Monday, August 01, 2005

John Bolton Denied Up or Down Vote? Yes: By Bush

This is an update to my previous post about Pres. Bush's preemptive appointment of John Bolton. Via Mahablog, I just read Julie Saltman's comments on the Bolton appointment. Julie makes the crucial point about that up or down vote that Bush said his man deserved but wasn't getting:

While we contemplate Bush's slick end run around democracy as he makes a recess appointment of John Bolton for UN ambassador against the wishes of the Senate, let's be clear exactly what's happening here. It is not that Bolton was denied an up-or-down vote as Bush is claiming. On the contrary, his up-or-down vote was waiting only for the release of the full documents from the White House that were needed so the Senate could make that vote. Once the Senate had those documents the vote would have gone ahead.

Bolton had not yet been confirmed because of the White House's actions, not because of the Senate's. It was the White House that was stalling, not the Senate. And let's be equally clear on why George Bush made a recess appointment. It was so he could avoid releasing the requested documents. If he didn't mind releasing them and wanted Bolton confirmed, all he had to do was share those documents. Instead he went the underhanded path of a behind-the-scenes recess appointment to avoid letting the light of day shine on whatever embarrassing piece of Bush administration skullduggery was in those documents.

So once again, yet another example of the multiple layers of dishonesty in this administration. First, Bush appoints John Bolton over the Senate's objections, using a provision in the Constitution that was intended, not to give the president an excuse to circumvent the will of Congress, but merely to ensure that he would not have to delay filling an important vacancy should one occur at a time when Congress was not in session [see below post]. And then, having misused and abused the Constitution as he has done so many times before, Bush dishonestly claimed Congress was denying Bolton an up or down vote, when in reality Bush himself was the one who was preventing the up or down vote from taking place.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session. [U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 2, Clause 3]

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