Let me get this straight: The liberal intelligentsia, which cannot spot bias in mainstream media outlets that gobble up Hamas propaganda, couldn’t be bothered to report on Benghazi for weeks, carried President Obama’s water on blatantly false attacks on Mitt Romney  (nonexistent outsourcing to China, for one thing) and hounded Romney for details on his tax plan while giving Obama a pass on having no plan at all is now convinced critics of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice are racists or sexists or both. I’m sure Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) are surprised to hear that they are misogynists.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar as Dr. Freud said. Maybe the uniform criticism from Republicans and the refreshing candor coming from liberals in good standing at the New York Times is actually based on the merits, Rice’s that is. Truth be told, she was a washout in the Clinton administration (where she sat idly by while the Rwandan genocide unfolded), signed on with Obama’s campaign where she was an uncommonly partisan foreign policy adviser, had to be hushed when she attacked another woman, Hillary Clinton, and then wound up at the United Nations, where she has had the most undistinguished career of any U.N. representative in recent memory. (She rounded up all of eight “no” votes on the Palestinian declaration of statehood and has made serial excuses for the heinous Human Rights Council. A convenient list of her underachievements can be found here.) That’s before we got to Benghazi. And her investment portfolio.

The idea that racism or sexism must be the motivation for (me-oh-my could this also be good old fashioned colorblind partisanship?) attacking an opponent’s underlings for incompetence or untruthfulness is one that never applies when a conservative (Alberto Gonzales, anyone? Harriet Miers, perhaps?) is on the hot seat. This surely is the bigotry of low expectations from the media elite, who seem to be certain only white men can be bullies, incompetents and liars. The finger-wagging at conservative media and elected officials like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is known for bipartisanship and good relations with the current, female secretary of state, is a bit too much to bear.

Enough already. If you gave truth serum to liberal foreign policy gurus and to Democratic senators well-versed in foreign policy, I doubt more than a handful would say Rice is a great selection, let alone the best one, for the job of secretary of state. (Considering how well she did with moderate GOP senators I would be wary of sending her off to deal with Vladimir Putin or Mohamed Morsi.)

So yes, Rice is the subject of a double standard — one that assumes Republicans are motivated by prejudice and that women and minorities can’t, in just the same proportion as white males, be really bad at their jobs.

Rice, who had no direct knowledge of Benghazi nor operational responsibility for it, was selected to go on five TV shows because she is an ever-willing partisan whose enduring characteristic is not independence of thought or intellectual honesty, but political loyalty. Hillary Clinton didn’t go out there to spin the tale that al-Qaeda had been “decimated.” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta didn’t do it. But Rice did. Now neither she nor the president wants to pay the price. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.