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May 12, 2005

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Voinovich couldn't be bothered to actually attend the hearings, but he does read the New York Times. I wonder if he stayed at Holiday Inn Express last night...

Mac -- huh? He was there, but now he's voting.

who else is on your hit list Mac? Let us know so we can, er, "jefford" 'em over into the light.

"We owe it to the president to give Mr. Bolton an up-or-down vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate," Voinovich said."

Why? This is infuriating. In a sincerely non-partisan feeling, I appear to much more respect for Senators and the Senate than they do themselves. They have constitutionally a voice on foreign policy equal to the President's, if not superior. They do not work for George Bush or the Republican Party. If this is the way Voinovich really feels, he should resign from the Committee. And maybe from the Senate.

Hilzoy you mean you didn't know that Voinovich didn't even bother">http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-04-19-bolton-usat_x.htm">bother to attend Bolton's hearing?

Voinovich, apologizing that he had been absent for hearings last week at which the panel heard from Bolton and from a harsh critic who alleged that Bolton had behaved improperly, said he had been impressed by the passionate opposition of committee Democrats.

Oh, sorry; I thought you meant the hearing that's on now.

I've wondered whether the best thing for the Dems would be for Bolton to get in on a straight partyline vote (w/ a few Repub defections), and then make a complete, conspicuous ass of himself at the UN. Looks like we may get to find out. God knows, he doesn't have the self-control to straighten his act up.

(Macallan repeats the "V. didn't bother to attend the hearings" bit a lot, but if you don't personally have any questions to ask, and you have something to do elsewhere, you can find out what you need from transcripts, media, etc.)

Right, Anderson. It's the flipside of the argument that Mac breaks out when somebody complains about the amount of time George W. Bush spends in Crawford rather than at the White House. Apparently, only GWB has access to the magical tools that allow him to get work done or remain in the loop while being physically elsewhere.

Or, you know, it's a convenient rhetorical bludgeon when someone strays off the reservation. Either/or. I'm sure Mac will shortly inform me why both options are incorrect and that we're trying to read his mind.

Can't we send Mac to the UN?

This "the President deserves an up or down vote" thing is smart spin, but could someone tell these guys that they are a co-equal branch of the federal government and not a rubber stamp politburo for the Leader?

You know Phil the crush was sort of flattering at first, but now its sort of wandering into creepy stalker land.

It's funnier when Tacitus does it, Mac. You don't have quite the same self-regard needed to really make it work.

Seriously, though, do you think Voinovich does not have the same capability to remain informed as the President does?

Does anyone think Bolton could lose a floor vote?

That would be a much greater defeat than a committee veto.

Does anyone think Bolton could lose a floor vote?

Only if the GOP members all get spine implants.

I should say that Obama is currently giving a really great speech.

"I should say that Obama is currently giving a really great speech."

That and two dollars gets him how far on the Metro?

Sununu is trying to portray Bolton as a victim of his staff. Classic.

Being the kind of leader who's victimized by his staff is not in itself a testimony to his leadership skills.

"I've wondered whether the best thing for the Dems would be for Bolton to get in on a straight partyline vote (w/ a few Repub defections), and then make a complete, conspicuous ass of himself at the UN."

This assumes Bolton did something which would make a majority of Republicans publicly acknowledge he had made a complete, conspicuous a** of himself. Anything less would be spun by our SCLM as merely "he said/she said".

The nomination was voted out of committee without recommendation. At least two Republican Senators other than Voinovich (Chafee and Murkowski) did not look like happy campers to me, but it they voted in favor here, they will probably vote in favor on the floor as well.

Dantheman: it also assumes that what Bolton actually does at the UN will not have any consequences more important than making Republican Senators regret their votes. Since I assume we will at some point be dealing with both Iran and North Korea in the UN, this seems, um, unlikely to me. And there's also the quite important topic of actually reforming the UN. Here I think that Bolton is likely to be much less effective than someone without his track record, since anything he says can be dismissed by the people he needs to get on board as the rantings of someone who hates the UN in any case. The UN does need to be reformed, and we therefore need someone who can credibly help in that process, not someone who won't be taken seriously by the people he will need to convince.

hilzoy,

Agreed that this would be a problem for all Americans. I suspect Anderson's original comment was pure partisan thinking, which I was following along with.

Dantheman: Yeah. DIdn't mean to be snarky; and I was more adding to your comment (and disagreeing with that part of Anderson's) than disagreeing with you.

I don't think the administration cares one way or the other about the UN. They've demonstrated they will act however they like.

Bolton gets the job because his superiors at the State Dept. don't like him, or his Superiors at the White House are rewarding his good behaviour, or both of the above.

Reform the UN? That would make it credible, and the last thing this administration (or most any other) wants is a credible UN.

hilzoy,

No problem.

Pure partisan, 24/7 ... check!

I suppose I should add my sincere doubts that this administration would send anyone really *good* to the UN, or let them do any good there.

I am always ready to be pleasantly surprised by Bush, however, as with his signals in favor of Ukrainian self-determination, and by ... well, that's the only time thus far ...

I can't wait for Bolton to head off to the U.N. I hope his personality is as fiery as the he has been made out to be.

Same old same old won't get us anywhere. If we send some lilly livered diplomat in they will think we are just like the Europeans.

I am always ready to be pleasantly surprised by Bush, however, as with his signals in favor of Ukrainian self-determination,

Wasn't that one of his famous flip-flops? My recollection was that he nearly missed that train as he kept playing nice with his pal Pooty who didn't want a western-looking democrat as President of Ukraine. Only when it became obvious to everyone in the world that the Russian candidate had cheated the first time and was roundly hated did Bush finally say nice things about a free and fair election in Ukraine.

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