Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tale Spins

The recent Senate hearing involving Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and California Senator Barbara Boxer has gotten a lot of play recently in conservative blogging circles. In particular was a contentious exchange where Senator Boxer points out that Dr. Rice doesn't have any children and, thus, will not pay any personal price for the war in Iraq.

When I first read the text of the exchange, the first thing I thought of was how odd it was that Boxer would have made the point she did at that point in time. The way it was phrased sounded as though Boxer took up the claim advanced by members of the faux left that Dr. Rice is gay, which would explain why she's still single. Conservatives have blasted Boxer for making an anti-feminist statement, a notion that Dr. Rice and the Bush Administration have also picked up. Boxer denies this, stating she was merely trying to establish a rapport with Dr. Rice and that her statements weren't anti-feminist, but were twisted to make them sound like they were.

And both sides are spinning the event to their ends.

First off, Boxer's statement really wasn't anti-feminist. Granted, it really didn't have much of a place in the hearing, but that alone didn't make it anti-feminist. The point Boxer made was valid. Dr. Rice doesn't really have the same personal stake in the war in Iraq that a family sending a son or daughter or a husband or wife to war has. Could it have been phrased better? Absolutely. Did it sound like something you'd find on DailyKos? Yep. Was the statement anti-feminist? Not at all.

Now, onto Boxer's explanation that people were trying to twist what she said. Sorry, but that doesn't fly with me because the statement left itself open to interpretation. When you have a statement that can be taken in more than one way, you can't really complain when someone does take it in a way that it wasn't intended. Besides, after the number your party did with Newt Gingrich's "wither on the vine" comment, you really don't have room to talk about people taking your words out of context.

In other words, Democrats and Republicans have meat to bash the other side with, and the truth is getting harder to determine amid all the spin. Both Rice and Boxer should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of discussing the Iraq war as adults, they both resort to childish behavior and taunts to set up strawman arguments they can easily knock down. And that doesn't serve anyone in the short or the long run.

No comments: