Michael: Bush makes his junkyard dog a toothless curBush made a recess appointment of John Bolton to UN Ambassdor, effectively pulling the teeth of his junkyard dog. Bush proposed Bolton because he claimed that Bolton had what it would take to assist the UN in reforming. Of course, what he actually meant is Bolton has the right stuff to undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the UN.
Bush's capitulation to Senate filibustering of Bolton is now official. Bolton may be going to the UN, but without Senate confirmation, he goes as the President's personal envoy, not as the representative of the American government. And that is exactly how he will be recieved. Bolton will be greatly weakened by this no-cofidence vote by the Senate in the eyes of every government on Earth. What Bush has done in sending the first recess-appointed UN Ambassador ever to New York, is to undermine the credibility of his foriegn policy and fatally weaken the representation of American interests at the UN.
Bolton's tenure will extend to the end of 2006, when the next session of this Senate ends - probably in December. In that time, tremendously important events could unfold across the world, and we will have a lame duck President, represented by a lame duck Ambassador who could not be confirmed, as our emmissary to one of the most important deliberative bodies in the world. This is simply irresponsible intransigence on Bush's part. The Administration, as is becoming a troubling pattern for Bush nominees, refused to divulge documents related to Bolton's tenure as head of anti-proliferation efforts at the State Department. This prompted even members of Bush own party to question what the Administration was trying to hide.
Not only has Bush spent any capital he might have won in the election, but like the federal budgets he passes, his capital account is deeply into the red. Bush's famous and admirable tenacity has edged over the line into autocratic tendencies. His stubborn unwillingless to admit defeat on Bolton's nomination is going to be harmful to American interests in a myraid of ways. Admittedly, most of the harm done will not be readily apparent; it will come in terms of missed opportunities for greater collaboration and consensus building on issues vital to American interests. An unconfirmed, unwanted, and unqualified personal envoy from an increasing unpopular President will not inspire the confidence and cooperation of the world. Bush has set Bolton, and America, on the path to failure with his stubborn refusal to withdraw Bolton's nomination.