Well, Barbara Boxer (search) got hers on Tuesday.

Ms. Boxer, who is left of the last grain of sand on the beaches of my Left Coast home state, California, was itching for a fight.

You would think she'd back off Condi, after all, here was an African-American woman rising to secretary of state and one from a home state institution to boot, Stanford University.

But ideology trumps racial progress in Boxer's twirly-gig world of Marin County, crypto-Dead Head, move-dot-dude Democrat politics. Condi had to be trashed because after all, she facilitated what the Boxer bunch thinks is just so wrong that, man, she deserves what she gets.

It seemed like a long day to me as I was watching it today and then I realized there was a built in life preserver for the secretary of state designee. That floatation device, as it were, is the incredible windiness of the senators who have set out to grill her.

Joe Biden (search), for instance. The eminent senator from Delaware can go on, can't he? Have you ever seen anything like that: Madame Secretary, why did you mess up the war and let me tell you about my experience when I was traveling in Iraq, where I met many leaders from the various indigenous tribes... yada-yada-yada.

Rice sits there listening, or maybe drifting off. If she painted eyeballs on her eyelids, Groucho-style, she could snooze — long naps.

I must refrain from being partisan on this point. I had almost forgot Lamar Alexander (search) was still around, until I looked up and a thousand of those signs from years ago — Lamar! — popped to mind. He also went on forever before stopping, which was Condi's cue to give some sort of answer.

So yes, Barbara Boxer got snippy. But Condi gave as good as she got and then she was in for an easy ride of precisely the kind of senatorial bloviating that has kept John Kerry in the U.S. Senate.

That's My Word.

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