ROBERTS: Critics say the administration hid the information so as not to damage the president, politically. And the latest example they're giving are these so-called talking points that Ambassador Rice used on the Sunday shows. And whether those talking points were changed, from the time the CIA developed them, if so - who changed them.Laughter. Laughter!
Now, the Democratic chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein, says she's seen them and the only one insignificant word was changed. It was consulate was changed to mission. We're really, you know, talking about angels on the head of a pin here. But Senator Feinstein says she'll investigate this.
WERTHEIMER: But what's really going on?
WERTHEIMER: Is this really about Benghazi or is this something else?
ROBERTS: It seems to me, Linda, that it's about Republicans trying to regain supremacy on national security. As you well know, the fact it's Jon McCain and Lindsey Graham leading the charge on this, is instructive. They both believe that their party has gone off the deep end on a lot of other issues, especially immigration. But they want to keep the traditional Republican advantage on defense and national security. And for the moment, the Republicans have lost that as well.
And so, those senators probably think it's the easiest place to start rebuilding. And the Benghazi attack seems the perfect place to lay down a marker, but a couple of things are getting in the way. One is that their guy, David Petraeus, whom many Republicans were touting for president, is having problems of his own - to put it mildly.
But also what's happening right now, between Israel and the Palestinians, leaves the president no choice but to be tough on Israel's behalf. And it makes it harder for the Republicans to paint them as weak-kneed.
WERTHEIMER: Now, some Republicans are making it clear, though, that they will make it difficult for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be confirmed as secretary of state, if President Obama should choose her to succeed Hillary Clinton. Do you think that the new-found strength of women in the Senate will help her?
ROBERTS: I think it probably will. I think that the Democratic women in the Senate are likely to lead the charge to confirm her, if her name is put forward. But I think the real problem for Republicans is women in the electorate rather than their own colleagues. Look, they've just gone through an election where they're keenly aware that they lost women and minority voters. Do they really want their first big fight to be over not confirming a minority woman? Probably not.
But it's also true that we now have a critical mass of 20 women in the Senate. Did you ever think we'd be able to say that, Linda?
WERTHEIMER: It's remarkable.
ROBERTS: It is. And it makes a difference in all kinds of things. And they tend to have a way of putting things in a way that makes their male colleagues cringe. So, I don't think that the Republicans senators want to get on the wrong side here.
No stopping progress. I recall scoffing at the rejoicing over Elena Kagan's appointment resulting in--for the first time ever!--a Supreme Court with three female justices sitting on it at the same time. Don't think that the first black this or the first Latina that is the end of it, ever. There's the second, third, and forty-first black this and Latina that--or in this case, the twentieth simultaneous female senator--to celebrate.
Rice's conduct is immaterial. Yeah, she probably knowingly misled the entire country by propagating a fabricated, baseless narrative with the objective of somehow making American religious intolerance into the reason Christopher Stephens got his just desserts rather than pointing out that it was an especially violent case of Arab Muslims being Arab Muslims. But she's a black woman for heaven's sake--only a sexist racist (or a racist sexist?) would have the audacity to raise questions that might impede her progression up the political ladder. So Lindsey, how does it feel to block the bridge in Selma, anyway?
There's plenty of other leftist bilge here, too; "off the deep end" on immigration by maintaining a position that is supported by an overwhelming majority of the country, "angels on the head of a pin"--those dastardly Scholastic Republicans, they--standard media fare.
If there's some tipping point at which white men collectively realize they are witnessing--and by essentially doing nothing in protest, acceding to--their political, moral, and cultural dispossession, we have to be close to reaching it. But I'm not going to suffocate holding my breath waiting for that realization to be made.
* Not necessarily in a numerical sense, of course!