Too Effective to Serve

In the time he spent representing the United States at the United Nations pursuant to a recess appointment, Ambassador Bolton has distinguished himself as a vigorous, clear-eyed advocate for American interests. Time and again, he has dispelled the fog that hangs over Turtle Bay. And there has been no sign of the purported personality defects (“Bolton is a meanie”) that the Democrats cited in opposing his nomination the first time around.

Bolton’s recess appointment runs out when Congress adjourns this fall, so the administration is renominating him. George Voinovich, the Republican whose opposition to Bolton gave the Democrtats a fig leaf the first time around, has announced that he has been impressed by Bolton’s performance and will support him the second time around. So he should be confirmed easily, right?

Wrong. The Democrats say that they will mount a “bruising fight” over Bolton’s nomination and likely will try for a filibuster. Which suggests that the real reason for the Dems’ opposition to Bolton is that they don’t want what he so clearly is–an effective advocate for American interests and values.

UPDATE: Reader Harrison Colter thinks I went too easy on the Democrats:

I think you were too kind to the Democrats, or at least to Senator Dodd, on Bolton. The Washington Times article states:

“No, this is going to be a bruising fight,” said the Connecticut Democrat and Foreign Relations panel member [Dodd]. “I regret this. I’m sorry the administration wants to go forward with this. The problems still persist. … Many ambassadors at the U.N. feel that he hasn’t done a good job there. He has polarized the situation.”

In other words, ambassadors (presumably from other countries) think Bolton has not done a good job. Which means, I guess, that Bolton has not done a good job for those other countries, right? Unless for some reason (and in direct violation of what I would expect would be the responsibilities of such ambassadors), those ambassadors are looking out for the best interests of the U.S. instead of their own country, right?

So exactly whose side is Sen. Dodd on?


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