Joan Walsh: Susan Rice is Promoted National Security Advisor,

and there is nothing Republican obstructionists can do about it. When ABC News published doctored emails about the development of Benghazi talking points, and the White House countered by releasing the originals, which told a very different story, the two versions agreed on at least one fact: UN Ambassador Susan Rice had nothing to do with the controversial description of the Benghazi attack that she shared in her five fateful Sunday show appearances last September 17. I thought at the time that Rice deserved an apology from Republicans who savaged her, once the truth about the talking points came out, but of course one never came. Senator Lindsey Graham countered by saying she deserved to be subpoenaed instead. Now she's gotten the next best thing: a promotion to National Security Advisor, once Tom Donilon leaves the job in July. The position needs no confirmation by the Senate, so Rice's GOP critics have nothing to say about her new role. Well, nothing to say that makes a difference, anyway. That didn't stop them from talking. Sen. John McCain was slightly conciliatory Tweeting that while obviously I disagreed w/POTUS appointment of Susan Rice as National Security Adviser, I'll make every effort to work with her on important issues. On the other hand, Senator Rand Paul insisted it undermined Obama's Moral Authority to promote basically the person who is guilty of misleading us over the Benghazi tragedy. By lying about Rice's role, she played no part in the behind the scenes controversy between the CIA and the State Department over how much, and what to say about the attacks, Paul undermines his own moral authority. But lately that's no impediment to influence within his party. It's possible that Paul isn't smart enough to understand the details of what the Benghazi emails revealed, but that's not a problem in his party either. Coming within 24 hours of the president's announcing that he's nominating three people to fill three long vacant US Court of Appeals Washington DC Circuit seats it's inevitable that Rice's promotion is being described as representing a new in your face approach to his opponents, in the words of James Carville on MSNBC. The timing may just be coincidence: it's long been assumed that Rice would succeed Donilon, and the outgoing security adviser always always planned to leave early in the second term. On the other hand, the fact that Obama didn't hesitate to announce his appointment of Rice on the day after he defied Republican obstructionists with his three judicial nominees is a good sign.

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