Now that the election is over, some Republicans are turning their focus back on the Benghazi, Libya attack.
In particular, there is renewed outrage over the information UN Ambassador Susan Rice relayed on Sunday news talk shows that conflicts with official intelligence known by the White House and State Department following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Lbya. The siege resulted in the death of Libyan Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans.
Rice told show hosts the attacks were spontaneous and driven by outrage from an anti-Islam YouTube video though by the time she was making those accounts, internally officials were aware the attacks more likely were pre-meditated and planned for the anniversary of the 911 attacks.
Now that Rice’s name is being floated as a possible candidate to replace retiring Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State, five Republican legislators including John McCain have stated they plan to object to Rice’s nomination, if she is indeed nominated.
McCain wrote a letter to President Obama saying that he felt Rice was “unfit to head the State Department” and that she would undermine US credibility abroad if elected as Clinton’s successor.
At a White House press conference last week, President Obama ardently defended Rice calling on McCain and others to come after him for the information breakdown.
Soon after some black leaders in Congress and House Democrat women cried wolf, accusing the 5 white men objecting to Rice as being racist and sexist.
Rather than simply take the challenge as a political and partisan ploy, perhaps, many credible sources and of course, many people of color, are quickly calling the challenges as being racially-motivated.
Even noted Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank took the bait pointing out racial overtones he saw in how the letter will be perceived.
“You’ve got grumpy old (white) men going after a young accomplished woman of color,” Milbank wrote in a piece this week. “It’s arguable this is not the path to convincing the American people that the GOP is truly a big tent where all races, religions and classes are welcome.”
Accusation of racism and sexism has a way of falling into the category of illegitimacy when overused, in any and all categories of life and criticism, whether valid or not.
Racism exists and is alive and well. Sexism is thriving too. Strong, opinionated, headstrong black women are often called the pejorative “Angry Black Woman”.
However, not every single instance of criticism of women or people of color is an example of the “isms.” Brent Budowsky of The Hill’s Pundit blog agrees, and writes:
“The GOP letter is wrong. It is partisan. It is angry. It is sour grapes. It is inaccurate. It is unfair. It is grossly misdirected against Susan Rice, who did absolutely nothing wrong. But in my humble opinion the letter has nothing to do with race.”
Indeed, when the race, gender and ABW cards are drawn too soon and too often, they have a way of losing their value. They also can have the impact of neutralizing true instances when they occur.
Meanwhile, the subject of everyone’s protection, pity and outrage is yet to come forth and take a position on the issue.
She could be waiting for the politically right time to do it or direction from superiors, but each day that passes that Dr. Rice opts to stay silent; she may be doing herself a disservice.