Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Applying the Clinton Standard for Bolton

Thursday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is supposed to finally vote on the John Bolton nomination to be Ambassador to the UN. That is provided that the dem/lestists do not try and delay the vote. At this time, it would appear that the committee will approve the nomination on a party line vote. The dem/leftists and their media allies have tried to paint a picture of Bolton as a guy who needs anger management counseling. This has been their main thrust for opposing Bolton's nomination. Pejman Yousefzadeh wants to apply the Clinton standard for Bolton.

"In his memoirs, George Stephanopoulos revealed that President Clinton was subject to "purple rages" and that Stephanopoulos oftentimes felt that his job was to get yelled at by the President in the morning so that the President would not go through the entire day angry. Bob Woodward's The Agenda reveals that upon hearing of a staffer's mistake in preparing advance work during the 1992 presidential campaign, then-Governor Clinton remarked in a white-hot rage that "I want him [the staffer] dead, dead. I want him killed. I want him horsewhipped." When informed by then-Senator Bob Kerrey that Clinton would not have Kerrey's vote for the 1993 economic package, Clinton screamed into the phone "f--- you!" and then slammed it down. (Kerrey decided eventually to vote "aye" though it is not clear whether the President's anatomical expletive had anything to do with changing Kerrey's mind.)

To be sure, this habit of mindlessly raging at others is reprehensible from the standpoint of courtesy and respect for others. And to be sure, Bill Clinton was not the only politician to be guilty of failing to show this degree of courtesy and respect. Politicians -- whether Democrats or Republicans -- are notorious for their rather imperious behavior towards anyone they do not consider an equal (which encompasses a great many people)."

It would seem that Billy Clinton needed some anger management counselling. A good many in power fly off when things do not go as expected or subordanites screw up. The case presented aginst Bolton, is based, in part, on an unsubstantiated story about him allegedly chasing some contractor that messed up and yelling at her in a Russian hotel. What the media did not report was that this contractor was also the head of Mothers Against Bush in Texas.
"One of the allegations against Bolton was made by former State Department official Carl Ford, who called Bolton a "kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy," meaning that Bolton would try to curry favor with his superiors while maltreating his subordinates. Interestingly enough, such allegations are concurrent with charges that Bolton "holds many strong views that diverge sharply from current U.S. policy." One cannot help but wonder how it is that Bolton supposedly "kisses-up" to his superiors while at the same time supposedly "diverg[ing] sharply" from official policy -- policy that is set by those superiors. Perhaps, as William Kristol indicates, the answer to this quandary is that John Bolton didn't "kiss-up" to anyone:
"John Bolton is no 'kiss-up.' Quite the contrary. Over the last four years, he was famously willing to challenge his bosses, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, at the daily 8:30 State Department senior staff meeting. He paid a price for this, especially by earning the enmity of Armitage. Carl Ford, the former State Department intelligence chief, was a close associate of Armitage."
Indeed, we have yet more indications that a primary charge against Bolton is that he went against consensus opinion regarding foreign policy and intelligence matters -- a stance that now apparently will be rewarded by having those with whom Bolton clashed over intelligence and policy matters come to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and testify with an axe to grind. Once again, all of this should cause people to wonder whether Bolton really "kissed-up" as successfully as Carl Ford alleged he did -- after all, it's a strange kind of "kissing-up" that entails having Bolton engage in policy arguments with so many people in the diplomatic and intelligence communities. Bolton's critics apparently have trouble getting their criticisms straight. Either Bolton's nomination should be disapproved because he is a "kiss-up" to his superiors or it should be disapproved because he is bull-headed and obdurate beyond measure in interactions with his superiors. These critics can pick one charge and run with it, but they can't have it both ways. And if they choose to portray Bolton as a "kiss-up" that charge is contradicted by the many times he argued against the opinions and policy stances of his superiors."
Imagine that. Those that Bolton had disagreed with or those that Bolton had taken to task, now are given the opportunity to vent and get even. As bad as the dem/lefists are, some at Foggy Bottom are worse. Some career State Department employees have that smug "I am so much smarter then any appointee" attitude. This has been prevalent there for decades, stretching all the way back to the pre-WWII days.
"This is not to say that the only complaints against Bolton revolve around his supposed "kiss-up, kick-down" behavior. Indeed, if there are policy and process issues of a more substantive nature that would directly impact Bolton's performance as ambassador to the United Nations, they should be pursued and discussed. Of course, they have been pursued and discussed during Bolton's confirmation hearings and there was every opportunity to pursue and discuss those issues during Bolton's previous four (successful) confirmation hearings for positions in the United States government. And yet somehow, only now, in this fifth confirmation hearing do negative allegations meant to deal John Bolton's nomination and career a death by a thousand cuts emerge. Readers will -- I hope -- forgive those of us who wonder cynically about both the timing of these allegations and their glaring inherent weaknesses."
As I have said before, this is all about politcis. The dem/leftists would much prefer to see a UN ass kisser as ambassador. Bolton will be a fresh, as well as outspoken representative of the US at the UN. It is long past time that some one told the UN that they are not wearing any clothes. John Bolton is just the man to do that. If the UN is ever to regain back any respectabillity, it needs to be reformed. It is time that an ambassador from the US to the UN let's the UN know this in no uncertain terms. John Bolton needs to be confirmed and confirmed now. - Sailor

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