I’m watching Senator George Voinovich lambasting John Bolton, the admnistration’s nominee for U.S. representative to the United Nations: one almost feels sorry for Bolton.
Almost, but not quite.
“A poster child for what a diplomat should not be” is among the least of the zingers Voinovich sent Bolton’s way. “Arrogant,” an “ideologue,” one who “does not listen” to the judgement of his subordinates — he “lords it over” people “even when he has won.”
Wham! Bam! Pow!
What struck me, however, was Voinovich’s exasperation at the pro-Bolton arguments advanced by Condoleezza Rice: she assured him that she would be in constant communication with Bolton, and that he would be under her “supervision” 24/7. But what, Voinovich thought to himself, are we doing sending someone who needs constant supervision to the UN?
Go here for Voinovich’s full statement.
The nomination will now go to the Senate floor, where the inability to get it out of committee with a favorable recommendation — even with a solid Republican majority — will weigh heavily against Bolton.
This battle has rightly been characterized as a struggle over the nature and direction of U.S. foreign policy. The combative arrogance embodied by the nominee is a metaphor for the neoconservative mindset — and it is being sunk by a Republican senator who simply cannot stomach it, and who rightly sees that Bolton will fuel anti-Americanism worldwide.
This is a major defeat for the War Party. It shows that not only has their policy failed, but that they are beginning to reap the political consequences of that failure. Bolton was and is part of the cabal that lied us into war — and is bound and determined to get us into another one. His rejection is a great setback for them.
As the Financial Times points out:
“A moderate Republican representing the nation’s smallest state could decide the outcome. Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is under intense pressure from both sides on the Senate foreign relations committee. With the panel split 10-8 in favour of Republicans, just one defection would give the Democrats enough votes to block the nomination from reaching the full floor.”
Now, let’s keep up the pressure. Call your Senator and let them know that a vote for Bolton is a vote for perpetual war — and that you’ll be noting how your represenatives in Congress vote on this vital issue.
The momentum is with us — the Force is with us: let’s keep it going.