Boxer vs. Rice
A Jan. 12 “exchange between Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice turned into the chew toy of cable news shows over the weekend — with Democrats arguing that Boxer was right to point out that Rice, a single woman, has no children fighting in Iraq, and White House spokesman Tony Snow indignant that Boxer had made ‘a great leap backward for feminism.’ “ San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders writes.
“Debbie Argel Bastian, a Lompoc (Calif.) mother who lost her son Derek Argel in Iraq in 2005, told me over the phone that Boxer’s remarks were ‘rude,’ ‘shameful’ and ‘cruel.’
“In case you missed the exchange, this is what Boxer said to Rice at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing: ‘Now, the issue is, who pays the price? I’m not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young. You’re not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, within immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families, and I just want to bring us back to that fact.’
“Actually, Rice is paying a personal price. She has not lost a son, but Rice has had to live with whatever policy mistakes she helped make, and she has put her life at risk when visiting Iraq,” the columnist said.
“Bastian, who visited Iraq in December with the pro-war group Move America Forward, came back saying that ‘Each and every one of those troops, I feel, are my children. I believe that Condoleezza Rice feels that, too.’ It’s hard not to see a link between Boxer’s comments and war critics who protest that the daughters of President Bush are not in the military. (The same is true of Chelsea Clinton and John Kerry’s daughters, even though the parents voted for the war resolution.)”
Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.