So let me get Ben’s argument straight here: DC is populated with power-starved, group-thinking, talking-point-regurgitating, yes-men/women bureaucrats. Susan Rice isaclassic example of one of these. Therefore Susan Rice deserves promotion. Um, no thanks. Full disclosure:Ihappily voted for Obama twice. ButIalso believe Susan Rice deserves to get busted down several pay grades for her colossally dishonest TV performances the Sunday after Benghazi. Let me explain. But first, let’s stipulate that anyone who honestly thinks Republicans are attacking Susan Rice because they’re racists could never be persuaded to vote Republican anyway. Said person likely watches WAY too much MSNBC and is really just DYING for Al Sharpton or worse, Ed Schultz, to throw his hat in the ring. SoIsee no great risk to the GOP in attacking her because of the, uh, optics,Iguess is what you Beltway geniuses call them. But, you also say, the “merits” of the Susan Rice-didn’t-shoot-straight-on-Benghazi argument “are indeed thin.” Really? How’s that exactly? Obama not wanting to admit that al-Qaeda is alive and well and taking out high-ranking Americans overseas seem likeapretty fking strong motive to me. But, Ben, you skate right by that and argue instead that 1) “it’s unclear how suchacoverup would endure” 2) Rice wasn’t inaposition to mastermind suchacoverup and 3) she’s hardly the first to f-up like this. My answers: 1) Suchacoverup didn’t have to endure. It just had to endure until the election. 2) Of course she didn’t mastermind it, she just played along with it, wittingly or unwittingly. Either way, that’s the problem. And 3) the fact that “she’s hardly the first” to lie to the American people just doesn’t strike me asaqualification for higher office. The bottom line is: Susan Rice went on TV and gave the American peopleabunchaphony excuses about something really terrible that happened. Andalot of people in the White House and the CIA and likely elsewhere knew at the time that they wereabunch of phony excuses. The rest of us only found out later. In an even moderately functional Democracy, Rice’s screwup would bode poorly for her public career. That she might get passed up for promotion may be the only that good thing that comes of all this. Meanwhile, Ben — and the rest of you DC reporters sitting around pounding out this sort of thinly-reported, echo-chamber commentary about how the GOP should quit picking on Rice because she’s black and because everybody spouts lies and BS to getapromotion in DC anyway — why don’t you actually try to figure out who knew what and when about the talking points that have become the downfall of your beloved candidate for Secretary of State. That might actually be interesting reading.