Barbara Boxer was “shaking and trembling” in shock at Senator Corker’s supposedly harsh questioning of Secretary of State John Kerry about his announced plans to destroy the Islamic State. Oh, how we forget. Do we remember Senator Boxer in 2005 when she grilled National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in hearings following the latter’s nomination to the position of secretary of state—likewise at a time of war? Boxer called Secretary of State designate Rice a veritable liar (e.g., selling a war “overwhelmed your respect for the truth”). Not much respect there.
Worse, two years later she then stooped to suggest that the fact that Rice was single and childless made her less credible in advocating the removal of Saddam Hussein (“You’re not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family.”) Again, as in the case of Vice President Joe Biden’s use of “Shylock,” we are back to the medieval practice of exemption.
In our version, doctrinaire liberalism allows one to act and speak with impunity in a fashion not accorded to those with less loud liberal credentials. If you want to use condescending terms such as “honey” or “sweetie” or slurs such as “crackers” and Asian jokes, make hundreds of millions off new coal plants, or sell a failed cable station (in hopes of beating new capital-gains hikes) to oil-funded and anti-Semitic Al Jazeera, embracing liberal piety proves a good investment in securing an exemption from media or public censure.