Friday, January 12, 2007

Boxer Insults Rice? Big Hairy Deal.

Goodness gracious me. In what is sure to become the next way-overblown non-issue in American politics, Barbara Boxer (for whom I hold absolutely no respect or affection) appears to have insulted Condoleezza Rice yesterday.

I mention this only because suddenly I'm getting hit after hit from people who've been searching the net for articles related to "boxer insults rice," and I found it hilarious that I was getting hits since I hadn't yet written about this incident. In fact, had I NOT gotten those hits I probably would have left this where it firmly belongs: in the realm of "nothing to see here, folks."

Given the reports as published so far, I'm guessing that Boxer should be taken at face value on this one. She probably really was just trying to assert that neither she nor Rice are truly in a position to understand the "real" cost of our war, as measured in human terms. Boxer has no children or grandchildren that are currently eligible to be "sent" to war. Rice is a single woman who also would not experience that sort of personal loss (potentially, of course).

On the surface, the comments by Boxer seem insensitive at worst. Yet bloggers, columnists, and conservative apologists are already lining up to decry the comments as "insults," or "flash points."

Where Boxer blew it was in stating the obvious: She really isn't in a position to understand the "cost" that she was attempting to put in human terms. Only families who have loved ones in that conflict have that perspective. (The fact that a large majority of those families support what their loved ones are attempting is telling. Congress just isn't listening.) In short, when Boxer says things like that, we get the feeling that her empathy for families of the military is really just concern that she's gonna lose more voters before the next election.

Who among us can really say what that cost ultimately will be? I have a son-in-law in the military, and even though he is in no danger of being deployed to Iraq, he does occasionally have to see the casualties of the conflict in his work. That by itself can be traumatic, but how can we possibly measure even that apparently "small" cost?

Short answer: we can't. And neither can Congress.

Did Boxer insult Condi Rice? Perhaps. Is this something to get excited about?

Hey, wake me when it's over.

By the way, the mystery of the search hits lies with a post I'd written just about a year ago. It was actually meant to be a humorous scan of Drudge reports for that day, wherein the most excitable piece of news (according to me, anyway) was a scandal at Krispy Kreme. Included in the "fluff" I chose to pass over was "Boxer insults Rice." Funny thing is, I don't even remember what the alleged insult was at the time, although it may have had something to do with Martin Luther King. Anyway, that's why folks keep popping in here today.

Just wanted to give them something a bit more substantive to come away with.

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