Monday, April 11, 2005

Note to Dems: Picking Nits Can Be Costly

Per Delaware's shining star, Sen. Joseph Biden (D), John Bolton is not fit to be our ambassador to the U.N. because he has criticized it. Which means that Bill Clinton was and John Kerry would have been unfit to be the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military, because both were vocally critical of it. But Joe Biden must have forgotten to oppose their candidacies.

Biden, the camera-hungry senior senator from the almost forgotten first state of Delaware is once again getting too much media attention for reveling in the details.

It seems that Biden feels that the U.N. should never be criticized. So presumably the Annan leadership, such as it is, has no issues of concern like the Oil-for-Food scandal, allowing states like Libya to sit on the Human Rights Commission, and ignoring its own resolutions when rogue nations decide that they are not in the mood to cooperate, fearing confrontation more than "international will".

One would imagine that someone with a clear understanding of the challenges of working with the U.N. would be properly suited, but the Democrats, led by Biden in this case (an allegory of just how bad things have gotten for them), think that one should see all roses at what is a fundamentally troubled and historically misled institution.

But, not wanting to focus too much attention on Bolton's credentials, Biden wants to ensure that a thorough vetting is conducted by offering even the outlandishly irrelevant for consideration. Specifically, Biden is claiming that Bolton, as a State Department official, pressured intelligence analysts to overstate the likelihood that Cuba (not Iraq, mind you) would be able to develop weapons of mass destruction. If our invasion and occupation of Cuba were predicated on such reports, Biden might actually have a point. Now, I consider myself a pretty well-informed person, and an invasion of (or any action taken at all towards) Cuba would have been something I most likely would have caught. But so far, my Google search has gone nowhere--much like this moronic inquest into this pointless detail.

All kidding aside, raising this non-issue reflects a truly bad-faith approach to the confirmation process on the part of the Senate Democrats. They hope that they can pull away liberal Republican senators like the invertebrate Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), and the Republican only too happy to hamstring the President, Chuck Hagel (R-NE). But what they will succeed in doing is highlighting to the nation that they are not serious about anything other than political one-upsmanship. Because this is an ambassador, not a Supreme Court Justice, or a first-tier cabinet member like the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasury or Defense. And this is not someone of questionable morals or strange political thought. He's just a guy with whom the Democrats disagree, which is apparently disqualifier enough.

I hope that John Bolton and the reasons for the obstruction of his appointment become household talk. Because Americans really don't like this kind of pettiness when there is serious work to be done.

And picking every nit they can find may end up costing them in 2006 and 2008. It is yet one more indicator that the party and its members in the Senate are no longer serious about securing America or having our benches staffed with people who seriously consider the law. They want to have the emotional satisfaction of thumbing their nose at the President.

It may go well with them to remember the demise of Tom Daschle. Because I think he was just the first of a few Senate heads to hang on a wall in Crawford.

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