Is the ferocious Republican political attack on Susan Rice as a potential nominee for Secretary of State really about mistaken or incomplete remarks about Benghazi; or, is there another larger and more strident GOP political agenda afoot which is being masked by the very public attack?
WHAT’S THE GOP’s REAL POLITICAL AGENDA
Whatever may have been the GOP’s motives for questioning Rice’s remarks, considering that the remarks were based upon sanitized talking points from the CIA, and that she had no policy or operational role with respect to Benghazi, we are now well beyond the query stage.
Right or wrong, Rice did not originate, compose or edit the talking points.
Looking for answers through GOOGLE search is not much help in answering the question because there is a proliferation of theories all over the charts as probably could be expected.
So beyond the partisan rhetoric, are there coherent and rational explanations for the political fallout?
Let’s try a few.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR GOP CONFIRMATION BATTLES
After President Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, the stated goal of the GOP was to defeat him for reelection in 2012.
Perhaps the new goal is to use confirmation battles to delay, derail or even defeat the nominations he makes for key cabinet positions.
If that is the goal, then the political flap over the nomination of Rice as Secretary of State is just the opening salvo. More of the same may be coming when other key cabinet nominations are made.
STIRING PARTISAN FIREFIGHTS TO INFLUENCE 2014 ELECTIONS
Voters made a clear choice reelecting President Obama. They favored the Democratic President’s policies for the future of the nation over those advanced by Republican nominee Governor Mitt Romney.
There probably are some GOP operatives who not satisfied that the election settled the nation’s policy agenda for the next four years.
So their thinking could be that with several strategic confirmation battles and other strategic firefights, they can stoke the partisan divide and influence the outcomes of the various Senatorial, Congressional and gubernatorial elections slated for 2014 favorably for the GOP.
INFLUENCING ELECTION 2016
This thought is out-of-the-box. But, at least it’s a thought.
If for some reason Rice is not nominated, or if nominated she is not confirmed, who is next in line for the appointment? Probably Senator John Kerry.
Kerry as Secretary of State is a better target for the GOP long term than Rice.
The GOP could pump the notion that Kerry was using to office to position himself for another Presidential bid in 2016, and also exploit that framework to attack most of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy initiatives until Election 2016.
The thinking could be that the strategy may create enough strife among competing factions within the Democratic Party that a battle for the Democratic nomination would ensue which would weaken the Democratic nominee for President in 2016.
The attack on Susan Rice could be part of a larger GOP political strategy.
If that is the case, the next four years may be as politically strident and divisive, or even more so, than in the past as Democrats can be expected to respond in-kind.
That could pose serious challenges to the implementation of Obama Administration policies.
That also would portend very contentious elections for 2014 and 2016