Susan Rice has produced a “Trump is harming national security/democracy by stalling the transition” article for the New York Times. This is now the party line, and Rice has been dutifully spouting Democratic talking points for years — most notoriously with her lies about Benghazi.
A few things make Rice’s latest set piece stand out in relation to others of the same genre. One is the use of “I.” My friend who alerted me to Rice’s article wasn’t exaggerating when he said, “Not since [former Washington Post columnist] Richard Cohen retired has there been an author who so abused the pronoun ‘I.’”
Another thing that stands out is that Rice’s article is self-refuting. In extolling the presidential transitions of 2000-01 she states:
[T]he normal process that follows after a president-elect has been chosen — the incoming administration sends teams to each department to receive detailed information on policy, budget, personnel and other matters — had awaited the Supreme Court’s Dec. 12 Bush v. Gore decision.
We’re still almost a month away from December 12. Maybe our national security isn’t in jeopardy, after all.
As noted, Rice’s article is long on self references. She turns modest, however, when it comes to her role in trying to undermine president-elect Donald Trump. In fact, she omits any discussion of that shameful effort.
Rice participated in the infamous January 5, 2017 meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden at which Obama discussed taking down incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Rice’s successor, even though the FBI had cleared Flynn of wrongdoing. This key event goes unmentioned in Rice’s article, as does the larger effort to tar the incoming administration with unfounded and untrue charges of ties to Russia. (Rice reportedly has lied under oath about her knowledge of Operation Crossfire Hurricane.)
Instead, Rice offers a saccharine account of a meeting she had with Flynn — one that allegedly culminated in a hug, at Flynn’s initiation. The knife Flynn received in the back was figurative only.
Rice’s penultimate paragraph includes this gem:
Mr. Trump and many Republicans are spending time sowing false doubts about the legitimacy of Mr. Biden’s election.
Trump is raising legitimate questions about a voting process fraught with opportunities to commit fraud. And he is doing so openly.
Team Obama surreptitiously planted and promoted false claims that Trump’s election victory was due to collaboration with a foreign adversary. And, as noted, Rice promoted false claims about the Benghazi fiasco.
We can do without her lectures on democracy and national security.