Putting the Low in Lowry

Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, opposes the choice of former GOP Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.  Okay, that’s fine.  What’s not fine is that he writes this in a column today:

“But Hagel clearly has the contempt for Israel of a Euro-sophisticate. He wouldn’t agree with the notorious comment of the French diplomat Daniel Bernard at a London dinner party years ago, ‘All the current troubles in the world are because of that shitty little country Israel.’ But he’d know where his fellow man of the world was coming from.”

Since when do you criticize someone using a vicious quote you claim he wouldn‘t agree with?  And then follow it with that insidious “but.”

Having successfully boiled Rice, the same usual suspects are trying to turn up the heat on Hagel so that he’ll withdraw his name too.



It’s War

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) will block a Rice nomination for Secretary of State if Obama chooses to proceed:  “I would place a hold on anybody who wanted to be promoted  for any job who had a role in the Benghazi situation.

The battle against Rice has led to charges of sexism and racism.  That’s why they’re putting a New Hampshire woman out front, to try to deflect those charges.  Both McCain and “Butters” Graham are male, obviously, plus Butters is from South Carolina.

Petraeus at Congress

Gen. Petraeus testified for about four hours today to both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in closed session.

He told them what we already know, that the Benghazi attacks on our Consulate and our CIA building on 9/11 were terrorist attacks by a local extremist group linked to Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia.

Petraeus said the CIA gave the White House information that was different from what Rice said on five Sunday talk shows.

At some point, the language in the CIA’s talking points was changed from “Al Qaeda-affiliated individuals” to “extremist organizations.”  Neither Petraeus nor Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, who both testified yesterday, said they knew who changed those talking points.

Rice had both classified and unclassified information.  Officials with access to both obviously aren’t going to divulge the classified stuff on Sunday talk shows.

But it seems to me they shouldn’t have had her appear at all rather than sell an explanation the Administration knew not to be true.  Or she should have been more non-committal and not pushed the whole spontaneous demonstration/anti-Mohammed YouTube video thing.  You have to walk a fine line between spilling your guts and lying.

If the Al Qaeda reference was considered classified information at that point and was changed for national security reasons, that’s okay.

But if it was taken out for political reasons, that’s very different and very wrong. If the Administration deleted the Al Qaeda reference because they thought it hurt Obama’s re-election argument that he had Al Qaeda on the run, that it would detract from his getting bin Laden, that’s both shameful and stupid.  Americans know that Al Qaeda still exists and remains a threat to us.



Will Palin Speak at GOP Convention?

The RNC has released a list of some convention speakers.  John McCain is on that list, but Sarah Palin is not.

Condi Rice is there, which means, for those still holding out hope, she absolutely, positively won’t be the vice presidential nominee.

Others scheduled to speak are South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Those who aren’t on the list because their absence is intended to keep the veep speculation going include Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, and Paul Ryan.  I expect the ones who don’t get the nod to have a consolation prize speaking slot.

Also not on the speakers’ list so far — Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, and Rudy Giuliani.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is believed to be giving the keynote address, although that hasn’t been officially announced.

Palin Still Doesn’t Know Anything

For someone who pushes the need for “Constitutional Conservatives” in our government, Sarah Palin herself seems ignorant of what the Constitution actually provides.

Palin says that Condi Rice would be fine for Mitt’s veep, despite being pro-choice, because “We need to remember, though, that it’s not the vice president that would legislate abortion, and that would be Congress’s role.”

Except, of course, that the vice president is president of the Senate and casts a vote in case of a tie.

Palin’s position is not what we’re hearing from pro-life groups, who have been going nuts about the Rice possibility, which isn’t going to happen.