Monday, December 04, 2006

John Bolton Resigns

From the WaPo:

President Bush today accepted the resignation of John R. Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, expressing deep disappointment that "a handful" of senators had blocked his confirmation last year.

Bolton, 58, submitted a resignation letter after it became clear that he was unlikely to win a new confirmation battle in the Senate, where Democrats won a narrow majority in the Nov. 7 midterm elections.

Bolton's nomination had been blocked by a Democratic filibuster threat last year, prompting Bush to place him in the U.N. post through a recess appointment in August 2005. That appointment expires when the current Congress adjourns. Formal adjournment could come as soon as the end of this week, but no later than the beginning of January.

"It is with deep regret that I accept John Bolton's decision to end his service in the administration as permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations when his commission expires," Bush said in a statement released by the White House.

"I am deeply disappointed that a handful of United States Senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate," Bush added. "They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time. This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their nation."

Nonsense, of course. John Bolton's temperament and rigid ideological approach to international affairs made him utterly unqualified to be a diplomat:
Bush nominated Bolton in March 2005 for the U.N. post, but the choice quickly ran into opposition from Democrats and a few Republicans over allegations that he tried to spin intelligence to support his political views and bullied subordinates who disagreed with him. Some critics also made an issue of his sometimes prickly personality, arguing that he was too combative for international diplomacy.

Bolton's cause was also not helped by Pres. Bush's recess-appointment maneuver, which misused a provision in the Constitution allowing the president to make appointments when Congress was not in session. The provision was meant to cover situations in which crucial positions came up when Congress was not in session; it was not meant to be a way for the president to circumvent the confirmation process.

Michelle Malkin pretty much sums up reaction on the right:

Very depressing news this Monday morning. We are losing a staunch, devoted defender of America's interests at the U.N.

Wizbang does not understand why Bolton's detractors felt that an ambassador to the United Nations needed to have diplomatic skills:

I never "got" the fierce opposition to Bolton from the left. An ambassador is supposed to represent his nation's interests and government's views to the nation or body he is sent to. Bolton was a staunch defender of both, and actually was getting results in reforming that festering cesspool that is the United Nations.

His critics seemed to focus on his undiplomatic attributes. I guess that means he wasn't "nice" enough. Well, "nice" and "polite" and "obliging" is pretty much useless when dealing with a body like the UN, especially when the ambassador represents the nation that kicks in over 20% of the entire UN's corruption-saturated budget.

I didn't follow Bolton too closely, but whenever he came to my attention, I found myself agreeing with him and glad he was so rigorously pushing our positions.

Pam Oshry is her usual hysterical, unhinged self:

Speechless ................. hardly surprising. There is no way a man of John Bolton's character would be the willing mouthpiece for the terrible foreign policy direction the administration has taken.

There is no way he would lie and put a happy face on something so very bad. What a stunning loss.

What is surprising is how quickly Bush rolled over................... John Bolton was a loyal Bush stalwart. Clearly he was at odds with recent Bush policy decisions that were chock full of carrots but no sticks for savage bullies, but he never said a cross word. Never. Loyal. No wonder Bush is isolated.

A very bad day for America. The Bush Doctrine RIP.

We're screwed.

Someone, please -- get this woman a tranquilizer.

I like James Joyner's reaction to Oshry's apparent mental collapse (especially since he thinks Bolton should have been confirmed):

Pam Oshry is going positively apes bonkers, declaring that "Anybody happy about this is an America hater. The tyranny of the minority strikes again." I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Republicans were defeated in some election or another and are about to assume minority status. Of course, those who voted -- let alone know who John Bolton is -- are technically a minority.

And Bolton's replacement?

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim Walsh (R-NY) have led a push to promote Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) -- the top Republican on the House International Relations Committee who lost his House seat in November's election -- as the new U.N. Ambassador.

"He is the most diplomatic politician I have ever met," [Blumenauer] said of Mr. Leach, a moderate from Iowa known for his professorial sweaters, his low-key, nonpolitical approach to issues, and his opposition to the war in Iraq.

"I can't think of any American better qualified to represent our interests before the United Nations," Rep. Jim Walsh, a Republican of New York said. Mr. Walsh yesterday joined Mr. Blumenauer in circulating a letter in the House seeking support for Mr. Leach if the acting U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, is forced to resign.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

The UN is being taken over by Islamist and totalitarian forces that want to bring down the US. I'm from Australia and I see Bolton's removal as catastrophic. The UN is corrupt as hell and taken over by the biggest facists and human rights abusers in the world. Bolton was the only one with balls to stand up to that.
The UN lets genocides happen around the world. Yawns with Rawanda, now with Sadan. Bolton was a lone voice amongst a UN that was hell bent on making sure that the only issue to ever be discussed and condemned was Israeli agression.
Most people hate him because Bush appointed him. They prentend to care about Dafur etc. but they kid themselves.