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It's hard to believe that having John Bolton rattling sabers and preachifying at the United Nations might actually mark an improvement - however slight - in America's relations with the rest of the world.

However, according to this WaPo story, that might be the case. Seems that since Bolton has left the State Department, some progress has been made in several arenas his irked leftist and centrist critics have said he bunged up most when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control.

For years, a key U.S. program intended to keep Russian nuclear fuel out of terrorist hands has been frozen by an arcane legal dispute. As undersecretary of state, John R. Bolton was charged with fixing the problem, but critics complained he was the roadblock.

Now with Bolton no longer in the job, U.S. negotiators report a breakthrough with the Russians and predict a resolution will be sealed by President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin at an international summit in Scotland next month, clearing the way to eliminate enough plutonium to fuel 8,000 nuclear bombs.

The prospective revival of the plutonium disposal project underlines a noticeable change since Bolton's departure from his old job as arms control chief. Regardless of whether the Senate confirms him as U.N. ambassador during a scheduled vote today, fellow U.S. officials and independent analysts said his absence has already been felt at the State Department.

Without the hard-charging Bolton around, the Bush administration not only has moved to reconcile with Russia over nuclear threat reduction but also has dropped its campaign to oust the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and made common cause with European allies in offering incentives to Iran to persuade it to drop any ambitions for nuclear weapons.

Bolton also put up barricades to one-on-one communications with Pyongyang, sharing civilian nuclear technology with India, joining Europe's effort to incentivize Tehran to cease its trek toward nuclear weapons, working with the Brits to get Libya to dump its nuclear precursors, and, most infamously, engineered Jose Bustani out of a job for fear that actual inspections in Iraq might find nothing and thus chill war fever. Indeed, except for the case of India, it could argued that Bolton's major role was to make sure that no chilling went on anywhere the U.S. might wish to exercise a military option.

So, what's going on?

For some of Bolton's fans, the changes appear worrisome, signs perhaps that the Bush administration may water down some of its most principled stands without a vocal advocate in the inner policymaking circle. But for many arms-control advocates and even fellow diplomats, Bolton's departure is a welcome relief and an opportunity to restore a more pragmatic approach to international relations.

"Throughout his career in the first Bush administration, he was always playing the stopper role for a lot of different issues and even when there was obvious interest by the president in moving things forward, Bolton often found ways of stopping things by tying the interagency process in knots," said Rose Gottemoeller, a Clinton administration official who worked on nonproliferation issues. "That's the situation we're seeing dissipate now." ...

Still, other specialists cautioned against overstating the extent of the changes since Bolton's departure and noted that he was always acting in concert with the president's broad wishes. "He was a lightning rod because of his strong and blunt statements," said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, an advocacy organization. "But this Bush administration is not going to become the Adlai Stevenson administration just because John Bolton has left the State Department." ...

But Bolton was shut out of Iran after Rice's ascension, according to two U.S. officials, and his policy was reversed. In early January, officials from France, Britain and Germany flew secretly to Washington for a brainstorming session on Iran. Bolton was not invited, European diplomats said. Instead, they met with Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council.

"We weren't the ones who wanted to keep the meeting secret," one European diplomat said. "It was the American side that didn't want him there."

This gave both me and Laura Rozen a chuckle.

Advantageous as it might be to have your bad cop screeching diplomatic obscenities and stomping out of the room while the good cop stays behind to shake her head, buy sodas and move the discussion forward in a still-firm yet more reasonable tone, Bolton's appointment to the U.N. - which faces a cloture vote in a few hours - seems it could be no more than a red meat dish for the party's hard right. Since Bolton was no more acting on his own in all those contretemps with allies and foes than was General Sanchez at Abu Ghraib, he can't be jettisoned without risking repercussions. But that doesn't mean somebody didn't try to put him overboard with the sharks while giving the impression they were putting him on a yacht.

I try to suppress the conspiratorialist in me, but could Condi Rice have secretly expected Bolton to get chewed up in his confirmation hearings? Did she care if he did?

Perhaps Rice wanted to ensure that anyone carrying water for Rumsfeld and DoD at the State Department be given his walking papers before undermining her own agenda, which, despite what we all expected just a few months ago, seems to be diverging at least somewhat from that of the harder-line Neo Imps. Whether that's a serious assessment, insane hopefulness or merely my false reading of skimpy evidence remains to be seen.  Given other appointments, like Negroponte, I can argue it whichever way.

Update: Cloture Failed 54-38. Take the poll.

Cross-posted at The Next Hurrah.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:39 PM PDT.


Bolton will ...

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| 237 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  cspan is (none)
    covering the bolton cloture vote if you want to join us.
    •  Freep the poll MSNBC (none)
      Should President Bush make a recess appointment of John R. Bolton to the United Nations post?

      75% say NO.
      1% undecided.
      (under 8,000 as of this posting.)

      "I'd rather be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian." -Martin Luther.

      by antirove on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:01:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  75% still say no... (none)
        At least when I checked.  He's got the choice of further alienating Democrats by making a recess appointment, or withdrawing the nomination and making himself more of a lame duck. Considering his internal issues on failure and one-upping his dad, I think I can guess which way he'll go.  He doesn't give a damn about alienating anybody.

        "I've gotten to where I can say the Lord's Prayer in ten seconds." - Evel Knievel

        by Jensequitur on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:41:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup. (none)
          Bush dun' listen to those poll things.  He dun' care what the American people think, 'cause he's too busy working on his peoples' agenda.

          It's hard work.


          Want some wood?

          "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
          "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

          by Stymnus on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:48:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Very possible about Condi. This is a (none)
    woman that is oozing and leaking bad faith.

    I don't believe the corporate media, the stenographers of the Bush administration.

    by lecsmith on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:39:15 PM PDT

  •  Isn't the Senate Foreign Relations Committee... (none)
    discussing Bolton again RIGHT NOW?  I'm at work and can't follow the debate except via the 'net (w/o sound), but would love to know what the heck is happening.

    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. - T. Roosevelt

    by ranger31 on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:40:19 PM PDT

  •  Rice and Bush are on the same page. (4.00)
    Powell would comisserate with his fellow diplomats at how bad Bush's policies were; they were ideological opposites. I think Bush is pushing this nomination as a way to get Bolton out of Rice's backyard without taking the chance of Bolton revealing damaging information to the press should he be fired. That is how the power game works in Washington.
  •  Interesting stuff. (none)
    My question is what happend to Bolton if he does not get the UN post? Does he simply fade away or will he be appointed to another position where he can continue bad copping?

    You put more good faith into Rice's motives in those last two paragraphs than I ever would, but its intriguing nonetheless.

    Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

    by ablington on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:43:39 PM PDT

  •  The house of mirrors (none)
    Watching this whole thing play out has been a real exercise in truth discernment.  I don't know what's real and what's not in this entire episode either.  The fact that we're hearing so many stories about it sure implies that someone is hard at work muddying the waters though.  That alone is enough to raise the paranoia spectre in me.  What are these guys really up to indeed?

    "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

    by baba durag on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:47:17 PM PDT

  •  Well, if they just want to move Boltox (none)
    to get him out of the way there's a good spot available for him in Ramadi.
  •  More proof of impetence (none)
    Or malfeasance...  This go further to show that Bolton is unsuited for any role where we want to get anything positive accomplished.  Appointing Bolton to "reform" the UN is such a red herring.  Bolton couldn't reform his sock drawer if it required talking to his maid.  Bolton's only possible job at the UN would be to make sure that nothing gets done.  No reform, no peacekeeping no nothing.  The UN looks useless and Bush points to it as a waste of money and time, we continue ignoring it and the wishes of the non-Americans we share this world with.

    The other thing I keep worrying about is what is Bush buying with his loyalty to Bolton.  What bodies does Bolton know about the burial of.  We all know that BushCo operates on loyalty, and have seen the lengths they will go to reward and punish those whose behaviour warrants it.  My guess is that Bush's stubbornness with his appointees is not just to appease the base, but because he needs the spoils system to prevent people from getting attacks of conscience and leaking critical information to the American people.

    The only international crime is losing a war

    by Luam on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:01:51 PM PDT

  •  I want to know more about (4.00)
    Bolton and Valerie Plame. We know from the '00 recount that Bolton can function as a partisan hack. We can also surmise that as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, he would have been one of a very few who would legitimately know who Valerie Plame was, and what she did.

    I'm not saying Bolton outed Plame, but he's got to be a person of interest.

  •  A recess appointment will be made. (4.00)
    Bolton will get the job, but without Senate approval which will be denied via filibuster.

    The WH will keep its secrets longer.  But, Bolton will be even weaker as a result.  Also, this limits Bolton's term until 2006 instead of 2008.  With any luck, Dems might have a better bargaining position after the 2006 election.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:09:37 PM PDT

    •  This could be what happens (4.00)
      And if so, this will further undermine the GOP. It will be seen as a blatant power grab and undermining of the entire Congress.

      This will also anger the Senate and Congress GOP, as it hurts their upcoming election chances, further splitting the GOP.

      If we can keep them focused on each other, by defending our own and refocusing the public eye on the Bushite follies, we will be in good standing to put this nation back on track again.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:23:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The recess appointment is a humiliation (4.00)
      It is the bully's way to win, which is the only way the administration, knows, but this is an unqualified defeat for Bush.  Bolton at the UN will be seen as the impotent fool he is, representing the impotent fool that Bush is, making this outcome a victory for the US and the world.

      You are right that he is better there, he be best as a stock boy at Lowe's, but we'll take what we can get.

    •  incidentally (none)
      I just saw this article put up on Slate regarding a possible recess appointment.

      pay no mind to us, we're just a minor threat

      by arb on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:41:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kremlinology (4.00)
    Trying to discern what's going on in the Administration is increasingly like the old parlor game of Kremlinology:  trying to divine from the bits of propagandistic drivel in Pravda what was going on in the Politburo.  It's an instructive--and revealing--analogy for ruminations about the inner workings of the Bushevik regime.

    I read this article too, and my thought was, "I wonder if Condi Rice is managing to win some wars against Cheney and his flying monkeys," of whom Bolton was at least a captain.  Maybe she's a more skilled bureaucratic infighter nowadays than she used to be.  Maybe the neocons are getting some significant pushback within the administration from someone who was at least trained as an internationalist.  Maybe the Tooth Fairy will leave a dollar under my pillow tonight....

    Lies are the new truth.

    by Dallasdoc on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:12:47 PM PDT

    •  I've thought this for a long time. (4.00)
      There was once a time when I didn't immediately assume everything our government said was a lie.  And it lasted even into this Bush administration.

      I no longer feel that way.  To think that I should have trusted Tariq Aziz more than Colin Powell.

      I don't even want to think about what sort of internal battles are going on--that just makes my head spin.

      Freedom isn't free. So why are you bitching about taxes?

      by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:28:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "apparatchik" is coming back in vogue (4.00)
        I find myself liberally using the word "apparatchik" to describe many members of the Bush administration (and I'd say that it applies to Bolton, though maybe he's a bit too colorful for the term to apply). It seems to apply best though to several toadying GOP congressmen and senators (should we start calling them members of the Politburo?).

        You can make anything look good if you can write billions of dollars of hot checks. --Ross Perot

        by lanshark on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:18:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Condi's hardly trained (none)
      as an "internationalist" (she's on record as not believing that no such thing as a community of nations exists).  She is trained in a particularly narrow version of "realpolitik", one that was predicated on assumptions that later proved to be absolute projections, and which didn't provide its followers with the skills to think about a world that was, in fact, different from the ones their assumptions led to.

      In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

      by a gilas girl on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:06:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which narrow version of realpolitik is that? (none)
        I'm curious.

        Lies are the new truth.

        by Dallasdoc on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:18:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I forgot the name of her (none)
          mentor for her graduate work (I'm way pissed off at the dKos community at the moment and too tired and weary to google in order to answer you, sorry) but the narrow "realpolitik" of Sovietologists, first off, who tended to see the world (and conflicts) only in super power terms and thus missed the major developments of anti-colonialism and liberation politics around the world.  But, if I am correctly informed, the school of thought (or thinking) into which Condi was trained was also a rather limited take even in Sovietology circles, that is, she was educated into a fairly doctrinaire tradition.  And doctinaire traditions don't tend to provide "critical thinking skills" for living outside of the doctrine.

          In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

          by a gilas girl on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:39:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the response (none)
            Doctrinaire thinking is something I've found endemic in academic disciplines throughout my experience of them.  Right-wing academics seem particulary prone to the malady, though perhaps academic leftists are no better.

            I thought I'd remembered reading that Condi was more of a conventional Sovietologist compared with the neocons, back when the Bushevik regime was being assembled.  And most Sovietologists were, by current standards, shining internationalists because of the need to be "leader of the free world" and all that.  A debased standard, perhaps, but which are not in this age of Bush?

            Wondering why you're pissed off at the community, though it's none of my business.  Seems as though there's a little struggle going on right now between the old-time Kool Kids and the newbies.  I saw something similar happen right after I joined last November.  

            Lies are the new truth.

            by Dallasdoc on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:59:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm seriously pissed (none)
              at some of the "old timers" right now, and just frustrated by the same things that have long frustrated me here: narrow focus, weak analysis, refusal to see things from an alternative angle of vision, self-promotion, and the general macho tone of the place.  I used to have more patience and could stick around longer in between my self-imposed "vacations" from dKos, but I'm starting to think I need to take another one, after only 2-3 weeks of more attentive reading/posting.

              In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

              by a gilas girl on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:07:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I had a catfight yesterday (4.00)
                with one of the old-timers, after calling him on what I thought was seriously bad behavior.  I got disrespect, abuse, and intellectually dishonest argument in return.  And then he went crying for support, without providing details.

                I really thought this place was above that, but apparently not.  I'm new here.

                Lies are the new truth.

                by Dallasdoc on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:13:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  projection (none)
        She gets her projection alright. Russia and China are projecting their power onto Iraq and central Asia.
  •  "Win by losing," part CXXVII (none)
    If Bolton isn't confirmed, the right wing noise machine will point fingers at the Democrats for being "obstructionist" and go on and on about UN corruption (Kofi Annan, France, oil-for-food).

    An unconfirmed Bolton is redder meat for the base than a confirmed one.

    •  It was a bipartisan vote. (4.00)
      Hee, hee.
      •  a message from the Republican language cops (4.00)
        Sorry, you are misusing the language. You will require re-adjustment before you can be permitted to publish again.

        You see, a vote is "bipartisan" when, say, 52 Republicans and one Democrat vote for it. If a cloture vote loses because 42 Dems and 2 Repubs vote to continue debate, that's not bipartisan, that's Democratic obstructionism, and the presence of a few insignificant traitors straying Republican members does not change that. This is because the purpose of the Congress is to enact the President's agenda, and good bipartisanship refers to Democrats seeing the light.

  •  I have heard this (none)
    But the idea that the administration would use the UN post as a dumping ground for administration losers or as way to paper over a chaney - rice rift is completely and utterly screwed up.

    When you have personnel issues, you fire somebody.  When you have a disgreement with a collegue you find a way to resolve it.  This admistration can't seem to get a grip on these rather basic management functions.  Pathetic

    •  Yes. Loyalty is all, competence neglible. (none)
      Bolton's proven himself loyal. That's 99% of what matters to the Bushites.

      If they fired people for incompetence, the only one in office right now would be Colin Powell. And that's iffy.

      They are the worst managers I have ever seen. And they are deliberate and wilfull about it. They can't admit mistakes, they ignore facts they don't like, they fire stand-up people and promote ass-kissers into jobs that have nothing to do with any of their personal experience.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:26:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and they despise the UN (none)
      They're all about being vindictive too.  They'd get a big kick out of seeing the U.N. struggle trying to deal with Bolton.

      A point made earlier makes a lot of sense, along with bits of info about Bolton throughout this diary and comments.  Bolton is an obstructionist, an expert one too.  He'd accomplish several goals by putting him in that position:  making the U.N. pay for their "sins" and sticking it to them; making the UN less significant and effective because they'd never get anything done with him around; stir up some chaos in the UN and wherever possible - always a good Rovian thing; get him out of the State department (no longer needed to frustrate Powell there and Condi doesn't want him); keep his mouth shut.

      All this time I've been shaking my head about Bolton.  I realized the "stick it to the UN" part of it but this diary makes the whole Bolton thing make much more sense to me.  

      And last but not least, as was mentioned, he becomes a great tool of distraction and diversion during a time when there are a lot of things that  the admin. would prefer never came to light or drew much attention.  Distraction, diversion, denial.

      "KBO." "It's the order of the day." -- Winston Churchill

      by joanneleon on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:42:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bolton kicked upstairs? (4.00)
    It wouldn't be the first time that a serial screw-up got a promotion along with a reassignment.

    Saves face, solves the immediate problem, and creates another problem somewhere else. The tactic is pretty typical of dysfunctional organizations, both public and private.

    Maybe this kind of managerial problem-solving is something the preznit actually did learn in business school.

  •  My honest gut instinct (4.00)
    (and this is instinct only) is that everyone in the administration aside from Bush and Cheney knows Bolton has been a disaster all the way through, but Bush doesn't have the guts to cut him loose -- as every other similar nominee would have been cut loose, in past White Houses -- or the personal integrity to admit that he was wrong to carry Bolton this far. This is an internal personnel issue gone horribly bad.

    When Bush first took office, remember how the administration was putting out talking points that this would be the "CEO Presidency" -- in which the country would be run like a business? They dropped that analogy like a hot brick after Enron, but the overall comparison is still dead on.  For all of Bush's supposed business sense, he's basically the CEO from hell. Doesn't do anything, can't manage his subordinates, can't put a lid on the departmental infighting, can't make complicated decisions, can't be bothered much to care. (Can't even figure out how much Bolton has screwed him, personally.)

    All of this is transparently the same as any other intraoffice political battle, at any one of the umpteen companies I've worked for/with. Standard corporate practice at the 'ol Fortune 500.

    And so the White House is bruised and bleeding on this, but can't do anything about it. The boss says he stays, and nobody else can tell him different.

    (It also doesn't help that Bolton was in a position to know where some of the deepest bodies are buried in the runup to the Iraq-War -- he having personally buried a few of them himself. Talk about the potential for going postal, if he doesn't get his way...)

    •  I like this analogy (none)
      It suggests that a lot of the time we give the Shrubster too much credit, when we all know that he's just a man (and a fairly dull-witted one at that). As for his "business sense," I'm sure there's a few investors in Texas and/or profs at Harvard Business School who could enlighten us on that subject.

      pay no mind to us, we're just a minor threat

      by arb on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:36:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bushco knows precisely what it is doing (none)
      You cannot tell me that Bolton has been obstructing without the full knowledge and consent of Bushco. They want him there to destroy the UN.  Bush can not put it into the exact words but he wants Bolton to "reform" the UN right out of business and who better to do it than an undiplomatic obstructionist.  

      Also, it was striking that eight Senators were missing for this vote (including at least a couple of Republicans, if I recall).  If Frist expected to win, he would have had them all in Washington for the vote.  That reinforces my firm conviction that the vote was not about confirming Bolton, it was about 1) firming up Frist's wingnut support and 2) setting the stage for a recess appointment so that Bolton can trash the UN.  

      When you are going thru hell, keep going! Winston Churchill

      by flo58 on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:35:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Corporate way and military way? (none)
      I don't have a lot of experience with military bureacracy and the way it works, but from what I know, this is also the way they tend to deal with problems in "management" - by transferring the problem somewhere else.  For that matter, that's what the big religions do too, or at least the Catholic Church.  It's an interesting line of thinking that you've brought up, since the major players represent all three.

      The corporate analogy rings so true.  And it also explains my gut reaction to it all.  It's the same reviling feeling I always got when dealing with the worst of corporate politics.  Ugh.  I hate corporate America with a passion.  Nothing makes sense, nothing is fair, and it screws up your head if you stay too long.  Also, you end up spending so much time figuring out and dealing with the politics that there is little time to get anything useful done, and then things go wrong in so many ways, and the product is worse for it, the organization is worse for it and the people are worse for it.

      "KBO." "It's the order of the day." -- Winston Churchill

      by joanneleon on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:52:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I seem to recall ... (4.00)
    That there was talk after the election that Bolton might become #2 at State - there was a general sigh of relief when Zoellich (sp), a grey-suit functionary, got it instead.

    I've contended for a while that the Bolton nomination to the UN is significant only in terms of Senate arm-wrestling.  If Bush now goes ahead and recess-appoints him, it really makes no matter.  

    Why?  Because our problem at the UN won't be Bolton; it is and will continue to be Bush.  If we actually intended to further our national interests through diplomacy at the UN, Bolton would be a disastrous nomination.  But serious diplomacy is a non-option with Bush anyway.

    -- Rick Robinson

  •  Recess appointment (none)
    is what I would have voted for in the poll.

    we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

    by Tirge Caps on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:23:12 PM PDT

  •  Bolton (none)
    must have something to do with their plans for Iran and/or Syria.

    For what purpose in that regard would it be necessary to have Bolton at the U.N.? Are they convinced that no one else could provide the needed cover?

    Honestly, I don't get it.

  •  Bolton-blocking part of bigger strategy? (none)
    It occured to me today that the Dems seem to be in a really good position to use the Bolton nomination to continue ebbing away at support for Bush and also to leverage their power when it comes to the fillabuster deal.

    After agreeing to The Deal it struck many of us funny that the Republicans were shocked about not getting that first Bolton cloture vote.  Now, doesn't it seem that the Republicans are painted into a corner with this one?  Frist might threaten the nuclear option again, but if they try and use it, doesn't it seem that public opinion would be vastly against him?  Sure those three judges were scary folks, but no one really knew much about them.  But when it comes to Bolton, don't you get the feeling everyone already pretty much thinks he's a jerk?  And what really seals the deal is that he looks like a jerk.

    So if Frist goes nuclear over Bolton, he's screwed.  He'll be seen as killing our democracy in order to install Yosemite Sam as UN ambassador.  Bad PR.

    The Dems have the upper hand in this story.  All they want are the documents they've requested.  Most people assume that unless the administration is hiding something, they'd fork them over.

    And if they do succesfully fillabuster Bolton, than viola!: a standard to satisfy the "standard" in The Deal.  Anyone as or worse than him (and, unfortunately, we know there are MANY) are now qualified for a fillabuster.  Or at least that's what the Dems can argue in the event of ... I mean when a Supreme Court vacancy opens up.

  •  Well, I don't know what'll happen to Bolton, (4.00)
    but you're sure enough headed to the Bloggers' Hall of Fame.

    Kudos on yet another excellent post.

    The UCC: to believe is to care, to care is to do. Also, they have cookies.

    by pastordan on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:16:44 PM PDT

  •  George Allen vs Barbara Boxer (none)
    That little asshole was debating Barbara Boxer again and of course Barbara was right and he was incorrect as usual:

  •  This Shows Just How Bad BushCo. Diplomacy Is (4.00)
    . . . Bolton was shut out of Iran after Rice's ascension, according to two U.S. officials, and his policy was reversed. In early January, officials from France, Britain and Germany flew secretly to Washington for a brainstorming session on Iran. Bolton was not invited, European diplomats said. Instead, they met with Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council.

    When Reagan-era war criminal Elliot Abrams can seem a voice of reasons and sanity compared to Bolton.

    "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

    by JJB on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:30:38 PM PDT

    •  Abrams has been one of Condi's ... (4.00)
      ...pals for quite a while. He's been the Administration's hard-line point man on Israel - hard-line against talking to Palestinians, that is -  a neo-conservative 20 years before most of us knew what that term meant.

      Having him in such a high-profile position is what gives me pause for daring to hope that maybe international policy will be ever so slightly better in the Second Term than the first.

      The flavor of the man can be gleaned from this comment on John Lennon's murder:

      "I'm sorry, but John Lennon was not that important a figure in our times. Why is his death getting more attention than Elvis Presley's? Because Lennon is perceived as a left-wing figure politically, anti-establishment, a man of social conscience with concern for the poor. And, therefore, he is being made into a great figure. Too much has been made of his life. It does not deserve a full day's television and radio coverage. I'm sick of it."


      Writing dialog George Lucas so terrible at is. --Yoda

      Visit The Next Hurrah

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jesus (none)
        Fortunately, I missed that comment when he made it, if I'd read it at the time I might be inhabiting the same establishment Mark Chapman is for having offed Abrams.  

        It's not even accurate.  I drove from LA to New York around the time Presley died, and the coverage of his death permeated even to the tiny hamlets in the vast emptiness of the American Southwest.  The radio was nonstop Presley tributes.

        Typical Neocon demagogue rhetoric; bereft of all decency, with no sense of nuance (like maybe it's more upsetting that one cultural icon was murdered as opposed to dying on the toilet from the consequences of his gluttony), full of everything except the truth.

        "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

        by JJB on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:15:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lose by winning (none)
    He may be intended to stand on the right flank, but I think he'll end up getting pushed right up next to Bush's soft underbelly.  Bolton is flagrantly and fragrantly tied to DSM, and any debate about him will provide occasion to talk about the one issue that may get close enough to Bush to hit Bush hard. If Bolton wins the nomination battle, he becomes a permanent liability to Bush in oh so many ways, esp. regarding DSM.

    but thought is irksome... -A. E. Housman

    by smintheus on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:46:20 PM PDT

  •  This makes sense (none)
    I've been aware from the beginning of the first Bush government that Rice was put in place by the pragmatists, Bush Sr., Baker, and Skowcroft, to baby sit Bush Jr., and to teach him something about foreign affairs, in particular about Russia.  Getting Bolton out of her way so she can function on their behalf makes all the sense in the world.  

    This is finally falling into place.  Using the UN as Bolton's Island of Exile probably is not their first choice but it may be the best of their limited choices.  They certainly don't want their wayward boy, Bush Jr. damaged anymore than can't be helped, and, as was noted, Bolton has the goods on some embarrassing episodes, they don't want the next election cycle jimmied by his lack of talent, and they don't want their sources of personal funds damaged.  It's not a perfect solution, but it's a better solution than having him f%^k things up in the state department.

  •  I don't really know. (none)
    I have been thinking that Bolton was just another example of how those who do as they are told are promoted and those who do not are dismissed and/or slandered.  He seems just the sort of tough guy/bully that would be Farmer McMonkey's true soulmate, balls as big as the moon and a brain smaller than a mustard seed.  The adults don't seem to have much sway over this administration. And if Condi is the voice of reason then the voice of reason should avoid playing poker because she always shakes her head no (from side to side) when she is lying.  And she shakes her head like that a lot.  

    Like I said, with this bunch I just don't know what to think except, as my ol' granpappy would say, that they need to be all tied together in the same sack when they're tossed in the river.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:41:45 PM PDT

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