One scapegoat gets swapped for another: On yesterday’s Meet the Press, Claire McCaskill was asked if she would support Susan Rice for secretary of state.
We thought her answer was sad. In this answer, you see a newly re-elected Dem advancing the basic GOP line, even as she defends Susan Rice:
MCCASKILL (12/2/12): I think it’s terribly unfair what has happened to Susan Rice. I do not understand for the life of me—the talking points came from the intelligence community, yet you don’t hear one criticism of David Petraeus.First, let's look on the bright side. McCaskill noted a highly relevant fact: Rice "mentioned al Qaeda" on September 16. We have noted this fact again and again. This is the first time we have seen a liberal or Democrat cite it.
It was his shop that produced the talking points that Susan Rice talked about, and she mentioned al Qaeda in the interviews that Sunday morning. And you go back to Condi Rice. I mean, really? Is there a double standard here? It appears to most of us that there is, a very unfair one.
This is a strong, smart, capable, accomplished woman. And I think that there is too many people over there that are looking for a scalp.
GREGORY: So you should say—you’re saying that the president should take on this fight?
MCCASKILL: I don’t know whether he should take on the fight or not. I know this, that what has happened to Susan Rice is terribly unfair. If you really understand what went on, it is terribly unfair that she should be the scapegoat for this when really the failures ought to be at the lap of the head of the intelligence community that produced those talking points, but none of the guys will say a word about David Petraeus.
It takes a while, but your Daily Howler just keeps getting results!
On the down side, McCaskill's basic defense of Rice was soft and sad. Why blame Rice, she seemed to say. We should really be blaming Petraeus!
As she swapped one scapegoat for another, McCaskill assumed a fact not in evidence. She assumed that fault should be found with the assessments which produced those early “talking points.” She assumed that someone should be blamed for producing that early assessment.
That is the basic Republican line—the basic line which is being used to drive this “scandal” along. We know of no reason to believe it, but McCaskill pushed it along.
"Too many people are looking for a scalp," McCaskill said. She then offered the scalp of Petraeus!
Should someone be blamed for an early assessment which turned out to be wrong in one minor way? At this point, we don't know why—and yes, the error about the demonstration was minor, though our team can't seem to see or say this.
On the other hand, that's what Saint John McCain says, so perhaps it just has to be true.
McCaskill adopted one more miserable line, though this one has come from the liberal side of the aisle:
She’s not as bad as Condi was! We cringe every time liberals say or suggest it, which is pretty much all the time.