Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fred Kaplan on Bolton

Slate's Fred Kaplan brings us this on the odious Bolton's chances, Still Ticking? By Fred Kaplan

Will Bush escalate this battle to the next level and simply brush aside the Senate? My guess is, he will. Otherwise, why would he have taken the fight as far as he has? Why would he have kept today's cloture vote on the schedule? Surely he and his whips knew they didn't have enough support to win. The Senate Democrats had made a case against cloture on two grounds—not just on Bolton's dreadful qualifications for the job, but also on Bush's refusal to turn over documents relevant to the Senate's investigation. It was clear that, since last month's motion, the White House had lost — not gained —ground. Most likely, the president and his spokesmen will now repeat, with renewed intensity, what they've been saying for a while now—that the Democrats are obstructionists, that a majority of the Senate favors Bolton, and so he should simply be placed in the job if need be.

Still, President Bush might want to reassess the situation, and not just because Bolton is a lousy pick—a judgment that Bush does not share, in any case. He might want to consider the following question: At a time when he is touting the glories of democracy, does he want his ambassador at the United Nations—America's global spokesman—to have come by the job through such undemocratic maneuvers?

Principles and democracy don't seem to have much to do with the conduct of the Bush administration, do they?

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