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I have no idea if Condi Rice is a lesbian

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But it sure seems to me that the White House and conservative activists are acting like she is, and I find that odd.

Yesterday, Rice went to testify before the Senate. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) told Rice the following:

"Who pays the price [for Bush's incompetence in Iraq]? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young," Boxer said. "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."
Boxer is correct, that neither she nor Condi are going to pay a personal price in terms of their kids or spouses or parents being drafted or otherwise killed in Iraq. But for some reason, the White House, and conservatives across the board, have jumped on Boxer's comment and gone ballistic over it.

Which begs the question, why?

1. Did Boxer say something untoward?

No. She made a valid and obvious point, and a rather innocuous one at that. And Boxer included herself in the point, so it clearly wasn't a personal attack, or Boxer would have been personally attacking herself.

In fact, Barbara Boxer never said anything that First Lady Laura Bush herself hasn't already said. When speaking of Condi as a possible presidential candidate, Mrs. Bush said the following to People Magazine just a few weeks ago:
Dr. (Condoleezza) Rice, who I think would be a really good candidate, is not interested. Probably because she is single, her parents are no longer living, she's an only child. You need a very supportive family and supportive friends to have this job.
Should Laura Bush now apologize for saying much more about Condi's personal life than Barbara Boxer has said? I mean, Laura Bush just suggested that single women aren't capable of being president without a good man helping them out.

2. Therefore, the White House and conservatives have some other reason for freaking out about the fact that a sitting US Senator mentioned that Condi Rice has no immediate family that might serve in Iraq. Why would that fact freak Condi and the conservatives out?

I think they freaked out because for years there have been rumors - unsubstantiated from what I know - about Condi's true sexual orientation. She doesn't appear to date men. She's around 52 years old and has never been married. Her life's dream is to become the commissioner of the National Football League. And she had a very strange exchange on FOX News a few years back in which one of the FOX hosts seemed to be trying to set Condi up on a date with a female anchor at FOX (true story).

None of this proves that Condi is a lesbian. But it explains why there are rumors about Condi, rumors about which the White House is most certainly aware.

Which brings us back to our original question: Why are the White House and conservatives so freaked out about this innocuous quote from Barbara Boxer?

One thing I've learned is that conservatives flip out the most when they think you've found their weak spot. For example, when people questioned Bush's intelligence at the beginning of his term (pre-9/11), the conservatives flipped out (remember when the Canadian press secretary mentioned that Bush was a bit of a dodo?). The conservatives didn't flip out because they thought the charge was wrong or rude or inappropriate - but rather, they flipped out because they knew the charge to be true, and incredibly damaging to the president. After all, imagine how history might have come out differently had the American people known in 2000 what an arrogant dimwit our president-to-be really was? The pattern is repeated often in conservative circles. The moment an enemy hits close to home, conservatives flip out in order to ensure the enemy never dares go there again.

What that suggests in the case of the Condi uproar is that, I think, the White House and conservative activists like FOX News are deathly afraid of Condi's unmarried status and what it might suggest about her sexual orientation. Condi is a potential future Republican presidential, or VP, candidate. She is a rising star (or at least was until the Iraq fiasco) in a party that has few stars left. And if Condi were to turn out to be a bit light in the Manolos, it wouldn't go over too well with the family values crowd that controls the Republican party.

That is the only reason I can think of as to why the White House and conservative activists are freaking out over a nothing-quote from Barbara Boxer. The quote is unintentionally based on the underlying truth that this 52-year-old, single, football-loving lady doesn't seem to have much of an interest in men. And while I tended to be agnostic on the Condi-is-gay rumors up until this point, the bizzarely vicious reaction of the White House and FOX News and Matt Drudge to this episode is starting to make me wonder if they know something I don't.

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