In 2005, Sen. McCain advocated the confirmation of neo-conservative John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. because Presidents have a right to pick cabinet members even dangerous ones like Bolton:
Mr. President, elections have consequences, and one consequence of President Bush's reelection is that he has the right to appoint officials of his choice. I stress this, because the President nominates not the Democrats' selection, nor mine or that of any other senator, but his own choice. When President Clinton was elected, I did not share the policy views of some of the officials he nominated, but I voted to confirm them, knowing that the President has a right to put into place the team that he believes will serve him best.McCain believes that President Bush and President Clinton had a right to pick their cabinet, but apparently McCain does not believe that President Obama also has this right. Many have written about the racism and sexism of the remarks and actions of McCain and "not- generating-enough-angry-white-guys" Sen. Lindsey Graham.
"Angry white guys" resent when women and persons of color don't stand down because we should walk behind them and know our place in this world per the rules and privileges of the "angry white guys." You can feel McCain's resentment or personal pique against Obama and Rice caused by McCain's perception of being slighted by them in the past over different issues.
When President Obama told McCain and Graham to "go after" him rather than attacking Rice, it was "reminiscent of his put-down of McCain in early 2010, when at a health-care forum he reminded his former opponent: 'The election’s over.'"
McCain does not handle feeling slighted, and also does not handle losing elections even by white men. After feeling slighted by the Bush campaign in 2000, McCain "became one of the sharpest thorns in the side of the new president from his own party. In the wake of the 2008 election, when he was soundly thumped by a Democratic challenger whom he regarded as a neophyte and a pretender whose experience and valor were no match for his own, McCain immediately shed all traces of mavericky independence and became one of Obama’s fiercest critics from the right."
There is also a feeling of resentment against Rice. Susan Rice "routinely stripped the bark off [McCain] four years ago as one of Obama’s most quotable surrogates:"
“His tendency is to shoot first and ask questions later; it is dangerous, and we can’t afford four more years of this reckless foreign policy”.June 2008:
“If you want to suggest another word for the same lack of understanding, misunderstanding,… they all amount to the same thing,” Rice said. There is a McCain “gap” with “reality” and “that is disturbing.” It is “hard to have good judgment if you don’t have a fact based foundation,” Rice said2008:
She mocked McCain’s trip to Iraq (“strolling around the market in a flak jacket”), called his policies “reckless… ."
And, last summer, Susan Rice indicated that McCain did not fully think through the consequences of what he was advocating for Syria.
Some men don't let go of resentment after a woman persuasively disagrees or even just criticizes his position, particularly when it is done publicly. For the misogynist, when the woman is right, the impact can be devastating for the man because at least some others who act based on reality will agree with the woman. But, even when the woman is wrong, the misogynist does not forget because she had the audacity to criticize or disagree with THE man rather than living down to sexist expectations.
When attacking Rice, the best McCain can do is jump from one hypocritical statement to another.
McCain vows to block Rice's nomination for SOS because he says she misspoke on the Sunday Shows when she presented CIA talking points. McCain whined that Rice is not qualified because she "should have known better" than to tell "falsehoods" to the American people.
Yes, as a Rhodes scholar and veteran of President Clinton's administration, Rice did know better than McCain which is why she did her job by speaking on the talking points provided by the US intelligence to her and Congress. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence removed from her unclassified talking points references to terrorism in order to protect "sensitive details." Senators are familiar with classified and non-classified information, the need to protect intelligence assets, or the need to not publicly reveal information that might assist the terrorists.
So, what information did McCain and other GOP attackers want Rice to tell the public on those Sunday Shows? The answer is probably that information that the DNI had removed from her talking points. If Rice had disclosed the classified information on the Sunday Shows, then McCain would now be attacking her for revealing classified information. Unless, of course, Senator McCain believes that only the GOP have a right to blow the CIA's cover, which is what happened when the GOP held Benghazi hearings at Congress to ironically examine security lapses in Libya.
McCain wants Rice to go onto Sunday Shows to proclaim that she was wrong. First, Rice was not wrong – She presented the talking points that were approved for public consumption at that time, with the caveats (i.e. for McCain, explanations to prevent misinterpretations) the investigation was ongoing and thus no "definitive conclusions yet," and statements based on the "best information we have to date."
But what about McCain: Applying the same standard, is McCain qualified to be a Senator if he's ever been wrong on the Sunday Shows? Maddow collected some appearances by McCain on the Sunday Shows where he was wrong, wrong and wrong again, including:
In 2002, McCain said regarding invading Iraq, war won't be that difficult as some alleged.(Maddow video, section starts around 3:40)
11 days into Iraq War: This conflict will be relatively short.
8 years ago on Iran: Iran has matter of months, rather than years, to stand down.
On the 2008 election: It's a close race and he will win.
And, this morning, "McCain sang a much more conciliatory tune, backing off his hardline opposition to Rice," saying he will allow Rice to "give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took." Sorry, McCain, but you're the one who needs to do some explaining. McCain then attacked Rice in his next sentence, claiming she was wrong about her assessment of al Qaeda, when once again, McCain is wrong.
McCain says Rice needs to "bear responsibility" for her initial remarks about the Benghazi attack. Susan Rice's remarks did not kill anyone.
Hypocritical McCain supported Condoleezza Rice as SOS in 2005 after she, as National Security Adviser to President Bush, lied to the public about Iraq's WMDs, ultimately contributing to the illegal case for war that has caused thousands of deaths of Americans and Iraqis. Susan Rice qualified her statements, which were not presented as conclusions or advocacy, while Condoleezza Rice used false talking points to scare the American public into supporting an illegal war. As Meteor Blades noted in McBitter McCain, when McCain voted for Condi Rice, he knew her statements were false.
McCain stated that he was not using a double standard because 4 Americans died in a case where there was "overwhelming evidence" that this was a terrorist attack where there were many warnings. Does McCain remember all the intelligence warnings that were ignored prior to 9/11?
McCain should focus on the absence of GOP responsibility for their own racist obstructionism with President Obama over the past 4 years, including denying the State Department's request for more money to secure our diplomatic missions overseas.
Now that the results of their obstruction are staring them all in the face, instead of owning up to it, they are projecting the blame to President Obama and calling him a liar. It is straight out of the old Karl Rove campaign playbook of accusing the other side of what you did in order to wear down the impact of the truth when it finally comes out. It is meant to discredit anything the opposition says before it can take root that yes, indeed, Republicans denied this funding just to say no to Obama. This method of distraction worked well for Republicans in the past, as the media follows their pointing fingers where they want them to look and forgets to go look up just who denied that funding. Republicans are trying to avoid that discovery by pointing the fingers first.Elections have consequences. One of the consequences from this election is that the public has a better idea about GOP obstructionism based on lies and hypocrisy used as a political tool to attack Obama. Media and bloggers pulled back the curtain to show how some GOP use lies and incomprehensible bafflegab divorced from facts and reality to try to BS the public into thinking they have an answer or policy that is the opposite of what they proffer. During the campaign, many in the public listened. We need to keep unraveling each time any bafflegab is used to obstruct moving forward on the real issues that Americans want addressed now.