Bolton Showdown Approaches

The White House has said it will not give the Democratic Senators the highly classified documents they are seeking in connection with John Bolton’s nomination as U.N. ambassador. Scott McClellan pointed out:

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Intelligence Committee have had access to this sensitive, highly classified information. The Democrats clamoring for it have already voted against the nomination. This is about partisan politics.

What I thought was priceless was the Democrats’ response:

But Democrats said it’s not about politics, or even about Mr. Bolton anymore. They said their filibuster is an attempt to protect the institution of the Senate against a strong and overreaching administration.

Does this mean we have to listen to Robert Byrd all over again? We just preserved the Republic last week, but I guess the Senate minority is going to have to preserve it again soon. How long do you suppose the American people will buy the line that every partisan dispute is “really” all about the Constitution’s checks and balances?
I have to say, though, that I really don’t understand what the Democrats are doing on Bolton. I can understand that for partisan reasons, to give the administration a black eye and to keep their contributors fired up, they think they need to choose a vulnerable appointee now and then, and pick him off.
But the U.N. ambassador seems like an odd choice. Normally, such appointments haven’t even required a roll call vote. No U.N. nominee has ever had more than a handful of votes cast against him. This isn’t because they have all been wonderful nominees, but because this is not a position where any significant power gets exercised. For the Democrats to expend so much capital on it seems odd.
In any event, with this pretext for delay frustrated, I assume we’ll have a vote on Bolton soon.
SCOTT adds: Don’t miss Senator McCain’s additional contribution to saving the Republic as reported in today’s New York Times: “McCain urging accord on Senate and Bolton documents.”


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