THE CONFEDERACY lives in the 21st century Republican party and segments of the American right, which many progressives have argued for a long time; they may not be the largest contingent, but they’re the loudest and most troublesome for conservatives clawing their way to relevancy in the wake of the 2012 election.

The confederate right has risen up to target U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in a display of character assassination that has been aided and abetted by some infotainment characters on the Fox News Channel, which included a false report of the CIA standing down that helped fan the fury, and is led by some of the very people who started and pushed Obama birtherism, including Sean Hannity. But that’s only half the story.

The Washington Post editorial board delves into it:

SINCE THE Senate is solely responsible for the confirmation of Cabinet officers, it’s not often that members of the House of Representatives jump into a debate about the nomination of a secretary of state ““ particularly before there has been a nomination. That’s one of the reasons a letter sent to President Obama this week by 97 House Republicans, challenging his potential choice of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the State Department job, is remarkable.

Another is blatant disregard of established facts. Drawn up by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), the letter alleges that “Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public” about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But as congressional testimony has established, Ms. Rice’s comments on several Sunday television talk shows on Sept. 16 were based on talking points drawn up by the intelligence community. She was acting as an administration spokeswoman; there was nothing either incompetent or deliberately misleading about the way she presented the information she was given.

… Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy.

There is another obvious aspect that was also present in election 2012, with liberals and progressives making their argument for Obama/Biden on this issue alone, which proved powerful and gave Democrats and Planned Parenthood a huge victory where sexism became part of the election.

The patriarchal portion of the Republican Party was the other half of the demographic demolition, gender the other 2012 vote killer for the right.

When you put race and sexism together in the case of Susan Rice you get the hard right nucleus of what’s wrong with the American right, with conservatives fighting mightily to vanquish them so they’re not in the lead again.

The clash of generations, but especially of culture, seen through the talking points of Bill O’Reilly, topped off with the racial component and a growing majority of women rising, who are still fighting to gain equality from Republicans, has all led the supremely controlling white male, epitomized by Senator John McCain, to have an identity crisis crackup.

How could this not turn ugly?