I don't really buy this theory about the Republicans' war on Susan Rice:
... last night. Rachel Maddow came up with a more interesting theory about the relentless attacks on Rice.... They want Scott Brown back. Maybe not 100% Scott Brown himself, but a Republican senator from Massachusetts. It's less about hating Elizabeth Warren (jeez, these intrusive women!) than it is about rearming their filibuster in the Senate by making sure John Kerry is the choice for Secretary of State.That's more or less what Maddow says here:
I accept that Republicans will seek out any win they can get -- but how much will they gain if the Senate goes from 55-45 Democrat to 54-46?
And would Brown inevitably win? He'd be a strong candidate, I suppose -- but I wonder if President Obama dined at the White House with Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick on the Friday after Election Day not because he wants to put Patrick in his Cabinet, but because he wanted to work out the possible angles if he picks Kerry for State (or Defense). Patrick could appoint himself the interim senator, or could pick someone else and then run himself (he says he's not interested, but who knows if that's true). His favorable/unfavorable rating in an October Public Policy Polling Survey was 48%/38%, vs. Brown's 49%/42%, so they seem evenly matched. Or maybe Patrick has a better idea for a candidate.
The point is that the return of Brown is in no way guaranteed if Kerry gets a Cabinet appointment, and it wouldn't help Republicans in the Senate all that much even if it happened.
I think the anti-Rice vendetta is mostly just Republicans falling into their usual mode of saying that Democrats damage the country with everything they do in the foreign policy realm -- that's been the Republicans' line since McGovern, and forty-year habits are hard to break. What's more, they really think they own the patent on foreign policy toughness, and it kills them that Obama got bin Laden when their cowboy president failed to do so, and John McCain himself never got the chance to try. They have a desperate need to believe that the White House was concocting a narrative that didn't contradict the "Al Qaeda's on the run" narrative -- never mind the fact that Republicans yelled and screamed about Benghazi for weeks, and the White House did quickly begin to describe Benghazi as a terror attack, and yet Obama won reelection comfortably. I just think Republicans can't believe that the treason card isn't working -- it's worked so well for them for so many years. Painting Democrats as patchouli-soaked traitors has been a reliable go-to strategy. It isn't anymore, but they can't quit this stuff.