Joltin' John Bolton's UN Hopes Crashing?


Will John Bolton, George Bush's pick to be the U.S.'s ambassador to the United Nations and hands-down winner of the Wilfred Brimley Memorial Mustache Competition, ever get voted on?

Things didn't break his way today, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed a vote for several weeks.

Republicans hold a 10-8 majority on the panel, and [Indiana Republican Sen. Richard] Lugar had sounded confident early in the session that he had the votes to prevail.

"We were not born yesterday," Lugar said. "The Republicans want to vote for John Bolton; there are 10 Republicans here."

But Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and George Voinovich of Ohio, both expressed reservations about a quick vote–as did a solid phalanx of Democrats. Voinovich was direct in expressing his concern. "I've heard enough today that gives me some real concern about Mr. Bolton," he said.

Most of the allegations against Bolton are that he wanted to can or transfer analysts he'd "lost confidence in," which hardly seems so bad, even if the guy is a bit of a screamer or, in the words of a colleague, "a serial abuser."

MSNBC story with rundown of allegations here.

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  1. The story you linked to, and the post itself, don’t reference the new information that came out today.

    Apparently, Mr. Bolton is a bit of a kook.

  2. I don’t understand the “President gets to pick his people” meme. If Senators want to have the President pick his people, remove the “advice and consent” provision in the statute that authorizes the position. Otherwise, I expect something other than a rubber stamp. If every appointee is passed by the Senate, then either the President or the Senate aren’t doing the job properly.

    Bolton strikes me as ill-suited for an ambassadorship. ANY ambassadorship.

  3. Hey, what other blog can claim the constitution itself as a poster?

    I nominate the carpet humping guy. Wait ’till all those UN appointees from around the world who thought they were in for a cushy time find out they have to hump the carpet all day or the U.S. uses its veto against them…

  4. I’m all for having some obnoxious people who will flip the bird at the world when needed. I just don’t think they should be diplomats. I think they should have some other job in DC and be brought in as needed.

  5. Every time I read about this guy, I hear the song “When a Man Loves a Woman” in my head. (Because of the other Mr. Bolton.) It’s starting to get annoying.

  6. Libertarian mole in Bush administration
    plots destruction of U.N. by appointing
    lunatic as U.N. ambassador.

    Less grandiose–Libertarian mole sidelines
    neo-con ally by placing him in
    worthless talking shop–the U.N.

    Given that any liberarian moles in the
    Bush administration likely have little

    Realist cabal guarantees that U.N. will
    not support future U.S. preventive war
    in the Middle East by appointing lunatic
    as U.N. ambassador.


    Realist cabal gets rid of neo-con ally
    in administration by proposing his
    appointment to a position for which he
    is obviously unsuitable and leaking all
    the dirt during confirmation hearings.

    Wolfowitz was “kicked upstairs” to a
    position where he can’t do much harm.

    Maybe this time Bolton will be out for

  7. Most of the allegations against Bolton are that he wanted to can or transfer analysts he’d “lost confidence in,” which hardly seems so bad, even if the guy is a bit of a screamer or, in the words of a colleague, “a serial abuser.”

    With all due respect, Nick, the case has been a little more substantial than that.

    Lame Democrat protestations notwithstanding, Bolton is (even by some conservative standards) a bit of a nutball extremist.

    I can’t see where putting a screaming fruitcake in a diplomatic position is a good idea – even if the U.N. DOES need a little slapping around.

  8. “I nominate the carpet humping guy.”

    “The colonial agression of the Zionist…Stop it! Stop it! Help! Get him off me!”

    “A bit of a screamer” is one thing. Storming around a hotel throwing things at a subordinate, slipping threatening notes under her door, and spreading malicious gossip that she’s about to be indicted in another. Withholding information from your boss, the Sec. of State, because it makes your adopted political position look worse is yet another. And collecting information from classified NSA cables is still another.

  9. Adding Joe’s point, a stunning lack of maturity, integrity, patience and class are hardly desirable attributes in ANYONE being placed in a visible negotiating position.

    Shouldn’t our representative to the U.N. be BETTER than the rest.

    It’s said that a diplomat is someone who can tell you to “Go to hell” and make you look forward to the trip.

    In John Bolton’s case, I think he’d be more likely to say:

    “Go to hell while I’m fucking your sister sideways and carpet bombing your two-bit, leftist
    country that either bitched about NAFTA, didn’t let us fly over your country on the way to Iraq, or complained about American corporations hiring sweatshops.

    Furthermore, If you got a problem, check out my ol’ stink eye while I negotiate with a neighboring dictator to invade your piddly ass while labeling YOU a human rights disgrace for what ever reason pops into my squirrely little head on my way to the microphone.”

  10. So we’re now vetting our diplomats based on office gossip?

    There is no particular connection at all between being a nice boss and being effective in advancing your organization’s interests. Some nice bosses are effective, some aren’t.

    And is anyone shocked that there are people at the soft-lefty tranzi talking shop that is our State Department who don’t want an America-firster like Bolton at the UN?

  11. RC,

    I actually supported – well, not really supported, but wasn’t opposed to – Bolton when he was first nominated. George Bush is going to nominate a hawkish America Firster – no shit. And he’s not a lifetime appointment, and he’s the president’s representative, and he’s a career professional who knows what he’s doing. And that mustache screams “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

    But George Voinovich, Chuck Hegel, and Lincoln Chafee aren’t resisting this because of Bolton’s politics. From what I’ve seen, the man doesn’t have the temperment to do his job effectively, and there are a number of personality issues that call into question the wisdom of putting him in a position of responsibility and management.

    George Bush wants to nominate a hawkish America Firster, so be it. But not this guy. He seems to be a kook, and untrustworthy to boot.

  12. joe,

    The UN is kicking around proposals for international Internet taxes and International energy consumption taxes. I’ts time for US to split.

  13. I don’t really care whether Bolton is a nice guy/boss or not; what I do care about is that Boltom so far has demonstrated none of the professional or personal qualities expected of an ambassador. We’ve appointed plenty of rubes and boobs to ambassorial posts before, but Ambassador to the UN is a good deal more high-profile than, say Ambassador to Botswana.

    My biggest concern lies in the evidence that Bolton only listens to what he wants to hear and gets rid of anyone who dares to contradict his views. This is an endemic neocon trait, one that was on full display during the lead-in to the invasion of Iraq. I have no great love for the UN, but we do need to be able to operate there, as we find unilateral action to be increasingly onerous in financial, military and social terms. Having an ambassador who only listens to himself does nothing to advance US goals and could do a great deal to harm them.

  14. Rick, “The UN is kicking around…” has to be the least threatening phrase in the English language. As far as threats to my freedom go, I rank them somewhere between the Quakers and ground squirrels.

    UN: We’re going to do blah blah blah.

    US: No, you’re not.

    UN: Wail, gnash teeth, shout about hegemons and racists and pardigmns.

    US: So, how’s that dues reform thing coming.

    UN: *sound of crickets chirping*

  15. joe,

    That was pretty funny, but I fear that Bush, or some future president, will back one of the UN’s terrible ideas.

  16. joe-

    what about killer rabbits? 🙂

    rick’s point about the UN is well-taken. there are some serious problems with what, say, ritt bjerregaard, wants the un to have in terms of super-authority, a la the EU.

    bertel haarder is on record saying that he thinks the UN is a way for a “european style” of world government to take root.

    while the “kicking around” might not seem a problem now, sticking with Liberal principles, what they’re kicking around is worrying. it is worrying when some of the fundies in the house “kick around” ideas for making the rest of us their brand of fundie christian. “kicking around” in the context of the above-mentioned people in power does take on some interest and meaning.

    i don’t mean that we should be paranoid, at all. Rather, let’s look at the group at hand, some of its still-open scandals, and ask if this group had power of international law or taxation, would it be good if it were based on
    1) if we had the right people in the organization
    2) the structure of the organization prevents abuse

    hell, look at the abuses in the current washington configuration – and we allegedly have controls!!!

    rick is very consistent in terms of limited, Liberal government. you’re very consistent in terms of international community/ social issues. see if there is a common ground here. you two would probably be in agreement about DC now.

    why is there disagreement over the UN? because both of you see it in terms of your consistencies:

    you probably like the international voice and forum. (maybe a check on us power? is that appropriate? apologies if not). Rick probably doesn’t like a hypercratic organization that lacks transparity

    (it’s easier for me to guess what rick might prefer, as it’s closer to my views, but i do want to have both of you outline your cases without my bullshit)

    both of you are great debators here (MASTERs even, ha ha). see where the differences lie in how both of you view the un, its role, it’s potential role, and how the current administration figures in to your views.

    cheerio and “happy” wednesday. go cavs. oh, whoops. 🙂


  17. Weirdness: NPR has been referring to George Voinevich as “maverick Republican Senator” What the f is that about? Liberal bias, yea because a “maverick” is cool, like James Garner or Tom Cruise in “Top Gun?” Or, ney, because only a nasty, scheming, out of touch, possibly, French-on-the-Maumee ‘maverick’ would vote against the wise GW’s nominee.

    I’ll give the committee credit for one thing, they are at least on about something to do with the man’s fitness for the job, not his nanny’s immigration status.


  18. NPR has been referring to George Voinevich as “maverick Republican Senator” What the f is that about?

    I just got the impression they were calling him a “maverick” ’cause he had gotten loose from the administration corral.

    I would have thought Chafee would have rebel if anyone would, but I heard him interviewed on NPR Sat. AM and he seemed to be playing the loyal soldier.

    Voinevich, normally adminstration all the way, seems to have surprised everyone, and once he did Hegel’s and Chafee’s doubts came out as well.

  19. would have rebel sb would rebel

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