Ms. Boxer explained bluntly why she had been so persistent in pressing the national security adviser on what Ms. Boxer portrayed as the administration's misleading and misguided rationale for the war in Iraq.
"The fact is we've lost so many lives over it," she said. "So if we do get a little testy on the point, and I admit to be so, it's because it continues day in and day out, and 25 percent of the dead are from California. We cannot forget. We cannot forget that."
Say that again, and say it loud and say it clear: this ISN'T just political gamesmanship. People have been killed - thousands of them - because of the actions of Condoleeza Rice (and many like-minded cronies, of course).
And unlike Bush, Senator Boxer actually HAS a mandate. She won re-election by twenty points. Not 3.
"The people of California knew exactly what I stood for and said to me, 'Barbara, go and be a truth teller,' " she said in an interview after the hearings.
Had she not been willing to take on Ms. Rice over the buildup to the war, Ms. Boxer said, she would not deserve her seat in the Senate. All she did, she said, was confront the nominee with her own words and the record.
Thank you, Senator. The citizens have the RIGHT to answers. We have the right to a plain explanation of WHY 1300 Americans have been killed, why tens of thousands of American have been wounded, and why ten of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed for reasons that turned out to be FALSE.
Now if we could only get the rest of the Democrats to stop acting like there is something extraordinary about confronting Republicans with their own words and the record.