Dear Call-Me-Senator-B.-Boxer,

I watched with shame your rude treatment of Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh when he answered a question and referred to you as “Ma’am.”   I went back to the video at to see if I missed something that would warrant the rudeness and irritability with which you interrupted him when he started to answer your question.  Each time, I see even less to forgive your behavior—there was not even an objectionable or disrespectful tone in his voice.  From your reaction, I would have thought that he addressed you with something like, “Yo, Dude” or “Hey, Babe” accompanied by a meaningful leer.

You see, Senator-B. Boxer, as a Senator, you are an employee of us—the voters of the United States of America.  Although I cannot fire you, I can surely object to your rude treatment of this other employee of our government.

When he started to answer your question and said, “Well, ma’am, at the . . .” you showed your complete ignorance with your irritable,  interrupting request. “Could you say Senator instead of ma’am?  I worked so hard to get that title.”

Senator-B. Boxer, “Ma’am” is a sign of respect shown by a military person when addressing anyone higher in the chain of command or high in the government.  He was addressing you in exactly the same way that he would have addressed a female President of the United States.

You may think of “Senator” as your title, but the truth is that it is your job description.  I have never heard anyone start a response with, “Well, milkman, at the . . .”  Or, “Well, store clerk, at the . . .”  Or, even “Well, CEO, at the . . .”   You may treat “Senator” as a title that has been conferred upon you, but we don’t have a monarch that confers titles and mandates that it be used every other sentence.  When you are elected as a Senator, you are placed there to serve the people, not to stand up on your high horse.  If you studied the Constitution and our system of government (although I realize that might be difficult given your background and current overburdened schedule), you would realize that.  Voicing a petty concern over the titular aspects of being a Senator does not help the country’s business.

In your ignorance, you reprimanded this very important man for addressing you as a superior.  I would also note that when you irritably interrupted him, you did not use the respect that you were demanding of him.  You didn’t politely say, “Please, Brigadier General, could you say Senator instead of ma’am?”  There are and have been a great many more Senators than Generals because it is harder work to become a Brigadier General than it is to become a Senator, Senator-B. Boxer.  You gain respect by showing respect—another principle of the military with which you are probably unfamiliar.

I am not in the military, nor am I as polite as the Brigadier General, Senator-B. Boxer.  Therefore, I would like to point out that you have another hard-earned title, which I will be always certain to use with a hyphen when I refer to you:  Senator-B.  The B., by the way, does not stand for Barbara, but for another title that you wholeheartedly deserve.  I’m sure with your advanced intellect and high position that you can figure out what B. does stand for.


One of your dissatisfied bosses—a citizen.

Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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