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Ma'am or Senator???

Most of you may have already heard about this story and, to tell the truth, it’s not really all that important, at least not to the point that literally thousands of blogs have commented on it. Well, I guess you might as well count mine among those thousands now. Truthfully, I hesitated to post on this at all but my take is probably a little different from most of my fellow conservatives, so I figured “What the heck?”

At a hearing on Capital Hill on Tuesday, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) had an unusual request of Army Corps of Engineers division leader, Brigadier General Michael Walsh. During a somewhat heated exchange, Boxer questioned Walsh on why the levees in New Orleans are still unrepaired after nearly four years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. After his response, she then asked that he refer to her as Senator rather than “ma’am” (see video).

The argument in the blogosphere has been over who owes who respect. My question is: Don’t they BOTH owe each other respect? Does anyone really think Gen. Walsh intentionally disrespected Sen. Boxer? And I also don’t think it’s inappropriate of Boxer to ask Gen. Walsh to refer to her as “Senator”, either. After all, regardless of what I think of her as a Senator, she certainly has earned the right to be called by that title.

The only thing I can fault either one for is that Boxer probably should’ve just let it slide. It probably wasn’t worth interrupting the flow of the hearing to comment on. Other than that, she has every right to ask to be referred to by her title. It’s not that big a deal.

The bigger question is, why are we wasting time on this trivial matter and other things like it in the media, blogosphere, etc? We’ve got huge problems in this country, fiscal and moral, domestic and international. Those are the things we should be spending our time worrying about instead of pontificating on who snubbed who or who deserves what. Of course, I guess I have to find myself guilty for even bringing it up here on my blog in the first place.

Lastly…Does the fact that I referred to Boxer by her last name and not her title now make me a target also?


3 Responses

  1. There are multiple angles by which one may approach this story and that is why it has legs.

    1. The fact that Ms. Boxer to take time out of the proceedings to instruct the General as to her desire to be referred to as “Senator”. She made it sound as if the general was being disrespectful when in fact he wasn’t at all. Quite the contrary, military personnel are often instructed to use the term “ma’am” as a show of respect to women.

    2. As you said, Ms. Boxer could have (and should have) just let it slide but she didn’t. She had to make a show of “power”. I think this, in particular, is what is not sitting well with people, including myself.

    I could understand if the General referred to her by her first name or called her something inappropriate. But this was not the case. Ms. Boxer was simply trying to exert power for the sake of doing so. And I find that unacceptable.

    Another thing that bugs me personally is this: One does not EARN the title “Senator” as Ms. Boxer states. The title is BESTOWED upon a person by the power of the citizenry and, more importantly, it is ON LOAN AND CAN BE REVOKED OR LOST. She could lose her next election and the right to that title.

    I think this whole episode reveals a major flaw in the thinking of all these politicians. They are more enamored with their title than with doing the business of the people that GAVE them that title.

  2. I didn’t realize that military personnel were instructed to use “ma’am” and “sir” when speaking to others. Learned that later on.

    Good point on the title being bestowed rather than earned.

  3. […] on June 19th, I posted on Sen. Barbara Boxer’s confrontation with Brigadier General Michael Walsh. The […]

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