U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton raises his hand to vote against a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s recent attacks in Gaza at the U.N. headquarters in New York November 11, 2006.
Wall Street Journal: Bolton and Bipartisanship
So let’s see. Democrats retake the Senate, and their first act of “bipartisanship” is to declare that they’ll deny a confirmation vote to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton. And now, say the arbiters of Washington manners, President Bush is supposed to show his willingness to compromise by withdrawing Mr. Bolton’s nomination.
If Mr. Bush obliges, he’ll be taking a big step toward turning last week’s GOP defeat into a rout. Mr. Bolton has performed in exemplary fashion as a recess appointee these last two years, winning plaudits from everyone except those who admire Kofi Annan and Hugo Chavez. He has followed State Department orders and argued forcefully for U.S. policy.
The opposition to Mr. Bolton is based on nothing save vindictiveness. Republican Lincoln Chafee, who would have lost his GOP primary without White House support and who finally did lose last week, now says he won’t vote for Mr. Bolton though he had once supported him. Mr. Chafee is a mystery wrapped in a muddle even to himself. Democrats Chris Dodd and Joe Biden are trying to show that any political appointee who refuses to bend to their wishes can’t be confirmed. They know other Democrats would vote to confirm Mr. Bolton if he made it to the Senate floor.
Having had one recess appointment, Mr. Bolton can’t get another one and be paid. But he could retain his position and be paid if Mr. Bush names him to a non-confirmable post at State and then assigns him to the U.N. Ambassador’s duties. Now, that’s a compromise.
If John Bolton wishes to continue with the United Nations and the Bush Administration (and Flap wonders why he would) then the President should push for an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate. The President is entitled to his team and Bolton has served admirably this past year.
Any subterfuge appointment of Bolton to a State Department position but assigning him to the United Nations is BULL. If there is any compromise it would be to appoint Bolton as another recess appointee as United Nations Ambassador and pay him out of Bush campaign funds or through some other private means.
However, the best approach is for the President to stand by Bolton and RAM his nomination through the Senate.
John Bolton, United States ambassador to the United Nations , waves to reporters after a Security Council meeting on an Arab-backed draft resolution condemning the Israeli military offensive in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006.
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