Monday, August 01, 2005

Yosemite Sam goes the New York!

So, I have been dawdling about this weekend, nursing a sick wife who caught her cold from me. In addition, I have been reading Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. I was supposed to try to write a response to the energy bill that passed out of Congress last week with more pork than a pig farm and, which actually does very little to accomplish the goal which the President laid out. That goal was to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. That piece is coming, but it is not ready yet.

Today I am going to focus on the recess appointment of John Bolton to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. John Bolton was not able to get out of the Senate, which had significant concerns about this man’s ability to handle the job. The President says that it was “a handful of Senators” which in their obstructionist stance had kept the position of UN Ambassador empty and thus the U.S. has been unrepresented for months in New York. This is a load of malarkey. The position has been empty, but there is an entire mission to the UN and there is a significant amount of State Department staff dedicated to this function. It wasn’t like there was no one there and they had boarded up the windows at the UN Mission or that an inch of dust had settled on our desk in the Security Council chamber. To pretend otherwise is devious and untruthful.

John Bolton is an angry man. One need only look at him to discover that. But we get to do more then that. We get to read what he has written and we learn about how he has treated his colleagues. I separate angry people into two columns. In the first column are those angry people who yell at their kids and/or spouses at home and are generally grumpy. In the second are those dangerously angry people who lose their temper in their workplaces. Both groups are bad, but the latter are not only bad, they are dangerous. These are people who lack the social grace to be able to restrain them in the workplace.

I am not going to get into specific allegation that have been directed at John Bolton, they are well publicized and when we get bogged down in specifics we lose sight of the overall picture. John Bolton is a bully, and like most bullies he uses sheer force of will to overcome a complete lack of tact. Many proponents feel that this is exactly what the UN needs. A little shot of “tough love” in the arm. But anyone who knows anything about diplomacy, and even those who know nothing, knows that it is a delicate science. Diplomacy, like many things, is all about relationships. It is all about the ability to use those relationships to achieve the goals laid out by the President’s foreign policy.

John Bolton has no tact, he is not diplomatic. He is honest and frank with his opinions. Honesty and frankness are good qualities, but not in the hands of a man with no tact. The President has appointed him anyways, and as usual when he does not get his way, he finds the short cut. As opposed to engaging Congress and Bolton’s critics (a rather bi-partisan bunch) in dialogue, he appoints Bolton with a recess nomination. The recess nomination has historically been used to fill urge postings. It can be used almost legitimately when dealing with Federal judges because the court system is so strained and short staffed. This, however, is a clear abuse of the recess appointment privilege. The President is desperate to prove that he is not a lame duck. His social security overhaul plan has conspicuously gone quiet. His foreign policy is under new and perhaps, some would say, critical analysis. Turd Blossom, a.k.a. Karl Rove is being investigated for his role in the Valerie Plame leak.

2005 has not treated the President very well thus far. He will, no doubt, try to spin last week’s energy bill and transportation bill into PR victories. It is what his White House does best. For people that hate Bill Clinton with a furious passion, they sure have learned a lot from him. They spin like pros! In the end, this recess appointment is fact, it happened, and we are sending the John Bolton, UN hater extraordinaire, to represent the United States to the world. The only positive that I see is that the rest of the world doesn’t watch FoxNews, they will see Bolton without the spin. They will see him for the explosive, pompous, mediocre, less than smart, troglodyte that he is.

Sneaky Mr. President! Sneaky! Was it Rove’s idea?

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