Friday, January 12, 2007

Give Boxer a Break on Condoleezza Rice Comment

I have listened to what Senator Barbara Boxer said in hearings today in dialogue with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and I don't think it was a "slam" at all.

Here is the central quote:
"Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young," Boxer said. "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."
When I heard this I thought that it was a little insensitive to bring up the personal marriage/family situation of Dr. Rice but the Secretary invited this level of conversation by making reference to her personal conversations and meetings with military personnel and their families.

My own read on what Sen. Boxer meant could be summarized in this way:
Neither of us have any members of our immediate families who are affected by the deployment policies of the Bush administration. I suspect that you would not be quite so sure of yourself if you did. This new deployment strategy will take a big toll on the individuals and families involved and I am not sure that this new and increased call to sacrifice is justified or has been seriously considered in this decision.
That's what I believe Boxer (who I do not admire, support or otherwise celebrate) meant to say.

I hate it when the left nit-picks the right and I also hate it when the right nit-picks the left. This is one of those latter situations.

I do, however, stand by my criticism of Rep. Neil Ambercrombie when he suggested the possibility that Secretary of State Rice was incompetent and inneffective and was tolerated by the Bush administration only because she was black and a woman.

That, I believe, did cross a line into hypocracy . . . seeing as if a Republican has said the same thing Ambercrombie would have been the first to condemn it.

In any case, I'll let the Secretary of State have the final word on the matter:
I guess that means I don't have kids. Was that the purpose of that?" Rice said. "Well, at the time I just found it a bit confusing frankly. But in retrospect, gee, I thought single women had come further than that. That the only question is are you making good decisions because you have kids?