Thursday, January 20, 2005

"There's No Statute of Limitations on Bad Judgment" 

Tim Grieve's interview with the (one and only, in our opinion) Democratic Senator from California is now available for your perusal at Salon (subscription-only, but if you suffer through an ad you can read the whole thing for free). A couple of brief excerpts:
SALON: Rice told you not to "impugn" her "integrity" or her "credibility," but that was exactly what you meant to do, wasn't it? You had questions about whether she had spoken truthfully about Iraq before and after the war began.

BOXER: I was very honest about it. I told her, "I'm worried about your lack of candor" -- I wasn't denying that -- "and I'm giving you a chance to set the record straight." But she actually made the record murkier, especially on torture. She opened up a whole new front on the lack of credibility.

SALON: If people were looking for some sense of a fresh start with the beginning of the second Bush term, they wouldn't have seen it at the confirmation hearing.

BOXER: The beat goes on. But I think that's where the people come in. We live in a democracy. This isn't a monarchy. The people's opinion is very important here, and right now 58 percent of them are worried about the way this war is going. And so many people watched the hearing. I was very happy to get thousands and thousands of phone calls and e-mails and the rest. And that's what saves the country many times, the people of this country. If we start abusing power, they catch you. That's what I want to do, keep the people engaged. I was really pleased with the breadth and the depth of the questions that were asked, and I like to think that I had something to do with that . . . .

SALON: Your critics would say -- and, in the context of the protest of the electoral vote, they did say -- that you're the one who has trouble understanding democracy. Bush was reelected in November, and he says his reelection was an "accountability moment" in which the American people ratified his decisions about Iraq.

BOXER: That's what George Bush said, and I don't agree with that at all. We're all responsible for our actions in our lives, and we all have to be held responsible and accountable for things that will happen when we're no longer in office, too. I mean, if we cast a vote for Social Security [reform] so that we end up with senior citizens walking around garbage cans looking for food, it doesn't matter if that happens a year from now or 40 years from now. We're responsible. There's no statute of limitations on bad judgment.

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