Politicos anonymous sources slam Barbara Boxers abrasive personal style because she understands climate science and fights to avert catastrophe

An illustration of Barbara Boxer by POLITICO's Matt Wuerker.I was going to blog on this umpteenth attack on strong progressive women, but Matt Yglesias beat me to the punch here, so to speak.  The illustration actually comes from the Politico.  I’ll add my thoughts to Matt’s comments at the end:

I used to think that US Senate Barbara Boxer was an experienced legislator with a solid progressive record on the issues. But then I read this Politico article in which various anonymous people criticize her “abrasive personal style” and “outspoken partisan liberal” demeanor. Big trouble! And then I got to thinking, I recall having read similar critiques of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. And Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate and now as Secretary of State has been subjected to similar criticism. Nancy Pelosi, too.

You’ve really got to wonder what the deal is with the Democratic Party that every woman who comes forward into a position of power and influence is a shrill, castrating harridan. I mean, what are Democrats thinking? What poor judgment! Doesn’t everyone know that politics is a business in which the only people who get ahead are soft-spoken sweethearts like Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer? Somehow male politicians have managed to figure this out. What’s stopping the women?

Two excerpts from the Politico piece are particularly egregioius:

With Boxer as chairwoman and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe “” who calls man-made global warming a “hoax” “” as ranking Republican, the committee hearings tend to be politically charged. Staffers say it would be better for the committee to focus on more politically palatable arguments about job production, national security and the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

In other words, because the ranking member is the top global warming denier in the Senate — a fossil-fuel-industry funded liar who spouts more disinformation on climate science than all his colleagues combined — Boxer should just be a good little girl and not talk about the gravest threat to the health and well-being of Americans.  So Politico is painting Boxer as a pushy bitch because she understands the science and is trying to prevent a catastrophe?

It boggles the mind that this paragraph appeared in a serious media outlet.

Does the Politico know that global warming is NOT a hoax, that thousands of scientists (and dozens of governments, including our own) are NOT engaged in a massive conspiracy to fool the public?  Because if the Politico knows that — and I hope they do — then they know that their own critique of Boxer for pushing back hard against Inhofe is utter crap.

And here is one of the two specific incidents that prove Boxer has an “abrasive personal style”:

During another hearing this month, Boxer found herself in a testy exchange with the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, who accused her of “condescending” to him.

That’s right, the Politico is somehow damning her for her perfectly reasonable behavior during an utterly contrived dust up (see “Black Chamber of Commerce CEO calls Barbara Boxer a racist “” when she’s trying to stop future Katrinas and he wants dozens more“).

Inhofe has a far more “abrasive personal style” — at least if you are a scientist, since he again and again distorts your research and attacks your integrity.  But I guess because he is a man then, for the Politico, that just reflects his strong political views and not his “condescending” attitude toward people who have devoted their lives to telling the public the truth.

19 Responses to Politicos anonymous sources slam Barbara Boxers abrasive personal style because she understands climate science and fights to avert catastrophe

  1. Will says:

    Boxer is our champion. Remind me why she has never run for president?

  2. Raleigh Latham says:

    California and Oregon Represent! Now we have to convince the middle amurika senators to vote for the bill :/

  3. danl says:

    This story reeks of sexism.

  4. ecostew says:

    Remember Inhofe’s behavior when Gore was testifying? Boxer handled herself very well in my opinion.

  5. Any news, opinion or mass media can say “Sources say” , “Some Democrats…” , or “People are talking…”

    This is irresponsible. And tactically, it means they can make up any statement they want. “Anonymous sources say…”

    It is a waste of time to read that.

  6. Patrick says:

    “Because if Politco knows that … they know that their own critique of Boxer for pushing back hard against Inhofe is utter crap.”

    They should know that we’re not arguing about what color the kitchen should be. That what is at stake is the future.

    Barbara Boxer makes me proud. Good on you, Matt Yglesias.

  7. Pangolin says:

    Maybe that should read “minimize catastrophe.” I’m not sure that we have the political will to even slow the growth of greenhouse gases significantly and the damage is already mounting.

    I just read on another source that ocean acidification is spreading dead zones in the Pacific. When coral stop building reefs where does all that carbon (from calcium carbonate) go?

  8. paulm says:

    Scary extreme weather events happening everywhere. It’s all a bit spooky. There are going to be many denier converts after this year…

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    Off The Charts Drought In Texas, Tornadoes In New York (VIDEO)

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  9. Gail says:

    Maybe this will stop the deniers? Nah, too much to hope for…

  10. ecostew says:


    I think not as they are driven by an agenda that doesn’t include sustainability of Earth’s humanity/ecosystems.

  11. BBHY says:

    Let me get this straight, the party of Sarah Palin is complaining about Democratic women politicians?

    Politicians who are smart and strong and opinionated are admirable, whether they are male or female. Ones who talk a lot but don’t make any sense and don’t seem to have a good grasp of the issues, (or sometimes, ANY issue), whether they are male or female, need to find other work.

  12. Peter Wood says:

    I remember watching the Senate Environment and Public Works committee hearings and thinking how polite Barbera Boxer was in the face of all of these dumb arguments (and silly signs) from most of the Republicans on the committee. Australian Senate committee hearings are much less polite affairs (but we don’t have the silly signs though).

  13. Mike#22 says:

    “Remember Inhofe’s behavior when Gore was testifying? Boxer handled herself very well in my opinion”

    Agreed, I was watching it on CSPAN. Very crisp. Leadership without the baggage.

  14. Rick Covert says:

    I also remember when Senator Inhofe tried to hijack one of the hearings, as if he was still the chair of the committe still, and Senator Boxer reminded him as she picked up her gavel that the election was decided and she gets to do this now. Inhofe just tucked his tail and backed down like a wounded puppy. It was glorious. Kudos to Boxer! I guess Inhofe didn’t get the memo that they lost the 06 election.

  15. Michael says:

    what should “The Deniers” do to change El Nino and solar activity?

    Apart from that, it’s a model. A prediction. Like Al Gore predicts that the ice caps will melt within 5 years – silly.

    [JR: Uhh, no, Gore did not predict that.]

  16. Leland Palmer says:

    Well, she does seem to be arguing with Lamar Alexander (a strong nuclear energy supporter) rather than wooing him.

    But, screw it, this is important. Alexander does need to understand that this is an issue that raises strong feelings.

    He also needs to understand that if nuclear power plants and above ground waste and reprocessing facilities are targeted in a thermonuclear war, this could create a catastrophic release of long lived radioactive materials, and something much worse than Chernobyl, worldwide, lasting for thousands of years.

    So, perhaps he just needs to shut up and vote for this bill, which does indeed provide a boost for the nuclear industry by putting a price on carbon. If he thinks he can do better for nuclear, he should consider the status quo, and the strong support for nuclear by Chu.

    Still, Boxer should not needlessly alienate Lamar Alexander, one of the few reasonable Republicans. She should visit with him, as he asked her to do, and they should make a deal, IMO, to get a bill through the Senate.

  17. Michael says:

    Uhh, yes, that’s what he predicted.

    [JR: Uhh, no. He said it “may well” disappear in 5 years. He’s just saying that a famous prediction by a scientist may well come true. And it may.

    Given that the climate models had predicted the Arctic wouldn’t go ice free until 2080, what’s happening now is clear evidence that we are not modeling all of the positive or amplifying feedbacks in the climate system.]

  18. Michael says:

    That’s the thing with predictions, they may or may not come true.

    A statement like that however is a bit laughable in my opinion. We’ll see what happens until 2014 and I’m sure if this bold and silly prediction turns out to be wrong we’ll get loads and loads of other warnings to worry about.
    At least untill the not very distant day when people will be fed up with constant and mostly pointless scaremongering.

  19. Chris Winter says:

    Michael wrote: “That’s the thing with predictions, they may or may not come true.”

    And do you therefore feel free to dismiss any prediction you happen to dislike?