January 22, 2005


Why the Crass Remarks About Rice? (Colbert I. King, January 22, 2005, Washington Post)

Boxer said to Rice: "I personally believe -- this is my personal view -- that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth." Loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war. Ponder the weight of that statement. It comes close, at least in spirit, to the picture of Rice sketched by political cartoonist Pat Oliphant a few weeks ago. In case you missed it, Oliphant drew a big-lipped, bucktooth Rice perched like a parrot on President Bush's arm. Bush was speaking to Rice in baby talk, with Rice replying: "Awwrk!! OK Chief. Anything you say, Chief. You Bet, Chief. You're my HERO, Chief."

It's hard to imagine a more demeaning and offensive caricature of a prospective secretary of state, let alone the most senior official on the national security staff. It's equally difficult to understand what prompted Boxer to imply that Rice is little more than a diligent echo of Bush's thoughts. There's nothing in Rice's background or in her performance to suggest that she is a mindless follower of presidential orders. In fact, Rice comes across as just the opposite.

As I was leaving a Post dining room after participating in my first off-the-record session with Rice and other Post editors and reporters a couple of years ago, it struck me that Rice could be where Bush gets it from. Subsequent meetings only have reinforced that supposition. Rice's notions of preemption, unilateralism and America's responsibilities as the dominant power in the world are not hand-me-downs from Bush. They strike me as very much her own.

Wonder why Rice stayed close to Bush's policies in her hearings? Consider the possibility that the administration's policies happen to be hers too. Consider too the likelihood that years of study and work in foreign affairs, both as an academic and as a senior foreign policy wonk, are what inform her views -- not George W. Bush.

My disagreement with the Bush administration on Iraq has been spelled out in past columns. I'm also a member of an editorial board that has been critical of administration policies -- and by extension, Rice -- on several foreign policy fronts. For example, when it comes to opposing oppressive regimes, this administration, despite its soaring rhetoric, has come up way short. But characterize Condoleezza Rica as a presidential stooge? Count me out.

She's a black woman--she can't have any ideas of her own or influence on policy, can she?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 9:26 AM

Either King got it and didn't say it or he's clueless.

And having the former Grand Kleagle hold up her nominatin doesn't look so good, either.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 22, 2005 10:48 AM

Rice is obviously just an inert mouthpiece for her master, George W. Bush, and only mouths the thoughts that come from him. This is especially troublesome since Bush is such a moron that he can only carry out the will of his advisers, his closest one being Rice.

Thus she only mouths the words that.... she, um.... is telling him since he's an idiot... but he's ordering her what to say.....but she's just the puppet.... of her own puppet.... the one who.... that is to say.....

Illogical! Illogical! I am Landru! I am Landru!...

(smoke, sparks and flames and Kirk and Spock look upon knowingly)

Posted by: Andrew X at January 22, 2005 12:06 PM

"Logic? We don't need no steenkin' logic. Vamanos, Izquierdistos!"

Posted by: HAL 9000 at January 22, 2005 12:32 PM

The Democrats have such a patronizing attitude towards Blacks it is really pathetic that any of the millions and millions of American Blacks who have made a success out of themselves on their own terms still vote for them.

Posted by: Bart at January 22, 2005 3:18 PM

Only toward the ones who wander from the plantation or forget their place.

Posted by: Dave W. at January 22, 2005 10:50 PM