Kelly and Susan Attack Susan

In 1993, when female membership of the U.S. Senate increased from three to seven, and of the House of Representatives went from 30 to 48, one might have hoped that the collective intelligence quotient of Congress would be increased by the feminine influx.  However, Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of Maine indicate otherwise by their unreasoning and unreasonable castigation of Ambassador Susan Rice.  A mental fireplug like Senator John McCain or an incoherent ideologue like  Senator Lindsey Graham would be expected to fire political missiles without regard to whether they are legitimately armed, but one expects better of women.

Ambassador Rice appeared on Sunday television talk shows shortly after the murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, speaking from “talking points” provided by the CIA.  She attributed the attack in Benghazi to an Islamic protest that went violent, not to a planned al Qaeda attack.  She accurately related what she was given, but it was later revealed that an al Qaeda affiliate was responsible.  Ambassador Rice did nothing wrong.

Still, Senators Ayotte and Collins are unrelenting in their attacks on Ambassador Rice.  They claim that she is unfit for the position of Secretary of State due to her statements on Sunday, September 16, 2012.  Even if she had made a misstatement less than a week after the event, when things were still being sorted out, that should not disqualify a diplomat of Ambassador Rice’s outstanding qualifications.  However, there was no misstatement.  She properly confined her explanation to the talking points provided to her by the intelligence services.  To do otherwise would have emulated a thoughtless blowhard like Senator McCain.  Senators Ayotte and Collins and their male fellows have no basis for criticism of Ambassador Rice.

That there are now 92 women in Congress appears not to have improved either the collective congeniality or aggregate intelligence of that institution.  Judging by Senators Ayotte and Collins, either voters tend to elect blockheaded women or sensible women are infected by the stupidity of their male colleagues when they arrive in Washington.  It would be immensely useful for political science researchers to determine which is the case.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2012 John B. Payne, Attorney

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