Sunday, January 23, 2005


Boxer on Blitzer

Quickie, probably mistake-filled transcript:

BOXER: "I gave Dr. Rice many opportunities to address specific issues - I had the quotes on the board there. And I showed her what she said - the aluminum tubes, for example...could only be used for nuclear weapons. And it is very clear that that wasn't so, and she should have known that at the time, and she refused to answer it, she said I was impugning her integrity. You know, it's a very good debating technique. You know, I've been in this debating business for quite awhile, and when you don't know what to say about something, you just attack the person who's asking the question...She has not corrected the record, and I worry about someone who had a chance to correct the record and didn't do so."

And shorter Lugar:

"She did the best that she could."

Frankly, I think lying about the issues Boxer accused her of lying about is less damning, job qualifications-wise, than just not knowing.

BOXER: "Let me say again...Martin Luther King said, 'Our lives begin to end when we stop talking about things that matter.' And what matters to my people in California - because we've lost 25% of those who died in Iraq - the things that matter include this war. I have quotes that she made on your show Wolf, and other shows, because although she was an adviser to the President, she went out to sell this war to the American people, and she said things that were flat out not true..."

Shorter Wolf: What about the smoking gun-mushroom cloud statement?

BOXER: "I think that she frightened every American, and that was the point. And this is very interesting and she had not response to this at all. Later she went on...NewsHour on PBS and was asked, did you exaggerate this, and she said 'Look, no one ever said Saddam would have a nuclear weapon within a year, no one ever said that' and it turns out, nine months before, George Bush said that, and after she made the comment that no one ever said that, she said it again, that [Saddam would have a weapon in a year.] This is not good."

Okay, that's enough transcribing. She also does a little exposing of Bush's PNAC-Neocon language in the inaugural speech. "I didn't get the point of it."

She did make one slight misstep, I felt. She called HW Bush "daddy Bush", and then backpedaled and said she had great respect for him. This is the kind of thing that the righties love to jump on, and it takes away from a serious discussion. Overall, though, I felt she did quite well.

The hardly ever right will jump on her no matter what. Best response to any wingnut that tries to jump on "Daddy Bush" is to calmly, coolly ask, "Are you implying that Bush isn't his daddy?"
She repeated one remark today that I wish she'd clarify -- the bit about 25% of the Iraq war dead coming from California. Apparently that figure is correct if you include troops who shipped out of California bases, but according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count only 157 out of 1372 were actual residents of California (which works out to just under 11 1/2%).

As petty as it sounds, at least one wingnut site has jumped all over this statement -- twice now, in fact -- to, ahem, impugn Boxer's integrity. The logic here is primitive (Boxer's a liar! Therefore Rice is exonerated!), but why supply these clowns with any kind of ammo?

Without the lies told by Condoleezza and her cronies, of course, the number of Californians killed in Iraq would be uncontroversial. It would be zero.
Lugar's suggestion that Rice did the best she could may have a point. IMHO, she has been a serial liar ever since she went to work for Bush. But then many others have become serial liars for this man. Maybe Boxer was too hard on her in that she should have dragged in the entire White House team. Oh wait, the GOP majority would not allow that.
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