In George Bush’s administration, I had two favorite cabinet/sub-cabinet appointees: Don Rumsfeld and Condi Rice. In particular, I held Condi Rice in high regard because she hadn’t come from privilege and had worked damned hard for success and she exuded a grace and dignity that had to be damned hard to maintain considering the vile and racist abuse she was subjected to as a black woman who was a Republican (sadly, not all that conservative, though). And I think she was one of the best secretaries of state of the last 50 years.
Rice, for reasons known to heaven alone, appeared on The View on Tuesday.
Rice, I think, has more common sense about what happened in 2016 than 99% of the people talking about it. (Transcript via Newsbusters.)
RICE: Look at where relations are with the Russians. Again, I think we ought to be looking into what ties were there, that makes perfectly good sense. But I also want to say something about Vladimir Putin and interfering in our elections. He has been trying to interfere in your election and everybody else’s for a very long time. What cyber allows him to do is to do it more efficiently and more quickly. Let’s not deceive ourselves that the Russians haven’t tried these tricks before. They have. Now, I would have said — I would have said to the Russians, ‘we know you did it. At the time of our choosing, we will find a way to punish that behavior.’ But Vladimir Putin is an eye for an eye kind of person, and we questioned — Secretary Clinton questioned the legitimacy of his election in 2012. Now he’s saying, I’m going to question the legitimacy of your election by hacking into it and so forth.
This is the logical point of view, the point of view held by the FBI and virtually everyone else until former CIA Director John Brennan concocted his “the Russians helped Trump” story out of thin air. Putin, like everyone else, thought Hillary Clinton was going to win and he wanted her weakened and the Democrats fragmented so she would be hamstrung. It was not only good geopolitics, it was payback.
When one of the hosts, Sunny Hostin (I have to confess to not knowing or caring who she is) claimed that Russian mischief delegitimized the election, Rice was ready:
RICE: No, no. That’s where I — first of all, I don’t want to question his motives beyond he’s an eye for an eye kind of person. Secondly, I trust the people who voted in Wisconsin and Texas and Alabama and California to have voted on the basis of who they thought was best going to represent their interests. And so I’m not going to question the legitimacy of their vote because Vladimir Putin tried to interfere in the elections. That’s just a step that I don’t think we should take. Let’s trust our fellow citizens to have been smart enough to have voted for the people they thought they ought to be voting for.
Ironically, if Trump had won the popular vote the whole “illegitimate election” narrative would make more sense. Because then the bullsh** “fake news” impact would at least have some grounding in reality. The fact is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and Trump’s victory hinged on a relatively small number of votes in three historically Democrat states. As they say, Vladimir Putin didn’t tell Hillary to ignore Wisconsin. Rice’s ability to calmly reason with this herd of harpies and to make her point was truly a throwback to an era before the shout-fests on cable news shows.