Dems Promise “Bruising Fight” Over Bolton

Is it just me, or do the Democrats get spanked every time they promise a tough confirmation battle?

Anyway, here’s the story via The Washington Times:

Senate Democrats have promised a “bruising fight” over the administration’s nomination of John R. Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Mr. Bolton’s nomination was sent out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year without a positive recommendation after Sen. George V. Voinovich, Ohio Republican, voted against him. Democrats then twice filibustered a vote on his confirmation once the nomination was sent to the Senate floor, forcing President Bush to make a recess appointment to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Bolton’s temporary appointment is set to expire this fall, when Congress adjourns. However, the Senate has scheduled a debate this week on extending Mr. Bolton’s appointment through the end of the Bush administration. On Thursday, Mr. Voinovich announced that he no longer is opposed to Mr. Bolton, all but guaranteeing that his nomination will be sent to the Senate floor with a positive recommendation.

“I think Senator Voinovich’s announcement was — obviously, I much appreciated it, and I think it represents a fairly dramatic change in the political dynamic in the Senate,” Mr. Bolton told “Fox News Sunday.”

However, some Democrats have continued to express opposition to his nomination.

While appearing on CNN’s “Late Edition” yesterday, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd was asked whether he could now support Mr. Bolton’s nomination.

“No, this is going to be a bruising fight,” said the Connecticut Democrat and Foreign Relations panel member. “I regret this. I’m sorry the administration wants to go forward with this. The problems still persist. … Many ambassadors at the U.N. feel that he hasn’t done a good job there. He has polarized the situation.”

Democrats have not said whether they intend to filibuster the nomination again. However, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, hinted that a filibuster was possible.

“Instead of wasting time and playing politics, the administration should nominate someone else to take Mr. Bolton’s place,” the Delaware Democrat said.

I don’t know which is worse: Dodd relying on “many ambassadors at the U.N.” to evaluate Bolton’s job performance or Biden having the chutzpah to complain about the administration “playing politics.”

Never mind. I do know which is worse. At least Biden’s complaint is an often heard talking point. But Dodd’s reasoning is so bad, it’s comical. It’s like evaluating the performance of a prison warden based on the opinions of the prisoners.

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Greg Tinti
About Greg Tinti
Greg started the blog The Political Pit Bull in August 2005. He was OTB's Breaking News Editor from June through August 2006 before deciding to return to his own blog. His blogging career eventually ended altogether. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University,


  1. If the Dems really want to go after John Bolton I say go ahead.

    From what I can tell, during the recent hostilities in the Middle East normal Americans have liked the fact that Bolton isn’t afraid to be blunt with the United Nations or the press.

    Personally, I just like having someone representing us in the UN that doesn’t go around apologizing to everyone for the fact that he’s an American.

  2. legion says:

    I’m more curious about what it is that made Voinovich change his mind…

  3. Michael says:

    Sorry, but the warden analogy is a bad one. It implies that Bolton has some kind of authoritative control over the lives of other UN ambassadors.

    Bolton is a peer to these other ambassadors. A better analogy would be if a teacher is criticised by other teachers in a school. In this case, the criticism should be seriously considered, should it not? Heck, even if the dean of the school is criticised by a large group of teachers, shouldn’t that be a serious problem?

  4. ke_future says:

    actually, the teacher analogy is a bad one as well. teachers are all peers, but they report to the administration and to the parents of the kids they teach. in a school, teachers are all suppose to work together for the betterment of the school.

    in the UN, Bolton represents the President of the United States and through him, the government and people of the United States.

    perhaps members of a homeowners association? they each of their own agenda, but there is an overall framework they have to work within? that’s the best that i can come up with. but I’ve always hated analogies when it comes to foreign policy, because there really is no good translation of the moral amid ethical complexities involved. one of the reasons i like Bolton. he says it straight and means it. i don’t have to try to translate it.

  5. widestaringeyes says:

    Over the course of the last 4 years I have come to the following BOTTOM LINE conclusions about our two political parties:

    1. The Republicans: pro-American

    2. The Democrats: pro-anythingbutAmerican

    The average Joe is more aware than the drive-by-media will ever admit to. Since the U.N. isn’t capable of actually changing the course of anything, it is really not worth ones time to consider a proper Representatives filling the seat behind the little sign that reads “U.S.A.”

    It just doesn’t matter. I would, however, like to see Bolton remain in the U.N. for a very long time simply because he is forcing some of these dirtbag U.N. reps to actually “work”. For whatever that’s worth…..

  6. john says:

    Democrats getting spanked….
    There’s a good book out called…
    Spanking the Donkey!