… So Calling a Female General “Ma’am” Would Be Disrespectful?
In a hearing room, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill.
Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was testifying on the Louisiana coastal restoration process in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He began to answer one of Boxer’s questions with “ma’am” when Boxer immediately cut him off.
“You know, do me a favor,” an irritated Boxer said. “Could say ‘senator’ instead of ‘ma’am?'”
“Yes, ma’am,” Walsh interjected.
“It’s just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate it, yes, thank you,” she said.
“Yes, senator,” he responded.
There were scattered calls this afternoon for Senator Boxer to apologize to Brigadier General Walsh. It didn’t particularly strike me as I heard the exchange that an apology was necessary. It wasn’t really about the Brigadier General. It was about the Senator from California, in more ways than one, and a startling look into her character. To be truthful, any apology would have to be phrased along the lines of
“I apologize that I dropped a facade and you had to see the petty, insecure and self obsessed side of my nature.”
Paraphrasing Les from Pawtucket, a caller to the Matt Allen Show tonight: some people join an organization to accomplish something. Others join to be someone.