January 27, 2005

A RIGHTEOUS FIST IN HER OWN EYE:

Boxer's Match: A tale of two senators (DAVID CORN, 1/28/05, LA Weekly)

On one morning, in one Capitol Hill hearing room, two senators from one state displayed starkly different approaches to handling the powerful of Washington. The occasion was the confirmation hearing of Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush's pick to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state. Senator Barbara Boxer confronted her; Senator Dianne Feinstein coddled her. The respective performances of California's two U.S. senators - both Democrats - illuminated a divide in Washington. There are those in town who participate in and preside over the clubby atmosphere of a Washington establishment that fosters a we're-all-honorable-men-and-women conceit. And there are those who realize that governments don't make bad policies, people do, and that such officials - especially when they engage in dishonest policymaking - do not deserve respect or hors d'oeuvres.

When Rice came before the Senate foreign-affairs committee, Boxer showed that on this day she cared more for policy and politics - perhaps even for truth - than for the faux politeness that animates many of Washington's official spectacles. Feinstein, however, demonstrated an allegiance to personal bonds, not to holding government leaders accountable for their missteps and misdeeds. In a way, the two reflected alternative modes of opposition available to the Democrats: Kick the GOPers whenever possible and afford them and their agenda not a scintilla of respect, or agree to disagree and confront the Republicans when practical without challenging their motives, intent or character.


At the point where Ms Boxer took to the Senate floor to claim that she'd been unfairly maligned by Ms Rice, even a David Corn should have been able to figure out that the "confrontation" hadn't gone quite so well politically as the Left had hoped. Winners don't whine.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2005 7:25 PM
Comments

Boxer was the victim of a self-inflicted wound. Her full-boor performance caught the attention of the late nite comedy shows who mocked it without mercy. When reduced to a prop for late nite titters, she reacted with surly funk and grasped the lofty status of put-upon victim. She is now trying to use the sordid episode aa a prop for fund raising. Absent throughout was any evidence of good character or good judgment on her part. No wonder the equally self-destructive Corn finds her performance admirable.

Posted by: LUCIFEROUS at January 27, 2005 7:54 PM

The left now so hates and fears George Bush that their actions inevitably follow this path: screeching and howling, then whimpering. Kerry did it well during the campaign. Dean did it during the primaries. Larry O'Donnell and David Corn are there as well.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 27, 2005 9:48 PM

The Feinstein-Boxer performance reminded me of the Good Cop-Bad Cop style of interrogating prisoners.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at January 27, 2005 9:57 PM

Corn is a whining ninny.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 27, 2005 11:16 PM

Jeez, the guy is an editor of the Nation.

How could he have taken time away from his mag's quest to prove the innocence of Algr Hiss and the heroism of the Rosenbergs in order to write this piece?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 28, 2005 1:53 AM
In a way, the two reflected alternative modes of opposition available to the Democrats: Kick the GOPers whenever possible and afford them and their agenda not a scintilla of respect, or agree to disagree and confront the Republicans when practical without challenging their motives, intent or character.

Hey, yeah, let's just have a civil war!

Posted by: at January 28, 2005 3:51 AM

I guess now that Gus Hall is dead, praise from David Corn will have to do.

A civil war with the American left reminds me of Tom Lehrer's Folk Song Army.

'Remember the war against Franco, that's the kind where each of us belongs.

'Though he may have won all the battles, we had all the good songs.'

Posted by: Bart at January 28, 2005 2:14 PM
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