By Jeff Kazmierski, Copy Editor/Columnist
Despite meeting after meeting about the tragic events that happened in Benghazi on Sept. 11, some Republicans remain “unsatisfied.” A small gang of senators, led by John McCain of Arizona and including Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), just can’t seem to let go of the idea that there was some kind of coverup. Doggedly trying to uncover the truth, or at least to confirm his version of it, McCain continues to call for more hearings and investigations.
As if that weren’t bad enough, our current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is planning on calling it quits next year. Also, confirmation of the Obama Administration’s main nominee, Susan Rice, is being held up while McCain continues to push these ridiculous conspiracy theories.
The position of Secretary of State is kind of important – that person does all the hard diplomacy and negotiating the president doesn’t have time for. Secretary Clinton has been a busy lady, flying all over the world and dealing with issues before they become incidents, and incidents before they become crises. I doubt she’s spent more than a few days at home in the past four years. If there’s any job more exhausting and stressful than President, it’s hers. So if she wants to hang up her hat, more power to her. She’s earned it.
I don’t know enough about Susan Rice to say if she’s qualified or not. But from what I’ve read, and heard, she’s been at the State Department for a long time, since the Clinton Administration. She was confirmed as U.N. ambassador by unanimous consent of the Senate in 2009. If she was qualified for that job, what’s the holdup? She certainly has the experience and the drive to do the job.
One other name that’s been floated for the job is Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.). While he’s also eminently qualified, he also hasn’t shown any interest in being Secretary of State. And the Obama administration hasn’t talked openly about choosing him; that’s a Republican idea.
Which begs the question: why Kerry? Is he truly a better candidate for Sec State than Rice? Or is there another motive at work?
On election day this year, the Republicans took kind of a beating. They not only failed to make Obama a one-term president, they also lost seats in the House and Senate. One of the Senate seats they lost was that of Scott Brown, who had taken the late Ted Kennedy’s place in a special election after his death. Elizabeth Warren successfully ousted him, putting Massachusetts back firmly in Democrat control. If Kerry were appointed Secretary of State, That would make his seat vacant and thus a prime target for Republicans to shoehorn the eminently unqualified Brown back into the Senate. Incoming senator Warren, who ran a polished campaign on the laudable goal of re-regulating Wall Street, would have her power diminished by Brown, well known as a loyal water-carrier of the finance sector.
If the real motive is to get to the truth, that’s fine. But McCain, Collins, Graham and others keep pushing increasingly ludicrous conspiracy theories and putting national security at risk by holding up the appointment of a qualified and capable nominee. There is no evidence of any coverup. For them to keep pushing the idea, when the same senators showed little concern over the Bush administration’s myriad foreign policy failures, is just shameless.