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Friday, December 14, 2012

Like White on Rice

UN Ambassador Susan Rice has more credentials and qualifications to be Secretary of State in her back pocket than most people have in their entire portfolio.

She is a Stanford grad, Phi Beta Kappa, a Rhodes Scholar who earned her M.Phil and D. Phil from Oxford.  An American diplomat and former Brookings Institution fellow, Rice served on the staff of the National Security Council and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during President Bill Clinton's second term.

Rice was confirmed as UN ambassador by the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent on January 22, 2009. She is the first African American woman to hold that office.

Yes, she is a strong, smart, highly educated, skilled and accomplished Black woman. 

It's no wonder, then, that President Obama strongly hinted that he would name her as the next Secretary of State in 2013, after Hillary Clinton steps down from that role. 

However, Rice  has faced months of criticism from Republicans over how she characterized the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. She also has come under fire for her approach to dealing with African strongmen.

On December 13, 2012, she announced that she was withdrawing her name from consideration saying that if nominated "the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly."

Ain't that just like a woman? Putting the greater good before her own career?

And, ain't that just like White Republican men to make that confirmation process 'lengthy, disruptive and costly'? Meanwhile, we rapidly approach the 'fiscal cliff' and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid amazingly remain Republican bargaining chips as a defense against raising taxes on the rich.

I mean, it's one thing to have a Black man in the White House - especially one who is also strong, smart, highly educated, skilled and accomplished - but who also won two historic elections as President of the United States.

You can't have that AND a Black woman as Secretary of State. It's bad enough that she's a woman, but a Black woman? Can't happen. Won't happen. It just ain't right.

Sen. John McCain, who, still stinging from his loss to Obama in 2008, led the charge. Honestly, McCain sounds more and more these days like an angry, bitter old man in a tattered sweater, yelling to the kids in his front yard, "Get the hell off my lawn!"

Oh, I've heard the arguments about why Rice was such a controversial candidate. I'm sorry, but it all sounds more like character assassination to me. Can't get the Black man? Go after the Black woman.

Sounds to my ears like something George HW Bush said after he felt he had won the Vice Presidential debate with Geraldine Ferraro. "We kicked some ass tonight."

Such big, strong men, eh?

Rice was gracious and generous in withdrawing her name from consideration. She 'took one for the team' because she knows that the fight to get the budget passed and the debt reduced without doing major harm to Medicare and Medicaid will take all of the energy and skill this administration possesses - which, by the way, is no small amount.

I'm sure she will be richly rewarded in the future for her act of generosity. That's not the point.

My point? The Republican War on Women continues unabated. It's not a myth. Need proof? Just look at the battle to pass the Violence Against Women Act passed.

The hold up? Native American women.

Specifically, the law, based on recommendations by the Department of Justice, expands tribal authority over cases that include non-Indian perpetrators. Indeed, non-Indian men account for an estimated 80 percent of rapes of Indian women.

What? Indian men having legal authority over non-Indian men concerning Indian women?

Have you lost your mind?

It's bad enough that a man with the name like Barack Obama is President of the United States.  You want a man with a name like Anthony Two Bulls to prosecute a man with a name like William Smith just because a woman with the name of Rebecca Fly Hawk "claims" he raped her?

Republican leaders will not be having any of that.

The whole thing makes me sick. What really drives me 'round the bend is that these White men don't see their own transparency. Maybe they do, but their arrogance blunts their concern.

Yo! Republicans! News flash: You lost the election! You don't have a mandate. It's not just that you had a lousy candidate - well, truth is, you did - but you also had a platform that was rejected by a healthy majority of the American public.

I know you're not used to being in the minority, but you've really got to get a grip on reality.

Some White Republican men and women have. Word is out that 10 House Republicans broke ranks Tuesday to urge the leadership to support the Senate version which includes Native American women, immigrant and LGBT victims of violence.

And, Speaker John Boehner is in a lose-lose situation and he knows it. Cutting spending for Medicare? Seventy-four percent of voters said no way, including 68 percent of Republicans. How about raising the eligibility age for Medicare? Nope, 59 percent of voters – and 56 percent of Republicans – don’t like that idea, either.

Even the GOP’s preferred means of raising taxes – by eliminating deductions rather than raising rates – appears at least somewhat problematic with its base. When asked if they’d support eliminating the home-mortgage deduction, 66 percent of Republicans said no.

So, Susan Rice has become the sacrificial lamb so that Republicans can "negotiate" without losing face and still feel like they "kicked some ass".

They'd best be careful from here on out. Women and minorities flexed their muscle in the last election. The only demographic base that the Republicans won in the last election were White men.

The tide is turning, and if the Republican Party is smart, they'll try to get ahead of the wave.

Because then, women and minorities will be all over the Republican Party like, well, white on rice.


Sextant said...

The one I loved was McCain babbling at a press conference about not having any information on the Libya Embassy killings, meanwhile back at the office an information meeting was going on. Well we all have our priorities.

BTW there was a few of us old white guys that didn't vote for the GOP, and quite frankly I am hoping to see Elizabeth Warren or Hillary in 2016. Truth be known I hope it is Warren. I don't know that I could tolerate another 8 years of who shot Vince Foster, White Water, Monica, and accusations that Bill was on his third & fourth White House runs--Warren has a lot less baggage.

Just think we may soon have the glorious day when Rush can call the President of the United States a slut and a whore.

Matthew said...

Some of the stereotypes about her I think are gendered and racial. She was "brazen" and "loud" and "angry" and "uppity" whereas John Kerry is none of those things according to McCain. He is honorable and above all that stuff. Oh, so why didn't you endorse him for president in 2004 then? Plain and simple Susan rice was not a doormat and not part of the in senate crowd like John Kerry. I'm done with this crowd.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the Ambassador is dead, two valiant SEALs with him, and all we've heard from this flack UN Secretary is lies and spin.

White, black, male or female, who cares-- anything short of resigning in disgrace is too kind.


Bateau Master said...

Susan Rice played the role of Lani Guenier in this administration.

Neither President they were to serve were willing to expend the political capital on their behalf. Both men looked at them only as catchers of slings and arrows they were afraid to face.

it's margaret said...

"What? Indian men having legal authority over non-Indian men concerning Indian women?"

--oh, it's way more complicated than that.... the jurisdictional checkerboard on the reservations absolutely sucks.

I can get a ticket for speeding in Eagle Butte. Once I leave the city, the Tribe has no jurisdiction over me, and I can go as fast as I like and all they can do is give me a warning. An enrolled member of the Tribe can't get a speeding ticket in town --the city has no jurisdiction over them.

The same is true for crime --if for example, an enrolled member of the Tribe breaks in to one of the homes of a teacher at the school, which is BIA run and provides housing for its teachers, they are likely to face Federal charges and go to a Federal prison. If they break in to my home, which is in the city, nothing will be done because the city cannot prosecute an enrolled member for a crime in the city.

So, if a white/black/asian/hispanic man assaults or rapes a woman on the Reservation, he MIGHT come under the jurisdiction of either the county or the Feds, but only if the Tribe asks them to take jurisdiction... and after the argument about jurisdiction is over, most domestic violence/assault cases are not prosecuted any way.

So.... perhaps linking the VERY complicated issues of jurisdiction on a Federal Reservation to what happened to Rice is a stretch. I, for one, think that there ought to be single jurisdiction, the Tribe, on the Reservations. They are, after all, autonomous nations. But, there are many natives here who are grateful for the Federal oversight... it gets VERY complicated.

In any case --what happened to Rice was wrong --very wrong, and yes, I do think the old white men are mis-behaving.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Sextant - I don't know. I think Rush is coming to the end of his time. Don't you think? I'm thinking he won't even be on air in 2016. Or, is that just wishful thinking?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Matthew - I think many of us are "done with this crowd" and we saw that on election day.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bateau - you make a truthful point. But, you know, the fact that we don't even have an example from the GOP speaks volumes about what they think about women.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Michael - I can always depend on you to represent the wackadoodle position with a certain measure of distinction.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Margaret - It makes me dizzy to think about all the complications. Justice should not be that complicated. It's just flat out wrong.

Bateau Master said...

I don't know - but I think Harriet Miers was treated shabbily - though GWB stayed with her nomination a lot more than was prudent.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bateau - I don't know how the Harriet Meirs thing comes even close to Susan Rice.