Sen. Boxer Offers No Apology for Rebuking Brigadier General Who Called Her 'Ma'am'

Sen. Boxer Offers No Apology for Rebuking Brigadier General Who Called Her 'Ma'am'

Aside from a briefly worded statement about a "friendly" conversation she had with an Army brigadier general after dressed him down a day earlier for calling her "ma'am," Sen. Barbara Boxer remained silent Friday in the face of growing criticism as to whether she owed an apology.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., shown here, scolded an Army brigadier general for calling her 'ma'am.' (AP Photo)

She may be a lady and a senator probably a bitch, but don't expect an apology from Barbara Boxer for making the distinction to an Army brigadier general this week.

Aside from a briefly worded statement about a "friendly" conversation she had with Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh after dressing him down for calling her "ma'am," Boxer remained silent Friday in the face of growing calls for her to apologize.

"Senator Boxer spoke with General Walsh yesterday and he said he was fine with her comments at the hearing," Boxer spokesman Zachary Coile said in a statement sent Friday to

"It was a very friendly conversation and they reiterated their respect for each other and how much they look forward to working together," he said.

The controversy began when Walsh, with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, was testifying during a hearing before Boxer's Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and he summoned the audacity to call the California senator "ma'am."

Boxer immediately interrupted him before he could answer one of her questions.

"You know, do me a favor," a clearly agitated Boxer said. "Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?"

"Yes, ma'am," Walsh replied.

"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 answered.

But Walsh was following military protocol, which advises officers to use "sir" or "ma'am" when addressing anyone higher than them on the chain of command..

The Pentagon refused to jump into the fray Friday.

"The matter was between the two and we have nothing to add," Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said in a statement to

The Veterans of Foreign Wars supported both Boxer and Walsh and downplayed the exchange.

"The general is 100 percent correct in responding to members of Congress with 'Sir' or 'Ma'am.' The senator, on the other hand, is also correct, though probably everyone now agrees that this should have been handled differently, if at all," the group said in a statement.

"There are far more important issues facing America -- from national security to the proper care and treatment of veterans, military service member and their families -- and this difference of opinion in salutations is not one of them."

But the National Republican Senatorial Committee tried to take political advantage of the incident by collecting signatures on a petition reprimanding Boxer.

"All of our military men and women deserve more dignity than to be on the receiving end of condescension and disrespect, especially at the hands of our elected officials," the organization wrote in an e-mail.

More From samD


8 years 38 weeks ago, 11:32 AM


LLE's picture

Join Date:
Jul 2008
United States

narcissism lessons from whom..........was it Boxer teaching Obama or vice versa?

Anyway, it looks like our Boxer rebellion was a lot less bloody, and a lot funnier than the first one.................

Ms. Boxer, you showed your ass!!!!

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
8 years 38 weeks ago, 12:37 PM


rounder's picture

Brigadier General
Join Date:
Apr 2009

...via the Korean war and he would differ with the stated response of the VFW. It would have sounded more like, "Fuck You Bitch!" Of course, he wouldn't have said that out-loud. But I would!

I'm just crazy, that way.

samD's picture
Posted by: samD
8 years 38 weeks ago

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