Right wing pundits and the conservative blogosphere jumped all over this. To illustrate how silly all of this is, Rush Limbaugh, who was fired from ESPN for making racially insensitive remarks about an African American NFL Quarterback had this to say as quoted in the below NY Times article "Here you have a rich white chick with a huge, big mouth, trying to lynch this, an African-American woman, right before Martin Luther King Day, hitting below the ovaries here,"
I guess Limbaugh was taking a break from making fun of Parkinson's patients.
Progressives who frequently comment on the online News site for which I write, OpEd News, frequently criticize Democrats for not 'charging the machine gun nests' as it were. What we have in this situation is evidence of exactly how challenging it is even just to frame what appears to be a straightforward argument. Ms Rice has no close relatives in Iraq, neither does Senator Boxer, so they need to try to be more compassionate when discussing whether more troops should be sent to Iraq or when the ones already there should be brought home. That to me sounds obvious or straightforward.
However, since Republicans are desperate to have the attention for failures in Iraq focused elsewhere, any opening they think they can use will be exploited to its fullest possible extent.
This tactic of Rice, Limbaugh, Tony Snow and the rest of the Conservative world is politics at its worst. The American people deserve a solid, hard-hitting look at everything regarding the Iraq war. Republicans are determined to deny the American People this investigative examination of Iraq and will use any means necessary to manipulate the discussion into anything else other than Iraq.
The rest of the Democratic world deserves some criticism as well for not coming immediately and more forcefully to Senator Boxer's defense. Senator Boxer did not say or do anything that was inappropriate. I read her statement several times with an eye to trying to see something that might be wrong.
As Gertrude Stein would have said, "There is no there, there."
Honest journalists, famous and otherwise, need to step up to the plate and help expose the Republican tactics for what they are, desperate, cynical and manipulative attempts to avoid accountability on Iraq.
From Passing Exchange Becomes Political Flashpoint http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/13/world/americas/13rice.html :
In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Ms. Rice suggested that Ms. Boxer had set back feminism by suggesting during the hearing that the childless Ms. Rice had paid no price in the Iraq war.
"I thought it was O.K. to be single," Ms. Rice said. "I thought it was O.K. to not have children, and I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children."
During the Thursday hearing, Senator Boxer told Ms. Rice: "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. And I just want to bring us back to that fact."