Wednesday, December 05, 2012

"There is sexism and racism in l’affaire Rice — but sadly it is all originating from the Obama administration and its supporters."

Victor Davis Hanson writes:

But in the era of Obama, almost everything can be connected to race. So it was not long before the Black Caucus, the Washington Post, and liberal columnists alleged that racism and sexism drove Rice’s neo-Confederate detractors. President Obama, in his now-accustomed Skip Gates/Trayvon Martin posturing mode, also did his best to inflame the tensions, as he dared critics to come after him instead, as if they were bullies out to pick on a vulnerable black woman — and as if the president himself had not hidden behind Rice, throwing her into the public arena in the first place and then refusing to offer any details of his own reaction to the attacks that might have fulfilled his taunt by redirecting scrutiny onto himself.

There is sexism and racism in l’affaire Rice — but sadly it is all originating from the Obama administration and its supporters. First, having a woman or a minority as secretary of state has been accepted as the new normal for over a decade. Indeed, we have not seen a white male in the office since Warren Christopher stepped down in January 1997. Over that period, Bush’s first secretary of state, Colin Powell, was ridiculed by liberal critics for his misleading testimony about weapons of mass destruction on the eve of the Iraq War; I don’t recall him alleging racism. Vocal liberal senators tore into Powell’s successor, Condoleezza Rice, during her confirmation hearings; throughout her tenure, she was subjected to venomous criticism over her role in the Iraq War. Was Senator Barbara Boxer, who mercilessly grilled her, a racist? A disinterested observer over the last decade would conclude that the chief critics of black and female secretaries of state have been liberal Democrats — with no countervailing criticism of them from the Black Caucus, the Washington Post, or the Democratic party. Note in that regard that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left the Bush administration under vicious liberal criticism — although not quite as harsh as the vitriol directed at Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Again, their critics were not tarred with allegations of racism or anti-Latino bias.
 
And:

There is nothing in Rice’s past to suggest that her own race, gender, or class was a disadvantage in her cursus honorum. In the nexus of elite universities and Democratic politics — whether Stanford University, the Rhodes Scholarship, or the Clinton administration — being black, female, and elite is far more advantageous that being white, male, and poor. In postmodern America, it is considered noble to prejudge people on the basis of their race and gender, but it can be ignoble to postjudge them on the basis of merit. Note, in this regard, that no one seems worried that Susan Rice and her husband have ample investments — among them energy companies involved in the Keystone-pipeline project — that might have posed a conflict of interest for a high-ranking State Department official.
So what are we left with in this racial psychodrama that is no longer about whether a potential secretary of state serially misled the American people, but rather is about whether to point that out is racist?

We are asked to believe that a multimillionaire African-American woman, who boasts that those who “mess” with her end up badly, is a victim of racism for not being welcomed as a nominee for secretary of state — a position that has not been held by a white male in 15 years — after she went on five television shows the Sunday after the Benghazi attack in an effort to convince Americans of the absurd myth that their ambassador had been killed in the course of a demonstration gone bad, rather than being murdered in a preplanned al-Qaedist hit.
 
We live in Cloud-Cuckoo Land.

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