Barbara Boxer plays the "you have no stake in this argument" card against Condoleezza Rice:
Ever since Sen. Barbar Boxer (D-Calif.) noted that Rice was childless during hearings Thursday on Bush's new Iraq plan, a controversy has erupted across the blogosphere about whether Boxer's comment was appropriate.
Some conservative analysts interpreted Boxer as meaning that Rice wasn't capable of making decisions on war because she did not have children.
Is there any other way to interpret her meaning? It sounded especially infantile coming from Boxer, but it's the kind of argument we hear frequently about the war -- "How many members of Congress have children in Iraq" and "When is Bush going to send his daughters?" -- and the same objections can be heard locally. Those without children have no right to speak out on school taxes. Whites can't talk about black issues. Why should men have a voice in abortion policy?
I could make the same argument on the other side -- only those without a direct stake in the issuue should be allowed to decide things, because they aren't so close to them that they can't be objective -- but that would be equally infantile. In a representative democracy, we are all stakeholders (to use a popular term), and we all have something valuable to contribute to the decision-making process.