The fight over the next Secretary of State has significant political overtones, and once again reflect the fact that for Republicans everything is about politics and gaining power and no person or no truth can get in the way. The current kerfuffle involves the tragedy in
where Republicans have tried to make the deaths of Americans a political
issue. The focus of the blame, American
diplomat Susan Rice.
Led by Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Republicans have pummeled Ms. Rice with a steady barrage of attacks over the Sept. 11 events in Benghazi, Libya, in which AmbassadorJ. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
On Wednesday, Senator Susan Collins, the centrist Republican from Maine, piled on, saying after a meeting with Ms. Rice that she “would need to have additional information” before she could support Ms. Rice for secretary of state.
Now obviously there is not a story here except that there was an attack on an embassy and brave and admirable Americans died. But Republicans see an opening, they see a way to gain a Senate seat. If Ms. Rice can be denied the position of Secretary of State, Mr. Obama may appoint Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to the position. This would open up Mr. Kerry’s Senate seat.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, speaking of Ms. Rice, said: “I think there are other good choices for secretary of state, better choices probably. I think Senator Kerry is one of them. He would have an easy time here.”
The Kerry boomlet adds another level of intrigue to the uproar surrounding Ms. Rice and has real implications for the balance of power on Capitol Hill. If Mr. Kerry were nominated and confirmed, it could open the door to a return via special election of Senator Scott Brown of
, who was defeated this month
by Elizabeth Warren. A Brown victory — which is far from certain — could cut
the Democratic margin by one and restore to office a man who was popular with
his Republican colleagues. Massachusetts
So there you have it. Trample a good American like Ms. Rice. Exploit a tragedy like the death in
Libya. Invoke the hypocrisy of promoting Sen. Kerry
whom Republicans hated in 2004. All for
the purpose of getting Scott Brown, a toadying useful idiot back into the