I think it’s safe to say that congress is littered with colorful characters… On both sides of the aisle.
But one can be colorful and still be professional. Could someone please inform Barbara Boxer and some of her fellow Democrats of this fact?
The grilling faced by Dr. Rice these past two days underscores exactly why retiring Senator Zell Miller has called his party a “National Party No More.” And it was more than just the fact that Senators like Boxer and Kerry were asking inane questions and saying one thing, then another. While some Dems were questioning Dr. Rice, others were talking in the background. If you were watching on C-Span, you could hear their incessant chatter.
Interestingly, on her show today, Laura Ingraham played some of the background comments and tried to isolate their voices. At one particular spot, you could actually hear one of the Dems, Laura thinks it was Biden, talk about “delaying confirmation.” Now, whether Biden was saying this was a good idea or a bad one is anyone’s guess, but the very fact you could hear Democrats talking strategy on national television while another of their member was busy grilling Dr. Rice is just so completely unprofessional.
And the most pitiful thing of all is the fact that Democrats are only using Dr. Rice as a way of getting face time on television so they can take cheap swipes at the Bush Administration. If these were private hearings, they would have lasted half a day at best.
So, in a real sense, Angry Dems were using Dr. Rice, a person eminently qualified to assume the post of Secretary of State, in the cheapest way. I wonder if they realize how disorganized, angry, and unprofessional they looked to so many of us watching them on C-Span. Truly, my fellow college students who served with me on Student Government served with more professionalism and dignity than some of these pitiful partisan Dems.
In contrast, Dr. Rice looked as if she had already assumed the post of SecState and was smoothly dealing with a group of squabbling third-world government officials. After watching how skillfully and professionally Dr. Rice handled herself during the past two days, I think Americans can feel very confident regarding her ability to handle delicate and critical negotiations for the President and I’m willing to bet that post-hearing polls will reflect that confidence.
And here is the final irony from this two-day Democratic debacle:
In an unpleasant exchange yesterday, Boxer confronted Rice with the usual Angry Left line, that BUSH LIED!!!! about Iraq. But it turns out Boxer is the one taking liberties with the truth:
Rice: It wasn’t just weapons of mass destruction. He was also a place— his territory was a place where terrorists were welcomed, where he paid suicide bombers to bomb Israel, where he had used Scuds against Israel in the past.
And so we knew what his intentions were in the region; where he had attacked his neighbors before and, in fact, tried to annex Kuwait; where we had gone to war against him twice in the past. It was the total picture, Senator, not just weapons of mass destruction, that caused us to decide that, post-September 11th, it was finally time to deal with Saddam Hussein.
Boxer: Well, you should read what we voted on when we voted to support the war, which I did not, but most of my colleagues did. It was WMD, period. That was the reason and the causation for that, you know, particular vote.
Presumably when Boxer says “I did not,” she means that she didn’t vote to liberate Iraq, not that she didn’t read the resolution. But the resolution itself makes clear that Rice was right:
Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait; . . .
The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to–
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
Ignorance is actually the more charitable explanation for Boxer’s misrepresentation of the resolution’s contents. If in fact she did read it, her own integrity is a matter of question.
And here’s another apparent Boxer falsehood:
You never even mention indirectly the 1,366 American troops that have died. . . . And 25 percent of those dead are from my home state.
According to Casualties.org, the number of California servicemen who’ve died is 157, which is about 11.5% of the total, less than half the proportion Boxer claimed.
I love the irony. Barbara Boxer sat there blatantly accusing Dr. Rice of lying while she herself was playing fast and loose with the truth.
Senator Boxer, “you can’t handle the truth!”