and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

These three women have devoted their lives to public service in magnificent ways, and are suffering from misogynistic attacks of a party only too willing to attack, while not being embarrassed by the asinine behavior of such women, including Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, but not limited just to those two women!

The GOP is dooming its future, as already, the majority of women vote Democratic, so continuation of their misogynistic attitudes is a losing strategy, short term and long term!

Appointment Of Susan Rice To Be National Security Adviser A Great Move!

President Obama has selected UN Ambassador Susan Rice to be his National Security Adviser, a great move for our foreign policy team!

Rice was shabbily treated in the aftermath of the Benghazi, Libya tragedy, and lost the opportunity to be considered for the position of Secretary of State, due to Republican attacks, denigrating her qualifications which are exceptional.

But now, the position of National Security Adviser is her new position, one which does not require Senate confirmation, and it is not only a good move, but also an appropriate smack in the face of the Republican critics, who cannot stop Rice’s elevation.

Obama’s foreign policy and national security team is now complete, with Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and American foreign policy is in good hands for the next four years!

Second Term Presidencies Are Difficult: The Odds Against Success Of Barack Obama!

When one examines two term Presidencies, it is clear that there is a great likelihood of disappointment and failure as the President becomes a “lame duck”, and particularly, so after the midterm elections, as everyone looks forward to the race for his successor in office.

The following Presidents had difficult second terms:

Thomas Jefferson–with the Chesapeake Affair
James Madison–with the British attack on Washington DC during the War of 1812
Ulysses S. Grant–with the Panic of 1873 and exposure of the Credit Mobilier scandals
Grover Cleveland–with the Panic of 1893 and the Pullman Strike
Woodrow Wilson–with the First World War and the Treaty Of Versailles and his stroke
Franklin D. Roosevelt–with the failure of the Supreme Court “Packing” Plan and Recession Of 1937-1938
Harry Truman–with the Korean War and the Red Scare (McCarthyism)
Richard Nixon–with the Watergate Scandal
Ronald Reagan–with the Iran-Contra Scandal
Bill Clinton–with the Monica Lewinsky Scandal and the Impeachment Trial
George W. Bush–with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Hurricane Katrina and failed attempt to privatize Social Security

The only Presidents to have successful second terms were:

George Washington
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Theodore Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Barack Obama hopes to bring about:

Immigration Reform Legislation
Gun Control Legislation
Climate Change Legislation
Stability in International Affairs

The likelihood of success is very doubtful, however, with so much division, conflict, turmoil, and polarization, caused by the Tea Party Movement and the Republican control of the House of Representatives.

At most, Obama might be able to promote changes in the judiciary, particularly on the Supreme Court, if vacancies occur, as is expected, but even there, it is assured there will be major battles over every appointment, and the possibility of filibustering nominees.

This reality is already showing itself with the interference and opposition to Susan Rice to be Secretary of State, before she was ever considered for nomination, and now Chuck Hagel, a possible choice for Secretary of Defense, who despite being a Republican, has already built up major opposition in the party that he represented in the Senate for 12 years from the state of Nebraska!

There seems the likelihood that no matter what Obama does or says, he will have vehement opposition, not only during the first two years, but even in his last two years as a “lame duck”, having less influence each month as the Presidential Election Of 2016 approaches!

The Loony Politics Of South Carolina

South Carolina, the “Rebel” state which started the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861, has become one of the looniest states in American politics!

Not only is it the state of Congressman Joe Wilson, who yelled out that President Barack Obama was lying, during a State of the Union Address.

Not only is it the state of Governor Nikki Haley, hailed because she is the second Indian American Governor, after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, but who has the most extremist views on many topics, similar to Jindal.

Not only is it the state of Jim DeMint, the leader of the Tea Party Senators, who now is leaving the Senate to join the Heritage Foundation, a right wing think thank.

Not only is it the state of newly appointed Senator Tim Scott, the first African American Republican Senator since Edward Brooke of Massachusetts in the 1960s and 1970s—a man nothing like Brooke, but rather closer in extremist views to fellow African American Republican Congressman Allen West of Florida, who lost his reelection to the House this November. Scott favors cuts in food stamps, HIV AIDS support; called for the impeachment of President Obama over the debt limit; and wants billions of dollars in aid to the oil industry, among other crazy, extremist ideas.

This is also the state of Senator Lindsey Graham, who has tied himself to Senator John McCain in going after Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador, over the Benghazi, Libya incident, for which she had no blame, and therefore negating her chance to be Secretary of State in tne next term of Barack Obama.

But now to top it off, former Governor Mark Sanford, who resigned over his love affair with a woman in Argentina, and whose wife divorced him, has decided to run for Congressman Scott’s seat in the House of Representatives, a seat he once held before becoming Governor, as a way to revive his flagging political career.

Oh, and by the way, Scott’s House seat, once held by Sanford, and maybe again, is in Charleston, where the Civil War began at Fort Sumter!

So has anything changed in South Carolina since 1861? One has to wonder!

The Case For A Team Of John Kerry And Chuck Hagel As Barack Obama’s National Security Team

President Barack Obama has already faced problems with his thought to appoint UN Ambassador Susan Rice to the State Department, and she dropped out and allowed him to move toward the appointment of Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, to be his Secretary of State, but not yet announced officially.

But now, his planned but unannounced appointment of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to be his Secretary of Defense in his second term as President is meeting resistance.

The point to be made is that any President should be able to choose his team, particularly a National Security team, that fits his desires, and therefore, automatically, the President should be given slack to pick who he wishes.

The opposition to Hagel comes from those in the Pentagon who do not like that Hagel has said in the past that there is waste in the Defense Department that can be cut, a statement which has absolute validity. It is clear that Hagel would widh to “clean house” if he came to the Pentagon, but that is good, and should not be a reason to deny him the post.

Also, the Pro Israel Lobby, and particulary AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), is against Hagel because he has, at times, in the US Senate, been critical of Israeli policy in the West Bank, building Jewish settlements.

While certainly AIPAC can have its views on any nominee, it should not be allowed to deny a President who he wants, and the important point, that is necessary to say again and again, is that under no circumstances will Barack Obama and his government ever allow any harm to Israel, and this was made very clear in the recent Gaza Strip events when the IRON DOME system provided and financed by the United States, saved Israel from greater attack. But our government cannot and should not feel that it can be dictated to by ANY foreign government or pressure group to have to agree one hundred percent on every action and statement of a foreign government!

Also, in favor of Hagel, as well as Kerry, is that both were Vietnam War veterans, and understand the horrors of war, and it is great to have two such men, both having served in the Senate, and possessing great principles and courage, to head our National Security team under President Obama in his second term.

So, hopefully, the soon announcement of the appointments of Kerry and Hagel will be forthcoming!

The Susan Rice Controversy: The Final Disgrace Of John McCain And Lindsey Graham!

The announcement by Susan Rice, the United Nations Ambassador, that she is withdrawing her candidacy to be Secretary of State, due to the controversy over the Libyan terrorist attack in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on September 11, is a great tragedy.

It is the character assassination of a woman who has devoted her career to public service, and was only stating what was known on September 16, five days after the attack.

If anything, the CIA head, David Petraeus, now disgraced by an affair with his biographer, should be held accountable for this mess, but of course, he is so much idolized by many that he is given a free pass by politicians, and just allowed to resign, when he should be investigated for the danger he represented as our chief spy, allowing himself to be compromised!

It is not a question of whether Susan Rice is the best qualified person to be Secretary of State, as this author truly believes that Senator John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, is the best person available.

But to trash the reputation of Susan Rice over something she was not responsible for is a human tragedy, and shows how far Republicans are willing to go to destroy others in their desire to damage President Obama, even after his second term victory!

Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham both had reasonable reputations before now, but what they have done is enough to destroy their historical image and their effectiveness for the rest of the time they might serve in the upper chamber!

They are two bitter men who have become negative forces, and are part of the problem of the Republican Party for the future!

If these two men have become destructive forces, that is a sign that the Republican Party is dying, and will soon be replaced by a new, moderate centrist party!

Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower are all in deep mourning in the afterlife, wondering how their beloved party became so self destructive and hateful, and the dirty deeds of McCain and Graham will, likely, be two of the final nails in the coffin of the “Grand Old Party”!

And the best thing Barack Obama could do now is select Susan Rice to be National Security Adviser, a position not subject to the whims of the US Senate for confirmation! Prove that John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been upended by putting Rice in a position on an equal footing with the Secretary of State, and make the Republicans scream and yell in protest! It would be just desserts!

Best Team For America’s Future Security: John Kerry For Secretary Of State, And Chuck Hagel For Secretary Of Defense

In the midst of the “Fiscal Cliff” battle, President Obama is also deep into Cabinet selection, and it was heartening to hear that former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican who served in Vietnam and became an acknowledged expert on foreign policy in his years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been at the White House, and is a hot candidate for Secretary of Defense.

This author has long raved about the credentials of Hagel, and suggested him for the cabinet in the first term, and it now seems more likely that he might become the head of the Pentagon when Leon Panetta leaves soon.

This would be continuing the tradition of past Democratic Presidents to decide to choose reputable Republicans for the Defense Department, and it even goes back to when it was called the War Department before 1947.

The historical record shows Franklin D. Roosevelt having Henry Stimson, former Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover, as his Secretary of War, along with Frank Knox, who had been the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 1936, being named Secretary of the Navy, both in 1940, when Great Britain was being attacked by the German Air Force in World War II, and the threat to America was seen as dire by many as a result.

John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson utilized Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense in the 1960’s.

Bill Clinton had former Maine Senator William Cohen, a responsible and reputable Republican Senator, as his Secretary of Defense in the second term, and he received kudos for his performance.

And Robert Gates, George W. Bush’s second Secretary of Defense, became Barack Obama’s first Secretary of Defense, and did a wonderful job for more than two years.

So the reasoning to pick Hagel is clearly there, but to make the foreign policy-defense team complete, the President also needs to choose Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran too, and 2004 Democratic Party Presidential nominee, to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department, after 28 years of service in the US Senate, and chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry has had a distinguished career, and would be an excellent choice, and the team of Kerry and Hagel would be sensational.

In a time of trouble and turmoil, America needs its strongest team on national security, and Kerry and Hagel fit the bill, without any question or doubt.

Susan Rice, the UN Ambassador, is also outstanding in many ways, but quite frankly, is not on the same level as Kerry, and her nomination would cause unnecessary turmoil over the issue of Libya, a sad commentary, but a distraction which should not be allowed to continue by choosing her, when Kerry is really a better choice!

So, Mr. President, pick John Kerry for State and Chuck Hagel for Defense, and America will be very well served at Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon!

Susan Rice: Perplexing Problem For Barack Obama

If UN Ambassador Susan Rice is chosen to be Secretary of State, with the Libya controversy still boiling, due to Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and Susan Collins having problems with her, Barack Obama could have a major headache at a time when he needs to choose his battles.

But if Obama decided to pick John Kerry instead, it will look as if he is caving in to GOP opposition, particularly after his very strong defense of Rice in a press conference.

So Obama has pluses and minuses in this Susan Rice matter, and it will be interesting to see what path he takes.

The Susan Rice Controversy: Much Ado Over Nothing, And Making John McCain, Lindsey Graham And Kelly Ayotte Look Ridiculous!

The continuing controversy over UN Ambassador Susan Rice and her statements on Sunday talk shows about the events in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on September 11, has been blown so out of proportion that it borders on the ridiculous at this point!

A Fox News Channel and Mitt Romney inspired incident, it has led Senator John McCain to look like a total fool; Senator Lindsey Graham to look as if he is seeking for an issue to hold off Tea Party opposition to his reelection in South Carolina in 2014; and Senator Kelly Ayotte to come across as a freshman woman Senator who is hitching on the issue to make herself noticed, but in an embarrassing way that will trivialize her hope to become a national figure, after she was passed over by Mitt Romney to be his running mate for Vice President. Meanwhile, Senator Joe Lieberman, usually part of the “gang of three”, but now retiring, has decided NOT to join this cry for Rice’s head, showing some real intelligence as he leaves the Senate, but with Ayotte replacing him, to her degradation!

For anyone to be held so accountable for what he or she says on Sunday talk shows as Susan Rice is being held, is totally off the wall, and by that standard, Dick Cheney would have been impeached and removed from the Vice Presidency; Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell would have been drummed out of office, or in the case of Rice, denied the chance to be Secretary of State; and McCain and Graham themselves would be forced out of the Senate for past incorrect, inaccurate, or stupid comments!

Susan Rice is perfectly qualified to be Secretary of State, and instead has been pilloried in a manner unbecoming her distinction, her education and academic accomplishments, and her distinguished public career. Her education and brilliance, when compared to the measly such accomplishments of McCain, Graham, and Ayotte, makes them all look more like the jealous competitors for academic excellence who decide to downgrade their successful competitor by spreading innuendo, rumors, character assassination, and ridicule, because they have nothing else to offer.

All three Senators should apologize profusely to Susan Rice, stop their bull “feathers”, and get down to serious business serving their constituents, and stop seeking the limelight. And if Kelly Ayotte, the only one with serious long term potential, wishes to be seen seriously, she had better abandon these two Senators past their prime, and stake out her own identity, or become totally irrelevant, and a “joke” in Senate circles!

Secretary Of State John Kerry Or Secretary Of State Susan Rice? Kerry Should Be Favored!

With all of the hullabaloo over Senator John McCain’s derogatory comments about United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice in regards to the September 11 Libyan ambassador death controversy, a momentum has built up in the Obama Administration to double down on Rice, and decide to nominate her to be Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State.

Susan Rice is certainly qualified for the position, and would do a fine job in the State Department. She has excellent qualifications, and educational and scholarly credentials to back her up for the nomination.

But what this struggle between John McCain and Barack Obama has done is minimize the possibility that the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry, might gain the position.

Kerry has has a long, distinguished career in the Senate, and had he been President, he would have had to deal with all of the many international matters that would have arisen. He has been a forceful spokesmen on foreign affairs for many years, and having been an anti war advocate in the past, SHOULD be seen as a positive factor, unlike conservative commentator Bill Kristol’s assertion on Fox News Channel yesterday that Kerry’s past anti war stands should disqualify him for the position. Kerry truly deserves this position, and would not be the first losing Presidential candidate to become Secretary of State, joining a long list who have served in the State Department after losing the Presidency, including

HENRY CLAY
JOHN C CALHOUN
DANIEL WEBSTER
LEWIS CASS
JAMES G BLAINE
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
CHARLES EVANS HUGHES

Also, there have been former Presidential contenders, who failed to win the nomination, who have later served as Secretary of State, including:

WILLIAM SEWARD
EDMUND MUSKIE
HILLARY CLINTON

So TEN former Presidential seekers have gone on to serve as Secretary of State, and anyone with knowledge of American diplomatic history KNOWS that they are among the very best people we have had in that position, particularly the case with Clay, Calhoun, Webster, Blaine, Hughes, Seward, and Clinton. So if seven out of the ten have made a major impact, that is an excellent argument for John Kerry as Secretary of State!