Predicting the future is difficult; telling the truth about the past should not be

I expect November 2, 2010 to be a very good night for Republicans. But for me, it won’t be a fully satisfactory night unless Sen. Barbara Boxer goes down to defeat.
To understand why, consider Sen. Boxer’s exchange with then-Secretary of State Rice regarding the troop surge in Iraq, which had just been announced. Boxer made it clear that she didn’t expect the surge to work. She was confident that more troops would not help because the Iraqis already relied on us too much.
Boxer was also incensed (not too strong a word, if you watch the video) that Rice had not anticipated the large uptick in violence that occurred in 2006. She even had someone hold up a poster with a statement Rice made in 2005 that was overly optimistic. Boxer later misrepresented what was on her own poster.
But Boxer’s main point was to inform Rice that the cost of the Iraq war was being paid by American military families, not by members of Boxer’s or Rice’s immediate family (Rice is unmarried and has never had children). As you can see below, Boxer was at her arrogant and obnoxious best throughout her harangue.

Recently, Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle asked Boxer about the exchange. A much more subdued Boxer responded by claiming that, far from attacking Rice, she was trying to “bring us together” by pointing out that neither she nor the Secretary had immediate family members in harm’s way.
Boxer conceded, however, that she did criticize Rice because she “did not know how many people died in Iraq.”
But Boxer never asked Rice how many people had died in Iraq. Instead, she asked Rice how many Americans would die in the future as a result of the surge.
The question is an absurd one, of course, and I haven’t heard Boxer ask the corresponding one to anyone in the Obama administration with respect to the surge in Afghanistan. As Rice pointed out, with far less derision than would have been appropriate, no one can say how many people will die under a military strategy that has not yet been implemented.
Clearly, then, Boxer is being dishonest about her exchange with Rice. But the exchange itself reveals Boxer’s unfitness for serious office. Boxer expects Rice to know how many people will die in an extended military campaign that has not commenced. And she castigates Rice for not anticipating in 2005 the large increase in violence that occurred in 2006 after the bombing of the Golden Mosque.
Meanwhile, Boxer dismisses the idea that the surge will succeed. She therefore fails to meet the standard of prophecy to which she holds the Bush administration.
Either her attack was a disgrace or her failure to predict the outcome of the surge was.
You can help bring an end to Boxer’s Senate career by contributing to Carly Fiorina’s campaign here.


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