Most disheartening headline of the day:

McCain Uses Susan Rice to Relaunch War on Women

Okay, repeat after me:

John McCain and several other GOP senators, including Kelly Ayotte–herself known to be a woman–aren't questioning U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s fitness to be Secretary of State because she is a woman.

They are concerned that Rice made false statements about the terrorist attacks at Benghazi on five different Sunday shows. Whether she knew her statements to be untrue or was duped into making them is something the senators would like to know. Terrorist attacks on our nation, you see, are very important, and the public deserves to know the truth. Moreover, Ms. Rice's untrue statements were made at a point during the presidential campaign when the truth about Benghazi conceivably could have affected the president's reelection.

Got that?

DeWayne Wickham, author of the column below the headline, doesn't get that: 

The talking points the Obama administration gave Rice in advance of her appearances on several Sunday morning TV talk shows did not brand the Benghazi action, which took the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, a terrorist attack. So, McCain and Graham say Rice is not fit to be secretary of State because she repeated what she was told to say.

That's it. That is the long and short of what McCain and Graham have said publicly about their opposition to Rice becoming secretary of State. And it is nonsense.

Wickham goes on to say that McCain “was not always so emphatic about what should disqualify a presidential nominee from gaining Senate confirmation.” Wickham cites McCain’s support of President Bush’s 2005 nomination of John Bolton to be U.N. Ambassador. Democrats filibustered the appointment–an act not at the time regarded, as far as I can tell, as a war on men–and President Bush made a recess appointment.

Wickham continues:

But in going after Obama in this way, [GOP senators] run the risk of opening an even wider gap between the Republican Party and women, 55% of whom voted for Obama in his lopsided victory this year over GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

A dozen female members of the House of Representatives drove home that point when they held a news conference to accuse McCain and Graham of being sexist and racist in their attack on Rice, who is black.

While the two Republican senators might prevail in keeping Rice from becoming secretary of State — either by forestalling her nomination or blocking a Senate confirmation vote — their opposition to her almost certainly will be seen by many others as proof of a GOP war on women.

I guess if Democrats could get by making the bizarre claim that Republicans are coming to get your birth control pills, the sky is the limit.

My only question is whether the people making arguments similar to Wickham's are engaging in subterfuge to steer us away from a touchy matter–or whether they have been duped.

That is sort of what the senators would like to know about Rice's statements.