Have you ever known people who pass the time of day by arguing with themselves? Barbara Boxer almost gets to that level in this video clip from the San Francisco Chronicle and Debra Saunders, who can’t quite believe that Boxer’s delusion is so detailed. Boxer talks at length about how then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice failed to provide an answer to her during a Senate hearing on how many troops had been killed in action in Iraq. Boxer took a lot of heat from her remarking on Rice’s childless status as a way to criticize the Bush administration for going to war in Iraq, a cheap shot that Boxer attempts to rehabilitate in this interview by claiming that she shared that status with Rice, even though she had children and grandchildren, and that it was Rice’s failure to answer her question that she criticized:
“I asked her how many people had died and she did not know the answer to that question. And since we had lost a lot of Californians, I was concerned. And I said, you and I don’t have, we haven’t paid a person price, I said, you and I, I said, myself, my grandkids are too young, my husband too old, and as far as I know you don’t have anybody in the war. So I tried to use it to bring us together, but the right-wing press said that I questioned, that I turned on her because she wasn’t married which was a little silly.”
Except Boxer never asked Rice that question. In fact, Boxer asked a ridiculous hypothetical after choosing to use most of her time in a tiresome monologue. And Saunders provides the video proof, too:
In fact, what Boxer asked Rice was how many casualties Rice expected in the future from surge operations. She found it “really appalling” that the Bush administration didn’t have a forecast of deaths in hand when it planned the surge. Exactly what did Boxer expect to hear, that Rice had consulted a couple of fortune tellers? Flipped through a few tarot cards? Consulted a Magic 8-Ball?
Either Boxer is deliberately lying about this in order to avoid criticism of her behavior, or she really believes in the fantasy argument she had with Rice in her own mind. I’m not sure which would be worse, but neither recommends Boxer for any further service in the US Senate.
Addendum: The C-SPAN clip is worth watching all the way through to remember just how wrong Boxer was on the surge, too. At the very least, Rice and Bush forecast that success with a lot more accuracy than Boxer did its failure.