Capitol Thoughts
Capitol Thoughts Archive

Behind the Attacks on Susan Rice by Janaye Ingram

Nov 30, 2012

Thanksgiving is over; many of us filled ourselves with turkey, stuffing, collard greens, mac and cheese, and sweet potato pie. But while many American people were cooking up the good stuff to share in the spirit of love and thanks, some were brewing a pot of sour grapes. They were stewing in their own misery over the loss that they were dealt on November 6th when President Obama was re-elected. They were stewing so much that they were seemingly trying to satiate their own appetites for a victory. As it appears, they decided to begin a full frontal attack on Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Susan Rice.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves her post, the President will have to nominate someone to fill that position. There has widely been speculation that the seat within the President’s cabinet will go to either Ambassador Susan Rice or Senator John Kerry. Despite theory, the President has not made any announcement about who he will nominate and Secretary Clinton is still fulfilling the obligations demanded by the job. That small fact has not stopped some Republican leaders from presumption and posturing. When John McCain sat on Fox and Friends and made a declaration that he would do whatever he could to “block Susan Rice from being Secretary of State”, it was evocative of another statement made by Senator Mitch McConnell who said he’d do whatever it took to make President Obama a one-term President. We see how that ended.

That wasn’t the end of the story, however. When Senator McCain continued to belittle and debase Dr. Rice as less than the intelligent, qualified person that she is, it was shrouded in partisan politics. But what lies beneath the partisanship is the very essence of what has been at play since the election of President Obama in 2008 and that is racism. Further, the attacks on women have been revived through this latest bout. Despite this, Ambassador Rice has tried to create some clarity and understanding about her position after the Benghazi attacks, but the Republicans have still not been appeased. Reports in the media are that she seems to be too loyal to the administration and that Republican Senators don’t feel she has been completely candid. But in reality, will they ever be at ease or feel they have enough answers? This is reminiscent of when there were questions about Operation Fast and Furious that resulted in a Contempt of Congress charge for US Attorney General Eric Holder.

The underlying theme is that there are some people who have not yet readied to the thought of blacks in power. There are still some who have not warmed to women in power. The combined result is the unrelenting attack on Ambassador Susan Rice. This attack included a letter to the President from 97 members of the House of Representatives who do not vote on cabinet members. It is completely and utterly deplorable and as a community we should not stand by and watch it happen. A petition has been started by the Black Women’s Roundtable which NAN leaders are part of to ask Senate to respect Ambassador Rice as a sitting Cabinet member and as an intelligent and qualified individual and leader in foreign policy. If you want to sign on in support of Ambassador Rice and against the partisan, racist, and misogynistic attacks being levied at her, please sign by going here.