"But it's up to Saudi Arabia to make its own decisions about its own social structure choices and timing for whatever events. I know there's a debate. We actually talked about this at lunch," Kerry ducked. What he "actually talked about" he wouldn't say. "There's a healthy debate in Saudi Arabia about this issue, but I think that debate is best left to Saudi Arabia, the people engaged in it, all of whom know exactly where we in the United States of America stand on this issue."
Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. No unequivocal shout-outs for the brave women risking arrest for simply getting behind the wheel? No paean to the cherished freedom to move about as we please? No stirring affirmation of the connection between mobility and women's dignity? Nada.
Of course, we've come to expect nothing less than pure fecklessness from the foggy minds at Foggy Bottom. Kerry's predecessor, feminist hero Hillary Clinton, who preferred "quiet diplomacy" on the matter, had to be dragged into the Saudi women driver's debate in 2011. Even then, she soft-pedaled her message: "I want to, again, underscore and emphasize that this is not about the United States; it's not about what any of us on the outside say," she said. "It is about the women themselves and their right to raise their concerns with their own government."
These "progressive" Democrats are all for championing women's rights and international human rights when it suits them: at Hollywood soirees, Vogue photo shoots, fancy state dinners and black-tie award ceremonies. But stick their Hermes-wrapped necks out once in favor of basic human dignity and risk upsetting the mullahs to their faces? Never. This is Obama's America: leading from the sidelines.