Monday, June 20, 2005

Recess Appointment for Bolton?

The idea's been around for a long time, but it's gained more and more traction over the last 48 hours, since it has become quite clear the White House is not going to release the information requested by Senate Democrats, and those same Bolton opponents are not going to allow passage of a cloture vote without the information. Secretary of State Rice refused to rule out the possibility of a recess appointment yesterday in her interviews, and as Steve Clemons notes today, the mainstream media is beginning to recognize the likelihood that a recess appointment could occur (as conservatives like Bob Novak and the National Review have suggested it should).

I agree with Clemons' conclusion on the recess-appointment front: "Recess appointments are the President's right. If he wants to send his embattled nominee who failed to get confirmation in a Republican-controlled Congress, there is little that can be done to stop it. But those in this battle who stood for principled American engagement in the world and who want to make international treaties and institutions instruments that promote American security as well as global stability and well-being will have won the war on Bolton."

In fact, I would go farther and say that a recess appointment by the president would effectively be an admission of defeat, an admission that he is sending an inferior representative to the United Nations who could not even get the support of sixty senators in a when the president's party hold 55 seats. That's pretty sad, frankly. Mr. Bolton, do the country a good service: withdraw your name today. How can the Administration expect him to be a strong advocate for UN reform when he couldn't even persuade five Democrats to vote to confirm him (not to mention drew such strong opposition from Senator Voinovich?).

Don't forget to stop by later on for live-blogging of the Senate, 5 p.m. Eastern.

[Update: New, post-cloture-attempt update on a recess appointment here. -- 21 June, 11:38 a.m.]


At 3:31 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I think it's great. The U.S. needs someone to talk straight with the U.N. Like you said, it is the President's right to appoint who he wants during a recess. It will be the democrats right to criticise his actions while in office.

I don't quite see how getting his man in the U.N. is a defeat for Bush. It's only a moral victory for the Dems. What's sad is the Dems resorting to these tactics to fight Bush on everything under the sun.


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