Thanks to our massive past silence: Inevitably, Susan Rice is being targeted.
Check that. Susan Rice is being targeted again.
Yesterday, murky claims about Rice's conduct became the sudden rage. Became the rage again.
Might we state the obvious? At this point, no one has the slightest idea what Susan Rice did or didn't do in the latest distraction-based episode. For that reason, there is no evidence, or reason to believe, that she did anything wrong.
No one has the slightest idea what Rice did or didn't do. But on this morning's Morning Joe, all the hacks were offering their "takes."
Rice, of course, is an easy target. In this morning's New York Times, Balker and Rosenberg reported what one soothsayer said:
BAKER AND ROSENBERG (4/4/17): Republicans pointed to the reports about Ms. Rice on Monday. “Smoking gun found!” Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, wrote on Twitter. “Obama pal and noted dissembler Susan Rice said to have been spying on Trump campaign.”"Noted dissembler Susan Rice?" That description takes us back to the fall of 2012, when all our favorite multimillionaires ran off and hid in the woods as Susan Rice was being thrown under a very large bus.
Five days after the Benghazi attack, Rice appeared on all five Sunday morning programs. She was asked about Benghazi on four of the shows, including Face the Nation.
Her comments were measured and perfectly sane. Instantly, John McCain and Bob Schieffer began reinventing what she had said.
In the blink of an eye, Rice's sensible remarks were mercilessly reinvented. Not since the twenty months of Campaign 2000 had so much phony paraphrase been let loose across the land.
This bullshit continued for months.
As in 1999 and 2000, so too in 2012. In the face of this assault on Rice, all our favorite liberal pundits ran off and hid in the woods. As Susan Rice was being slandered—as the Benghazi story-line was being invented—her name went completely unmentioned by Rachel Maddow.
Maddow offered no clarification, analysis or defense. On his weekend show, Chris Hayes actually affirmed the McCain/Schieffer line, before retracting his remarks one week later.
All our favorite liberal heroes ran off and hid in the woods. Rice's reputation was badly damaged. A set of claims about Benghazi hardened, then turned to stone.
(Maddow behaved the same way last summer and fall. When James B. Comey launched his irregular attack on Candidate Clinton in July, guest host Steve Kornacki actually affirmed his claims over the course of several nights. Upon her return from vacance, Maddow didn't mention Comey's name until the end of October. She took a powder again!)
It happened in 1999 and 2000. It happened in 2012, then again last year. When you consider the past conduct of Maddow and her predecessors, it's stunning to see the way our leaders still focus on kicking down at The Others, at the highly objectionable low-income folk Over There.
It's the hillbillies who did it, we liberals are told. Also the Okies.
Like everyone else, we liberals are dumb. Our leaders? They're just lousy people.
One common element: In 2012, the Obama Admin didn't speak up in defense of Rice until the election was over. For whatever reason, they took a similar hands-off stance to various issues and claims which were floating around last fall.
Obama didn't speak up in 2012. Presumably for that reason, neither did our fearless multimillionaires.
They kept still until Obama spoke; for a major cable pundit, it's the safe way to play it. Once he spoke up, they spoke up too. By then, it was much too late.
By then, Obama had been re-elected. Rice's name had been badly harmed; the Benghazi tale had been born.
On the brighter side, Rachel Maddow had played it safe. She did the same thing all through Campaign 2016.
Rachel ducked every dangerous issue last year. We viewers are too dumb to notice this. Her embellishments have been on the rise of late. Her ratings have gone through the roof.
Final question: Did you ever see Kevin Drum offer a word about all these examples of silence? Kevin knows the Okies are bad, while Rachel and all the rest of our major exalteds are good.
This code of silence has been in place for decades. It's how Trump got you-know-where.