By Scott Tibbs, September 28, 2010
Last summer, California Senator "Babs" Boxer offended a lot of people with her dismissal of a general, demanding he call her "Senator" instead of "Ma'am" during a Congressional hearing. Carly Fiorina has a very effective campaign commercial about it. Chuck Devore, who lost in the primary, also had an effective ad along with a hilarious parody comparing "Babs" Boxer to the Dr. Evil character in the Austin Powers movies.
Boxer quickly became emblematic of the arrogance that has caused many Americans to sour on DC. Boxer wasn't satisfied with an all-purpose show of respect for the person you're addressing, depending on the sex of that person. Some Leftists quickly jumped to defend "Babs" by saying her critics are sexist.
And this is why political discourse is often impossible. Instead of directly addressing the "distinguished" Senator's behavior, Leftists immediately attempt to impugn the character of her critics. Is it any wonder that so many Americans are turned off by politics, when political hacks are unable to address the substance of an issue and must instead personally attack their opponents? And no, I'm not blind - conservatives do it too.
Some people say that "respect is earned, not given." I disagree with that statement. In my opinion, it should be the reverse. That said, respect that is given can be lost - and "Babs" Boxer demonstrated last summer that she does not deserve the respect that should come with her office.
"Babs" Boxer was the primary example of inside the beltway arrogance... until Baron Hill declared "This is my town hall meeting" and said "you're not going to tell me how to run my Congressional office." (See here and here.) We can send a message against Washington arrogance by terminating Baron Hill's employment in November.