On Monday, The Daily Caller reported that Sen. Barbara Boxer, at a campaign event over the weekend, "seemingly equated being a politician to serving in the military." The Daily Caller included a 34-second audio clip of Boxer's comments that was posted on YouTube by "Veterans Against Boxer" and quoted a press release from the Veterans for Carly Coalition attacking Boxer over her remarks, which was posted on her GOP opponent Carly Fiorina's website.
Predictably, right-wing blogs ran wild with The Daily Caller article, attacking Boxer for her comments. But just how did Boxer "seemingly equate being a politician to serving in the military" in the audio clip? Here's what The Daily Caller actually reported she said:
"We know that if you have veterans in one place where they can befriend each other and talk to each other. You know when you've gone through similar things you need to share it. I don't care whether you are a policeman or a fireman or a veteran or by chance a member of Congress," the California senator said. "[Democratic Rep.] Maxine [Waters] and I could look at each other and roll our eyes. We know what we are up against. And it is hard for people who are not there to understand the pressure and the great things that go along with it and the tough things that go along with it."
Pretty innocuous, right? Boxer seems to be discussing the importance of camaraderie among those who share similar experiences, which certainly isn't controversial. Boxer didn't single out the military, and she certainly didn't say that serving in Congress is just like serving in the military.
Of course, if you're a right-wing blogger, you take this 34 seconds of audio, toss aside any sense of context, and launch an attack.
Andrew Breitbart's website Breitbart.tv posted the audio with the headline, "Barbara Boxer equates serving in military with serving in Congress" and linked to The Daily Caller article. The Fox Nation posted the audio and republished The Daily Caller article under the headline, "Boxer Compares Being in Congress to Military Service." Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit ran with the audio and lobbed a personal attack on Boxer, writing, "Barbara Boxer Equates Serving in the Military With Serving as Leftist Kook in Congress," and adding, "Yes, she really said this." And RedState blogger Neil Stevens wrote up a mocking post titled, "Babs Boxer: Being a Senator is as tough as being a soldier."
All of this over what appear to be absolutely noncontroversial remarks by Boxer? Even HotAir blogger Allahpundit -- who doesn't hide contempt for Boxer -- isn't buying into it, writing: "Boxer compares serving in Congress to serving in the military? That's not quite what she's saying." Allahpundit further wrote: "[H]er comparison isn't merely between serving in Congress and in the military; she mentions cops and firefighters too, which I think is her clumsy way of saying that public servants in high-pressure jobs of whatever stripe forge a certain camaraderie to cope with the stress."
Judging by this, it seems pretty clear the right wing isn't about to learn any lessons stemming from the Shirley Sherrod cropped video controversy.