Saturday, November 11, 2006


There is chatter that the administration and the lame duck Republican Senate may attempt to force a vote on the long-delayed confirmation of John Bolton for ambassador to the UN. Sure, they could do that and may try, but I suspect that this is really a non-starter. To pull it off, the Republicans would have to run really roughshod over the Democrats who in turn would react with dramatic fury, especially come January. That would build up a lot of bad blood between the incoming Democratic majority and the administration and lead to undesirable consequences such as the Democrats pushing for an even more rapid withdrawal from Iraq than the administration could have negotiated without squandering its very limited political capital. Besides, the Democrats might well be able to maneuver a delay of the vote until the new Democratic Senate takes power in January anyway. Don't count out Senator Robert Byrd when it comes to gamesmenship with the Senate rules. The administration and some Senate hawks might be willing to take the gamble, but there are probably more than enough moderate Republican Senators would would rather focus on building up positive political capital with the Democrats rather than digging their hole deeper. Bolton is urgently important to the Neoconservatives, but not so important to the average conservative.

A less "feisty" ambassador to the UN would dramatically improve our relations with the entire world and the Middle East in particular.

Bolton should start packing his bags.

-- Jack Krupansky


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