Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has always had a reputation as an arrogant diva, and she enhanced that reputation yesterday during a committee hearing, when she instructed a Brigadier General to stop calling here "Ma'am" and instead address her as "Senator."
It's especially noteworthy that she doesn't have the common courtesy to address the General as "General." She simply interrupts him to demand the title that she "worked so hard" for.
It reminded me of the first day I went to work for Sen. Rudy Boschwitz. I had spent the previous six months working in the Minnesota State Senate, and all of us on staff were under strict orders to address all of the senators - a collection of farmers, insurance agents, grocers, etc. - as "Senator."
So, on my first day with Rudy, I addressed him several times as "Senator." After the third or fourth time, he pulled me aside and said "You can do what you want, but I really prefer to be called 'Rudy.'"
When you have genuine class, you don't really need a title, which is a lesson lost on Ms. Boxer.