Thursday, January 27, 2005

CONDOLEEZZA RICE WAS CONFIRMED TODAY by the Senate, and obviously that is no surprise. Her confirmation was numerically assured, even if every Democrat had voted against her. What IS a surprise -- at least to me -- is the fact that 13 senators voted against her confirmation -- including one of MY senators, Frank Lautenberg. I was disappointed to see that my other senator, Jon Corzine, was not as courageous. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 85-13 vote was "the sharpest Senate opposition to a secretary of State nominee since World War II."

Why? It wasn't because of the prewar planning or postwar occupation management problems per se. It wasn't about the revelations of torture in U.S.-run prisons per se. It was Rice's refusal to acknowledge any mistakes in policy or planning with regard to the invasion of Iraq; and her continuous stonewalling about the Bush administration's policy on torture. If she had admitted that she and others in the Bush administration had made important mistakes; if she had outlined the steps she planned to take to address these mistakes; she might have gotten confirmed unanimously (well almost; it's hard to imagine Barbara Boxer voting for her under any circumstances, bless her soul).

If this confirmation process is any indication, Pres. Bush's refusal, and his closest associates' refusal, to take any responsibility for the insurgency in Iraq or the scandalous revelations of widespread torture in U.S.-run prisons -- or even to admit that such problems exist -- is going to cost them much more dearly than they might have imagined.

The 13 senators who voted against confirming Rice are listed here.

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