Withdraw Bolton Now
Clearly not learning quite as many lessons from Tuesday's rout as one might have hoped, the Administration has resubmitted unconfirmed UN Ambassador John Bolton's name to the Senate. Apparently Bush hopes that Bolton's confirmation can be somehow forced through before the new Congress convenes in January. This is not only unlikely, but was rather a ham-handed way to deal not only with the incoming Senate, but also with the lame ducks.
The White House felt, according to reports, that Bolton might now receive the support of RI's Lincoln Chafee, who had refused to vote for Bolton in the Foreign Relations Committee. Not surprisingly - and good for him - Chafee's not feeling quite so obliging. In an statement yesterday, Chafee said of the Bolton nomination:
"On Tuesday, the American people sent a clear message of dissatisfaction with the foreign policy approach of the Bush Administration. To confirm Mr. Bolton to the position of UN Ambassador would fly in the face of the clear consensus of the country that a new direction is called for. I have long believed that the go-it-alone philosophy that has driven this administration’s approach to international relations has damaged our leadership position in the world. Mr. Bolton does not demonstrate the kind of collaborative approach that I believe will be called for if we are to restore the United States’ position as the strongest country in a peaceful world."
Senator Biden, who will chair the Foreign Relations Committee after January, said he saw no point in resubmitting the Bolton nomination since it's "going nowhere." Democrats have enough votes to filibuster the nomination during the lame-duck session and enough to kill it outright in the 110th Congress. It is time for the President to face facts, withdraw John Bolton's name and send up a decent nominee.