Athenae took a whack at the veteran hack, Walter Shapiro earlier in the week. It's my turn to play whack-a-hack by making Shapiro malaka of the week. Shapiro is a competent political reporter who has been around the block a time or three but he 's also one of the avatars of the Beltway conventional wisdom, which means that he's nuts for Senator Walnuts and that's why he wrote this tripe:
Before the initials CIA came to stand for Covert Intimate Affairs, the battle over the next secretary of state would have been the main event of post-election November. Normally, it doesn’t get better than a brand-name Washington struggle pitting the newly reelected president against the Republican senator he defeated in 2008 over filling the Cabinet post soon to be vacated by an ex-president’s wife.
Barack Obama’s ill-camouflaged inclination to name Susan Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, as Hillary Clinton’s successor would normally be about as contentious as, well, a confirmation hearing for David Petraeus in 2011. Rice, an undersecretary of state in the Clinton administration, has by most accounts performed well in a job that pivots around the micro-wording of Security Council resolutions rather than grand geopolitical visions.
But all that good will evaporated when Rice, drawing the short straw as Obama’s designated foreign-policy spinner, dutifully made the rounds of the Sunday shows on Sept. 16, five days after the Libyan attacks. Repeating the White House line, Rice argued that, based on “the best information,” a “spontaneous protest” outside the American consulate in Benghazi attracted heavily armed “extremist elements” who murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
In John McCain’s splenetic view, Rice’s TV commentary smacks of a White House cover-up, since subsequent reporting has shown that initial accounts of a triggering protest were incorrect. As McCain put it Wednesday on Fox News, threatening to filibuster the nomination, “Susan Rice should have known better and if she didn’t know better, she is not qualified.”
All of this shit has largely been discredited by McCain's overweening malakatude when he skipped a briefing about what happened at Behghazi in order to go on teevee to complain about being kept in the dark about what "really" happened. It led to this classic Walnutty moment:
Sorry for posting dipshit Wolfie but this was a classic Walnuts temper tantrum. Malakas like Walter Shapiro would *never* dare to pose such an impertinent question to Saint McCain whose inconsistencies are treated like charming idiosyncrasies. The only thing I find charming about Senator Walnuts is his daughter, Meghan.
The oddest thing about Shapiro's piece is that he doesn't *really* believe McCain's conspiratorial bluster but he thinks it could kill Rice's chances:
As should be obvious, the U.N. ambassador has nothing directly to do with embassy security, American covert operations in the Middle East or the flow of intelligence about terrorism. All Rice was doing in her television appearances on September 16 was reciting from talking points presumably prepared by the White House national security team based on information provided by the CIA and other agencies. According to reporting by Washington Post national security columnist David Ignatius, the CIA was still clinging to its belief that the Benghazi attacks began with a spontaneous protest when Rice made her ill-fated rounds of the Sunday shows.
So, Mr. CW agrees that Ms. Rice was using CIA talking points but that Obama should duck a fight over a possible nomination because otherwise McCain will hold his breath until he turns blue? Sheesh.
I don't know about you but I like the new look Democratic leadership style. Both the Prez and Leader Reid seem ready to kick ass and take no prisoners after the election. They've been as feisty as hell and I think it rocks. Mind you, I think John Kerry should be Secretary of State BUT if the Big O wants Susan Rice, he should fight for her and it looks as if he will. He seems to have learned something important from the Denver debate debacle: people love a fighter, the MSM may not but the people do.
Walter Shapiro is essentially a stand-in for the longstanding malakatude of the MSM punditocracy. It's time for them to kiss-off Senator Walnuts and his diminutive sidekick, Lindsey Graham, but that's unlikely. The CW will continue to see them as "moderates" but I think that McCain should zip his lip and zip up his pants because his Grumpy Old Man/Walter Matthau routine isn't wearing very well, and the idea of casting Graham in the Jack Lemmon role makes we want to, uh, retch up my rice...