Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Summing up the Bolton appointment

I know I disqualified myself from comment on this subject with yesterday's brain fart, but it's just too good to pass up as a topic of discussion. The day after brings contemplation of the whole affair.

This, originally from USA Today:

"He's rubbing their faces with Bolton's bushy mustache," said Jack Pitney, a congressional expert at Claremont McKenna College in California who once worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill.

True, Bolton is a temporary employee; he can hold the job for only about 18 months, until the current Congress adjourns. Though he goes to the United Nations with Bush's backing, he goes without Senate approval after a contentious five-month debate over his temperament, character and record.

Bush has "shown Congress, and especially the Senate, that he's in charge," said Paul Light, a presidential appointments expert at New York University. "But the person he's appointed is going into office under a cloud. It's like hoping for Tiffany's and getting the Dollar Store.

"With Bush failing to make the sale and Democrats failing to keep Bolton away from the United Nations, did anyone get the upper hand here? Light called the outcome the result of "breakdowns at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue." Lauren Bell, an expert on confirmation politics at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., said there's "no clear winner."

In my personal opinion (FWIW), rightly so. The ridiculousness that became the Bolton confirmation hearings would have made a great SNL parody. When George Voinovich showed up at the first scheduled vote and said, in essence, he hadn't been paying attention to the hearings and was only now aware of "questions" about Mr. Bolton's temperament and personality, I knew we were ultimately going to end up in the Twilight Zone in this matter.

When Voinovich later made his tearful plea about how Bolton would endanger his grandchildren, I knew there was no fair shake coming to Mr. Bolton. His record and his person had become so distorted by Senate Democrats and even wishy-washy Republicans such as Voinovich, that there was no way the Senate leadership was going to get a vote.

If I were President Bush I would have done this over the Fourth of July recess, frankly. While it may be a partisan viewpoint and, as it could be argued based on differences between the President's philosophy about the UN and that of his political opponents, perhaps his appointment isn't the best choice to be made, it was past-time that the President push-back at the Senate to say, "Enough is enough."

If the President's finger-in-the-eye serves to remind them of their actual job and how best to do it, than so be it.

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