Well, it’s official. It took some serious partisan gaming and brinkmanship, but the Democrats in the Senate have succeeded in derailing John Bolton’s career at the United Nations.
I never “got” the fierce opposition to Bolton from the left. An ambassador is supposed to represent his nation’s interests and government’s views to the nation or body he is sent to. Bolton was a staunch defender of both, and actually was getting results in reforming that festering cesspool that is the United Nations.
His critics seemed to focus on his undiplomatic attributes. I guess that means he wasn’t “nice” enough. Well, “nice” and “polite” and “obliging” is pretty much useless when dealing with a body like the UN, especially when the ambassador represents the nation that kicks in over 20% of the entire UN’s corruption-saturated budget.
I didn’t follow Bolton too closely, but whenever he came to my attention, I found myself agreeing with him and glad he was so rigorously pushing our positions.
The Democrats never stopped sniping at him, though. They blocked him from ever getting a straight up-or-down vote in the full Senate, and sabotaged Bush’s recess appointment by threatening to de-fund his office (effectively cutting off his salary). And with the Democrats about to take control of the Senate, the chances of him ever getting confirmed were pretty much dead.
So I wonder who the Democrats think that Bush ought to send to the United Nations? Who can be properly sycophantic and apologetic and simpering enough to pass Senate muster?
Well, now that Saddam’s trial is over, I hear Ramsey Clark has some free time…