Senator Barbara Boxer has mastered the art of rudeness much better than she has cultivated wisdom on weighty matters of state.
When questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the president's Iraq war policy, Boxer uttered a series of bizarre rhetorical questions. They were obviously intended to discredit Rice, not based on her support of the president's presumably dubious war strategy, but because she doesn't have children, which disqualifies her from participating in a decision that could affect people's children.
Referring to war, Boxer said, "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, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."
Despite her professional and personal accomplishments, Rice is frequently a target for liberals, who apparently find Rice's Republican Party membership a particular betrayal, given her gender and race, which to liberals mean unquestioned allegiance to liberalism.
The liberal establishment demands that blacks and women and especially black women toe the liberal line, and when they deviate, they deserve the establishment's collective wrath. Indeed, such is the magnitude of their infidelity that they forfeit any expectation of civility from the left.
We saw this on graphic display when liberal cartoonists savaged Rice in racially pointed cartoons during her confirmation hearings without so much as a whimper of disapproval from self-styled racially sensitive liberals.
At the hearings -- as I chronicle in my book -- Senator Boxer exhibited a viciously insulting tone toward Rice, telling her, "I personally believe -- this is my personal view -- that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth." Democrats didn't condemn Boxer -- even though she compounded the egregiousness of her baseless accusation by boastfully showcasing it in an exploitive fundraising e-mail she sent for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Boxer's credentials for rudeness thus being established, how should we evaluate the reasonableness of her implied argument that Rice's opinion is worthless because she has no children who could be affected by it?
This line of reasoning, of course, is nothing new for liberals. I wish I had a dime for every time I've heard one of them say that those who didn't serve have no moral right to opine on war issues. This "chicken-hawk" argument is so childishly misguided you would think liberals, who consider themselves superior logicians and cerebral sophisticates, would be too embarrassed to make it.