Saturday, January 13, 2007

Condi Rice, Feminist Icon? Spare me!

Right-wingers are in indignation overdrive after remarks made by Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer to Secretary of State Condi Rice about the upcoming escalation of troops to Iraq. Yesterday during a senate hearing, Boxer criticized Rice's support of the troop escalation, inferring that Rice could support the escalation because being childless, she wouldn't be personally impacted by the decision. Boxer:

"Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price,' Boxer, a Democrat, said. '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.'"

Seasoned opportunist that she is, Rice saw a chance to turn the dispute on its head, re-inventing it as a feminist issue. Later she said of Boxer's comment:

"At the time, I just found it a bit confusing, frankly. But in retrospect, gee, I thought single women had come further than that. I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children."

"Gee." Found it a bit confusing? No, Dr. Rice may be evil and odious but she isn't stupid; she knew exactly what Boxer was trying to say, and just how to spin it. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, born-again feminist, wasted no time jumping into the fray, calling Boxer's remark "a great leap backward for feminism". Astonishing: a government that's always been virulently anti-female has a sudden feminist epiphany.

Give me a fucking break. Anyone who says this argument had anything to do with feminism is either obtuse or disingenuous. Senator Boxer's comment was right on the mark. If Rice, Bush, Cheney or any of the other cheerleaders for this death march had kids who were serving in Iraq, the war would have been over long ago. It's so easy for them to march other peoples' kids into that middle eastern meat grinder because they'll never know, or even have to worry about knowing, the unspeakable agony of losing a child.

Predictably, many on the right are calling for Boxer to apologize to Rice. For what, speaking the truth? If anything, Rice should apologize to Boxer for purposely twisting the meaning of her words into something she could use for sleazy political spin and diversion. Boxer owes an apology? No way! And I hope she resists the pressure to give one.