Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bolton Nomination is in Trouble

April 8(21), 2005
John Bolton’s nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations seems to be in jeopardy as Democrats mount an ever more extensive attack on the embattled official, delving deep into his government history. Bolton, whose contempt for the United Nations is as blatant as possible, came as a shock to many Democrats who couldn’t believe that the president had the political ineptitude to nominate such a man. At the same time, a number of people have argued that his intense dislike for inefficiency is just what an organization like the UN needs. The international body has been plagued in recent months by a host of eye-opening scandals that acted to expose the group’s impotence.
Most Congressional Democrats would likely shoot down the nomination for that reason alone. Conservative Democrats, based solely on Bolton’s reform platform, would probably be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. There are other issues, however, that cannot be overlooked. Startling evidence has emerged that Bolton, in his capacity as an intelligence officer, used excessive bullying to manipulate intelligence reports by threatening to eliminate subordinates’ jobs.
“This man is trying to get people to tell him what he wants to hear,” levelled Senator Barbara Boxer on CNN’s Crossfire. She said that such a method of workplace intimidation within the intelligence community posed, “an imminent threat.”
When she was accused by the show’s conservative co-host of participating in a witch hunt, she questioned, “I’m sorry, are you a Republican talking about a witch hunt? I find that funny.” The senator’s statement was greeted by enthusiastic applause from the crowd.
While Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman asserted that Bolton, “will be confirmed,” and that he’ll be, “an outstanding ambassador,” other Republicans offered a picture that was not so rosy, one grounded in firm reality.
“I’ve heard enough to know that I don’t feel comfortable voting for Mr. Bolton,” remarked conservative Republican Senator Voinivich of Ohio in a surprise revelation. He went on to say that some of Mr. Bolton’s tactics made him, “very uncomfortable.” He also described what he called a , “kitchen test,” which essentially asks, “Would you feel at ease sitting down with this person to have a conversation at your kitchen table?” With regards to Mr. Bolton, Senator Voinivich said that the answer was most certainly no. If such a test were used to screen all public officials, the government would likely work much better. Senator Voinivich should be commended for having the courage to stand up against a party majority that often treats its own dissenting members just as harshly as its most avowed political enemies on the left. It is sometimes hard to stand up for what you believe is right and follow your heart instead of your wallet, especially in today’s Republican Congress. Certainly, it’s much more politically acceptable to disagree with party policy if you’re a Democrat; indeed, that is the nature of the party (this whole website could be considered as divergent from Congressional Democrats). When you finally get down to it, Mr. Bolton just doesn’t seem like the kind of man who belongs in a sensitive diplomatic situation. Perhaps President Bush should begin making appropriate appointments (though that is unlikely). And unless the Republicans manage to trample on democracy by suspending the filibuster, Democrats will continue to block unqualified nominees to all government positions that require Senate approval. Conservative Democrat News will be writing more about the filibuster situation in the coming days.

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