Many commentators on President Bush’s second-term appointments have linked the nominations of Secretary Rice to her position at State, Paul Wolfowitz to the World Bank, and John Bolton to the United Nations as a troika making a particular statement. Tomorrow’s Guardian, for example, publishes a column by Martin Jacques to this effect under the portentous heading “The neoconservative revolution.”
Certain of the MSM outlets have suggested that by appointing officials who support his administration’s policies, President Bush has demonstrated a troubling audacity. The Los Angeles Times thought it appopriate in this context to ask, in mulling over Wolfowitz’s nomination, whether Wolfowitz can “display sufficient independence from the Bush administration?” I would guess that’s a standard the Times would like to apply generally to Bush’s cabinet officers as well.
Perhaps the most remarkable of President Bush’s second-term appointments is one that has flown beneath the media’s radar screen. We declared President Bush’s appointment of our friend Rudy Boschwitz as America’s ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva “A great appointment.” Rudy’s appointment turns the troika into something more like a grand slam.
After building a successful Minnesota-based business that is still going strong, Rudy represented Minnesota in the United States Senate for 12 years with great distinction. He was originally elected to the Senate in 1978 as part of “the Minnesota massacre” in which Republicans won the state’s two Senate seats as well as the governor’s office. When Rudy was defeated for reelection in 1990, he returned home and went back to work in his business.
Rudy was born in Berlin in 1930. He emigrated with his family to the United States in 1933 when Hitler became chancellor of Germany. In a story that he hasn’t told for a while — I might be off slightly on the details — he recalled how while campaigning he was once asked by a born-again Christian who didn’t know he was Jewish whether he had been saved. Sensing the discomfort on his behalf among the audience, Rudy answered that he had indeed been saved — when he reached America with his family in 1933.
The UNHRC is a cesspool of anti-Semitism focused on Israel. Rudy has been an ardent advocate of America’s alliance with Israel before, during and after his tenure in the Senate. It’s hard to believe that in a lifetime full of philanthropy and public service, Rudy’s most important mission may lie before him now in Geneva. Two weeks ago Rudy’s appointment was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Given the fact that Ambassador Boschwitz’s appointment and confirmation have passed unnoticed in the media, the full measure of President Bush’s audacity has yet to be taken.
DEACON adds: Isn’t it odd that critics of President Bush’s appointments are expressing concern that people like Paul Wolfowitz won’t be sufficiently independent of the administration. I thought the complaint against the big bad neo-conservatives was that they control the administration, not that the administration controls them. The answer, of course, is that this is about naked resentment, and little else.
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