THE BLOG

Bush Strategy at Home -- Keep Blaming Critics

01/16/2007 01:22 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Last Friday, I was on a long car trip and tuned in to talk radio to find out what the last bastion of Bush supporters thinks of his new Iraq policy. The short answer is: not much.

Like poor General John Abizaid, the talk-show hosts had trouble pivoting from the old party line to the new one, from ``of course there are enough troops'' to ``oops, what I meant to say is there aren't enough, after all.''

With so many generals on the government payroll opposing the escalation -- oops, surge -- what could Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity do except pay lip service to the new spin and switch topics as fast as they could.

That has got to be why they picked up on and then picked apart a brief exchange between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Democratic California Senator Barbara Boxer at a hearing on Jan. 11. Their backs to the wall, they would have to spend a few hours posing as arch-feminists attacking Boxer for betraying the sisterhood. You would think the war was being fought so that feminism might flourish.

All Boxer did was ask Rice, ``Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families.''

For that, Limbaugh accused Boxer of ``trying to lynch an African American woman. . .hitting below the ovaries here.''

It wasn't only conservative talk-radio hosts. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow leapt to the defense of a damsel in distress as soon as he could grab his pancake makeup and high dudgeon. He told Fox News, which gave the ginned-up firestorm extensive coverage, how ``tacky'' Boxer was, adding that it was ``a great leap backward for feminism.''

Read the whole column here.